Reply To: Asking About Parecon/Parsoc

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

Michael Albert

Hi Paulo,

Glad you like the site.

The facilitation boards are really rather trivial – but the planning procedure and logic is at least somewhat complex. The facilitation boards just provide summary information as needed by workers and consumers for their planning participation, or, for example, or to be able to do certain things in the economy, for example, find a new job.

I think the reason you don’t see many questions about participatory planning is that to ask about it one has to immerse a bit into the topic. And I suspect for the people who do that, reading in a book, say, few questions arise.

In other words, someone can ask an informed question or have a thoughtful opinion about equitable remuneration, balanced job complex, or self managing councils after reading a single short summary, or even just hearing someone else provide one. But the planning process is different – you can’t really ask anything other than for a recounting from scratch of the whole system, unless you look closely at a serious description, and then, after thinking about it, you have some concern you want to ask about. It isn’t rocket science, but that are enough moving parts, so to speak, and the logic of their connections is sufficiently unfamiliar, that to understand it sufficiently to have a well formed question about it – other than, tell me what it is – requires some effort.

When I give talks, I am very brief about participatory planning because I don’t want to short change it, nor do I want to give the impression that hearing some brief summary of it one will have a grasp of it beyond knowing its very broad purposes. So I provide that kind of overarching summary, and then urge folks to read and think about their reactions – they could look at parecon: life after capitalism, say – or at one of Robin’s presentations of it, etc.

In other words I think I have fleshed it out and made it accessible, as does Robin, I am sure, so that a person who wants to have an informed reaction can read and do so. And then if there are questions after doing so, I could try to address them – or someone could look at the extensive q/a that is online, and may well find the question there – and an answer.