B.5 Participatory Economics – introduction & discussion

ParEcon as an alternative to market economics, inspired by anarchist traditions

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ParEcon (PARticipatory ECONomics) is an economic system which is formulated by the anarchist US theorists Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel. They propose ParEcon as an alternative to market economics and centralised state directed economy. They combine mostly well-known anarchist principles, structures and methods to an economic panorama that spans from an individual to the local to the global level.

ParEcon can be an inspiring example for those of us who would like to have a concrete feeling and/or a theoretical idea of a non-capitalist, more justly organized micro and macro economy. Rather than presenting a master plan, ParEcon can be seen as an idea that everything could really be completely different. It does not contradict the central principle of „advancing while asking questions" when we paint utopias in order to inspire larger social circles for emancipatory change.

ParEcon is constructed with the intention of implementing the following values / principles:
– equity
– solidarity
– diversity
– self-management
– efficiency
– ecological balance

It consists of these core elements:
– decisions by councils (workers’, consumers’)
– decentralised, participatory planning
– common ownership of the means of production
– balanced job complexes
– wage only varying according to effort and sacrifice

Time schedule and main methods:

In the course we are going to engage critically with the structures and elements of ParEcon. The aim is to develop a feeling of how this idea could roughly be implemented, how our own everyday life would look like in this society, what inspires us and which ideas we cannot or do not want to imagine.

The course facilitator doesn’t have more answers than the participants. As economic laypersons, we can jointly take a naively disarming view on a topic that affects all people and should be accessible to all: The common economic activity on this planet.

The idea of the course is to engage with the topic together in a participatory way. The first three days serve the understanding and the critical illumination of the utopian vision of ParEcon. At the end, we will try to bridge the gap from here to there: What steps can be taken from our capitalist reality towards a power-critical economy like ParEcon? How do we start? Where can we already find parts of it today?

Target group/Prerequisites:

The only prerequisite for participation is the will to get involved with the idea of an economic utopia without markets as well as a desire to explore the topic constructively. The wish to imagine alternatives in detail may of course be accompanied by healthy scepticism towards all concrete, big "solutions".


Day: 2018-07-30
Start time: 15:00
Duration: 02:30
Room: Zelt/tent 15 (Kurse/courses)
Track: Kurse/Courses
Languages en