newbie on Participatory Economics

G*rd*n gcf at
Thu Jul 16 17:05:11 PDT 1998

Brett Knowlton:
> I'm new to the talk line here, so forgive me if this topic has already been
> beaten to death.
> It seems to me that our current political and economic system is inherently
> flawed. It may not be as bad as other systems, past or present, but it is
> bad enough that I would like to see it changed drastically.
> The correct approach, to my mind, is outlined by Michael Albert in his
> books on Participatory Economics. That is, to decide on what our values
> are first, and then build economic and political institutions which
> reinforce and nurture those values. If your values include democratic
> self-management, for example, then our current system fails pretty badly.
> ...

I'm also new on this list, although I've been on the Net a long time (comparatively speaking). I too hope this subject is neither beaten to death nor otherwise reprehensible to the audience.

As it happens I became interested in ParEcon, as its friends nickname it, through a set of threads in Usenet News (in the anarchist newsgroups, mainly). I went to ZNet, in whose chat groups I'm already a desultory participant, and read some of the material there. It seemed a bit heavy on theory and light on praxis, although there is now a chat group there dedicated to the latter (with just 12 postings in it as of last viewing).

ParEcon strikes me as a good approach to the immediate realization and furtherance of a subversive anarcho-socialist economics. I've begun doing some research on whether any of the hundreds of communities allegedly organized on a communistic, anarchistic, or democratic-socialist basis are already involved in some version of it in their relations with each other or with the world in general. However, my studies in this area are only just beginning.

Extensive information on ParEcon theory can be found on ZNet, which has various web sites: try for starters. The chat groups are best read through browsers, for which you can get directions at the same web site.

Gordon Fitch gcf at

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