Participatory Economics (Parecon) is a contemporary school of socio–economic thought that seeks to change the way capitalism functions in Western liberal democracies. The movement seeks to reform the current state of the capitalist functionary system and alludes to re–distribution of wealth systems. This notion of reform perhaps addresses what a vast number of people reflect upon nowadays; i.e. Why do the CEOs of large companies earn such ridiculous salries? Why do politicians constitute the failed ambitions of lawyers, business ‘leaders‘, and political hacks? And why do our public institutions suffer for lack of funding and educational resources (eg. underpaid teachers)? And, Is the state of the environment subject to the whim of GDP and profit–margins in private enterprise? Parecon seeks to address these apparent failings of the present state of capitalism. The movement has recently been afforded a boost in the wake of the GFC and current Eurozone crises. Its‘ stated values are:
- Solidarity: people caring about one another and being social in their inclinations
- Diversity: having varied options and outcomes
- Equity: having fair distribution of wealth, income, and also circumstances
- Self–management: people having a say over the decisions that affect them in proportion to the extent they are affected
In all, the Parecon movement seeks to create a more regulatory approach to economic advantage; while enhancing the notion of social inclusion. This matter of ‘social inclusion‘ is currently causing confusion in Canberra but I would assert that it harks back to democratic–socialist policies that have their roots in scandanavian socio–political thought: that is, to foster community development (which may well translate to increased funding). However, it is important to note that Parecon has yet to define itself politically; contrarily, though, that is cause for joy as it invites input and discussion from all walks of life. Perhaps one to look at if you‘re interested in econmonics, society and political thought?
At the back of Communism by M T Walker.