Library Journal Reviews Parecon

The title of Albert’s new book is short for Participatory Economics, which might just be the answer for those anticapitalists in our midst looking for other economic alternatives.

Albert, author, activist, and founder of Z Magazine, firmly rejects modern capitalism and presents a new economic model built on the principles of equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self management.

We’ve seen examples of this before in cooperative communes and worker owned plants and collective workplaces, but those are small-scale operations compared with what Albert is calling for here. He is advocating a top to bottom economic revolution that would dismantle corporations as we know them and restructure work processes, initiating various levels of workplace consensus and ensuring that work would be tistributed fairly among all workers.

Concrete examples of where participatory economics had been successfully implemented (whether in companies or municipalities) would have benefitted Albert’s highly theoretical work. Unfortunately the book reads more like a political manifesto–long on idealistic proposals and short on real-life applications.

There is no question that there is much wrong with the capitalist system today, but it is arguable whether the world is ready for the upheavals that would no doubt ensue on the way to achieving the worker utopia that Albert has described.

Suitable for economic collections.

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