Reply To: Asking About Parecon/Parsoc

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

Michael Albert

Hello Jason,

First, yes and no to the premise. Certainly a complex technology can exist – that is hard to maintain, operate, etc. Say, a nuclear reactor, to give an extreme case. But other innovative technologies are precisely about reducing the complexity of tasks, etc. So it depends. But the rest, honestly, doesn’t follow at all.

Suppose we go from a coal mine to a cold fusion plant. Great. Clean energy, safer and more empowering tasks. What is the problem? The assumption is, doing engineering, or whatever, is such that only a few can do it – so if we have those things, only a few will have to do it full time – and if we balance, we either have no one doing it, or less, etc. etc. None of this follows that I can see.

To take the extreme case, if we replace coal mines and oil drillling, etc., with solar and even cold fusion – there is no such issue. We will have fewer people working on generating energy, I suspect. But no reason we can’t do it, and have balanced jobs.

Suppose EVERY kind of work has great innovations, over the next fifty years, so all utilize complex technologies more than now? So? It is presumably very labor saving, the average work week is thus significantly reduced. It is presumably more empowering – great, the average level of empowerment for all, goes up. And so on.

So, your questions –

1. No. I don’t think there is any overall decrease in productivity per hour of labor in a parecon – on the contrary I think there is every reason to expect it to rise. Now if we include that labor will generate only socially valuable outputs, take into account the environment, not entail protecting hierarchies, etc etc., the output of socially aluable results (for people working and consuming) per hour of effort, will go way up.

2. See one. But yes, suppose for some reason I am missing, a parecon with balanced job complexes and self management, and so on, even after eliminating worthless and harmful production – immense – still generated less that was desired per hour of effort. My reaction would be, a good trade off to gain classlessness. But, in fact, it is nice that there gains in useful productivity, not losses.

3. No – and I am not even sure what such a study would be looking at.