Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Post-Capitalism: Parecon or a World without Money? Which way to a classless society?

SPGB debate with Z Magazine's Michael Albert at Conway Hall this coming Saturday:


Which way to a classless society?

Debate with Michael Albert (founder member of ZCommunications and author of "Parecon: Life After Capitalism") and Adam Buick (World Socialist Movement) about the alternative to capitalism.


- form of money economy featuring workers' self-management and consumer councils, price-setting, and personal incomes based on effort and sacrifice not property or heredity.

"In the world you desire to attain there is, I presume, production. Likewise, I assume you agree that people will consume. More, beyond production and consumption, is there some regulation of what is produced and in what quantity? The alternative would be that anyone can produce anything, with no concern other than that they wish to. This is nonsense, but if there is regulation of how resources, energies, and labor are allocated to generate outputs, does that regulation reflect the preferences that both producers and consumers have and especially a full valuation of the relative contribution to well being and development of different choices? If it does, then to that extent it includes "money." The valuations are prices, albeit not necessarily as we have known them in market and centrally planned systems".

Michael Albert (ZCom)


- the abolition of the property-based money economy including markets, profits, rent and wages, with all land and goods owned and democratically controlled by the whole society.

"In implementing the long-standing socialist principle of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”, socialist society breaks the link between work done and consumption. Rather than being “allotted” what to consume as under “Parecon”, people would be able to take from the common store of wealth set aside for individual consumption what they judged they needed to live and enjoy life, irrespective of what they had contributed to production. Every able-bodied person would be expected to contribute something, but we don’t share your bleak view that, in this event, not enough would be produced to satisfy people’s needs (that “demand would exceed supply”, as you put it) - and that therefore, not just profits, but the wages system too would have to be retained as a means of both obliging people to work and of limiting their consumption. Just like under capitalism.

Our description of “Parecon” is “post-capitalist capitalism”, i.e. not post-capitalism at all".

Adam Buick (SPGB)


John said...

Looks very interesting. Won't be attending myself. I can't bring myself to even begin Albert's book, even though his heart seems to be in the right(ish) place. I'd be inclined to agree with Buick on this one, though. You can have measurement and regulation of production and consumption without requiring tokens of exchange.

A non-money society is entirely compatible with a slave society too, mind you, in which everyone does what they're told and gets what they're given. ;-)

Darren said...

Same night as the Anarchist Bookfair. I guess that's why Albert's in the country, as he's doing a tour of sorts of the UK.

Will you be making it over for the bookfair? All those once a year anarchist, situationist, autonomist, syndicalist and council communist simultaneously published just in time for the bookfair. The venue might change every couple of years but that scenario never changes ;-)

Never read Albert book myself. My excuse is that I've always found Z magazine so dull (but worthy) that the idea of ploughing through a book has me reaching for my back issues of Q magazine.

John said...

Haven't been to one since 1985, I'm afraid. I get all the anarchist books I need as a friend of AK Press and they're off-putting enough. ;-)

Robert Searle said...

My evolving project on Transfinancial Economics maybe of interest...