Reply To: Asking About Parecon/Parsoc

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

Michael Albert

Imagine someone said dictatorship in a future society may not look like or have all the same qualities that we see in dictatorship today. There is a sense in which it is true. Imagine the future society has, or does not have, apartheid. Dictatorship will look different in the two cases – and that matters – but in both cases it will be dictatorship only if in each the system retains key defining features that cause us to use that label. And, if it does, then we will be able to say various important things about what we will find.

Now, if some people mean by dictatorship merely any system of governance – then the statement that it could look different in different future societies would mean more. It could be completely different – retaining only that it gets decisions made.

For some people market means any mode of allocation that includes exchange. For other people, including every economist in the world, it means a particular type of allocation based on separate units competing. And for some people – worst of all – it means the former when they are trying to enlist support that it is inevitable, and then it means the latter after one has enlisted that support so as to establish that competitive market behavior is inevitable.

The word market – or lets say – competitive unit allocation – has a meaning, as does the word allocation system. It makes sense to use them both – being clear on the difference – as it makes sense to also use the label central planning, or participatory planning, or, for that matter, dictatorship.

I think we agree on all this.

Artificial dictatorship/market?