parecon--have you heard of it?

dvo's picture
Submitted by dvo on Fri, 2006-02-10 13:38

Have you all heard of "parecon"? (Short for "participatory economics.") It seems to be a new variation on the idea of economic planning and socialism. The parecon homepage has a quote from Noam Chomsky endorsing it. Maybe it's catching on, because a friend of mine spontaneously told me about it a couple days ago.

Here are some quotes about it from Wikipedia:

"Promoters of participatory economics hold that it is inequitable, and also ineffective, to remunerate people on the basis of their birth or heredity, their property, or their innate intelligence. Therefore, participatory economics advocates as a primary principle reward for effort and sacrifice. Therefore someone who works in a mine — which is dangerous, uncomfortable, and confers no power whatsoever on the worker — would get a higher income than someone who works in an office the same time, thus allowing the miner to work less hours and the burden of highly dangerous and strenuous jobs to be shared among the populace."

"The starting point for the income of all workers in participatory economics is an equal share of the social product in the form of equal consumption rights for private and public goods and services. From this point incomes for private expenditures and consumption rights for public goods can be expected to diverge by small degrees reflecting the choices that individual workers make in striking a balance between work and leisure time, and reflecting effort ratings assigned by their immediate peers."

So effort ratings assigned by your immediate peers would be used to determine how much effort you've been making. So your peers had better like you, or they'll screw you in your effort ratings. But what if you're an innovator, who has to fight his peers to achieve his vision...

"Some tasks and jobs are more comfortable than others, and some tasks are more empowering than others. To achieve an equitable division of labour, it is therefore proposed that every person must do different tasks, which, taken together, bring an average comfort and an average empowerment.

For instance, someone who works in a facilitation board for one year might then have to work in a steel plant, or in another uncomfortable workplace of his or her choice, for a year, or else would not get a higher salary than the standard for everyone. This assures that no class of coordinators can develop."

So, if I understand correctly, this system proposes to force Albert Einstein to work in a steel plant. Nothing is more morally repulsive than this. If I saw Albert Einstein being forced to work in a steel plant, I would literally give my life to save him. If there were a system that proposed to kill me outright, for no good reason, I would consider that to be less barbaric and more civilized than forcing Einstein to work in a steel plant.

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Rehashing Is'nt Out- running

Bikemessenger's picture

And the labor theory of value, along with all the essential aspects of socialist economics cannot escape their fundamental conflict with the immutable nature of the organism upon which it must be imposed.

And imposed coercively it must be, for man is bound by nature to rebel against it.

Indeed, only free market economics can be achieved spontaneously and sustained non-coercively; it being the only economic system compatible with man's innate selfishness.

---The Bikemessenger
(AKA Impeachasaurus Rex)

Used to it?

Charles Henrikson's picture

If you were, you would not be disgusted.

This is just disgusting.

Landon Erp's picture

This is just disgusting. But I guess I'm just a little too used to it.


It all basically comes back to fight or flight.

It's Ricardo's Labor Theory

Charles Henrikson's picture

It's Ricardo's Labor Theory of Value all over again...


Jason Quintana's picture

Haha. Wonderful idea. Mixing old socialist schemes with the latest weirdo postmodernist notions of egalitarian social justice and multiculturalism. Its supporters should be aware that this was already tried a few times. Mao's cultural revolution and Pol Pot's killing fields are just a few of the sterling examples of attempts to institute delusional egalitarian fairness standards and collectivist indoctrination. Another orgy of mass murder and starvation will be right around the corner for those pathetic fools who buy into this again.

- Jason

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