newbie on Participatory Economics

Ben Seattle icd at
Sun Jul 19 02:23:56 PDT 1998

Louis Proyect:
> If we had something like the Paris Commune in the last 50 years
> or so in one of the advanced capitalist countries, left economists
> would be thinking about ways that such an experience could be
> replicated. Since we lack such an example, we console ourselves
> with fantasies of a good society instead.

I want to make it clear that I believe that discussion of how a future economic and political system will function in a society without a ruling class or class divisions--can be much more than fantasy or science fiction. More than that, I believe that such discussion is essential for the creation of a movement powerful enough to mobilize millions of workers and aim for the overthrow of bourgeois rule. It is actually very simple: if we cannot have at least a rudimentary grasp of the principles by which the masses can run society *without* the bourgeoisie--then a genuinely mass movement directed at this aim will never be possible.

Unfortunately, I do not have the time to participate much on this thread. But I thought I should inform those readers interested in the work by Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel that they may find "The Self-Organizing Moneyless Economy" (a.k.a. "The S.O.M.E. Hypothesis") to be of interest. It is posted on my site.

I come from a tradition very different from that of Albert and Hahnel--one much more oriented towards the class struggle. What I have in common with Albert and Hahnel is that I have been writing about how an economic and political system will function in the future without relying on either market mechanisms or all-powerful central planners. The "Self-Organizing Moneyless Economy" is, as far as I am aware, the first scientific speculation concerning how a genuinely communist economic and political system will likely function in the mid or late 21st century.

Ben Seattle 18.Jul.98 ----//-//

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