Re: [OPE-L] Participatory and democratic production

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Wed May 23 2007 - 08:27:06 EDT

I agree you can not rely on abundance. But you need to propose a
workable social practice.
If you are deciding ex ante on production, the decisions of all the
participants have To add up to a feasible plan. At the very least in your
committee scheme each  Committee would need a budget of social that
they had at their disposal and proposed  Production would have to fall
within that budget.

Hi Paul:

Decisions about the overall size of the budget and its division for
alternative purposes would be a *huge* social issue in  *whatever*
scheme is devised --  participatory or authoritarian.  Saying that it's
"socialism" won't make those issues go away.  The most important
question, from my perspective, is the role that citizens have in the
process of  economic and social decision-making.

Thus, before the Committees get their budgets there would have
*already* had to be a democratic process that allows citizens
themselves to decide the size and composition of the budget.

Then you have to have a mechanism to allocate the budgets to committees.

I think that such deliberative processes are only feasible for
a) the major outlines of the public budget for free services could be
voted on by the population
b) within the free services some sort of committee or dikasteria
structure could decide on sub-budgets
I think it would be very cumbersome for much consumer goods allocation

For all of society, it would be a learning experience.  We can expect that
there will be a "learning by doing" curve that will be experienced. The
Zapatista slogan is relevant:   "Walking we learn".

In solidarity, Jerry

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