Top positive review
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An excellent contribution to left political economic thought
on March 9, 2008
In this comprehensive, well-organised argument for a meaningful post-capitalist political economy, Michael Albert critiques both free-market capitalism as well as its existing (or failed) alternatives of central-planning (the Soviet model) and market socialism (the Yugoslav model) offering a well-thought out vision of democratic planning, self management and balanced job-complexes as an antidote.
Many of Albert's core ideas are not, in themselves, new but can be traced to currents in libertarian socialist thought from as early as the late nineteenth century and systems close to parecons have managed to emerge throughout history in various contexts (though seldom have they been very long-lived for a number of reasons).
Overall, Parecon is an impressive and inspiring vision of what we could achieve if we chose to live according to a fundamentally different set of guiding values and modes of operation to those that prevail in a market system. Naturally, implementation in real life would be beset with many challenges and difficulties but having a vision of what "the good society" is brings us that much closer to achieving it.
I applaud Michael Albert's work in producing Parecon and heartily recommend it to anyone interested in questions of post-capitalist political-economy.