There is a Better Alternative (to Capitalism)

Updated: May 3

CfC's April showcase featured Michael Albert, veteran US activist, author of over fourteen books, co-founder of South End Press and ZNet, and co-creator of Participatory Economics (Parecon), an alternative economic model to capitalism.

For those of us who don't accept TINA (There Is No Alternative) or TINBA (There Is No Better Alternative), Parecon offers us hope that there is indeed a better alternative and one that is entirely achievable. To find out more about Parecon, read Michael's latest book, No Bosses: A New Economy for a Better World, check out the School for Social and Cultural Change, or visit Real Utopia: Foundation for the Participatory Society.

Listen to the showcase here:

Parecon is an economic model that promotes classlessness, material equity and ecological justice. It replaces private ownership of the means of production with a productive commons or non-ownership. It removes the capitalist class and the coordinator class and, with them, economic hierarchy and authoritarianism. In their place, are non-hierarchical workplaces self-managed by workers’ councils. In Parecon, the corporate division of labour, in which about 20% of employees monopolise empowering tasks and 80% are left with rote, obedient, disempowering tasks is no longer the means by which work is apportioned. Rather, workers have what Parecon calls balanced job complexes where each worker does a fair mix of rote and empowering work. In turn, income is based on effort and sacrifice or on how hard you work, how long you work and the onerousness of the conditions of your work; instead of reward for property, power, resources, endowments or output. The Parecon approach ensures everybody earns socially equitable income. Solidarity and not cut-throat competition flourishes in these classless, fairer workplaces. Uniformity and conformity are dispelled and diversity made possible through workers having self-managing decision-making power and through the new division of labour of the balanced job complex. Parecon eliminates the free markets of capitalism and replaces them with participatory planning which balances what is consumed and what is produced in light of full personal, social, and environmental costs and benefits going into each product making it an extremely efficient means of using labour and resources, and ensuring ecological sustainability.

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