Reply To: Asking About Parecon/Parsoc

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Michael Albert

You can find a lot about this in many parsecon presentations. Markets can be made less bad by having some regulation, of course, just like dictatorship or any bad thing can be. But markets have an intrinsic logic, just like dictatorship does, which is vile and spreads through the economy. Vile because markets mis price everything causing calculations to be skewed away from collective benefit toward private and away from ecological sense toward immediate material benefit, even if markets didn’t also impose horrible motivations on buyer and seller and a short time horizon, as well. Thus just as we would prefer dictatorship that is successfully mitigated regarding some ill effects by some regulation, so too we would prefer markets that are successfully mitigated regarding some ill effects by some regulation. One way to look at it is, to the extent we just keep on regulating markets until we have eliminated all ill effects, we will wind up with participatory planning.

Another odd problem is that well motivated regulations in market allocation can at times have very odd and pernicious effects, other than their intended desirable effects.

Finally, for a vision, what we really want, why would argue for a structure that has a logic and dynamic that is horrendous, plus regulations and some other features to somewhat reduce the harm done, when, instead, we can opt for a completely different approach which not only gets rid of all the ill effects, but instead has a logic and structure compelling values and outcomes we desire?