Category: Interviews

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert Q/A 9

Ehrenreich: Singer also asked, what do you do when changed conditions, say a natural disaster, require instant decision-making? How do you answer this question? Albert: The question about responding to changes in people’s preferences or in material conditions, whether modest or major, is very important, of course. Any economy needs to be flexible or it Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert Q/A 8

Ehrenreich: OK, let’s forget about the slackers v. the nerds and approach the time issue in a more socially serious way. On a panel you organized at the 2003 World Social Forum, a former mayor of Porto Alegre described a real-life experiment in something like parecon — the city’s “participatory budget,” introduced by the Workers’ Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert Q/A 7

Ehrenreich: That response raises all kinds of questions and sets off some alarm bells in my mind. To start with one of them, which may seem trivial, but is actually very central to our differing visions of a utopian arrangement: When you say “let’s say someone, really values time a whole lot,” I cringe. Is Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert Q/A 6

Ehrenreich: Have you ever tried to calculate the human labor costs of all the planning involved in parecon? Or maybe I should say “time” not dollar “costs.” Yes, in the various books the issue of time allotment is certainly addressed. And the discussions not only look at the time it takes to plan, which is Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert Q/A 5

Ehrenreich: Before proceeding to other matters, my big reason for wanting some things to remain marketized is that it would reduce the burden of planning. As you know, some have complained that parecon condemns us to endless meetings, so why not leave “non-essentials” to the market? Albert: Opting for some markets in order to reduce Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert Q/A 4

Ehrenreich: I don’t want to prolong the skirt discussion (I hardly ever wear them myself), but I am confused about the way you conflate markets with capitalist exploitation. There were markets of one kind or another for thousands of years before capitalism, so they can’t be the same thing. Do you totally reject all attempts Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert Q/A 3

Ehrenreich: An eloquent answer, and I fully agree on the importance of keeping our vision in sight even while battling in the trenches. But there are alternatives to the present global power arrangements other than — you might say “short of” — the participatory economics you map out. Bill Greider, for example, has a book Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert, Q/A 2

Ehrenreich: The book is incredibly optimistic, some would say utopian. At a time when most on the US left are fighting constant erosions of rights and services — all of which were limited enough in the first place — what do you think the role of a book like Parecon can be? Albert: Of course Read more…

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Michael Albert: Ehrenreich Interviews Albert

Here is the first question and answer from a long recently completed but as yet unpublished interview of Michael Albert by Barbara Ehrenreich. The rest will follow, day by day… Ehrenreich: I have heard that there’s been a lot of interest around the world in your new book, Parecon: Life After Capitalism, about a new Read more…

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Michael Albert: Interview

In the same spirit as the last message — this is an interview done for a major Pakistani periodical and for translation to Urdu, as well…again on parecon, and other matters too… 1. What has been the attitude and role of American civil society towards President Bush’s counter terrorism policies at home and abroad since Read more…

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