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The Political Economy of Participatory Economics

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691003849
ISBN-10: 069100384X
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (March 20, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069100384X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691003849
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Is there an alternative to the exploitation,
boss domination, environmental havoc, dog-eat-dog
competition and other
ills of capitalism? "Well Soviet central
planning was tried and that failed," you say?
Hahnel and Albert argue that there is a third
alternative -- Participatory Economics or
ParEcon. (The other reviewer's description of
ParEcon is an inaccurate caricature.)
This book provides a concise introduction to
an economic model that is neither Soviet-style
central-planning nor based on the market. The
critique of both markets and central planning is
written clearly. At the same time, this book
contains formal proofs of the economic adequacy
of their model, and is therefore, in parts,
more technical than most of Albert and Hahnel's other
little books like "Moving Forward."
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The short tract "The Political Economy of Participatory Economics" seems mostly to have been intended as a 'formal' statement and modelling of Parecon for the academic economist public. The first half of the work restates the case for Parecon in a summary, sort of academic way - for more on this, see Parecon: Life After Capitalism. Then, in response to a challenge by Allen Buchanan that nobody has been able to model an alternative to capitalist market economies yet, Albert & Hahnel create a modelling formula of the principles of Parecon, which they dub the "FMPE" (Formal Modelling of a Participatory Economy). This is highly superfluous on its own, given that it just mathematizes what they have already accessibly described in words, but it is a reflection of the sad state economics as a discipline is in that Albert & Hahnel have no choice but to do this if they want to get through to people in that field. Most important and useful here is the way Albert & Hahnel integrate their endogenous preferences theory, developed in their book Quiet Revolution in Welfare Economics, which will be of interest to heterodox economists.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
In my early years as an anti-capitalist, I experienced despair because of the negative outcomes in centrally planned "communist" countries. I knew capitalism was causing tons of suffering all over the world, but it seemed that nations which utilized central-planning style "communism" also caused tons of suffering. Was a better world impossible?

Then a friend told me about Parecon (abbreviation of participatory economics) and my life changed.

Finally, here is a viable alternative economic system! And it is described in explicit detail. It's not just a bunch of empty rhetoric about how we should have an economy based on equity, classlessness, non-hierarchy, participatory democracy, self-management, etc. It is a specific and detailed map of how such an economy can operate.

Unlike capitalism, parecon is equitable and non-exploitative. Unlike centrally-planned communism, parecon is democratically planned and non-hierarchal. (And as the reviewer "disidente" already mentioned, the reviewer "Gary" who gave this book one star is describing Parecon incorrectly.)

Parecon has many supporters amongst anarchists and libertarian-communists, because it is a vision for an economic system which embodies many of the ideals of anarchism and libertarian-communism - values such as those mentioned earlier: equity, classlessness, non-hierarchy, participatory democracy, and self-management. However, the Parecon is not officially affiliated with any particular political orientation. Even if you don't know what anarchism or libertarian-communism means you can still understand and appreciate Parecon on its own terms.

Parecon also has a political vision to accompany it, parpolity (abbreviation of participatory polity), conceived of by political science professor Stephen R.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I buy a product because I find it useful and if someone makes something better then I spend my money on that instead. There's a simplicity to that system I can understand. Instead, these guys say classlessness is more important, so dump the market and have a committee of self managing workers decide on the product's worth and then mediate and refine their desires in the light of feedback by other committees taking into account issues of classlessness, race and environmental impact. Pay will be decided on the basis of who has made the most effort and sacrifice in making the product. As far as books are concerned, the committee of self participatory workers will decide the worth of the book and whether or not it is worth making the neccessary sacrifice to make the book and then presumably send it to the printers so they can have a meeting as to whether they wish to participate in printing the book and send back their imput as to their desires and the commitee will have another participatory self managing meeting to take this into account and come to a mutually beneficial agreement on whether or not to proceed. This simpler system falls apart over one unanswerable question. What the hell are we going to do about Oliver Stone?
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