Re: [OPE-L] Participatory and democratic production

From: Paul Cockshott (wpc@DCS.GLA.AC.UK)
Date: Mon May 21 2007 - 08:25:56 EDT

How do you ensure that the total proposals put forward correspond to a
feasible plan?

-----Original Message-----
From: OPE-L [mailto:OPE-L@SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU] On Behalf Of Jerry Levy
Sent: 21 May 2007 12:20
Subject: Re: [OPE-L] Participatory and democratic production

> There is a bandwidth mismatch here. I think the cellphone mechanism
> suggest is in principle practical, but is only worthwhile for more
> issues - should more railways or more roads be built, should a
> major road project go ahead or not, should production of some major
> or good be restricted or expanded - for instance should cell phone
> networks
> be constructed, should free wifi networks be built?
> The vast number of different individual industrial products, most of
> which are consumed only by a minority of people, means that the
> of having prior votes on all new products or changes in quantities
> would be quite infeasible.

Hi Paul C:

I see the issue you are talking about.  It could be addressed as

1)  major issues, which everyone would be encouraged to vote on and
have participation in, could be publicized in one venue;

2) decisions about the mix of  individual consumption goods could be
left to groups who have a concern and interest in it.   For instance,
"group concerned with bicycles", "group  concerned with stereos", etc.
In a way this is already done in many online forums -- what would
change is that the members would make *decisions* about what
to produce, etc.;

3) As for industrial goods,  proposals could be made about different
means of production to produce and then the workers who, after all,
and  democratically determine  most  factory policies (there is some
degree of workers' control  and autonomy in our ideas about socialism,
right?) can  decide which of those goods to order.

Of course, this sounds a lot easier than it would be in practice.
Nobody ever said socialism would be easy, did they?

In solidarity, Jerry

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