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Parecon: Participatory Economics...A Sane Economy

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Dissident Heart

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Parecon: Participatory Economics...A Sane Economy

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Medal of the President of the Italian Republic Awarded by the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzu Centre to Michael Albert Quote:The highly prolific American economist Michael Albert is the author of a bold, innovative economic theory aimed at replacing self-serving competition in the economic field with egalitarian cooperation. Together with his co-author Robin Hahnel, Professor of Economics at American University, Washington D.C., he has developed and popularised a radical economic model, known as Participatory Economics, which constitutes an alternative both to capitalism and to what used to be the Soviet-style model of Real Socialism. In Participatory Economics, solidarity takes the place of competition and remuneration for duration, intensity, and onerousness of work replaces remuneration for property, power, or output. Likewise, methods of self management replace authoritarian decision making and a new method of allocation called participatory planning replaces markets. To realise his project of radically changing a private-enterprise production system that generates economic inefficiency, Michael Albert counts on workers and consumers operating in councils according to the principle of participatory self-management. The Pio Manzu Centre recognises that this American economist's radical new theory constitutes the most powerful and fully articulated challenge to the current models of socio-economic thought and that Albert's outstanding merit lies in the fact that he has indicated a new major highway in economic organisation as a feasible proposition. Signed Mikhail Gorbachev, President Rimini, 17 October 2004 Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 9/24/04 10:31 am
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Dissident Heart

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Comparing Capitalism and Parecon

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Comparing Capitalism and PareconThis facility very succinctly investigates, assesses, and especially compares the attributes of capitalism and participatory economics. Obviously no part of this presentation is remotely comprehensive. No one should be convinced by what appears here, alone. On the other hand, hopefully all parts of this facility do raise useful points of comparison and will provide food for thought and engender interest in more complete presentations.www.zmag.org/parecon/capv...main2.html
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Dissident Heart

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The Parecon Site

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Participatory Economics (parecon for short) is a type of economy proposed as an alternative to contemporary capitalism.The underlying values parecon seeks to implement are equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self management.The main institutions to attain these ends are workers and consumers councils utilizing self management decision making methods, balanced job complexes, remuneration according to effort and sacrifice, and participatory planning."A great many activists and concerned people ask, quite rightly, what alternative form of social organization can be imagined that might overcome the grave flaws -- often real crimes -- of contemporary society in more far-reaching ways than short-term reform. Parecon is the most serious effort I know to provide a very detailed possible answer to some of these questions, crucial ones, based on serious thought and careful analysis."--Noam Chomsky www.parecon.org
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Parecon: Life After Capitalism. Entire Book On-Line

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"Participatory economics provides a new economic logic including new institutions with new guiding norms and implications. But parecon is also a direct and natural outgrowth of hundreds of years of struggle for economic justice as well as contemporary efforts with their accumulated wisdom and lessons. What parecon can contribute to this heritage and to today's activism will be revealed, one way or the other, in coming years." From the Introduction to Michael Albert's "Parecon: Life After Capitalism" which can be found in its entirety here www.zmag.org/books/pareco...efinal.htm
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Parecon: Life After Capitalism. The Book Discussion

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Parecon: Life After Capitalism web-site containing scores of reviews from around the globe; including advance praise and endorsements from thinkers, activists, historians, and writers; as well as book jacket, table of contents, interviews with Michael Albert, and speeches from the 2003 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre.www.parecon.org/pelac.htm
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Dissident Heart

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Projects for a Participatory Society

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Projects for a Participatory SocietyProjects for a Participatory Society exists to propose, investigate, debate, explore, and advocate radical ideas for a desirable future. It focuses on social, economic, cultural, and political life. It's membership is responsible for this site and for related projects which include struggling, writing, speaking, and acting on behalf of attaining a better world. The PPS core values include solidarity, diversity, equity, self management, justice, and sustainability.www.zmag.org/pps.htm
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Dissident Heart

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Vancouver Participatory Economics Collective

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Vancouver Participatory Economics CollectivePromoting a fair and just alternative economic system.This is an information flyer in pdf format that provides an excellent introduction to Parecon. Easy to access, read, make sense of, and start the wheels turning.Enjoy!
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Dissident Heart

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Michael Albert's 'Thought Dreams' Blog

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Michael Albert is one of the primary developers of the Parecon theory and economic model. He is also a foundational fixture and important member of the ZNet community. This is a link to his personal weblog:Thought Dreams
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Dissident Heart

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Life After Capitalism, and Now Too

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Below is an excerpt form the acceptance speech given by Michael Albert upon recieving the Medal of the President of the Italian Republic Awarded by the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzu Centre. Quote:The citation for the Award of the President of the Italian Republicthat I was graciously given yesterday, said that parecon is the "the most powerful and fully articulated challenge to the current models of socio-economic thought" providing "a new major highway in economic organization as a feasible proposition." Anyone who believes that about parecon, it seems to me, ought to fight like the dickens not only to ameliorate the current ills produced by capitalism, but to usher in the benefits of this new type economy. When we all go to movies and see courageous souls of the past represented on the screen, fighting against slavery, or against the subordination of women, or against colonialism, or for peace and justice and against dictatorships, we rightly feel sympathy and admiration for these acts. The abolitionists, the suffragists, the labor union organizers, the anti apartheid activists, all the seekers of freedom and dignity are heroes for us. It seems to me we should not admire something and then avoid doing that same thing. If we admire standing up against injustice, we ought to ourselves stand up against injustice. If we admire seeking a better world, we should ourselves seek a better world. If we admire rejecting exploitation, alienation, domination, and its violent maintenance, we should ourselves advocate and fight for an economic model and societal structure that will eliminate these horrors.I believe that participatory economics is such an economy and should be part of such a new society.Thank youLife After Capitalism and Now Too
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Another Trip Abroad

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Capitalism is theft. The harsh and subservient labors of most citizens fantastically enrich a few others who don't have to labor at all. In general, those who work longer and harder get less. Those who work less long and less hard get more. On the upper West Side of New York City, barely a mile apart exist neighborhoods in which the average disposable income is on the poorer side about $5,000 per year and on the richer side about $500,000 per year. The richest people in the U.S. are worth more than the populations of whole countries. The poorest people in the U.S. live under bridges in threadbare cardboard shelters, or stop living at all. This gap is not due to different industriousness or talent. It is due to social relations that force the many to enrich the few. Capitalism is alienation and anti-sociality. Within capitalism the motives guiding decisions are pecuniary not personal, selfish not social. We each seek individual advance at the expense of others. The result, unsurprisingly, is an anti-social environment in which nice guys finish last. In U.S. hospitals, roughly a half a million people a year die of diseases they did not have when they entered. This is in considerable part a matter of hygiene and other correctable problems. Yet there is no massive campaign to save these lives. It would not be profitable. Starvation the world over has the same root cause; to feed the poor is not as profitable as over feeding the rich. What health we attain, what food we eat, what housing we inhabit, comes to us because someone was seeking not health, sustenance, or shelter for all, but profit for themselves. Economic logic seeks profit rather than social well being. Benefits for the weak arise only as a byproduct, not an intention, and rarely at that. As Keynes put it, "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone." Capitalism is authoritarian. Within capitalism's workplaces those who labor at rote and tedious jobs have nearly zero say over the conditions, output, and purpose of their efforts. Those who own or who monopolize empowering positions have near total say. Not even Stalin controlled when people could rest, eat, or go to the bathroom, but corporate owners routinely exercise such power. Corporations annihilate democracy. Capitalism is inefficient. Capitalism squanders the productive capacities of about 80% of the population by training them primarily to endure boredom and take orders, not to fulfill their greatest potentials. It wastes inordinate resources on producing sales that aren't beneficial, and on enforcing work assignments that are coerced and therefore resisted. Capitalism is racist and sexist. This is not intrinsic to the relations of production, but occurs because under the pressure of market competition owners inevitably exploit racial and gender hierarchies produced in other parts of society. When extra economic factors reduce the bargaining power of some actors and raise that of others or when they impact expectations about who should rule and who should obey
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