Anarchism / Marxism debates

G*rd*n gcf at
Thu Aug 19 07:41:33 PDT 1999

Brett Knowlton wrote:
> >Finally, there is this insistence on calling these kinds of blueprints
> >"utopian."

Doug Henwood:
> Because they seem invented largely out of thin air, in a "Wouldn't it
> be nice?" mode, rather than saying how the present set of
> institutions and associated forms of consciousnessness can be engaged
> and transformed. With these participatory planning schemes, you're
> telling people in a world of Wal-Marts that they'd have to go to
> meetings, which would excite their boredom reflex.

I took some ParEcon materials around to a sort-of-anarchist commune of my acquaintance and showed them the materials. It was my theory that ParEcon might scale down well to fairly small communities, and thus prove revolutionary as well as utopian. (Revolutionary in an anarcho-communist- pacifist sense, of course.)

However, they showed me similar stuff (although much simpler) that they had evolved on their own, and circulated among similar communities. According to them, either people can't get interested or the time is not yet at hand. I got the same impression from reading the doing-ParEcon section of their forums.

Under the circumstances, I think more attention needs to be paid to marketing the product, so to speak, and less to engineering.

I don't know if there's any way of getting around those meetings. Maybe they'd be more acceptable if they were livened up some? Communism through convivium?


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