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Parecon in Turkey


I am here to talk about economic vision. But it is September 11th, and I just came from the United States, and if in discussion period, in questions and answers, you want to ask about the US, about the election, about US foreign policy, really about anything that you are interested in and think I might help with, please feel free to do so. That’s fine, even though the main presentation will be about economic vision.

We are going to take for granted that we think capitalism has grave problems, I think that capitalism is not only in theft, it is denial of dignity, it is denial of people having a say over their own lives, it is production of huge inequalities in wealth, it is production of war and violence, it is a domination.

And feeling that way, I am left with two options: I can resign my own life and other people’s lives to the continuation of capitalism forever. Or I can try to think about an alternative to capitalism, a different kind of economy which functions in a different fashion and I can try to work to achieve that alternative economy. And I think it makes sense to do the latter. I am going to talk you about economics and economic vision and then a bit about strategy also.

Economies affect relations among people, they affect the way we interact. If we are going to propose an economic alternative we have to come up with a set of things that we value and a set of institutions that fulfil those values.

So far as economics affects relations among people, we reject the rat race, competitive dynamics associated with market competition. We don’t want an economy that propels us to advance at the expense of others. It would be preferable, much preferable, if our economy causeed us to be more empathetic, more caring, more concerned about others. The value that we favor, in this regard, is solidarity. We would like an economy that not only produces goods but produces solidarity among citizens instead of causing citizens to become highly individualist and greedy. And so that’s a first value. It is not very controversial. I suspect that nobody in here would say an economy is better if it makes people anti-social. It is obviously better that an economy should make people caring and congenial. So solidarity is not controversial.

A second theme of life that an economy affects is the range of options that we have at our disposal. How many different ways can we do things? What range of choices is there. We don’t want the kind of the homogenization and narrowing of choices and options that commodification and commercial values impose on us. Instead we value diversity. That is not particularly controversial either. So we have two values: solidarity and diversity. We would like an economy to advance these values in addition to producing the stuff that we want.

A third theme that an economy affects is how much stuff we get. What share of the social product does each person get to enjoy? What, in economists’ terms, is the norm of remuneration? What is the guideline that governs how much we get? This is a bit more complex.

In a capitalist system, we all know that some people get a vast amount of wealth because they have a piece of paper in their pockets. Literally they have a deed to property that gives them a claim on profits. And so Bill Gates, alone, individually, is worth more, roughly speaking, than the population of Norway all combined. It is because he has a piece of paper in his pocket that gives him a claim on profits. I want to reject property ownership as a norm of remuneration. I don’t think people should be wealthier than you or I, much less wealthier than any king in history, by virtue of having a deed in their pocket. For this audience, I suspect rejecting private ownership of productive property is not controversial.

A second norm that characterizes capitalism is the norm that if Genghis Khan were alive, he might propose, the norm that Al Capone might propose, the norm that Mafia dons might propose, and the norm that the Dean of the Harvard Business School might propose – if they were all honest about it. The norm they all commonly operate by is that we should each get from an economy what we can ourselves take. Our income should be determined by how much power we have, by how much stuff we can grab. If we have more power whether because of a union, or having certain skills, or due to a deed in our pockets, we get to take more. If we have less power, we get to take less. This is an economy of brutishness. Hopefully you will all agree with me that we should reject this too.

The next norm is the first one that is really controversial even among average folks of good will, not least because many leftists agree with it. The norm is that we should get from an economy what we give to it. However much I produce by my labour I should get back that amount. It seems reasonable. After all if I get less than I produce, why should I get less? If I get more than I produce, why should I get more;…it seems right that I should get what I produce, no more no less, and so should everybody else. But there are some problems.

Suppose two people go into the field to do agricultural work and one is physically stronger than the other. They work the same amount of the time, they work under the same hot sun, they work the same intensity; but the stronger one, by virtue of being stronger, is able to produce more, to pick more oranges, or to cut more sugarcane. Should the person who produced more get more remuneration just because of being physically stronger? Suppose one person had a better agricultural tool than the other. They again work equally hard under the same sun. Should the one who had the better tool get more income because of it facilitating greater production?

Here in Turkey of course you know Michael Jordan. He is known just about everywhere I think. He is a basketball player. Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls and won the championship often. Let’s assume for a minute he was earning fifteen million dollars each year. That is not fifteen million like the bill I just saw at lunch – fifteen million Turkish Euros for lunch. It is fifteen million dollars, or more like, I guess, fifteen trillion Turkish Euros. My question now is how many of you think that was he is earning too much for playing basketball? Well how many of you think he is getting too little? But if we believe that we should pay people for the size of the product they contribute, which probably seemed reasonably sensible to everybody here just a minute ago, then we have to pay Michael Jordan not less but much more than he got. If you think about it, Michael Jordan’s product, you might not like this, but Michael Jordan’s product, going up and down the basketball court shooting baskets, was worth a lot to citizens of the United States and all around the world. We got pleasure out of watching him, which we valued. And if we were to remunerate him for all that pleasure he brought to all those viewers, he should actually have gotten paid more than the amount he got. The amount he got was actually a function of how much bargaining power he had.

Consider the two composers Mozart and Salieri, moving to a different ground, perhaps more familiar to students here at Bogazici University. They each composed “valued” music. Salieri spends a week, works really hard, sweats, labours away, produces a composition, people like it. Mozart spends nine seconds, produces a composition that lasts to the next five hundred years and people love it. Should we pay Mozart way more because he has gigantic talent, inborn, they makes him so productive compared to Salieri? Now different people would see this differently. I think the answer is no. I don’t think we should distribute wealth based upon luck in the genetic lottery.

Milton Friedman is Nobel prize winning economists who is not at all noble. He is from the University of Chicago in United States; I don’t know what term to use for him… grotesque, perhaps. He is a right-wing human-being, but he is smart. And he was once debating with a leftist and he said to this leftist, “I understand where you are coming from — I would ordinarily use an analogy now to baseball, but I don’t know how much people here in Turkey know about baseball so I will try to switch to soccer, please don’t laugh too hard if I mess this up — You think that if a person is born such that he is coming down the soccer field, there are no defenders, and the goal is really large and he can score easily; it is not fair as compared to if somebody is born, and has to take on twenty defenders and a narrow goal and two goal keepers. In other words, you think it is unfair that somebody born to capitalist parents has basically already succeeded in life and will get all this wealth whereas somebody else born to working class parents; just by the virtue of luck in the parents lottery, will get much less.” That is what he said, he called it the parent lottery, and he said you didn’t earn your parents; you just happen to be born having one or another; so it’s like a lottery. I get the rich one, you get the poor one. So he said he understands that leftists don’t think that is fair. That we think it should not be the case that by virtue of what parent we have, we have these tremendously different circumstances. Then Friedman added, however, “but I don’t understand why you leftists think it is ok that if you are lucky in the genetic lottery, if you happen to get genes that make you strong, or that give you preferable vision like Michael Jordan, or that give you talents for composing like Mozart, you deserve, even though you didn’t do anything but were simply lucky in the genetic lottery; you deserve a fortune in remuneration.

The leftist he was debating was flustered by this and then went downhill and got smashed in the debate. My answer to Friedman is, you are right and I don’t think that people should be remunerated for the tools they use or for their genetic inheritance. I think, and this is now the third value I want to propose, that we should remunerate only for what is called effort and sacrifice. We should remunerate for how long people work, for how hard they work, and for how onerous, how debilitating, how harmful to their well-being their work is. Now if we go to a workplace and we see somebody who works in horrible conditions we can also guess that they will have the lowest salary. If we see somebody who works in comfortable circumstances, we can guess they will get a higher salary. And our guess will always be right. But in a good economy it ought to be the reverse, so that is our third value: equity, and it means remunerating for effort and sacrifice.

Economies also affect the say we have over decisions, the effect or influence we wield. What we reject in this regard is the idea that relatively few people should make decisions that affect others — and those others should have no say. That is what we reject, we reject what is in its most brief form a dictatorship such that one person or a small group makes all the decisions and everybody else has to obey orders. But if we don’t like that, okay then what do we like?

Suppose, you two fellows — sitting on the end of that row — are working in a workplace. You, all the way on the end, you would like to bring a picture of your parents, or your brother, or your sister, or somebody you live with, and put it on your desktop. Who should make that decision?

“I should Myself”

You should? Should the other workers have a say?

“No”

No, you should make it only yourself, right, I agree. Should you make it, then, like Stalin?

“ummmm…”

The answer is yes, yes you should. It is yours to make, and yours alone. You are a dictator regarding that decision. But, Ok, now suppose you want to bring to your workspace instead a loud radio, and to put it on the desk and play what is called heavy metal. Now who should make the decision?

“I should not decide by myself”

If you don’t decide by yourself, who then who should decide?

“Together, we can”

Do you see that person sitting way back there in the last row, who I can’t even see because my eyes are not good enough? Suppose they work in a different part of the building. They won’t hear your music. Should they be on the decision?

“I don’t think so”

You don’t think so. But this person here next to you would hear the music; should he be on the decision?

“Yes”

Ok, so we are finished. Instead of consulting a philosopher and spending the next twenty years trying to figure out what a good value is for decision making, I am satisfied with what we have already arrived at. The idea is that people should have a say in decisions in proportion to the degree that they are affected by them. If a decision affects us, we have a say; and the amount of say which we have is proportional to this decision’s relative effect on us compared to on others. Thus people who are always equally affected will have an equal say, but if I am being more affected, I will have more say. That is called self-management. That is the fourth value I want to advocate: solidarity, diversity, equity and self-management.

Now, our task, if we want a new economy, is to conceive of a desirable set of institutions that can accomplish economic functions consistently with our values, by their logic enlarging rather than destroying those values.

We can mention two more possible values. One has to do with how economy divides us up into groups that have different circumstances: classes. The value that we don’t like is the idea that some group should rule over the rest: class-rule. The value we do like is the idea of classlessness, no groups are set off by the economy’s structure to have more power or wealth than the rest.

And the last value concerns economy’s relations to the environment. What we reject is the idea of infinite growth, consumption for consumption’s sake; or that economy ignores the importance of environmental relations. Our value is sustainability; that economy should be consistent with the environment so we can be self-sustaining. But even more our value is that economy should take into account the ecological and environmental effects of the economic things that we do.

Ok, so those are our values. And the simplest possible approach to finding an economy we want is going to be to look into existing ones and find if they are desirable. If those are my values and I can look at an existing possible economy and say “ok, it fulfils those values”; then I should be happy about it.

So the first thing I should do is to look at capitalism. Capitalism has its defining institutions:

Private ownership. Private ownership creates class division. Private ownership creates huge disparities of wealth. It rewards property not just effort and sacrifice. And it violates other norms as well because it secures power to the owners rather than self management for all. Clearly private ownership of productive assets violates our values.

Corporate organisation. The kind of organisation of workplaces that is characteristic of market corporations. First we have to figure out what that is. What is the division of labour that we are so familiar with in these workplaces? How do we describe it? Suppose we are all together a workplace, let’s say that we produce; you can have anything you want in your mind, violins, cars, anything. What I want to suggest is that this is a capitalist workplace so we can look at all task that are associated with our work, with our job, our producing, let’s say cars, and see how to describe them.

And when we look we see in the long list of tasks — where any job is a conglomeration of tasks — that some of them are empowering which is to say some of the tasks, if you do them, they tend to convey to you knowledge and understanding of the workplace. They tend to involve daily decisions about what is going on and they tend to give you confidence. I am not saying they are blissful and wonderful, but they are empowering.

Other tasks we find in our capitalist workplace are rote and boring. They are tedious. If you do them the only result, assuming that you don’t get physically hurt, is that you get exhausted. You don’t know more by virtue of doing these tasks. You don’t learn new things about the operation. You don’t get to practice with social skills, and talking, and negotiating and so on and you don’t become confident. You are narrowed by the these tasks, exhausted by them.

Now in this typical capitalist workplace what we do is we take the first set of empowering tasks, and you make jobs out of them: job one, job two, job three, job four, lots of jobs. Each one of those jobs combines overwhelmingly empowering work into the job. So the job becomes an empowering job. A manager job, an engineer job, a financial officer job and so on. This employs about twenty percent of the work force. The other set of jobs, the tedious, rote and boring jobs we also combine them into jobs, tedious rote and boring jobs. And about eighty percent of the work force has these jobs.

That is the corporate division of labour. It incorporates a hierarchy of empowerment effects the working place. What happens naturally enough and predictably enough is that those who do the empowering work, the work that conveys information and knowledge and skills that bear upon decision making, make all the decisions. And among other things they have more bargaining power; so they make decisions and they have the mechanisms to guarantee that they get more income. I want to call them the coordinator class. I want to call the eighty percent who do the rote, tedious and the boring work, the working class. What we have now is that capitalism has three classes: the owner class, coordinator class and the working class.

Due to its corporate division of labor, even if we get rid of private ownership our workplace will still have a coordinator class and a working class. So in the old Soviet Union we had the coordinator class and working class but no owning class, no capitalists. The same was true in the old Yugoslavia, we still had a class bounded society or economy, we still had a ruling class. The leaders of these systems called them socialism. In contrast, I want to call them coordinatorism to refer to the ruling class.

So we have to reject corporate divisions of labour, the corporate way of organizing work if we care about the values. Why? Because corporate divisions of labor violate classlessness, violate remuneration for effort and sacrifice, and violate self-management. Twenty percent rule over eighty percent. That violates our values; so we reject corporate divisions of labor.

The third main institution of capitalism is authoritative decision making. How authoritative? Well, if this is the workplace; and I am the owner and you are the workers; I can decide that you have to ask my permission to go to the bathroom. And in many workplaces that is the condition, you actually have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. Well, Stalin never dreamed, in his most aggressive and authoritarian moment, of saying to the populace you have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. He never dreamed of having that much control over people and yet that much control typically exists in capitalist organizations, in capitalist economy. So we reject that and therefore we have to reject authoritative decision making.

We have already rejected remuneration for property or for power, another feature of capitalism, and so now come to markets. Some people say markets are fine, markets are OK, markets are bearable. I say markets are absolutely and totally horrible, and I am an abolitionist with respect to markets. Markets violate all the values that we have proposed because they produce class division, impose anti social behaviour, and for many other reasons as well. So we reject capitalism, because we reject private ownership, reject corporate organisation, reject authoritative decision making, reject remuneration for property and power, and reject markets.

What about socialism? Market socialism replaces private ownership with public or state ownership, but it keeps the rest. Centrally planned socialism replaces private ownership with public or state ownership and markets with central planning, but it keeps the rest. So this thing called socialism keeps structures which violate our values. It keeps class rule, so I want to reject what is called socialism.

So, what new institutions can we propose that would accomplish the values that we have adopted?

The first thing we might opt for is workers and consumers councils and this choice is not particularly controversial on the left. Historically, every time that people rise up in spirited resistance in large numbers they spontaneously form these institutions, most recently they formed in Argentina in the struggle there. What is the logic? We said that we want workers and consumers to rule, to be able to develop and express their preferences and influence decisions, and we have to replace authoritative decision making if we are to do that. If this is our workplace and we are all workers in this workplace, we need to be able to express our desires and influence decisions. Where we do that is what we call the workers council. It is just all of us, meeting. But there will also be some decisions that would be made by teams, or by work groups, or by whole divisions. What we have is layers of groups that will undertake decision making up through the whole workers council; and then we have layers above that up to the industry level. And then on the consumer side, we have individual consumers, we have living groups, we have neighbourhood groups; we have consumer councils. So far this is not very controversial.

The next thing we want to incorporate is that we use methods of disseminating and discussing information, and then of making choices that propel self-management. It is not just one person one vote and fifty percent rule. It is not just consensus. It is just a single person making decisions like a dictator. In certain contexts any one of those options may make sense, in other contexts something slightly different may make sense. What is universal, what is pervasive is the value that people should have a say in decisions in proportion to how much they are affected. So we choose different methods for different decisions.

Ok, so let us say we are committed to this. We have a workers council, we use self-management in decision making, and now we decide also to remunerate all our workers for the work duration, intensity and onerousness. Let’s say we are committed to that and we do all that here in our workplace. So we function in that manner, but suppose on top of that we use the old corporate division of labor. You folks sitting in the first few rows have only empowering tasks. The rest of you do only route and boring tasks. What will happen?

I think what will happen is that in our workers council even though we say we are committed to self-management and we sincerely mean it, this institutional choice of how we are organizing our labor will subvert our aspirations. It will overcome our desires. The people in the first few rows will continually come to each meeting confident, aware, knowledgeable. They will set the agendas. They will dominate the discussions. They will rule over outcomes and over time the rest of us will begin to get bored of these meetings. After all we are already exhausted from the hard work we do, and so we will begin sort of nod off at the meetings and people in the first few rows will begin to wonder why the hell we are even there. They will wonder why can’t these folks just go away leaving just the empowered workers to make the decisions by themselves instead of having to talk to the rest. And slowly but surely that is what will begin to unfold, and then the decisions makers will also raise their salaries.

They will partly do that because they think they deserve it for their wisdom and brilliance, which really derives from the function of their position not anything that due to them; but they will also do it because they decide that they can enjoy the income better than the rest of us. They are cultivated, they are sophisticated, they know what to do with money. We would just squander it; we don’t need it. That is the mentality of this sector of people becomes very paternalistic towards the rest of us. They will take care of everybody else, but from above. It is a class division. Since we don’t want that, we have to figure out what to do about the division of labor, and this is not very complicated.

How do we prevent the people in the first few rows of this workplace of ours from dominating the rest of us? We already had to get rid of private ownership as a basis for class rule, and now we have to get rid of a subset of people monopolizing not property but instead empowering work.

So what do we do? We develop the next institutional structure of participatory economics, balanced job complexes. We redefine the division of labour. We give each person a job that is a combination of tasks and responsibilities so that each person’s overall job is roughly comparable, not the same as but roughly comparable to, everybody else’s in terms of its empowerment effects.

Now in our workplace, it is not the case that this person comes to the meeting all vital, knowledgeable, and confident but the person back there comes formally exhausted and beaten up by their job. Rather all of us have the experience of difficult and onerous labour but also by virtue of another part of our job we all feel confident and capable, and we all are prepared to participate. So what we have done is to liquidate the coordinative class-working class division.

Okay, suppose we do that. We are committed to it. We all believe in remuneration for effort and sacrifice, we believe in our councils, we believe in our balanced job complexes. But we take our workplace and we set it down in a society that uses a market for allocation so that now we have to function within the context that is established by market competition and allocation. What happens?

First, if we are going to stay in business we have to compete for market share. If we are outcompeted by other firms that produce what we produce, we will go out of business. We can all sit here in our council and can be very proud of our moral remuneration, and our self-managements, and our balanced job complexes, and starve because we are out of job. So that is not an alternative. We can’t give up market share so no matter how much we may worry about its side effects, we have to compete. But what does competing mean? Competing means lowering our costs.

If we didn’t have this market to worry about we would be thinking about our well-being and the well-being of the people we produce for, and we would try to have an environment in our workplace that was relatively comfortable and fulfilling. We would have day-care. We might have time for people to do learning to improve themselves. We would be very careful about health and environmental impact, and so on and so forth. But in a market context we have to cut our costs lest others steal our market share. We have to turn the air conditioning off. We have to have speed up. We have to forego day care and ecological awareness and in essence oppress ourselves.

Now remember we are this workplace, so how many of you think you would be good at making decisions to oppress yourselves?

If you think about it I think you would realize that is not an easy thing to be good at. Not many of us want to beat ourselves up. So what we do, and this is what they did in Yugoslavia where they had what was called market socialism in accord with our hypothesis, but was really market coordinatorism; what we do is that we realize that we have to go and hire somebody to oppress us. We need to find people who will make us work harder than is healthy. We need to find people perfectly happy dominating us and violating the environment and cutting corners on products and so on, and we have to protect them from the decisions we ask them to make. So we hire a bunch of people from business schools around the world and we bring them into our workplace and we say to them “you work in this air-conditioned office, you work with this nice furniture, you work with a nice long lunch hour, you work in a relaxed and comfortable manner, and now please screw us and the public too by making decisions that cut back our conditions and sell items even above need and dump costs on the ecology, all so we can compete with the other firms.

The point is that markets re-impose class division even in the absence of private ownership. They don’t re-impose an owner, these newly hired authoritative people don’t own our firms, But they do re-impose coordinator class dominance. In other words, markets have implications contrary to equity, diversity, solidarity, and self management — and classlessness — irrespective of what we want. They override our desires. So we have to replace markets too, if we are going to have an economy that is just and classless.

To replace markets, we have to find a new allocation system but since I want to have time for discussion after this talk, I won’t describe it in detail. But it is called participatory planning. It involves workers councils and consumer councils cooperatively negotiating with each other what the inputs and the outputs of all the various workplaces and of consumption would be. The claim, and there is absolutely no reason as yes, just based on this talk, that any of you should believe this, is that these institutions can not only produce the goods and the services that people desire in a highly productive way, in fact more productively than in capitalism, but they simultaneously will produce among us solidarity, diverse outcomes, and equitable income distribution, and will even give each of us a say in economic decisions from what investment project to pursue, to how many bicycles to produce, to what we ourselves work at or consume, in proportion to how much those decisions affect us. Workers in plant will have more impact on events there because they are more affected by them, but the people who consume their products will have an impact too and even the people who would consume something that could be made with the steel which went into the products of that plant will have a decision about the production of its products. There is a lot more to say about it, of course, but what I want to claim about participatory planning is as above.

At this point, if you think this would be desirable, if there could be an economy classless, if there could be an economy that could have these values; if you think it would be viable and worthy, then go and take a look at this new book about it, Parecon: Life After Capitalism, which has been translated into Turkish. And then you will have to decide for yourself, based on deeper familiarity, how you feel about the vision. But for the sake of discussion, let’s say we all did that and lots of other people did that; and there were lots of advocates to participatory economics.

What difference would that make? Why would it be valuable that people have a vision of a better economy now? Why isn’t it sufficient that we just know that we would like higher wages now, we would like less spending on military and more spending on education and healthcare now? Why is that not enough? Why do we need to have a longer-term vision now?

I think the reason is twofold, and now I will talk about the United States because I don’t know Turkey well enough to make a case about it. But in the United States, when leftists say to the public — imagine I am standing for the left and you are standing for the public — “Come, join me. Come, join me in my movement against corporate globalisation. Come, join me in my movement against poverty . Come, join me in my movement against war. The public says back to the organizer: “You must be kidding.” They say “grow up.” They say “get a life.” they say “face reality.”

So what do they mean. We on the left do not think about this very much. Instead when we heard them dismiss us in these ways we get irritated. We may even curse at or even worse ridicule the people who we say we want to organize, but we don’t think about what they are saying.

Suppose I give for an hour the most moving, compelling, absolutely irrefutable talk you have ever heard, describing a form of oppression which systematically curtails our options over the course of lives, limits our abilities to function, and finally kills us all. Tears are rolling down your face at the magnitude of the violence against us. At the end of talk I say come, join me in my movement against aging.

Think about it. Realize it is true. Aging does limit us. It does curtail us. It does slowly but surely curtail our options and it does kill us. Everything I said about it which generated your tears listening to the talk was true; but when I say come, join me in a movement against aging you laugh at me like I am a lunatic. It is like saying come join a movement against gravity. Come join a movement against the wind. Come join a movement against, you know, the sun… It makes no sense.

Well, the American people are saying to American activists that in their eyes poverty, racism, war, sexism, inequality, and subordination, are like gravity. They think these things are just the way it is so that fighting against them is stupid. It is just dumb to be an activist against war like it would be dumb to be an activist against aging. It is not that they think war and the other ills are moral. It is not that they think poverty is good. It is not that they think racism is blissful. It is just that they think it is the way it is, so they don’t join the movement.

And then what do we do? We say but war is horrible, poverty is horrible. We give tghem statistics and pictures of the pain. We tell them what they already know. We tell them again, and again, and again in a million different variants. And then we tell them how powerful the system that produces all the pain is, augmenting precisely the reasons they are not joining us. And we never listen to them and hear that they are saying: “What do you want? What is the goal? Why should I think that giving the little time I have after the jobs I do, the little energy I have, that giving it to the movement instead of trying to make my life and my family’s life a little better is it wise thing to do?”

And so it seems to me that until we have an economic vision that we can all compellingly and convincingly communicate, we are not going to reach not the hundreds of thousands, not the million or two millions or five millions, but the tens of millions of people we have to reach in order to change of the world or to change each of our countries.

But the good side of this observation is that I think once we can answer that question what do you want, once we can compellingly describe a better future, and in particular once we can give people a way of understanding how about they do each day in movements will contribute to creating that future instead of maybe winning some modest which quickly gets rolled back by persistent capitalism, we will make great progress. The minute we can do that, I think the growth of movements will be phenomenal, and the ability of movements to create a new society may be phenomenal as well. So that is why I do these things.

Finally, I think that our understanding of the kinds of issues that are associated with participatory economics can effect how we organize, and structures we use now. If our organizations are run by either representatives of the coordinator class or people who want to be in the coordinator class, they will either lose because they will not be able to induce lots of people to participate; or if they win they will win a society dominated by lawyers, doctors, and engineers and so on.

If our movements on the other hand have balanced job complexes, so there is self-management in them and if they take seriously working people and respect and empower them, then maybe they can both attract enough support and incorporate enough energy to win something desirable like participatory economics.

(A couple of hours of q/a followed, but was unable to be recorded.)

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