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Advocating Parecon: An Organization


What about creating an organization of pareconists, so to speak? I don’t know whether this would be positive if it were it to grow to considerable size, nor even whether it would grow at all, for that matter. So this is an idea that pounds away in my mind…not escaping those borders into actual practice.

On the one hand, and this is always the easy part, imagine we had an organization for participatory economics called ope or something. Suppose it had ten thousand or even a hundred thousand or a million members worldwide, with chapters in dozens of countries. Suppose it was internally self managing. Suppose it advocated, explored, debated, and tried to flexibly, locally implement pareconish structure as well as trying to win non-reformist reforms in a trajectory leading toward parecon. Would this be a good thing?

To my thinking, of course if parecon is a good thing then such an organization would be wonderful.

But, you say, if we did this now it wouldn’t be this big and so powerful and so structurally consistent with pareconish values at the outset. Well of course it wouldn’t – that takes time. But nor could it ever get to that desired stature unless it got started at some initial time and place and scale, however initially small and inferior to ultimate hopes. So there is an argument for doing it.

On the other hand, who is going to define such an organization at its outset? What confidence can we have it would remain or become self-managing as its membership grew? What confidence can we have, for that matter, that it would grow rather than petering out at the expense of our efforts? What confidence can we have that such an organization would be open and exploratory and constantly innovative, as compared to being stodgy and sectarian. How can we be confident that it would implement changes flexibly as compared to being an adventurist nuisance or just plain incompetent? Should these and other concerns cause us only to function with great care, or should they cause us to entirely reject such an attempt?

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