Reply To: Asking About Parecon/Parsoc

ZSplash Forums AskAlbert Asking About Parecon/Parsoc Reply To: Asking About Parecon/Parsoc

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Michael Albert
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Jason Chaplin wrote:

— This illustrates an interesting stylistic difference between you and Hahnel. So when a critic complains that, to take the example, they’d feel coerced by the perceived requirement that they submit an individual consumption proposal, you’ll tell them them that they’re wrong to feel that way about it and give the argument for why it’d be a good thing to do. Whereas Hahnel simply tells them how the model can accommodate for such a lack of desire.

I doubt there is much difference about this issue. In fact, if no one wants to engage in planning because everyone hates it and would rather live in a class divided economy, with poverty, etc. etc. because registering their preferences feels to them worse than having others competitively decide outcomes or authoritatively impose them, and then foraging amidst the available options, etc., parecon wouldn’t be suitable for human beings. Workplaces must plan and so must consumption units and individuals. All Robin is saying is you could stick with you prior years consumption plan rather than give some time to pay attention to the fact that you already have enough of some things, have some new hobbies, may want some new products, etc. I don’t believe he thinks anyone would actually do that…but, yes, one could.

That the system doesn’t fall apart when someone just keeps their preferences as they have been, spending no time seeing new options, and accounting for changes in their desires, is true. However it is also very peculiar behavior…

— It also comes up where remuneration is concerned. When the critic insists that they’d always want to (naively) follow ‘from each, to each,’ you argue against that view—doggedly so (your debate with Steven Johns of libcom.org e.g.)—and for the reasonableness and justice of remuneration for effort, sacrifice, and onerousness.

This is actually quite different. From each to each is simply not viable. I don’t remember the exchange you refer to, but it have written often on this matter, including. The essay, for example, querying the hung Chomsky.

Whereas Hahnel, again, just illustrates how that ethic would apply within a parecon, i.e., by worker councils or federations pooling all their workers’ entitlements to the social product, and consumer councils or federations allocating on the basis of (their conception of) need.

I don’t like robins approach here, you are correct and perceptive. He is trying to end run a concern by fudging and saying that something quite reasonable is sort of from each to each, but it isn’t. What he describes does have people paying attention to special needs people voice, something we have always made clear, but what he describes is actually is not at all, remotely, from each to each. I think he and hopes, in some sense, that from each to each advocates won’t realize, and will have their reflex rejection blunted, or so it seems to me.

I think, instead, the real issues should be made clear. We do not disagree about those.

So the Albertian approach is to argue against the critic’s value or feeling as being irrational or impractical, and argue that another value or feeling is better.

It is not a question of a value or feeling…this is about a particular set of behaviors as a basis for allocation. In fact, from each to each if seriously pursued would be at best grossly inferior due to not allowing investment in light of levels of desire and need…something that nine of its advocates ever seem to account for, even if magically somehow everyone had just results…which in fact would not happen unless people were basically operating in a Pareconish way despite being told they could work or not, at any tasks they wanted or not, and take from the social product whatever they wanted, with no way at all to know what would be just and fair.

The Hahnelian tact is to assure them that they’re values and feelings would have a place in parecon.

That you read it that way is perhaps his hope. It is not the case.

It seems that the two ways of responding would leave skeptics with very different impressions of the model (and the movement for it). What’s behind this difference in presentation and debate strategy?

Well, you might write him and ask him. I think he, like me, believes anarchists, which is the group that has this particular concern, ought to advocate parecon as a classless self managing economy. He, like me, also knows that a commitment by many anarchists to a kind of doctrinal axiom…anything other than from each to each is inferior and unacceptable as a part of a vision, blocks many from taking parecon seriously. They instead just dismiss it…since it doesn’t have from each to each. He tries to end run or obscure away their reaction in hopes that blunting of their concern will cause them to look closely. I try to address the concerns head on since for anyone serious they will eventually need to be addressed.

This is actually quite different. From each to each is simply not viable. I don’t remember the exchange you refer to, but I have written often on this matter, including the essay, for example, querying the young Chomsky.

— Whereas Hahnel, again, just illustrates how that ethic would apply within a parecon, i.e., by worker councils or federations pooling all their workers’ entitlements to the social product, and consumer councils or federations allocating on the basis of (their conception of) need.

I don’t like robins approach here, you are correct and perceptive. He is trying to end run a concern by fudging and saying that something quite reasonable is sort of from each to each, but it isn’t. What he describes does have people who are in proximity collectively paying attention to special needs people voice, something we have always made clear, but what he describes is actually not at all, remotely, from each to each. I think he hopes, in some sense, that from each to each advocates won’t realize, and will have their reflex rejection blunted, or so it seems to me.

I think, instead, the real issues should be made clear. We do not disagree about those.

— So the Albertian approach is to argue against the critic’s value or feeling as being irrational or impractical, and argue that another value or feeling is better.

It is not a question of a value or feeling…this is about a particular set of behaviors as a basis for allocation. In fact, from each to each if seriously pursued would be at best grossly inferior due to not allowing investment in light of levels of desire and need…something that none of its advocates ever seem to account for, even if magically somehow everyone had equitable results…which in fact would not happen unless people were basically operating in a Pareconish way despite being told they could work or not, at any tasks they wanted or not, and take from the social product whatever they wanted, with no way at all to know what would be just and fair.

— The Hahnelian tact is to assure them that they’re values and feelings would have a place in parecon.

That you read it that way is perhaps his hope. It is not the case.

— It seems that the two ways of responding would leave skeptics with very different impressions of the model (and the movement for it). What’s behind this difference in presentation and debate strategy?

Well, you might write him and ask him. I think he, like me, believes anarchists, which is the group that has this particular concern, ought to advocate parecon as a classless self managing economy. He, like me, also knows that a commitment by many anarchists to a kind of doctrinal axiom that anything other than from each to each is inferior and unacceptable as a part of a vision, blocks many from taking parecon seriously. They instead just dismiss it…since it doesn’t have from each to each. My impression is that he is trying to end run or obscure away their reaction in hopes that blunting their concern will cause them to look closely. I try to address the concerns head on since for anyone serious they will eventually need to be addressed.