1. At a public talk someone asks you, "okay, I understand what
you reject, but I wonder what are you for? What institutions
do you favor that will be better than what we have for the economy,
polity, gender, race, ecology, or whatever you have vision for?
I am a big supporter of the parsoc/parecon model which means a society based on values such as equity, solidarity, diversity and self-management. In the economic sphere, where I have my background and main interest, this means creating new institutions to replace our existing capitalist institutions. The basic new institutions would be a network of workers and consumers councils, balanced job complexes, remuneration based on effort and sacrifice and a participatory planning procedure. These institutions would replace the present capitalist institutions such as corporate division of labor, remuneration of bargaining power and property and market allocation.
2. Next, someone at the same event asks, "Why do you do what
you do? That is, you are speaking to us, and I know you
write, and maybe you organize, but why do you do it? What do
you think it accomplishes? What is your goal for your coming
year, or for your next ten years?
The capitalist society that we live in today is a horrible place when one considers the injustice and sufferings that it produces. If one believes that life doesn’t have to be like this and that there is an alternative that would make life more fulfilling and meaningful for all, one really has no alternative but to work towards that alternative. Working for an alternative society means trying to convince people that there actually is a viable alternative and to encourage people to engage in actions that will bring us closer to that alternative. The immediate goal has to do with raising the level of awareness of the alternative and to get the word out.
3. You are at home and you get an email that says a new
organization is trying to form, internationally, federating
national chapters, etc. It asks you to join the effort. Can
you imagine plausible conditions under which you would say,
"yes, I will give my energies to making it happen along with
the rest of you who are already involved?" If so, what are
those conditions? Or – do you think instead that regardless
of the content of the agenda and make up of the
participants, the idea can’t be worthy, now, or perhaps ever.
If so, why?
I am definitely willing to engage in an organization that works for an alternative society along the lines outlined in my answers above so long as that organization itself practices what it preaches.
4. Do you think efforts to organize movements, projects, and
our own organizations should embody the seeds of the future
in the present? If not, why not? If yes, can you say what, very
roughly, you think some of the implications would be for an
organization you would favor?
Yes, that is essential for credibility. The value of this cannot be overestimated. The implications would include creating decision making rules, job divisions and remuneration rules that corresponds with our values.
5. Why did you answer this interview? Why do you think others
did not answer it?
The resoc project is an important initiative that hopefully will lead forward in the work toward an alternative future. Answering this interview is part of this. If people don´t answer this interview I guess they don´t agree.