What would an Anarchist society look like?

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If there one question that gets asked ridiculously often to anarchists is to describe how the future society would look like, how would an anarchistic world function. Any answer given to this question can but only raise more questions and open more venues for criticism as any system described can only be simplistic and full of conceptual holes. Therefore I dislike this question with a passion, as not only it is commonly used as a basis for dismissal of anarchism without bothering to look any deeper but also misses the greater point that anarchism is about the process rather than the end result.

However today I had a small epiphany on this topic while watching the excellent BBC documentary The Secret Life of Chaos. At some point in the film, Prof. Al Khalili made the point that while migrating birds have no leaders and no complex system of organization or rules to guide their flights, their flocks nevertheless not only manage to achieve great feats such as flying over whole continents but also display stunning patterns of flight formations, surprisingly suitable for their purpose (such as flying in a V-shape formation) or simply beautiful, while managing to avoid even colliding with each other.

What surprised me about this statement is how incredibly similar this type of organization sounds to an anarchist society. A society which has no leaders and no complex rules and yet manages to function and even create a very complex societal organization and order which serves to maximize the happiness of every human within it. The complexity of it arises, not despite the simple rules underlying the system but because of them and the existence of chaos. In short because of the natural complexity that arises when one combines simple rules with feedback.

And human societies, if anything, are nothing but feedback.

And this, I realized, is why one can never describe an anarchistic society. The simple fact of humans starting to follow simple  anarchistic rules will create such levels of complexity and radical, strange and wonderful patterns and formations of social organization, that any prediction one of us makes now can only end up horribly wrong. In fact, the only accurate prediction one can make about a system that follows a certain set of rules within a chaotic environment is…that the system will follow those rules. Nothing else. You cannot predict the end result any more than one can predict the shape a flock of birds will take or how a certain pattern will look like when zooming 10x in a Mandelbrot set, while starting at a random location.

What does this mean? That any targets we set for a future society, such as the end of crime or having conquered the galaxy with billions of human colonies is impossible to predict with any certainty. No matter the system we setup to achieve this, because the smallest changes in our environment and behaviour will radically change what we expect. Just look at how science fiction looked even a mere 100 years ago (not to mention even longer) and you will see how little resemblance it has to our world. In fact, even looking at popular conceptions of the future, as crystalized in various movies produced a mere 30 years ago we can see that most of them are way off base. Personally, I’m still waiting for the flying cars.

And yet, even 30 years ago, nobody could even imagine something like the internet and how it would completely revolutionize our whole way of thinking and interacting with each other.

And yet, when one simple technological innovation completely re-shapes significant parts whole world in one short generation, you ask us to describe how an anarchist society, which would require a whole change of social relations, not to mention technology and lifestyle – in the face of rapid climate change and disentanglement from oil – would look like?! This is simply impossible.

However we can predict one thing: An Anarchy, that is, a society where humans individually follow and promote anarchist principles will…have anarchist principles. Simple nü?

So let me clarify this. One of the most fundamental anarchist principles is true democracy; the very simple concept that the power of one to affect a decision should be directly proportional to how much that decision affects them. As far as social rules go, this is as simple as “One person – One vote” or “The King’s choice is infallible”. We cannot remotely predict how a society based on this rule will look like any more than classical Greek democrats could ever foresee the US political system. What we can predict though is that the society will at its core allow people to have a truly democratic voice in their lives and thus greater control. Such a society would be definition need to have all hierarchies abolished (and that includes for example prison and business hierarchies) and will not have any  prohibition on recreational drugs of any sort.

The rule is simple but the society that will form around it will be incredibly complex and impossible to predict.

This, I realize, is the only way to think about societal change. There is no point making utopian constructions in one’s head about how a future society must function for all humans to be happy, as this is moored in current social relations and current technological levels. This is the fatal flaw all such ideas had, from communist Utopias to “anarcho”-capitalist conceptions of freed markets and competing defence organizations. They assume a static world and a have a distinctly “Newtonian” understanding of social sciences. They assume that they have discovered the perfect equation which will bring about the perfect society…if only humans were smart enough to follow it to the letter.

But no matter how smart humans are the end result predicted is impossible. Not only because of minor, minuscule changes in the system (not to speak of major changes such as a new revolutionary technology being innovated), but fundamentally because of feedback, the end utopia will never come to be. All one will end up with is a vague trace of the original idea, somewhere in the developing society. Much like someone, paying very close attention, might discern the flame of a candle as it is moved within a video-feedback system.

In fact, our current society is nothing more than the end result of humans following a host of other basic rules of organization such as respect of free speech, respect for private property, promotion of classical freedom (i.e. your rights end where my rights begin), “one person-one vote”, secularism, gender and race equality, promotion of and respect for the scientific method and many others1. However, society did not change overnight, we did not move from feudalism to capitalism in one month, nor did we embrace modern science in a few years. It took centuries for those ideas to become mainstream because of the societal evolution. And those ideas only even got a hold in the first place because of the same evolution that came before them. Because of the way the system ended up forming from the ideas that were dominant in the past. And the funny thing is that those ideas might have been the complete opposite of what they produced.

What this means is that while we may have reached where we are because of the ideals that came before us, the capitalist mode of production which came after feudalism and slavery, which came after theocracy which came after imperialism and so on, we are still capable of changing where we are headed by the simple act of embracing different ideals. We will not know how exactly we will turn out, but we will know that we’ll have those ideas in action2 and thus can rule at least the things out that conflict with them.

In the end, the order of human societies are the complex result of simple rules, much like chaos theory predicts. However there is a factor which is absent from every other chaotic system we see around us. A simple detail which gives a whole new dimension of complexity to the evolutionary progress:

Humans can modify their own environment.

This simple fact I have come to realize is surprisingly important. Whereas every other organism (or simple pattern) can only adapt to  how the environment around it changes and will only slowly change its basic rules as a result of natural selection, humans can to a large extent modify both their behaviour and their social rules instantly (in an evolutionary timescale) by using their primary trait, their reason, to discover a better optimal path than the one they were following until then. This means that they can follow a particular rule-set until it stalls or it becomes obvious that it is detrimental and then either modify their environment until this is not the case anymore, or simply discard their rule set for a superior one3

Looking back at human history from this perspective, it’s impossible to miss this process. Humans adapted to their environment by using a specific system of social organization and production. When their environment changed (say by the introduction of a new technology or resource) they changed then either or both of them accordingly. Thus the slavery as a mode of production led to Imperialism (as well as, surprisingly, Democracy in classical Greece – remember the things we can’t predict?). The discovery of the steam engine and oil and the general industrial revolution led to the widespread abolition of slavery in favour of wage-slavery.All these things happened not because of fate, or the will of a creator and whatnot, but because of simple rules and material changes and feedback which always worked mindlessly to create the best combination of social organization given the existing environment for the maximal human spread.

And this is in fact the crux of the cookie. The current socioeconomic framework is not optimal anymore. The environment has changed far too much since the dawn of capitalism. Not only has the technological level broken the barriers of the system and thus made the ground fertile for different organizations (much like the industrial revolution made slavery sub-optimal) but the way the environment changes because of the system (such as global climate change and peak oil) has made the current one not only simply detrimental but outright destructive for the evolutionary success of humans (i.e. our continued existence as a species).

And this is where Anarchism comes in. I can only but consider it but the latest of an human societal recalibration required to work with the current and changing environment. It is no wonder than the first flickers of the idea occurred just as the capitalist system completed its dominance as the chosen method of production. It’s as if human history cunningly winks at us, while it hints to what is to follow. In fact, I consider it even more noteworthy that anarchist theorists had intuitively grasped the chaotic nature of social change approximately half a century before Turing made his breakthrough research into biological patterns. If there’s one thing that has always been a primary concept behind the anarchist movement is how it gives far more weight to the means to achieve change than it does to the ends.  For me at least, the more I learn, the more this fact is  solidified and the current post is only the latest of such knowledge.

Is Anarchism (or Marx’s “Pure Communism) to be the last sociopolitical stage? I used to think so but now, highly doubt it. As much as we can’t even remotely predict the future, so can we not predict the circumstances that might make Anarchism obsolete. Perhaps it will be enough to save us from annihilation by our own hands but not enough to survive contact with Alien races. Who knows? As much as Adam Smith could not even imagine a system like Anarchism when the Free Markets he suggested was itself a radical concept, so can I not even imagine what could possibly follow Anarchism.

But what I do know, is that no anarchist will be ever be able to accurately describe what Anarchy will look like. Only that like a flock of birds, it will be complex in its simplicity.

Anarchy is Order.

And Order comes from Chaos…

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  1. If you thought it’s merely very difficult to predict a future society based on only 1 rule, I want to see you juggle 5 or 10 []
  2. that is, unless there are no conflicting ideals as well. In fact, this is why we cannot have a free society or even one that is simply gender or race egalitarian. Those conflict with respect for private property and respect for authority which breeds hierarchies and thus perpetuates patriarchy minority oppression []
  3. Of course, by going one level of abstraction back, this human ability to modify their environment and behaviour is only the result of evolution again, which has granted the humans the best capacity to expand their number given the nature of the planet and the universe as a whole []

279 thoughts on “What would an Anarchist society look like?

  1. "This is not strictly about self-generating goods. It is about having enough goods so that the price, due to supply, drops to (nearly) zero. Even when such thing would be overwhelmingly positive for the whole of humanity, as in the case of food or shelter, for capitalism this is negative."

    Low prices is not negative for capitalism. Negative for capitalism means preventing the flow of resources to their most productive spot (i.e. preventing economic agents from acting freely). High or low prices aren't good or bad for capitalism. They may be good or bad for certain businessmen (who aren't necessarily believers in capitalism). Extremely low food prices would mean resources would be freed up from food production to move to where it is better used by free economic agents. What this means, then, in relationship to…

    "It may very well be the case that we may never reach this level of production (although the rising production per worker in the modern day points otherwise) but we’re talking that if it were possible, it would not be even feasible under capitalism."

    …is that it's only not feasible if all free economic agents find a more profitable use of there money than producing food that costs almost nothing to produce. Profitable isn't limited to monetary terms, either. So you could say it's only not possible if no one cares to give food to those who are unable to afford it.

    As for intellectual "property," it is not a part of capitalism, as it is a form of government imposed monopoly on ideas.

    1. Perhaps, but the reason I only get as specific as I do is that the particulars of valuing effort might change with technology and from job to job. Albert/Hahnel suggest labor hours and co-worker ratings subject to adjudication. However, for some jobs and technological levels, more reliable measures might include sweat, brain activity, output, and/or output over input. For still others, it might be more useful to disregard effort.

      1. All those things are based on a fetishism of "fairness" which in turn ends up with people distrusting and competing with each other rather than co-operating. Labour-hours, co-worker rating (augh!) and other stuff is unnecessart. Co-workers can see immediately when someone is slacking off and peer-pressure them to change their ways. As long as people can get the job done, all these shit is unnecessary and will only cause harm.

        1. If you’re right that peer pressure is so powerful, labor hours and coworker ratings will equalize anyway, making it a moot point. In fact, both can be opt-in, only submitted in case of failure of peer pressure and, perhaps, exceptional effort. Also, it’s inefficient to waste labor and leisure hours on peer pressure, not to mention unjust: if I want to work less and less hard in exchange for fewer credits, that’s my business, not yours. And how peer pressure in response to slack is any less “fetishistic” about fairness than docking credits, requires explanation.

  2. Thanks for writing this. Now I have somewhere to link to when I get that question.

    I have been wanting to write a post on fear of chaos. That really seems to be the basic stumbling block for most people. And responding to that fear with elaborate plans like Parecon always seemed useless to me. I haven't quite figured out how to approach that fear, that need for the illusion of control.

  3. There's a fun Mises talk on the history of Socialism by Salerno where he mentions the forerunners of Marx (Fourier, etc) that were basically crazy, and had these detailed plans even specifying how many people would live in a housing unit for how "utopia" would work. Then Marx came along and "rescued" socialism from these religious loons, by giving it some scientific backing.

  4. actually the name of the "chaos" theory you are describing is called "Emergence" wikipedia has a brilliant article about it and loads of poeple are doing research on it, also there is a nice article i read the other day which was entitled "the man who looked into facebooks soul" but it mentions some very interesting ideas about the aggregation and analysis of various types of data finding that people basically votes hundreds of times a day as they go about thier normal business of sending and replying to messages and bookmarking websites and contacting friends and organizations, shopping etc. and that perhaps it is theoretically possible that all of these small votes be counted, and that perhaps someday they will be……but as you said who knows how this will end up working out or what it will be used for

    1. Well emergence has more to do with the order that arises out of chaos, not the chaos theory itself. In short, emergence is the reason why an anarchist society will have order and complexity. Chaos is why we can't predict how it will look like.

  5. I strongly disagree, especially to the extent that Broadsnark's comment is concurrent. If "any" answer to the title of your entry leaves Anarchism as vulnerable to criticism as before, then there's a serious problem with Anarchism. The very notion of Anarchist society (pre-vision) is simplistic, in that, just as there was never any society that adhered absolutely to Capitalist or Feudal rules, none will ever adhere exactly to even the basic principle(s) of Anarchism. In fact, when people ask you to paint them an Anarchist picture, they're often saying, "Give me one good reason why people should initiate, or would tolerate, Anarchism." They want precisely to "look deeper", and you should help them.

  6. I believe there was a more recent study that concluded that birds in the air actually do have leadership (albeit rational as opposed to ordinal), those more influential in decision-making tending toward the front of the formations. Regardless, it's the result of evolution on, as you say, an "evolutionary time scale", of which we don't even have one left. Sure, our reason helps, but we were reasoning even in the days of slavery, the product of allegience to a subset of the laws of Anarchism: the Laws of Nature. But then, you seem to be flirting with a sort of Nihilist's Social Darwinism, even rationalizing Slavery with all it did for Democracy internal to one dominant class (perhaps I'm being unfair here).

    I'm not sure that Proudhon's Possession can be reconciled with the Affectedness principle you stress here. It's not at all clear that a thing's possessor(s) is/are, even in the first instance, the most–much less only– one(s) affected by the relevant decisions. This may be the crux of it, as Proudhon's very different Anarchism might well be less predictable.

    1. Could you be more specific and identify the relevance? Two things are after all necessary for scaling problems:
      a) pre-existing problem(s);
      b) problems scaling solution(s) thereto.
      It's thus easy to avoid economic scaling problems: ignore the pre-existing problems, delegating them billions of times, as in Proudhonian Anarchism (PA), to uncoordinated individuals. The only other thing PA has to offer is the arbitrary, historically blind, class-informed rule set it wants to govern human-to-human and human-to-nonhuman-to-human relations. I'll admit that such rules imply simpler decision trees than do more Nihilistic Individualisms, but, simplification not being their purpose, they do so insufficiently.

  7. You're wrong that societies have not adhered absolutely to Capitalist or Feudal rules. Perhaps your mistake is that you think that those system include some principles which they don't. In fact however, both of them did adhere to their core ideals such as a wage-labour driven society for capitalism and landlordism & rent for Feudalism. As such, if one declares the core rules of an anarchist society to be quite specific, such as true democracy and possessive ownership for example, then you certainly guarantee that an anarchist society would include them by definition.

    The good reasons therefore to initiate or tolerate anarchism is because such system would promote rules such as true democracy and possessive ownership. This would then extrapolate to other things that can also exist because of them, such as equality.

    I certainly can help people "look deeper" but I'm not prepared to lie for it (i.e. describe a future society which I have no solid basis of being able to preconceive).

  8. RE: Birds: It may be that but that still does not change the fact that the leadership appears spontaneously, voluntarily and chaotically. I.e. those who end up at the front are usually the result of luck rather than coercive force or rational choice. Among those who have the chance to lead for a bit, it is perhaps that those who have evolved the best "leadeship" instincts receive some credibility that can be remembered in the future (No idea about the capacity of birds to remember leadership and recognise an individual among a flock of thousands). But their formations and their exact behaviour is certainly the result of chaotic forces – evolution primarily, but individual choice secondary.

  9. But then, you seem to be flirting with a sort of Nihilist's Social Darwinism, even rationalizing Slavery with all it did for Democracy internal to one dominant class (perhaps I'm being unfair here).

    You are being unfair here. I especially said that just because a social system has evolved and taken place does not mean that humans need to stick to it if their reason tells them otherwise. And slaves did not accept their masters because of reason, but because of coercive force (in the form of the slaver's whip). The whole idea of such systems is that those who benefit from them. assert that they are the best and suppress the reasoning and arguments of those who try to explain why they are not. As such, they subdue the thing that catalyzes the rapid changes of human societal systems: feedback.

    I suggest that anarchists not only should not suppress feedback but that they should nurture it (knowledge), promote it ( demoracy ) and allow it to bloom (freedom). You can't counter my argument by pointing out to systems which did the opposite of this!

  10. It's not at all clear that a thing's possessor(s) is/are, even in the first instance, the most–much less only– one(s) affected by the relevant decisions.

    Well, I think the best way to make your case here is to present an example where this might be the case and we can then analyze it.

  11. It is still up to the subjects of PA to, as frequently as possible, estimate as useful a part of their own and others' decision trees as they can or suffer the consequences of what is, especially under Individualism, an unforgiving world. They still must, as continuously as possible, evaluate and assign as exact probabilities-of-occurrence to as-many-as-possible as-possible-as-possible possible futures as they can if they hope to inform such decisions in ways that will spare them what little, particularly under individualism, misery they can avoid. One could dedicate one's entire life to such strategizing and still come nowhere near optimality; but of course, under Individualism, most are compelled by competition to dedicate most if not all of their time to the EXECUTION of their consequently crudely-made decisions.

  12. Parecon eases the individual burden by consolidating the billions of individual economies into a collective one with a billions-strong team of organized economists. Its results' sub-optimality is related to scale, but so are individual planning mechanisms' related to scale (the actually and potentially accessible world's, mind you, not merely the individual's). The more complex such world, the more labor-intensive, costly, specialized, ignorant or undetailed planning must become. The Parecon for running South End Press is thus quite different from the Parecon for running a country, and I'm not the first Pareconist to say so.

  13. Another simplifier of decision-making is poverty. PA's abolition of wages and rents would split society into two categories:
    a) a shrinking class of possessors of quickly increasingly automated capital;
    b) an enlarging one of increasingly dispossessed service workers and jobless folk.
    Initially, the economy would be generally and superoptimally dedicated to the aforementioned automation. Gradually, though, that stage would give way to a second, which would further split the workforce into three subclasses:
    a) machines, used mainly for capital-intensive production;
    b) females, used mainly for sexual gratification;
    c) men, used mainly for whatever other services were still worthy of sustenance fees, as well as blood, sperm, and organs.
    The final stage would be the death of the human race. The remaining Possessor(s) would have worked their species-folk to obsolescence, machines now being capable of all their old services. But by then, choice would have long since become an historical concept for most, and associated scaling problems with it.

  14. I fail to see the connection between Possession and equality. For an extreme example, consider a disabled orphan. Incapable of equally Possessing, how would she acquire equality? If by the kindness of strangers, then why not make that kindness systemic (identify her as the owner, PRIOR TO PRODUCTION AND EVEN ALLOCATION OF MEANS THEREOF, of a share of consumption proportional to her need or, if her the product of her work is considered worth the product of her volition (called "effort and sacrifice"), that, as in Parecon) and so cut out the middle man? As for the difference between affectedness and possession, let's stick with the her. You don't think she's affected by the decision of whether or not to do her that kindness?

  15. Parecon eases the individual burden by consolidating the billions of individual economies into a collective one with a billions-strong team of organized economists.

    The problem is that Parecon attempts to replace chaotic action and emergent order with chaotic action and planned order. Somehow believing that having a lot of distributed planners instead of a few ones can do a better job of planning an economy. It's all well and good of talking about "billions-strong team of organized economists" but I have no idea what the practical significance of this is or how a billion people are going to communicate together to plan a BJC for billions of jobs and billions of people.

    1. Of course a lot of planners can do a better job than a few. Haven't you ever heard of feedback? I know you have, because you talk about it constantly. The differences between Parecon's feedback and "chaotic" feedback are that Parecon's:

      a) occurs prior to the commitment of resources, thus eliminating the waste inherent to ex post facto correction;
      b) costs nothing and thus can be iterated indefinitely;
      c) has as the only exceptions to its egalitarianism conditioners of volition per se, so as not to needlessly diminish marginal utility.

      1. However the many planner also increase the wasteful task of planning as they then have to find a way to coordinate all their distributed planning. I fail to see how that would work without huge waste. Whereas a chaotic system leaves the planning to self-management and democtaric decision making when required, Parecon seem to devolve into a bureaucratic nightmare.

        Also you're confused a bit I believe. Parecon also is a chaotic system, much like all human systems. Both have feedback which allows for emergent order. The problem does not come from this, it comes from the difficulty of having billions coordinate billions instead of billions coordinating themselves.

        1. I can't figure out what's more of an exaggeration: "billions coordinate billions" or "billions coordinating themselves". Parecon would have facilitators just as workers' factories and peasants' farms have managers and representatives and would presumably continue to under mutualism. Yes, whenever people can afford it, they turn to specialists. Even wealthy individuals hire business consultants and even life coaches. The reason is simple: optimally managing what one owns, even if that's only oneself, is not. Coordination, though the difficulty of achieving it is also related to its scale, MAKES PREDICTION EASIER in relation to scale by enforcing so many humans' action. Do you have any game theoretical or empirical reason for supposing the coordination problem outweighs the prediction problem, or is it a hunch?

        2. I can't figure out what's more of an exaggeration: "billions coordinate billions" or "billions coordinating themselves". Parecon would have facilitators just as workers' factories and peasants' farms have managers and representatives and would presumably continue to under mutualism. Yes, whenever people can afford it, they turn to specialists. Even wealthy individuals hire business consultants and even life coaches. The reason is simple: optimally managing what one owns, even if that's only oneself, is not. Coordination, though the difficulty of achieving it is also related to its scale, MAKES PREDICTION EASIER in relation to scale by enforcing so many humans' action. Do you have any game theoretical or empirical reason for supposing the coordination problem outweighs the prediction problem, or is it a hunch?

          1. I can't figure out what's more of an exaggeration: "billions coordinate billions"

            These were your own words.

            Parecon would have facilitators just as workers' factories and peasants' farms have managers and representatives and would presumably continue to under mutualism.

            Again you're arguing against mutualism.

            In any case, no, it does not go without saying that factories and farms would have managers. And a mandated representative is not a manager either.

            You seem to have swallowed the myth of Capitalist economics that managers increase productivity. I suggest you rethink this proposition which has been proven wrong by worker-run businesses and self-managed factories.

          2. No, my words were “billions of coordinated economists.” The coordination would be done, in the last instance, by the combined efforts of computers and facilitators.

            You’re wrong about workers’ factories, incidentally. Just as soldiers‘ armies have officers, they have representatives and facilitators as a matter of course. I worked in a factory for years, and I‘m quite sure that if you had you would agree that to fail to delegate such tasks would be intolerably disruptive. No, what distinguishes workers’ enterprises from capitalists’ is that the former’s representatives and facilitators are answerable to the workers. Similarly, Parecon’s facilitators are answerable to the society. And no, Parecon doesn’t mandate them. But it is predictable that society would approve of such jobs rather than prolong the planning period by leaving it entirely up to computers.

          3. Sorry, but the more you explain about Parecon, the more I'm convinced that it sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare when scaled.

          4. Coordination, though the difficulty of achieving it is also related to its scale, MAKES PREDICTION EASIER in relation to scale by enforcing so many humans' action.

            I do not dispute that. But Coordination is not something that only Parecon can do. Especially since you mentioned that this will be done through the price mechanism, which is similar to what mutualists suggest. I don't think there's any Anarchist theory which rejects coordination of some kind, whether through the price mechanism and competition or via councils&syndicates and cooperation. The only thing that Parecon seems to do is add an extra layer of bureaucratic cooperation over the price mechanism and asser that this makes it superior. I remain unconvinced that this will not simply introduce waste as it won't be able to scale.

          5. What you call bureaucracy is precisely democracy. Mutualism avoids such “bureaucracy” by being dictatorial with respect to any given property (Proudhon’s “property is theft” referred specifically to absentee ownership; he considered possession a type of property too, hence “property is freedom“). Yes, democracy is a drag; so is having to get a woman‘s consent before you have sex with her.

          6. What nice rhetoric. It reminds me of Bolsheviks declaring that the dictatorship of their party was an expression of "democracy".

          7. Parecon‘s price mechanism is just one contributor to its predictive power. Another is planning. Capitalism has always had a price mechanism, and it’s always had crashes and been inefficient even within its own income distribution; why? Because no one can count on anyone. Mutualism is no different in that respect. Under Parecon, by contrast, you don’t have to waste resources and opportunities on risk aversion, because production and consumption are guaranteed by each other‘s plans.

          8. I understand the theoretical idea of parecon. I'm just saying that it's impractical as it doesn't scale. I have seen no convincing arguments that it does. At this point its feasibility is on a theoretical level and in my mind, is about as likely to work as propertarian free markets or governmental communism. Those work in theory too btw.

          9. And again, not all price mechanisms are equally informative. For one thing, reiteration is key. Take the extreme, singular case of simply a seller setting a price and a shopper choosing whether to buy. What does the outcome tell you? Not much. Particularly, it only tells you whether the shopper prefers the status quo or having the object and that much less money. Only in case of reiteration does a more comprehensive account of shopper’s preferences regarding that object reveal itself. The problem is, each time the buyer buys, he loses both his need of the object and his means of revealing it. The frequency of iterations is thus constrained in markets. In Parecon, by contrast, the number of iterations is independent of the number of transfers, unconstrained.

          10. Very nicely put but I have no idea what this means in practice. How does this pareconist "reiteration" cover up for the lack of a full information of market exchanges?

          11. I can't figure out what's more of an exaggeration: "billions coordinate billions"

            These were your own words.

            Parecon would have facilitators just as workers' factories and peasants' farms have managers and representatives and would presumably continue to under mutualism.

            Again you're arguing against mutualism.

            In any case, no, it does not go without saying that factories and farms would have managers. And a mandated representative is not a manager either.

            You seem to have swallowed the myth of Capitalist economics that managers increase productivity. I suggest you rethink this proposition which has been proven wrong by worker-run businesses and self-managed factories.

        3. The primary way to coordinate the distributed planning has already been found: the automatic price mechanism. Yes, some coordination-by-humans would take place, but is there anything that POSITIVELY (not just failing to see why not) makes you think such coordination would be more wasteful than the waste (including coordinative waste) inherent to fundamentally unplanned economics, part of which I've identified? And if so, is that difference in waste more important that the inequality inherent to individual ownership? That last one is a judgment call in that you will be judged bourgeois if you choose wrong.

          1. The price mechanism assumes competition between producers. Is this really what Parecon suggests? The embracing of a sub-optimal tactic (competition) over the one that comes more naturally to humans (co-operation)? Furthermore, if you are basing yourself on the price mechanism, and money, then you can fall prey to all the pitfalls that follow from those.

          2. Parecon's price mechanism is cooperative and involves credits, not money. The pitfalls you have in mind are almost certainly the province of the existing price mechanism.

          3. Parecon's price mechanism is cooperative and involves credits, not money. The pitfalls you have in mind are almost certainly the province of the existing price mechanism.

          4. I don't know so much about Parecon so I'll take you at your word. However since you're using words such as "money", "profit" and "price" it is only natural that you're talking about these concepts as commonly understood. If you mean something else by those words, I think it would be better if Parecon used some other word which fits better.

          5. Yes, some coordination-by-humans would take place, but is there anything that POSITIVELY (not just failing to see why not) makes you think such coordination would be more wasteful than the waste (including coordinative waste) inherent to fundamentally unplanned economics, part of which I've identified?

            I think it would make it far more wasteful than unplanned economics which do not use price mechanisms, such as communism based on pure supply and demand according to ability and need.

          6. You've never head of the "branch" of communism that suggests "From each according to ability, to each according to need?" I don't think there's a "branch" in fact that does not suggest this…

          7. You've never head of the "branch" of communism that suggests "From each according to ability, to each according to need?" I don't think there's a "branch" in fact that does not suggest this…

          8. And if so, is that difference in waste more important that the inequality inherent to individual ownership? That last one is a judgment call in that you will be judged bourgeois if you choose wrong.

            I'm not convinced that a possessive system will introduce inequalities based on individual ownership. Once people cannot own more than they can use, they have no reason to hoard and therefore introduce inequality.

          9. "Reason" to hoard or right to hoard? Either way, hoarding isn't necessary for inequality, so a possessive system would incompletely eliminate inequality. And instead of doing so rationally, such as via progressive taxation, the possessive system would effect suboptimal men-for-the-job, as people would be "hired" based not on their qualifications but on the size of their bids.

          10. "Reason" to hoard or right to hoard? Either way, hoarding isn't necessary for inequality, so a possessive system would incompletely eliminate inequality. And instead of doing so rationally, such as via progressive taxation, the possessive system would effect suboptimal men-for-the-job, as people would be "hired" based not on their qualifications but on the size of their bids.

          11. I do not see how. In a possessive system, people do not need to bid for jobs. They can simply choose the ones that fit their talents better because they would get to keep the full value of their labour. Your argument makes no sense.

        4. I realize that Parecon's superior feedback system doesn't help your case, but I'll appeal to your sense of objectivity and urge you to give it its due. Whereas unplanned economies allow for emergent order on an "evolutionary time scale", Parecon achieves it in a matter of weeks (more or less, depending on your skepticism); whereas unplanned economies only get feedback when resources are literally wasted, Parecon's feedback is a matter of implied future waste, which correction averts; whereas individual economics receive feedback largely in proportion to wealth, luck and natural talent, Parecon, combining the law of diminishing marginal utility with acknowledgment of human likeness, strays from equality only where it can be positively justified.

          1. Whereas unplanned economies allow for emergent order on an "evolutionary time scale", Parecon achieves it in a matter of weeks (more or less, depending on your skepticism);

            False. Emergent order does not arrive on an evolutionary time scale. While it is evolutionary, it progresses far more rapidly and I haven't seen any argument that Parecon would speed this up rather than slow it down with unnecessary bureaucracy.

          2. whereas unplanned economies only get feedback when resources are literally wasted, Parecon's feedback is a matter of implied future waste, which correction averts;

            False. Given supply and demand separated from the quest for profit and the price mechanism, waste is practically eliminated, without having to introduce bureaucratic waste instead.

          3. whereas individual economics receive feedback largely in proportion to wealth, luck and natural talent, Parecon, combining the law of diminishing marginal utility with acknowledgment of human likeness, strays from equality only where it can be positively justified.

            I'm not saying that Parecon is not better than Capitalism. I'm saying that it's unlikely that it's better than Communism and I'm not convinced it's better than Mutualism.

          4. I realize that Parecon's superior feedback system doesn't help your case, but I'll appeal to your sense of objectivity and urge you to give it its due.

            Please. Don't declare superiority before you've made your case. It only makes you look arrogant.

          5. whereas unplanned economies only get feedback when resources are literally wasted, Parecon's feedback is a matter of implied future waste, which correction averts;

            False. Given supply and demand separated from the quest for profit and the price mechanism, waste is practically eliminated, without having to introduce bureaucratic waste instead.

          6. Explain yourself. How would supply and demand be calculated, let alone coordinated, without neither bureaucracy nor a price mechanism?

          7. You've got a warehouse with 100 spades in stock. The warehouse workers notice that there is a demand of 20 spades per week. They request a supply from the spade-production-syndicate for 20 spades per week. There you go.

          8. You've got a warehouse with 100 spades in stock. The warehouse workers notice that there is a demand of 20 spades per week. They request a supply from the spade-production-syndicate for 20 spades per week. There you go.

  16. It's thus easy to avoid economic scaling problems: ignore the pre-existing problems, delegating them billions of times, as in Proudhonian Anarchism (PA), to uncoordinated individuals.

    This will not resolve the scaling problems of Parecon which are related to the problem of trying to create Balanced Job Complexes for an increasing number and diversity of jobs. While this may be possible when isolated within a small company and the roles within it, it quickly becomes impossible when trying to balance parecon within a community, not to mention a society.

  17. PS: Please do not reply to your own comments. Either reply many times to the same comment if you've got multiple points to make, or put everything in one comment. Replying to your own comments makes it difficult for people to follow the discussion due to the threading.

  18. Perhaps. You're likely correct as I'm not a fan of market economies in all forms anyway. However I'm not the person to defend mutualism (or "Proudhonian Anarchism" as you call it) as I do not espouse it.

  19. Again, I'm not a mutualist so I'm not certain why you're brining this attack vector up. Even so however, I can see that your points do not follow. For example, why are workers dispossessed from their automated capital? The further 3 classification seem to be pulled out of thin air.

    I can just as much foresee a sufficiently automated micro-production which would lead to every individual being self-sustainable given raw material and/or the splitting of productive tasks between individuals and families and the trade of commodities between them.

  20. Possession facilitates equality. It is a necessary step before it in order to prevent accumulation.

    Indeed, I am in favour of making kindness systemic. That's why I'm a communist in the first place.

      1. Without ownership being limited by occupancy or use, and rather being arbitrary, people can start accumulating wealth, particular wealth and capital. Since they do not need to use or live in it to be considered their owners, they can argue that they are within their rights to hire people to work their capital or land, therefore moving down the road of inequality.

  21. But automation will continue to occupy a superoptimal share of the creative economy; the capital-intensive worker will continue to die out until society consists of one nominal, button-pressing "possessor", in your terms, individual or family and those left whose services are worth their sustenance fees. As for the three subclasses, people under mutualism are only permitted to be fee-slaves, never wage-slaves, so they would be increasingly relegated to the service sector, which, it presumably being legal, prostitution would occupy a noteworthy place in. As for your fanciful egalitarian micro-production end, it sounds a lot like Adam Smith's prediction of how capitalism, left alone, would turn out–that is, wholly discredited. No, no set of rules of acquisition, holding and transfer can result in anything but monopoly. Now, to your credit, you admit that the rules should change if they become harmful, but who decides when they have? The possessors!? If so, change would never come; if not, you've writ a recipe for permanent civil war. Parecon avoids all this by its automatic resetting of relations.

  22. a) planned in a second iterative planning stage, in which the jobs would be priced–again, largely automatically–purely with respect to empowerment (naturally, production planners would be expected to adjust expected input and output and/or facilitators expected surplusses and defecits and/or prices directly according to the inherent tenuousness of input/outputs of extremely empowered or unempowered production plans; but even this could be done largely automatically); b) internal to workplaces, with the only cross-workplace balancing being contingent on the personnel shuffling not adversely affecting production (this method, of course, needn't be socially planned at all, although it could be socially or communally supervised for the balancing of productive efficiency and balance itself).

  23. You keep talking about possessive ownership, which sounds like mutualism. If you're not one, I'd be curious to know the differences

    Any socialist system is utlimately possessive. Even communists need to have an exclusive ownership claim on some items, such as their toothbrushes. The difference with a capitalist system is that ownership is defined by occupancy and use (i.e. "this is my toothbrush because I use it daily") and not by legalistic claims.

  24. Again, I have to say that I am not sufficiently versed in mutualism to argue consicely against your scenario. My initial impression however is that you are taking the worst possible result and assert that it is the only likely scenario. It's just as likely in my impression that as production per labour-hour is increased, rather than having people work the same amount of hours for more goods, people will choose to work less. Furthermore, a technology such as universal 3D printering that would allow anyone possessing one to produce any commodity, including universal 3D printers would allow a self-sustenance at a low cost which would make the scenario of free slaves you posit impossible. Such a society would have self-reliant people who only trade in luxuries which they cannot produce themselves. It would avoid people becoming dispossessed.

    In any case, I myself think that mutualism is unstable so I will not continue defending it. I just wanted to mention that your scenario seems dishonestly extreme and I would like to see you debate with a mutualist on it.

  25. One reason the existing Parecon collectives typically use BJCs is because they have no need for the sophisticated planning system suggested by Parecon. A large-scale Parecon, by contrast, would benefit greatly from such system, and so would face the question of whether or not to compound its complexity with mandatory BJCs. Personally, I consider systematic BJCs somewhat superfluous in the light of the other empowering aspects of Parecon, so it's lucky the BJC is an entirely separable one. That said, it could be integrated into production planning, with plans specifying, in addition to expected input and output, expected work-hours for each category/order of empowerment. Empowerment would effect individual production prices in a way similar (largely automatic) to the way supply and demand would effect all production prices. Alternatively, BJCs could be posterior to production planning, being either:

  26. a) planned in a second iterative planning stage, in which the jobs would be priced–again, largely automatically–purely with respect to empowerment (naturally, production planners would be expected to adjust expected input and output and/or facilitators expected surplusses and defecits and/or prices directly according to the inherent tenuousness of input/outputs of extremely empowered or unempowered production plans; but even this could be done largely automatically); b) internal to workplaces, with the only cross-workplace balancing being contingent on the personnel shuffling not adversely affecting production (this method, of course, needn't be socially planned at all, although it could be socially or communally supervised for the balancing of productive efficiency and balance itself).

  27. From what I understand, what remaining mutualists there are are bound by unfalsifiable individualist ethics; the debate would reach an impasse very quickly.

    Even if I'm taking the worst possible result, its one that's far more likely under mutualism (I do often call it "Proudhonian Anarchism" partly to distinguish it from minarchist and other mutualisms; I thank you for correcting me, however, as the anarchist aspect is probably irrelevant to this discussion) than under Collectivism, for the reasons mentioned. As for the other "likely scenario", I don't see it as particularly likely under mutualism. Firstly, it's only production PER PRODUCTIVE (or, more accurately, capital-intensive) LABOR-HOUR that's increased. Whatever capital-intensive jobs aren't lost to unemployment will be converted to less capital-intensive jobs, which tend to be more service-oriented. Production and production per labor-hour per se, will rather decrease. It stands to reason, then, that people will rather "choose" (be compelled) to work more hours, not less, if they're lucky enough to get them.

  28. From what I understand, what remaining mutualists there are are bound by unfalsifiable individualist ethics; the debate would reach an impasse very quickly.

    Even if I'm taking the worst possible result, its one that's far more likely under mutualism (I do often call it "Proudhonian Anarchism" partly to distinguish it from minarchist and other mutualisms; I thank you for correcting me, however, as the anarchist aspect is probably irrelevant to this discussion) than under Collectivism, for the reasons mentioned. As for the other "likely scenario", I don't see it as particularly likely under mutualism. Firstly, it's only production PER PRODUCTIVE (or, more accurately, capital-intensive) LABOR-HOUR that's increased. Whatever capital-intensive jobs aren't lost to unemployment will be converted to less capital-intensive jobs, which tend to be more service-oriented. Production and production per labor-hour per se, will rather decrease. It stands to reason, then, that people will rather "choose" (be compelled) to work more hours, not less, if they're lucky enough to get them.

  29. I must admit I've never heard of universal 3D printering. I can't imagine it's very close at hand; nor can I imagine mutualism being particularly speedy at getting there (possessors, those with the means to do it, would be foolish to produce that which would make their advantage obsolete); nor would the dispossessed be able to afford it anyway; nor is mutualism+3Dprinters-for-all clearly preferable to Parecon+3Dprinters-for-all or any other system+3Dprinters-for-all.

  30. I must admit I've never heard of universal 3D printering. I can't imagine it's very close at hand; nor can I imagine mutualism being particularly speedy at getting there (possessors, those with the means to do it, would be foolish to produce that which would make their advantage obsolete); nor would the dispossessed be able to afford it anyway; nor is mutualism+3Dprinters-for-all clearly preferable to Parecon+3Dprinters-for-all or any other system+3Dprinters-for-all.

    1. I must admit I've never heard of universal 3D printering

      Ahem. I meant to say 3D-Printing 🙂

      I can't imagine it's very close at hand;

      It's closer than you think but it's still not revolutionary enough as a technology to have a big impart. At the moment, it's more at the level ENIAC was to the modern PC I would say.

  31. From what I understand, what remaining mutualists there are are bound by unfalsifiable individualist ethics; the debate would reach an impasse very quickly.

    Even if I'm taking the worst possible result, its one that's far more likely under mutualism (I do often call it "Proudhonian Anarchism" partly to distinguish it from minarchist and other mutualisms; I thank you for correcting me, however, as the anarchist aspect is probably irrelevant to this discussion) than under Collectivism, for the reasons mentioned. As for the other "likely scenario", I don't see it as particularly likely under mutualism. Firstly, it's only production PER PRODUCTIVE (or, more accurately, capital-intensive) LABOR-HOUR that's increased. Whatever capital-intensive jobs aren't lost to unemployment will be converted to less capital-intensive jobs, which tend to be more service-oriented. Production and production per labor-hour per se, will rather decrease. It stands to reason, then, that people will rather "choose" (be compelled) to work more hours, not less, if they're lucky enough to get them.

  32. I must admit I've never heard of universal 3D printering. I can't imagine it's very close at hand; nor can I imagine mutualism being particularly speedy at getting there (possessors, those with the means to do it, would be foolish to produce that which would make their advantage obsolete); nor would the dispossessed be able to afford it anyway; nor is mutualism+3Dprinters-for-all clearly preferable to Parecon+3Dprinters-for-all or any other system+3Dprinters-for-all.

  33. Under Collectivism (such as Parecon) and Communism, possession doesn't define ownership. The toothbrush is only yours because it's a consumption item you paid for with socially-administered credits or society says it is, respectively. Whether you use it, lend it, or hang it on the wall and pray to it is irrelevant. Thus, one's using, say, the only universal 3D printer daily, would be irrelevant. It would be collective property because of its productive nature or its being too expensive for individual purchase or its being deemed arbitrarily by society to be so.

    1. I disagree. As long as there is a requirement for ownership (as all human systems must have) that ownership must be grounded on something to avoid being just an arbitrary rule on par with private property. And while for small commodities such as toothbrushes, it's not particularly important that they are used after their sale, for productive means or land, this is quite an important aspect in order to prevent hoardism and usury.

  34. Occupancy and use are no less arbitrary than other criteria. Take your toothbrush example (by no means the best for my purposes). Why daily? I can’t miss a day? How about a week if I forget it when packing for a trip? OTOH, why shouldn’t I have to use it twice or thrice daily? I’ve heard dentists say both. And what’s use? Of course brushing is, but what about dressing it up for little puppet shows for my niece or keeping it as a souvenir to look at every once and a while? What if I get joy just knowing it’s in my collection and never go near it? Occupancy is even more arbitrary. Do I have to occupy every square inch of what I occupy? Every square foot? Does occupying a perimeter occupy what’s within? How about what’s beneath or above? Must I use only myself to occupy or can I occupy with what I’m using or I’ve accumulated? And how often must I occupy what I occupy? Daily again?

    1. Occupancy and use are no less arbitrary than other criteria.

      All criteria for ownership is human based and therefore arbitrary. Some are simply more intuitive and/or better than others. Occupancy and use is simply humans cannot avoid as it limited by the laws of physics. I.e. two humans cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Therefore using the lowest common ownership claim which is self-evident as the maximum limit for ownership makes sense intuitively and it can be argued that it makes sense from an utilitarian perspective.

      1. The truth value of the statement "two humans cannot occupy the same space at the same time" depends on the size of the space. Only if the space is smaller than x+y (x = the size of the smallest person, y the second smallest) is the statement true. Obviously, I don't believe one person should be able to nonconsensually occupy the same small space another person actually needs to occupy exclusively (the one currently occupied by his body), for that would literally be an act of violence (although not even violence is prohibited by the "laws of physics"). But by "occupancy", you're likely referring to a much larger, more lasting space. The idea that mutulaism is more intuitive is belied both by its small following and human history, which Bakunin understood better than Proudhon and Kropotkin better than both. As you look at your screen with your eyes and prepare to type with your fingers, notice that these are the frontiers of your brain's connection to its environment and that that computer is–indeed, according to science–no more your appendage than I am.

        1. Again, I'm not arguing for mutualism by mentioning occupancy and use but rather mentioning where the ownership claim of communism as well can be anchored in.

          The point I'm, trying to make is that in the same way that two people cannot stand on the same location at the same time (violence or not) which provides us with a basis to say that humans should always be granted the right to own at least a location as wide as their person. So can a scientific argument that a human needs at least x amount of living space to feel comfortable be used as a basis to claim that all humans should own at least this amount of space (and optionally, no more) for themselves.

          It goes similarly with use. In the same way that a particular productive mean cannot be used by two people at the same time, and the fact that people need to use productive means in order to live in a society and/or maintain emotional balance, can be used as a anchor to argue that people should own theproductive means they use primariyl. The fine details (time to abandonment for example) of these ownerships are not important for us to discuss as they can be set by the society those people function in.

        2. Again, I'm not arguing for mutualism by mentioning occupancy and use but rather mentioning where the ownership claim of communism as well can be anchored in.

          The point I'm, trying to make is that in the same way that two people cannot stand on the same location at the same time (violence or not) which provides us with a basis to say that humans should always be granted the right to own at least a location as wide as their person. So can a scientific argument that a human needs at least x amount of living space to feel comfortable be used as a basis to claim that all humans should own at least this amount of space (and optionally, no more) for themselves.

          It goes similarly with use. In the same way that a particular productive mean cannot be used by two people at the same time, and the fact that people need to use productive means in order to live in a society and/or maintain emotional balance, can be used as a anchor to argue that people should own theproductive means they use primariyl. The fine details (time to abandonment for example) of these ownerships are not important for us to discuss as they can be set by the society those people function in.

          1. If there be a scientific argument for "that a human needs x amount of living space to feel comfortable", please identify it, along with the value of x and your meaning of the quite relative "comfortable". Your need to delegate these questions to society in order to avoid sounding like an arbitrary dictator is evidence that they aren't "intuitive" at all. Also, it doesn't follow from that a person needs a certain amount of space that he needs to own that space. Accordingly, there is no "ownership claim of communism" involving anything beyond one's person (and often not even that).

            Again, you claim "that a particular productive mean cannot be used by two people at the same time", so apparently my correction went unnoticed. Here, I'll try an example: the two-man saw.

          2. If there be a scientific argument for "that a human needs x amount of living space to feel comfortable", please identify it,

            I believe this is self-evident to any human being. We may or may not know the X (I haven't looked) but this doesn't mean an X doesn't exist. I would define comfortable as the amount that does not create emotional pain of any kind. For example, it's pretty obvious that no human can be comfortable living in a space of 3×3. Therefore the minimum of X certainly is larger than this.

            Your need to delegate these questions to society in order to avoid sounding like an arbitrary dictator is evidence that they aren't "intuitive" at all.

            I never said that these are questions for me to decide on. I would rely on society listening to science in fact.

            Also, it doesn't follow from that a person needs a certain amount of space that he needs to own that space.

            It can't follow from the is/ought dichotomy but it can be argued from a utilitarian perspective. (eg. Humans need a personal amount of space equal to x in order to avoid emotional pain. A personal amount of space can be considered to be owned or else they do not have the last word for it and it's not personal anymore as it can be violated by those who do have the last word. Therefore each person should have x amount of space owned in order to maximize utility)

          3. You’re the one arguing for ownership. I’m against it; I think the appropriate living space for each person is infinity-by-infinity-by-infinity. It doesn’t follow from that that some would be suffocated by others. Under Parecon, if you want a certain space to be just yours, put it in your consumption plan, or, if it’s a workspace, production plan. (You will have to pay for it, if consumption, or otherwise use it to produce something of sufficient value of course.) But the idea that everyone needs space that’s just theirs is bourgeois nonsense. I, for one, have ample time to myself despite the fact that I have no space that’s just mine. I’m alone this instant, in fact, and, in a matter of hours, someone else will be alone in this exact room. That you “haven’t looked” is necessitated by the fact that there’s nothing to look at, nothing scientific at least.

          4. But the idea that everyone needs space that’s just theirs is bourgeois nonsense. I, for one, have ample time to myself despite the fact that I have no space that’s just mine.

            You confuse the concept of having a space to be your own (where you store your personal stuff and you can return to rest) with the idea that you have pooled this space with others or that you have visitors. The fact that you can pool your personal space with others does not change the fact that when divided it's likely to be a particular amount between you.

            In any case, I have no need to convince you on this. We can agree to disagree and whoever is perusing this dicussion can make their own decision.

          5. For someone who calls others arrogant, you sure preface a lot of your comments with "you confuse the concept…" or "you mistake…" or similar. It's as if the idea that you might be the confused or mistaken one has never crossed your mind. Ironically, you didn't actually mean I confuse the two ideas; you meant that I mistakenly think the second belies the first, which is mistaken in and of itself, which makes the sentence doubly confusing. In particular, putting “(where you store your personal stuff and you can return to rest)” after “space to be your own” does not make the former dependent on the latter. Ownership is definitively authoritative, which you elsewhere seemed to understand, most immediately previously with “having the last word”. In reality, I have neither the last word nor any other, and I’m none the emotionally more hurt for it.

          6. As I said, you have not the last word because you have freely decided to pool your claim with others for a more beneficial collective result. A person who was forced to collectivize as you seem to suggest however would have quite a lot of emotional pain because of this and the way it stepped on his individualism.

            As such, you did have the last word and you chose freely to make it the last word of the collective instead. If one day you chose you wanted to have your own place instead again, one would assume you'd be allowed to have it rather than only have a choice of communal living spaces.

          7. But I never owned individual space to begin with and have never wanted to. So obviously the need for individual space is no more universal than the need for collective space. Thus, guaranteeing minimal ownership of individual space is no more reasonable than guaranteeing minimal ownership of collective space. Thus, Parecon’s opt-out collectivism is as reasonable as your opt-in collectivism. The difference is of course that Parecon’s minimum is an equal share as opposed to an arbitrary “needed” one and the rest being decided by the majority, once and forever, at whatever time is arbitrarily designated the beginning of the revolution, either coercively or inspired by capitalism or at least its choices of possessors.

          8. Of course we disagree on the question of whether to prepare and permanently allocate billions of x-sized living spaces; that‘s my point. If it were an uncontroversial proposal, it would perhaps be justifiable within our time (though still a crime against the future); however, otherwise it would be tyranny of the majority or worse.

          9. It's not tyrrany of the majority to allow an anarchist society which has decided to allow workers to retain ownership of the factories they worked in and the houses they lived in. This is the reason why they would revolt in the first place more likely. To the switch things post-revolution and force them to collectivize for "the good of society" because a small minority claims this, is in fact the true tyranny.

          10. What's this "retain"? They never owned them in the first place. In fact, because property is theft in the historical sense, possessors are possessors of stolen property, which is a crime in and of itself, and so are these "anarchists'" act of theft of authority without destroying it. The "small minority" of workers in labor-intensive industries and homeless and jobless folk would have much more to gain from a system which didn't allocate, a priori, power in proportion to how capital-intensive an industry capitalists and landlords selected one for and how big a house one could purchase with the money you correctly identify as illegitimate.

          11. Ownership, incidentally, is the antithesis of free access, so once again, I recommend you study the differences between communism and mutualism, particularly the total lack of positive references to ownership made by the anarcho-communist Kropotkin. And what difference does post- or pre-revolution make? Any revolution will be post- many revolutions, all, like the dispute between possessors and capitalists, mere disputes between privileged classes. No, it would not be very anarchistic at all for the collectivists, even if a minority (again, see Kropotkin), to take any unscientific claims of ownership seriously.

          12. So once again you’ve left a question up to society that society has neither the need nor the right to answer (even if the majority wanted everyone to own x-by-y-by-z living spaces, they would’ve failed to pass the affectedness test). I, for example, have no emotional pain that can be alleviated by owning space, so why should I be punished a priori with prohibition of access to part of my world? If not having exclusive space causes you more emotional pain than being excluded causes me, we should be able to prove it in trade.

          13. I, for example, have no emotional pain that can be alleviated by owning space, so why should I be punished a priori with prohibition of access to part of my world? If not having exclusive space causes you more emotional pain than being excluded causes me, we should be able to prove it in trade.

            I'd rather not, for trade would simply benefit the more economically powerful. I prefer a society which provides according to people's needs and since I expect that most people except the very few like you, require some personal space, I expect a common agreement to be reached to provide this. That you have emotional pain when not having unrestricted access everywhere is as much a concern to me as the capitalist who has emotional pain when he can't have 4 villas and 3 private jets.

          14. Under Parecon, there are no economically more or less powerful. If personal space is truly a near-general need, it will be proven so through reiterated plans, not through some vote in which one has no incentive to distinguish wants from needs.

          15. They have an incentive to distinguish wants from needs because it's their needs that they're voting on. People voting that everyone should have an X amount of space at least (Which they are allows to pool together into collectives of course) guarantess that they, themselves, will have an X amount of space, at least.

          16. Yes, but some people value a guarantee of X amount of personal space less than others (I.e. one who doesn’t value space highly or already has a lot of space or fears they‘ll not be able to collectivize their new space favorably). And the less space that’s guaranteed to each individual, the larger, harder to occupy, and more varied in use the remaining spaces will be, which will, again, affect some differently than others. So, for some, the question of whether to guarantee X amount of space might be a coin toss (the utility of the guarantee is close to the disutility of the loss of social space), whereas for others it might be hugely important. Why should the coin toss people get an equal vote when the outcome barely affects them? Such fetishism of fairness might well effect an outcome contrary to social utility. Instead, put all space on the “market” and allow people to prove their affectedness by bidding with labor credits. This also avoids the problem of, once X amount of land has been decided, figuring out how to distribute the non-commodity.

          17. You miss the point. the two-man saw cannot be used by 4 people at the same time. My argument is that an x-person productive mean cannot be used at the same time by x+1 or more people.

          18. You missed two of mine: there are {x, >x}-person means, and there are transformations of x-person means into >x person means. For example (of the former), jumbo jets can be flown with one pilot, but a copilot makes it easier and safer. Under a possession principle, the pilot would be discouraged from taking on a copilot by the fact that it would mean losing half his property. Under Parecon or even capitalism, the pilot would only be paid for his effort and sacrifice and/or the market value of his labor (still quite a lot), without such irrational disincentives.

          19. In a moneyless society it makes no sense for the pilot to risk his and his passengers safety just so that he can be considered to own the plane alone. What would be the point? He can't trade it for money anyway.

            In a market economy, a plane owner who avoiding sharing the plane would be punished by the market by being avoided by customers due to safety risks. That is without considering that it would be impossible for one person to own a plane by himself anyway and it's likely to be owned by an airport/flights collective in the first place.

            I can keep skewering your rigged examples the whole day. It will not change the fact that means of production have a physical limitation based on use and this can be then used as an anchor for ownership which prevents accumulation and inequality, i.e. possession.

          20. Money is just currency. He could barter.

            It makes little difference whether the enterprise is an individual plane or a vast, even monopolistic collective. The point is, in addition to the pretension of ownership being illegitimate, that the personnel level is such that adding one more would be worth the wages or credits dictated by a free labor price mechanism but not adding one to the denominator of the individual share. If it's easier, replace "copilot" with "janitor".

          21. I can't believe you actually called it "skewering" to simply name the market reaction that was ALREADY IMPLIED BY MY SPECIFYING THAT HE WOULD BE WORTH THE WAGE OR CREDITS. The key is HOW MUCH will they be "punished"? All I “rigged” was profit-over-firm-size being higher than wages, a generic assumption, especially for capital-intensive firms like “airport/flight collectives”. From there, I simply cut to the chase, but we could do long division if that‘s what you need. So say that prospective member is worth giving him a share and is accepted into the collective. The firm size is now closer to ideal, meaning the “punishment” for failing to increase in size again will be less. The pattern would continue until the wage/share exceeded “punishment. Well, if a share’s better than a wage, the collective reaches that point sooner.

          22. First of all, I don't see how forcing a collective to take more member because the managerial class decreed so for the "good of the community" is a better alternative. Second of all, you insist implying that there would be some profit motive for the company which would make its workers unwilling to expand in order to avoid dividing the share. But as I explained in communism the profit motive does not exist and in a mutualist economy the competition will make sure that people would add more quality to draw more customers.

            If you're sayig that close to perfection a mutualist company might choose not to add extra members to avoid further diluting their shares, I'd say a close to perfection company is good enough and I doubt that parecon would be able to cover this little distance to perfection. That's just wishful thinking.

          23. You say you don’t have to familiarize yourself with a theory in order to reject it, and then you continue making things up about Parecon. The sizes of the collectives are determined by the collectives, not the facilitators. As for competition, your faith in it is astounding. It can’t produce an infinite workforce, can it? Because that’s what would be needed for the need for “quality” to effect an optimal distribution of labor-to-capital ratios. From what I understand, communism’s non-competition and mutualism’s competition will save the day. How’s that work? Is there a medium level of competition that wouldn’t?

          24. Money is just currency. He could barter.

            It makes little difference whether the enterprise is an individual plane or a vast, even monopolistic collective. The point is, in addition to the pretension of ownership being illegitimate, that the personnel level is such that adding one more would be worth the wages or credits dictated by a free labor price mechanism but not adding one to the denominator of the individual share. If it's easier, replace "copilot" with "janitor".

          25. Money is just currency. He could barter.

            For what? A moneyless society is not moneyless because currency has been banned. It's moneyless because it's unnecessary. What would a pilot trade for which would make up for the fact of not being a pilot anymore (i.e. not doing what he wants) and why wouldn't he simply do it without a trade?

          26. I meant he could barter the service, not the plane. He could barter the plane, too, though, without losing his job, particularly if he bartered it for membership in a collective, thereby reducing competition, unfortunately for passengers and their dependents. Even if he did lose his job, many pilots would quit their careers this instant in exchange for what a plane could get them.

          27. that the personnel level is such that adding one more would be worth the wages or credits dictated by a free labor price mechanism but not adding one to the denominator of the individual share.

            Again, that a problem of basing your system on money and wages rather than a communal way, where adding one extra worker when needed would be good if it allows a better working environment, more safety and even more creativity and fun due to the extra minds on the task.

            Again, even in a mutualist society, theoretically adding people would make sense when required would make sense as it would make them more competitive. For example, the cleanest airports (those with more janitors) would make people want to go there instead. But it's an imperfect mechanism and it may end up to a drive to the bottom which is why I think communism is better.

          28. Part of the imperfection is that it’s only temporary, pre-monopoly. And while increased competition would increase the demand for labor, it would seem to do so rather generally, not specific to capital-intensive industry, hence the problem I identified holds.

            As for the “communal way“, labor would generally be immobilized by the absence of wages and currency (not coupled with abolition of property) and, if you’re correct, generally mobilized by possessors’ newfound love of company and disregard for profit, but that would not solve the specific problem of, again, the polarization of industry into very capital-intensive and very labor-intensive sectors.

          29. Also, there's the matter of the original topic. The plane is a two-person means that can be used by one person. More importantly, any any-person mean can be turned into any any-other-person mean so long as it consists of as much of the same physical elements. In that sense, even such means have means, which only those actively engaged in such transformations are using productively. At any rate, that a mean can only be used by one at a time wouldn't justify ownership anyway.

          30. That doesn't counter the point that a given productive mean can only have x workers assigned to it during any given period of time. During this time, those workers can be said to own this means of production.

    2. Take your toothbrush example (by no means the best for my purposes). Why daily? I can't miss a day? How about a week[…]

      Consumable Commodities are not so important, in other words, non-productive means, are not very important. A society may choose to say that such commodities can be considered to be "in-use" based on common sense. I.e. a toothbrush will be owned forever once taken (unless explicitly discarded) given hygienic reasons and its low cost. More expensive commodities which not everyone can have due to production limitations, may be agreed that are considered unowned based on some other limits. This is all up to the community in question.

      Productive means (including land and living space) are much more important. Again, they are subject to community rule but this rule will be based on utilitarian reasoning grounded in occupancy and use. For example common sense would declare that a factory would be owned collectively by all its workers first, by the community it is in second and by the society as a whole third. This is only natural as the workers would have the most important voice on how the factory is run. The community around them would have the most important voice after the workers given its proximity to the externalities produced by the factory, and society as a whole would have last say given important need to co-operation.

      1. If you mean post-allocation, I could barely agree more. In fact, a not bad system would be something like the Estates General, with the workers collectively, consumers collectively, and community collectively each getting a vote, with the rest of society having nothing to do with it. However, pre-allocation I see no reason why the power shouldn't be completely in society's hands. Having been selected by capitalists (or, later, having been selected by those selected by capitalists) and willing to work for their wages in a space is no indication of a group's expertise at deciding the most socially utilitarian future of it.

        1. Having been selected by capitalists (or, later, having been selected by those selected by capitalists) and willing to work for their wages in a space is no indication of a group's expertise at deciding the most socially utilitarian future of it.

          I'm not arguing for it. I am arguing that once a collective decision has been reached for the use of a space and the people found who volunteered to work it, then these people have the first say on how this use is done. In short, it does not fall to the society as a whole to micromanage those people. These people, by their use of that space, can be said to own it but they have also discovered that it's in their best interest to pass part of the decision making for this space (specifically the macro-management of it) to the society. But this follows from their ownership as it needs to be voluntary. I would oppose any society of forcibly collectivizing any workspace.

          1. Then you would support forced privatization, for society would never grant the users ownership in the first place. While it may be in society's best interest to listen especially carefully to the users' plans, it's certainly not in its best interest to subordinate itself them, who very likely have very different interests. Firstly, the users would tend to favor the status quo too much. For example, if demand shifted to bicycles at the expense of cars, that would justify the conversion of a certain number of bicycle shops to car shops. However, those car makers are car makers, not bicycle makers. Bicycle making is an entirely different skill set and an inherently lower profit industry. It might be in the car makers' best interest to continue to occupy and use (albeit with lower productivity) the space until bicycle makers agreed to pay them for it. But why should they get that money? Their productivity has actually decreased! They're getting payed purely for the space and capital, one of which they certainly didn't create, the other of which they almost certainly didn't.

          2. Then you would support forced privatization, for society would never grant the users ownership in the first place. While it may be in society's best interest to listen especially carefully to the users' plans, it's certainly not in its best interest to subordinate itself them, who very likely have very different interests. Firstly, the users would tend to favor the status quo too much. For example, if demand shifted to bicycles at the expense of cars, that would justify the conversion of a certain number of bicycle shops to car shops. However, those car makers are car makers, not bicycle makers. Bicycle making is an entirely different skill set and an inherently lower profit industry. It might be in the car makers' best interest to continue to occupy and use (albeit with lower productivity) the space until bicycle makers agreed to pay them for it. But why should they get that money? Their productivity has actually decreased! They're getting payed purely for the space and capital, one of which they certainly didn't create, the other of which they almost certainly didn't.

          3. However, those car makers are car makers, not bicycle makers. Bicycle making is an entirely different skill set and an inherently lower profit industry. It might be in the car makers' best interest to continue to occupy and use (albeit with lower productivity) the space until bicycle makers agreed to pay them for it.

            you example does not make sense. First, it seems to me to be arguing against the profit motive which tells me that this should be abolished, not ownership. In a non-profit driven society, those car makers would have a reason to switch to bicycle making as otherwise their labour would go to waste and they would feel useless or be peer-pressured by the rest of the society to do something more socially useful.

          4. If you expect them to, voluntarily and in opposition to their interests, do the will of society, why not just call society the authority in the first place? Haven’t you ever heard of economy? Let me take it a step further: the factory’s future should be up to society, which should freely choose to defer to the possessors, who should freely choose to defer back to society. We could go on like this forever.

          5. If you expect them to, voluntarily and in opposition to their interests, do the will of society, why not just call society the authority in the first place?

            I expect them to recognise that it's in their best interests to switch to bicycle making. Via market mechanisms in mutualism and via peer-pressure in a communist.

            the factory’s future should be up to society.

            If the possessors have agreed to this, i.e. if they have joined the collective, sure.

          6. First, have you ever considered that the car makers becoming bicycle makers isn’t necessarily ideal? It’s not as if becoming a skilled bicycle maker is as easy as snapping one’s fingers. It would be more efficient for the factory to be handed over to actual bicycle makers or even a closer skill set like motorcycle makers or bicycle repairers, and have the car makers moved to one of the remaining car factories or switched to car repair or motorcycle making. Hey, you’re a “communist” (believer in mutualism plus “peer pressure”) for moral reasons, you can leave it at that. You needn’t feel obliged to try to make economic sense out of it. Peer pressure is an already available, reactive, inefficient, weak and definitively undemocratic mechanism. I suggest you pressure your peers to grow some balls and take what they want.

          7. If the car maker wants to become a bicycle maker, I'm not the one to refuse him because he's not going to be "ideal" and will take some time to learn a new skill. If he wants to be continue to be a car maker while there are skilled bicycle makers to take his place and another car factory willing to have him, I would see no reason why he wouldn't choose to move by himself.

            But obviously it's better to force people to do what those "planners" think is ideal. Obviously, caring about people's personal choice is not "optimal" so it's better to let the bureaucracy decide…What a joke…

          8. Given the declining market, the remaining factories wouldn't even be able to afford absorbing the free labor as wage slaves, much less equal partners. And of course it's not your place to "refuse him"; you're not necessarily even one bicycle maker or consumer, much less all of them. But neither is it the car maker's place to refuse the latter, who might be just as affected and , incidentally, almost certainly are more so. What about their personal choices? Is it better to let a dictator (the car maker) decide?

          9. Given a price mechanism and a market economy, the car maker will be forced to make a choice anyway due to declining income. Given a moneyless collective, the car maker will be explained by his peers that there's no more demand for his cars and when not convinced will be starved of raw resources from the collectives that will refuse to waste them and put under peer-pressure until he sees the error of his ways. Both of these are far better than the managerial class declaring what each factory should produce as if they will be able to parse supply and demand correctly.

          10. Incidentally, the car maker would, under Parecon, be able to plan just like everyone else and even, if he's as paranoid as you about democracy, inspect the systematically transparent greater planning process, vote against suspect facilitators or even use "peer pressure" to get them to step down or even end Parecon altogether, or even use his happily now-likely career crisis to become one. But if he wants to be truly independent, he should probably be farming, not car-making. Luckily, anyone willing and able to be to be truly self-sufficient, as opposed to a parasite in the capitalist sense, could easily prove as much to Parecon and actualize their hypothetical desire.

          11. Our hypothetical discussion is not about a Pareconist within Mutualism or Communism or a Communist within Parecon. Its about each worker within their respective system. The only thing you seem to imply is that any Pareconist within any other system is being oppressed simply by not being in a Parecon system, which is absurd.

            The car maker being able to plan like everyone else is furthermore countered by the rest of your claims that the managerial class would be able at any point to declare to him what he should be doing or where.

          12. I don't have to support forced privatization if we consider that a society may revolt to this end in the first place. If society has somehow reached a collective without people having any claim of ownership, then fine, but I don't see how it can happen.

            While it may be in society's best interest to listen especially carefully to the users' plans, it's certainly not in its best interest to subordinate itself them, who very likely have very different interests.

            Err, what? Listen, there is no "society" as an entity separate from the individuals which comprise it. It's in the best interests of the individuals of a society to allow themselves ownership claims based on possession and then convince people to voluntarily join their ownerships to the collective.

          13. You haven’t demonstrated that. In fact, that society is composed of individuals (with unequal abilities and possessive claims to ownership) is a great reason not to burden it so. How, for example, could it be in the best interest of even one of the rest of society to give a poor disabled person an equal share of a combined wealth? Indeed, the chances of any two people bringing exactly the same amount to the table are astronomically low, which is truly united ownership is only ever done for romantic, religious, or moral-ideological reasons (i.e. not “best interest”).

          14. I really would not care for any society which discarded its more unfortunate member and if that's the plan of pareconists, I want nothing do with them. The fact that there are people of different abilities and skills is a reason to arrange production according to ability and consumption according to needs so that everyone can achieve what they need to live a happy life. We already have magnitudes more productive capacity than what is needed to simply survive and thus giving more to those who require it is a low cost to have to maximize human happiness and reap the rewards of such (even more increased production due to morale and increased creativity due to positive liberty)

            But I must say that you are doing a good job of turning me off parecon…

          15. I don’t know how read the very opposite of what I typed, but apparently you did. Why don’t you just familiarize yourself with the subject matter? For the confidence with which you’ve criticized it, I’m amazed you haven’t.

          16. I don't need to familiarize myself with every conceivable theory before I reject it. It's up to those suggesting the theory to make it sound appealing enough to trigger me to learn more about it. You manage to do the opposite. I do not therefore need to reject Pareconism given an educated reasing and finding of flaws. I can simply dismiss those trying to sell it to me as suggesting to me a system which sounds unworkable.

          17. It doesn’t follow from that capitalist property is the prevailing dominant theory of ownership that possession is second in line. There are certainly more collectivist than individualist anti-capitalists, and there have been since the beginning of revolt against capitalism. The possession principle is truly a minority centrism. And even if society were to fuck up and first establish a mutualist (you’re a mutualist, by the way) system, why should it have to wait for the unanimous consent of the possessors in order to become collectivist? Would the possessors have waited for the consent of the capitalists? Obviously not.

          18. you’re a mutualist, by the way

            LOL.

            why should it have to wait for the unanimous consent of the possessors in order to become collectivist? Would the possessors have waited for the consent of the capitalists? Obviously not.

            The kind of society that will appear will have to do with the way capitalism is toppled. I find it extremely unlikely that mutualists will ever achieve this through their tactics but if they did and a mutualist society appeared it's up to them to decide if they want to collectivize or not. A minority such as you would have no right to force them to do otherwise. If you wanted to become a collectivist within a mutualist or communist society, much like someone wanting to become a capitalist, you'd have the freedom to convince people or to take enough resources to try and start such a society somewhere else. Again, you have no right to force your views on others and the fact that you assume you have them is frankly scary.

          19. What happened to your affectedness criterion, which collectivism makes paramount and mutualism ignores? Now it's just vulgar majority rule? That's not scary?

  35. While agree that whatever arbitrary answers you give would prevent accumalation better than capitalism would, it would do so unequally, as even the ability to use and occupy can be bought, both directly in the form of automation and indirectly in the form of goods and services that would allow one, free from having to make or do them oneself, to devote one’s own time more fully to use and occupancy. Also, needing to use or live on one’s possessions certainly wouldn’t make it absurd to “argue that they are within their rights to hire people to work” them simultaneously. In Collectivism, by contrast, where capital is collectively owned in the first place (as in Proudhon’s factory associations but on a larger scale, the “requirement for ownership” being humanness), there would be no one in a position to even make such an argument.

    1. it would do so unequally, as even the ability to use and occupy can be bought, both directly in the form of automation and indirectly in the form of goods and services that would allow one, free from having to make or do them oneself, to devote one's own time more fully to use and occupancy

      Occupancy and use does not work by proxy. It works via human existence and action. And while automation may allow greater productivity, a community might decide that occupancy does not extend further than a specific number of acres, regardless of productivity.

      Also, needing to use or live on one's possessions certainly wouldn't make it absurd to "argue that they are within their rights to hire people to work" them simultaneously

      Yes it would. By definition. If they're using it, then you're not.

      1. False. Much capital can be used individually or cooperatively, and much capital for individual use can be modified for cooperative use. You've incompletely addressed my automation counterargument by vesting a power in society to overrule the occupancy–and, I would imagine, use–principle. But what of the other aid to occupancy and use? What of wealth's ability to purchase goods and services without having to produce them oneself or purchase them–directly or indirectly–with one's own services? Can't you see how it would give the wealthy more time to occupy and use, thus increasing disparity? If the occupancy and use principle is subordinate to society's will, is it still correct to call it a principle?

        1. What of wealth's ability to purchase goods and services without having to produce them oneself or purchase them–directly or indirectly–with one's own services?

          An egalitarian society by definition would not have wealth which did not come by someone providing his own services. You're arguing from the position of an inequal society which still has free markets which I agree would have problems but this is why I'm arguing against both inequality and free markets.

          1. Regardless of the current situation, what I'm arguing against is precisely the possession principle. There are many different ways to remunerate on the basis of "services". The rational approach, the Parecon approach, is to reward in direct proportion to the value of the service. The possessive approach is to reward in proportion to the value of the output, which is only fractionally related to the value of the service.

          2. I know you're arguing for the possession principle, how could you not. I was just trying to explain this fact to you.

            The rational approach, the Parecon approach, is to reward in direct proportion to the value of the service. The possessive approach is to reward in proportion to the value of the output, which is only fractionally related to the value of the service.

            How do you know what the value of a service is when you disconnect it to the value of the output of the service. In fact, how can the value of the product be less than the value of the service? If I create a cake which sells for 10$, what is the value of my service in creating this cake?

            Personally I say it's all impossible to calculate anyway and it's better to concentrate in needs and abilities.

          3. Well, need and ability are part of Parecon. Consumption plans are both the indicators of rational need and, ultimately, its fulfillment. But society can and should designate certain categorical needs, particularly those that are basically only desired when categorically needed, such as certain healthcare. Such needs should be free so as to simplify consumption planning and better respond to individual and community differences in need. Ability is less obvious because, unlike need, it’s only the criterion for allocation (in this case, that of production), not also the object thereof. But “from each according to his ability” is equivalent to “effort from each equally”. Of course, from this foundation, Parecon allows one to purchase leisure in the form of receiving fewer credits. And as society has set the price of leisure in the form of setting the weight of effort, both society and the chooser benefit.

          4. Such needs should be free so as to simplify consumption planning and better respond to individual and community differences in need.

            If consumption planning and response would be simplified for those consumption, you have to explain why it would not be simplified for all consumption.

          5. Because many other types of consumption are too variable in terms of need, which is related to the fact that many other types aren’t needed at all, and because many other types of those that are often needed are more typically wanted beyond their necessity. But if you mean rather that such determinations would have to be external to the planning process, you’re right; however, the specifics of applying the possession principle, e.g. the frequency of visits necessary for holding, would, similarly, have to be external to the dictatorship of the possessor.

          6. dictatorship of the possessor.

            Oh for crying out…

            What "dictatorship"? How can someone have a dictatorship over something when he has no people to dictate to? That's the whole point of possession! That you cannot own (and therefore have a right to make the terms for) more stuff than you personally use or occupy. Stop abusing language to make emotional points.

          7. You're right, it's not dictatorship, it's veto power, allowing only indirect coercion. That it only applies to what one personally uses or occupies is irrelevant. Consider the UN, in whose security council a five-member oligarchy has veto power. Now suppose other councils had such oligarchies, such that all members sat on at least one. Would that be just? Of course not. Firstly, some councils are more important than others; similarly, occupying a closet is not the same as occupying a mansion and the infinite acres it's possible to occupy in a day, week, month, or whatever other period you set. Secondly, subordination to many oligarchies isn't necessarily better than one, especially if, analogous to "communist" mutualism, they can merge and end the competition others rely upon for indirect power.

          8. The veto powers you seem to compare it to is based on hierarchical oligarchies which have power over others humans. This is nothing like possession. You furthermore compare a poor and a rich possessor in a completely unrealistic scenario.. The whole point of my argument for possession is that humans need more than a closet to live and one cannot realistically "occupy" a mansion. No society would respect such a claim while there are others living in closets. In fact, it's by starting with possession as an argument that the mansion would be split among users or collectivized.

          9. It would be incredibly easy to single-handedly occupy a mansion, in fact. All rooms could be nominally used in a matter of minutes, total, not that others would have the right to trespass to make sure one completed the ritual. Of course the rooms couldn’t all be occupied at once, but nor can any person occupy any more than his body-sized space at once. Even if the rich possessor would want to liberate himself from the small chore of great occupancy, he could charge the newcomers for the part ownership. The constant necessity of overruling such possession principle would make any reasonable person wonder why the sentiment behind overruling it isn’t the principle instead–in other words, have society, not the possessor, allocate in the first place, taking possession into consideration as they see fit.

          10. Secondly, subordination to many oligarchies isn't necessarily better than one, especially if, analogous to "communist" mutualism, they can merge and so end the competition others rely upon for what little indirect power they have.

            There you go again with the nonsense and the scare quotes. Listen, if you only care for fighting strawmen, I don't care to correct you every time.

          11. I'm sorry, you're right. Society, having learned of its will through mysterious means, will dispossess any onerous possessor and redistribute his excess possessions in some equally mysterious way. It might even choose to force their collectivization, which not even Parecon does.

          12. But “from each according to his ability” is equivalent to “effort from each equally”

            No, it means "from each according to his ability". People might extend more or less effort if their ability to do so allows it. And again you mention a pareconian solution which does not tell me anything and is even approaching the nonsensical. "Purchase leisure in the form of receiving fewer credits" sounds like nothing having to do with purchase and more with a bourgeois argument that those who are unemployed are in a form of leisure.

          13. If you mean effort is itself an ability, you're grasping at straws. Only the severely mentally disabled are unable to apply effort to work; they’re wards of society and would likely continue to be designated as such under Parecon, prior to planning. As for the other extreme, maximum effort, such as what an Olympic weightlifter might exert, such is unsustainable and typically accompanied by long periods of rest, so any exceptional “ability” there would not seem to give one an advantage in the long run. Anyway, I think of Parecon’s “effort” as just a concise, if imprecise, way of saying “expected output over ability” or “volitional contribution”, which would be what would be rewarded.

          14. If you mean effort is itself an ability, you're grasping at straws. Only the severely mentally disabled are unable to apply effort to work; they’re wards of society and would likely continue to be designated as such under Parecon, prior to planning. As for the other extreme, maximum effort, such as what an Olympic weightlifter might exert, such is unsustainable and typically accompanied by long periods of rest, so any exceptional “ability” there would not seem to give one an advantage in the long run. Anyway, I think of Parecon’s “effort” as just a concise, if imprecise, way of saying “expected output over ability” or “volitional contribution”, which would be what would be rewarded.

          15. As for job opportunities, you appear to exonerate markets, the cause of their scarcity. Markets are chaotic. The unemployed provide a reserve from which to replace unbound workers and respond to unpredictable opportunities for profitable expansion. Under Parecon, workers would be bound to their plans, and all expansion would be planned as well; hence, no need for reserves. But, even under markets, many unemployed are at least partially in a form of leisure. For example, I’m unemployed the entire winter of every year. I’ve seen help-wanted signs for unskilled jobs and could certainly have supplemented my yearly income; however, I’ve preferred my current leisure.

          16. But, even under markets, many unemployed are at least partially in a form of leisure.

            That sentence, by itself, has basically discredited any understanding you might have had about capitalist dynamics. I don't know what's worse, the fact that you cannot recognise how many unemployed suffer because of it and why or the fact that you presumed to use your own privileged life as a case in point.

            Furthermore, I've seen no argument to convince me that your planned unemployment would be anything less under Parecon and its fetishism of "fairness" except assertions that reserves will not be needed because (one assumes) Parecon will plan everything perfectly.

          17. That my life is "privileged" (that I can survive being poor without having to constantly work) wasn't intended to be indicative of wage labor, but there are many like me, making my statement perfectly correct. That, coupled with the obvious fact that I meant Parecon to be more tolerant of leisure, makes your response a most pathetic attempt to win on a technicality.

            The assumption isn't that Parecon will plan perfectly; the assumption is that it will plan better on account of its plans being coordinated and enforcable. In other words, the only shortages would be accidental. And even then, vacancies could be more easily filled by unplanned surplus workers (there's no reason to suppose optimistic planning would be much more frequent than pessimistic). In market systems, such workers are too often kept on at lower levels of productivity for fears similar to those that necessitate such large unemployed classes.

          18. That my life is "privileged" (that I can survive being poor without having to constantly work) wasn't intended to be indicative of wage labor, but there are many like me, making my statement perfectly correct.

            Go to a third world country and then tell me that you can live without working by being poor. Just because you refuse to recognise yuor privilege (living in a country funded by imperialism) does not make you any less so. Not anymore than having more privileged people around you changes facts.

          19. Firstly, working seasonally (my situation) is very common in third world countries. So is turning down work, prostitution for example, for religious or even more sensible reasons. Anyway, it's a moot point because, as you say, such destitution is the result of the unjust global system Parecon would replace.

          20. This has nothing to do with parecon and all to do with your argument that being unemployed is a leisure. It's only a leisure when you're privileged. Perhaps in a utopia everyone can live without working too but we're talking about this unemployment, not utopias.

          21. No, I was talking about leisure under Parecon and only mentioned leisure under capitalism for comparison. Obviously, in that I mentioned myself, I meant unemployment in the temporary sense, which your silence indicates you agree is at least partly a choice for many decidedly underprivileged, not that you know shit about the third world or anything else. But even permanent unemployment can be part choice for some of the poorest people, and your claiming their nonexistence is really quite insulting, not only to them, given their options, but to immediate (familial) and other charity. Your problem is you're still stuck in the rut of bifurcation (free or coerced), with not the synapses to comprehend range. That’s probably how you can say “wage slavery” and “voluntary collectivization” both with a straight face under silken mask.

          22. Well, when you keep typing content but fail to address a point, I have to assume you concede it. You see, your ass likes to talk, but you ain't got shit to say.

          23. the assumption is that it will plan better on account of its plans being coordinated and enforcable.

            A bold assumption given what I've heard. I am very far from convinced that Parecon will be able to plan succesful any level of employment, better than mutualism. And of course communism still comes out on top since unemployment is not even an issue when you don't try to connect effort with fairness.

          24. How exactly does connecting effort with fairness cause unemployment? As for remaining unconvinced that mutualism is a poorer planner than Parecon, you put the cart before the horse; markets are definitively unplanned until and unless they hire indentured servants and/or monopolize and cease to be markets. If all you can do is remain unconvinced, you might as well do it silently, as I can only respond to actual questions and arguments.

          25. I really don't need your permission to speak out against the badly thought nonsense that I see in Parecon, at least to the extent that you've explained it, and it seems that I'm not the only communist who has a similar idea. I just don't see the reason to continue a discussion with someone who doesn't know what they're talking about most of the time and can't tell apart frustration from lack of arguments.

            But really, I don't even need to do much. With arguments such as these, you're your own worst enemy.

          26. Yes, these libcoms suggested that replacing wage-labor with labor-credit would cause “significant” unemployment, but they didn’t how. Can you? Granted, most people would have the luxury of working less, but the underemployed would finally have the motivation to work (if, under capitalism, rich) and the option (if poor) of working more. Admittedly, this convergence would likely be at a lower, more natural level. But how do the libcoms propose to prevent general slack? “Organically”–that is, ways available to all systems; as the degree to which labor hours and effort ratings mediate access is socially determined, the sufficiency of organic ways will prove themselves through hours and ratings’ reduction to non-factors, which could occur automatically if the effort factor is made a mathematical function of change-in-it’s change-in-effort.

          27. And how libertarian are the “organic ways”? “Social stigma”. How does that work? By hurting others’ emotions. How is that any less a form of compulsion than hurting their pocket books? The difference is, Pareconian effort is decided by the time card and the co-workers equally, not whatever asshole is such a “slacker” himself that he can waste time making some other poor guy’s life miserable. And spontaneous reward. In other words, the reward will come at the expense of those who recognize the effort, thus penalizing thoughtfulness, or, if of the collective, the unlucky and non-aggressive. Neither social stigma, of course, nor spontaneous reward (judging by the examples) could be effectively applied on a once-yearly basis, so the amount of time dedicated to rewarding and punishing would obviously be much more under libcom.

          28. Under a “communist” mutualism, by contrast, “to each…, from each…” is a mere hope that possessors are selfless and able enough to effect it. But of course, possessors lack both the motive and the ability to adhere strictly to such principles. As for the latter, possessors’ information regarding need and ability is limited to their actual exchanges, and they’re not professional interpreters or responders to such information. Under Parecon, such important work actually has workers; they’re called “facilitators”; they’re paid for it, not pleaded with to do it for free in addition to other work; like other social workers, their authority requires social approval, not just continued use because they happened to be the ones using at the supposed clear-cut instant after revolt; and, not least, they use the most informative price mechanism ever conceived: reiterative decentralized planning.

          29. “to each…, from each…” is a mere hope that possessors are selfless and able enough to effect it. But of course, possessors lack both the motive and the ability to adhere strictly to such principles.

            The motive they lack is one of the basic principles of anarchism in fact, mutual aid, which has been shown time and again to exist and act very strongly on humans. People have a profit to provide according to their ability because they will likewise receive according to their need. They do not have such a motive or it is severely weakened when money and competition with their peers is introduced. Having a bureaucratic class on top of them is not going to help.

          30. I agree, which is part of the reason I believe in Parecon, which has neither money nor competition nor class hierarchy nor any of the other disincentives to mutual aid provided by ownership. But your assumption that the natural human system is one of pure mutual aid is belied by human history. Humans are essentially reptiles having incompletely evolved a tendency for mutual aid. I reccomend the book of same name by Kropotkin for differences between humans and, say, bees.

          31. I would recommend the same book by Kropotkin, if anything to refresh your memory of it and how it pointed out that humans mutual aid feelings do not need to be perfect to make working mechanisms. All that is needed is a system which promotes it (like communism) rather than a system that discourages it, such as anything with competition in it, like free markets and from what you explain, Parecon.

            Your argument of what Parecon has is belied by your explanation of it as it seems to have all of money (credits), competition (markets) and class hierarchy (the managerial class of "facilitators).

          32. Your “communism” isn’t a system, it’s a suggestion to the rulers of one. Competition isn’t mandated by capitalism, you know; in fact, capitalists are even free to establish communism. Competition simply arises from the known fact that one can gain from another’s loss. Mutualism doesn’t change that; it simply adds abandonment as a way to lose. Parecon doesn’t eliminate all competition, but it does eliminate competition between society and its subsets by making credits, awarded by society, the only thing to gain. Though some forms of true communism theoretically do as well, they do so at the cost of tremendous waste and/or inequality.

          33. Assertions, and unbased ones at that. All I hear is: "Parecon is better because it uses credits not money and those are far better ya know. Communism bad"

          34. Communism is bad because of its calculation problem; without a price mechanism, demand is purely speculative. As for credits being better than money, I think so because credits reward only the volitional and are thus a more efficient incentive. Peer pressure, your preferred incentive, which makes life as miserable for the leisurely monk as for the leisurely pig, is available to all systems and is thus irrelevant to the discussion.

          35. Communism is bad because of its calculation problem; without a price mechanism, demand is purely speculative.

            And the biggest problem with Parecon appears. You people have swallowed the bourgeois economics hook, line and sinker.

          36. To equate credits with money is to forget what makes money bad. It’s not that it’s currency. It’s what it’s currency for–markets, which are just as bad without currency (barter) but less efficient. Likewise, the evil of managerial hierarchs is not that they manage, but that they’re hierarchs. Facilitators, by contrast, can be overruled in their sphere (prices) at any time by the distributed planners. Compare to capitalists and possessors, who, managed (as they can and often do choose to be) or unmanaged, absolutely dictate prices and everything else about the common wealth.

          37. Your Parecon has trade, or it wouldn't have prices. Hell, you even miss what makes money bad in the first place which is their ability to store value and create economic leverage but I won't even get into that now. And yes, the evils of managers is that they manage and management requires hierarchical control and authority or else it would not be respected and followed.

            Facilitators, by contrast, can be overruled in their sphere (prices) at any time by the distributed planners.

            So you say, I have considerable doubts.

            Compare to capitalists and possessors, who, managed (as they can and often do choose to be) or unmanaged, absolutely dictate prices and everything else about the common wealth.

            Are you truly that ignorant about market theory or are you trying to make bad arguments on its face so that you can convince those who don't know better?

            Seriously, stop the rhetoric and make actual argument that don't insult my intelligence. Otherwise I'll stop wasting my time with you.

          38. When you reject my description without offering your own, you insult your own intelligence. As for your considerable doubts, why? Do you think Parecon would give the facilitators all the guns? How could they impose their will any more than Frank the barber? “Management” of a free people is respected only insofar as it, if they understand it, or its consequences, if they don’t, satisfies the people. And as education would be free under Parecon, anyone who wanted to understand it would be able to. Yes, Parecon has trade, but only internal trade such as every social system has. If you don‘t have credits or markets, you have tyranny of the majority of votes or violence.

          39. There's only so many badly thought arguments and logical fallacies I can wade through. I have no incentive to educate you before having a discussion with you. Anyone reading can make up their own mind and that's enough for me.

          40. They do not have such a motive or it is severely weakened when money and competition with their peers is introduced.

            I'm trying to make this argument with a friend, but the only info I can find is talks by Daniel Pink. Do you know of actual research that shows that money and competition weakens motivation?

          41. Under Parecon, such important work actually has workers; they’re called “facilitators”; they’re paid for it, not pleaded with to do it for free in addition to other work;

            To expect a professional managerial class to be able to decide between the consumption plans of thousands of people is a recipe for disappointment I'm afraid.

          42. Again, familiarize yourself with the subject matter before treating it so arrogantly. The primary function of facilitators is simply to extrapolate a confident range of true price from indicative price so as to reduce overcompensation and thereby reduce the number of necessary iterations. It’s more mathematical than managerial; excess consumption is still solved primarily by rank-and-file planners responding to the increases in price they themselves have ultimately effected.

          43. The fact that you will base your management on mathematics is no more an argument for the existence of the managerial class, than if you would base it on Taylorism. I'm thoroughly unconvinced that distributed planners would be able to do a better job of setting prices and therefore optimally managing distribution, than market mechanisms alone or pure supply and demand.

          44. “Pure supply and demand”? How does that work? As for being unconvinced, that’s one of the easiest things to do, so I won’t sweat it. When you provide a reason you have more faith in markets, which can only change prices riskily and in response to arbitrarily disparate purchasing power, then you‘ll have graduated from knee-jerk nay-saying to actual discussion. Taylorism, by the way, is a theory production management; facilitators, who do nothing of the sort, couldn’t possibly base their work on it.

          45. Pure supply and demand is the pull model, that I've explained elsewhere. You seemed to have ignored it there so I won't care to repeat it.

            As for being unconvinced, I retain the right to do so when the arguments for something are so horrendously bad on their face that it's not even worth my time to refute them. Whine all you want about knee-jerking and assert your intellectual elitism of how us plebs are too stupid to recognise a superior economic system and therefore should be forced into it for our own good. I'll see you one the other side of the barricades when you try to enforce it…

          46. Under a pull model without price, demand will be infinite, and there will be neither means nor incentive to distinguish needful demand from wantful, much less voluntarily work to satisfy either one. So no, I don’t think that form of slavery would be particularly efficient. Incidentally, “plebs” don’t usually have fancy websites, luscious hair, and silk masks over their face. You’d be hard-pressed to find a poor person who’s even heard of the pull model, much less finds it more self-evident than the affectedness criterion.

          47. Under a pull model without price, demand will be infinite

            I suggest you learn how humans act instead of believing capitalist myths. But I know you won't, it would go against your arguments to do so, so like bourgeois economics, you'll assume your own reality and fictional ideas of "human nature" which can justify your system.

          48. I meant “fractionally” in the sense of incompleteness, not pertinence to fractions, so, no, I don’t consider outputs to be typically worth more than services; however, sometimes they can be. For example, say you worked all day on that beautiful cake and then accidentally dropped it on the floor. Well, the value of the cake as indicated by the nonsale is 0, but the value of the service could be seen as u/d-m, u being the value of the undropped cake, d being the prior probability of your dropping it, m being the contribution of the other means of production. Well, a rational treatment of Parecon’s “sacrifice” could be conceived as a generalized u/d–that is, the prior value of the service as indicated by s, which would increase or decrease in proportion to deficit or surplus, respectively. In other words, as the price of the output moved in one direction, s would move, to a lesser extent, in the other. The lesser extent is due to the fact that, while consumption planning is the only way to dispose of credits, sacrifice is not the only way to get them (effort and a baseline we might well call “need” being the others).

          49. My gawd, now it also starts looking like a mathematical hell, further limiting who can join the "facilitators" managerial class to those good at that stuff. It's like we're going to ask economists to run society. Ugh….

            As for the cake example, I believe it's fas simpler to avoid all this mathematical nonsense and go with common sense. A baker within communist produces according to his ability and receives according to his need. Dropping a cake now and then, is not going to make society limit what he receives as they realize it was a mistake.

          50. Do they? Do you, for example, know how many cakes even your local baker accidentally destroys per year? Do you know his abilities? Of course not. All you know is what you buy; you know nothing of what part of it is effort versus what part of it is natural talent, luck, externalities, etc. As you don’t even burden yourself to know what goes into what you yourself buy, the idea of burdening society (everyone) with finding out what goes into what everyone else buys, to say nothing of deriving from that appropriate remuneration, is absurd. Also, from the possession principle, what society or anything else thinks of the baker’s work is irrelevant. If he owns the only bakery in town, he can exploit his advantage to make you pay what you otherwise wouldn’t have.

          51. the idea of burdening society (everyone) with finding out what goes into what everyone else buys, to say nothing of deriving from that appropriate remuneration, is absurd.

            And yet, that's exactly<i/> what Parecon suggests. The idea that we can indeed find what goes into what everyone buys and derive appropriate renumeration! Unlike mutualism which assumes the price mechanism within an egalitarian society will do the same thing more efficiently and unlike Communism which claims that finding the appropriate renumeration is not important as long as needs are covered, Parecon presumes to say that its managerial class will be able to perform the most difficult (if not impossible) of tasks.

          52. Again, Parecon's primary remunerators are co-workers and the available technology, neither of which have much incentive to lie. They "find out" nothing; chosen for proximity, they get the relevant information automatically. The "managerial class" is only for disputes that can't be resolved internal to the workplace. Mutualism's “remuneration” system would be rife with profitable disputes to accompany all the cases of acquisition, transfer (especially “secession” and breakages of any rules and contracts that might reduce its likelihood) and abandonment. The idea of resolving such disputes directly democratically is a recipe for constant voting; the idea of having no mechanism of adjudication is a recipe for might making right; compared to those, a “managerial class” doesn’t sound so bad, which is probably why even “anarchist” mutualists like Proudhon sometimes support it. Also, mutualism doesn't assume anything about efficiency. Although mutualists are free to be like capitalists and allege efficiency from the instrumental stage, the theory itself, also like capitalism, assumes only the random necessity of a random definition of liberty.

          53. I have seen no argument to support that Parecon will be able to judge anything correctly. They may not have an incentive to lie (atlhough I can greatly thing an incentive to lie would be getting more credits) but that will not prevent the system making bad renumerations as it has no way to decide what the price of any good is except the subjective judgement of some "facilitators" who will apparently pull numbers out of their arse based on some mathematics that are too complex for anyone else to parse.

            It's obvious that you don't care to understand Mutualism or Communism any more than you've convinced me that Parecon is anything more than wishful thinking. I don't think there's anything more to discuss here as you have devolved to extreme assumptions and rhetoric at this point.

          54. If I‘ve offended you with my stupidity, I apologize.

            The mathematics of pricing are always difficult; that’s why they’re so often set wrong and have to change. It’s not that the facilitators’ pricing will be any more mathematical than capitalists’ (or possessors‘), who often use quite mathematical methods; it’s just that the facilitators will be trying to effect the most social utilitarian price as opposed to the most profitable. Facilitators, of course, don’t profit from the transactions and are directly responsible to the councils. To leave pricing completely up to the production and consumption plans would be to ignore externalities, which is the only thing the facilitators are meant to calculate. Also, social opportunity costs aren’t necessarily subjective. For example, a facilitator might use the transparent data to estimate the expected cost to the healthcare system of a given pollutant and effect price accordingly.

          55. If I‘ve offended you with my stupidity, I apologize.

            You haven't offended me. You've frustrated me enough to give this discussion up. There's just no point. You're simply trying to have the last word in without even understanding the concepts you're countering.

          56. My point was that the co-workers would have no incentive to lie. The worker might, but he, being one against many, would have the burden of proof, which wouldn’t be difficult to fulfill, if he’s truthful, in a situation of radical transparency. Even if he can’t prove it, he’s free to choose never to work with those people again, same as would be his ONLY recourse under mutualism, the difference being that he wouldn’t have to go through “secession‘s” divorce proceedings or beg for another job. And then there‘s indirect consumer determination of remuneration, in which the producer is wholly at the mercy of the sufficiently rich, who, like everyone else, have better things to do than hang around and find out how long and hard he‘s working. If you imagine the same human race for Parecon as for other systems, as opposed to a species of reptiles for one and angels for the others, you’ll have no trouble understanding why I’m a Pareconist.

          57. As for communism not needing "managers", that's contrary to any evidence and–even judging by your version–unreasonable. Unless remuneration being unimportant means free access to wants and their means of production, there would be as many disputes regarding their distribution as needs. And, needs varying and poorly known and one typically thinking one needs more than society thinks, there would be disputes over which of the infinite acts of consumption qualify as needed.

          58. Unless remuneration being unimportant means free access to wants and their means of production, there would be as many disputes regarding their distribution as needs

            This is exactly what it means. I see no reason for there being disputes unless there is scarcity. And when there is scarcity, people co-operating will figure out ways to cover it quicker than people fetishizing the fairness of it all and penny-counting and logging the activity of everyone else so that nobody cheats the system and gets more beans in their soup than they did.

          59. You act as if scarcity is abnormal. No, there are very few things whose plenty exceeds their desirability. Remuneration doesn’t go by constant logging, it goes by optional, once-a-year ratings that could be done in no time. “Penny-counting” takes longer, which is appropriate for its importance, a few weeks, with the consequence of the elimination of all shortages that can be helped by human volition. Consequently, the rest of the year is relatively free of the problems that would plague any system that only cooperated in response to them. But if your communism would be cooperative with regard to scarcity (basically everything), you beg the question: in what sense, if not the Pareconian one? Do you expect billions of people to arrive at consensus? Or would it be merely the cooperation of possessors and consumers, meaning it wouldn’t be a system of free access at all? Or would it be majority rule, as if 2 people who are barely affected better express the general will of the 3 than the 1 who‘s greatly affected? If you were a true communist, you wouldn't mistake the efficient distribution of resources among the social organism as fetishizing fairness.

          60. Also, from the possession principle, what society or anything else thinks of the baker’s work is irrelevant. If he owns the only bakery in town, he can exploit his advantage to make you pay what you otherwise wouldn’t have.

            No. You insist on jumping to absurd conclusions in your desperate attempts to make a point. Most of what you say, such as the "dictatorship of the possessor" are simply rhetoric and I'm not sure who you think you're convincing with it.

            If the baker owns the only bakery in town, within Communism it wouldn't make a difference since it's a moneyless system and within Mutualism, soon other bakers would spring up to take advantage of the untapped market. This is trivial stuff and the fact that you miss them makes me thing that you're being deliberately obtuse.

          61. Again, what, in your Moneyless Mutualism, called Communism, would prevent barter, the less efficient mother of money? As for either’s subjects “taking advantage of the untapped market” sufficiently utilitarianly, what separates that assumption from the similar one made by capitalists? Either way, that untapped market consists not of the affected but of the able to pay a sufficiently profitable price. Either way, where would the other bakers come from? The sky? No, they’d uproot from other places or industries, leaving untapped markets in their wake, and/or spend time and money to learn baking, based on the guess that there's demand for it and the unenforceable prediction that there still will be when they finish.

          62. Again, what, in your Moneyless Mutualism

            You really have no clue what you're talking about do you? You just keep asserting a reality of your own, regardless of what I explain. If that's the way you argue for Pareconism, by simply strawmanning the opposing systems, I'm surprised that you can even counter capitalist apologetics…

          63. You mean because I'm such an idiot? I know, you've explained THAT already. But if your dime-store Marxist utopia, not to mention beat-ass blog, is to have any credibility, you'll have to actually make it coherent, which means deciding whether you're a communist or a believer in a possession principle, which you can't even find one communist who more than maybe trivially supported, despite how thouroughly communists across the spectrum have treated its founder, Proudhon.

          64. Credibility to whom? Misguided pareconists who can't avoid strawmanning or bureaucrats? I don't need such “credibility”

          65. When and if they do finally begin, the baker that caused all the trouble could probably earn a nice fee (if it wasn’t a conspiracy to begin with) by simply keeping his bakery and thereby keeping a ready-made base of operations out of the hands of actual competition for the new bakers, or sell or rent it for unearned money from that source. Speaking of which, are the new bakers supposed to bake with the heat of their crotches? No, they’ll need to convince owners of other spaces to give them up–which will be especially difficult under mutualism, in which one cannot simply rent but must either sell or forget it–and risk further money on ovens, etc. (Said sellers will have so created still more untapped markets.) And we‘re just talking about bakeries! It‘s worse for more capital-intensive enterprises like hospitals.

          66. Holy fucking shit. How bad an understanding of market theory do you have? This is a complete waste of my time. I'm done here.

            If anyone can possibly think your arguments are convincing, they're welcome to speak up.

          67. Well, no one really reads your dumbass blog, so failure to speak up is the norm. As for market theory, if you had a better understanding, you would have revealed it, or at least been specific in your criticism. But no, that would be digging a deeper hole. Better to say nothing substantial. Better to insult in a general way, thus keeping alive whatever plausible deniability is left ("Here lies db0. He might have been a moron, but we'll never know.") Of course, no serious economist has ever attributed all market inefficiencies to absentee ownership, so your secret theory might just be a Nobel candidate.

          68. If nobody reads my “dumbass blog”, I'm curious why you extend so much effort in it.

            Fortunately I have quite a good understanding of it, I just have no reason to waste my time to someone who has proven already that he's incapable of listening more than his flawed preconceptions. Even now, in this comment, you're seriously arguing whatever the fuck you pull out of your arse.

          69. That said, Albert/Hahnel apparently prefer to treat sacrifice as a graded category applied to certain jobs by society prior to planning. Such would mean simpler planning and less noise from ability than would my preference, but it would also mean more powers for the majority and, I think, a longer and/or more labor intensive planning period due to one’s total lack of incentive (a little would go a long way, I think) to alter one’s own production plan. As for effort being impossible to calculate (more impossible than “need and ability“?), could it be you’re letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?

          70. As for effort being impossible to calculate (more impossible than “need and ability“?), could it be you’re letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?.

            Thats the beaury of need and ability, they do not have to be perfect. A system based on money and purchases however needs to be in order to avoid devolving into inequality due to differences of wealth. In any case, I did not mention perfection so I'm not certain why you bring it up. I said it's impossible, not just imprerfect.

          71. As for effort being impossible to calculate (more impossible than “need and ability“?), could it be you’re letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?.

            Thats the beaury of need and ability, they do not have to be perfect. A system based on money and purchases however needs to be in order to avoid devolving into inequality due to differences of wealth. In any case, I did not mention perfection so I'm not certain why you bring it up. I said it's impossible, not just imprerfect.

          72. What differences in wealth? Parecon is systematically egalitarian, not just hoping for owners to be so voluntarily. Your preferred system has purchases in at least the sense Parecon does, so I don’t understand your complaint there.

          73. My preferred system can have no purchases because it has no money. Am I talking to a wall here?

            You claim that Parecon would be egalitarian does not counter my argument that it's still imperfect and therefore can cause inequality as small differences are used to the advantage of those who can game the system and its imperfect planners.

          74. Having more indirect influence over production in exchange for hard work isn’t “gaming the system”, it’s the system working as designed. As for actually gaming the system, you’d have to give an example, one for which there isn’t a corollary in a preferred system. All non-dictatorial, deterministic voting systems, for example, can be gamed, so any communism that couldn’t be gamed would have to either be hierarchical, random, or consensus. In fact, the deterministic, non-dictatorial voting systems least capable of being gamed are rating ones that resemble price mechanisms in the processing stage.

  36. My affectedness criterion arises out of possession and voluntary collectivism. I.e. those who own the means of production choose to submerge themselves into a collective and retain the right to secede. You suggest that any society should be forced to collectivize "for its own good", because a minority would like it collectivized. This is up to the members to decide, not up to the minority. As long as the minority retains its freedom of speech to convince others and the freedom to either start a collective within the greater society or secede with enough resources to start it somewhere else, they have no argument to force others to do what they would prefer.

    1. Yes, as for deciding new possession, you subordinate the affectedness criterion to the prior possession criterion, which is reprehensible in its own right. But what I was referring to is how, when you, for example, refer to Pareconists as the minority as if that‘s important, you subordinate the affectedness criterion to the majority criterion as for deciding between the affectedness criterion and the prior possession criterion. You see, Parecon is unique in that it’s based on the affectedness criterion, not merely incidentally related to it as all other systems are to varying degrees. In particular, new possession is awarded to the person(s) who reveal(s) their relative affectedness by putting it in the final iteration of their production plans (the convergence of supply and demand), by which time any excess prospective possessors have necessarily revealed their relative unaffectedness by removing it from their production plans, perhaps partly or wholly on account of its equally increasing cost to their equal means.

      1. Yes, as for deciding new possession, you subordinate the affectedness criterion to the prior possession criterion, which is reprehensible in its own right.

        Er, what? No, the possession criterion AND the possession criteria arise from utilitarian morality. None of them is submerged to the other, they are compatible. A worker controlling his own means of production is having the largest say in the things that affect him (his own work).

        1. In fact, he’s having the only say in things that affect others as well (control of the means). Now, you can try to correct that in crude, centrally planned ways like giving community and society an undetermined say and an undetermined way of expressing it, or you can simply allow people to prove their affectedness through the price mechanism.

      2. I do not see how planning has anything to do with supply and demand unless you're using these terms in a pareconist way which is significantly different than standard use. You're saying that simply because some people claim they need more of a particular thing (demand), the producers should be forced to supply it, even when that means switching their careers to something they do not want to do. In short, you're using supply and demand with an unnecessary layer of declared demand on paper, to force others. That's what reprehensible.

        1. It's not a "claim" of need, it's proof in the form of credits. Why would someone waste their limited consumption power on something they didn't need? Do you want to make consumers' decisions for them? As for producers, they‘re more powerful than consumers. They can refuse to respond to the demand, which will automatically increase its price, thus decreasing demand. Eventually, demand will disappear, certainly after price exceeds capacity to pay.

    2. Thus, Pareconian collectivization is just as “voluntary” as you like, the difference being that the “volunteers” are in Parecon the most affected, in your system the prior possessors. Similarly, Parecon has full freedom of “secession”, the difference being that one secedes with only oneself and whatever shares one can prove (as above) one is the best candidate for.

      1. It's ironic that you used "voluntary" in scare quotes to describe Parecon as it seems to be fitting to be used that way. The "volunteers" are the most affected does not make sense. What has their voluntaryism to do with what affects them?

        Similarly, your secessions sounds hollow, especially since you seem to imply that one may not secede unless he can convince the society at large to let them, which ultimately will rely on the managerial class they most likely consider corrupt or incompetent.

  37. Because many other types of consumption are too variable in terms of need, which is related to the fact that many other types aren’t needed at all,

    You'd be challenged to find a kind of consumption that is less variable than healthcare. Furthermore, being a need or not is irrelevant. If consumption planning and resource is simplified for one kind of consumption, this has nothing to do with it being a need or a luxury.

    1. Sure, in one sense, need of essential healthcare varies greatly among people in general, but the relevant question is, how much does it vary among people who receive it? Is there a great variance, for example, between two heart transplant patients’ need of a heart transplant? No, because people don’t want it unless they need it. Thus, no credits need be spent in order to prove one needs it. Food, for counterexample, is quite commonly wanted beyond need, which is why unlimited free access to food would superoptimize gluttony and, consequently, hunger and/or food producers’ workloads. Part of it would be selfishness, but another part would be that consumers don’t–and shouldn’t be expected to–know each other person’s needs, in this case how hungry they are. There are no perfectly informed utilitarians, hence the price mechanism.

      1. Wrong on both counts I'm afraid. While on very specific issues healthcare might be easy to distinguish, for others it's far less so. How about the difference between those who are hypochondriac VS those who aren't. How about the difference between those who call for ambulances or see the doctor when they have a common cold VS the ones who don't. How about when someone does extreme sports and breaks/strains various extremities on a monthly basis? We can see then that the need for healthcare can be varied and it can just as well be argued that a cost to it would limit abuse.

        On food, you couldn't be more wrong. In fact the truth is that when people have a choice of food, they actually tend to gravitate towards healthy eating habits and moderation rather than gorge themselves. Look at the liberal class, where all the healthy living fads basically spawn. Look at who is generally overweight and you will notice that it's the lower classes, those who do not have only bad choices to choose from.

        The fact that you have no faith that your fellow humans can decide what is healthy for them given free choice is unfortunate to say the least. The idea that people need to be controlled and limited in some fashion (by authority or "market discipline") is profoundly non-anarchist.

        1. “Just as well argued”? By appealing to rare disorders like hypochondria? And to the extent that the nearly-as-exotic extreme sports enthusiasts become an unbearable strain on the system, facilitators could factor that into the initial prices of the relevant equipment, or it could be factored in automatically, using the information acquired from hospitals. Also, you’re still talking about specific provisions (treatment for breaks/strains and checkups). The types of healthcare that would be free and unlimited and would be only those whose free- and limitlessness were found by society–in which you’re included–not to incentivize illness too much. For ideas, examine the many countries that already have free and unlimited healthcare. Alternatively, healthcare consumption (or, more likely, its various insurances) could start out like everything else, planned, but automatically (by type) become free and unlimited in case demand’s response to price changes is below or falls below some predetermined level. Finally, after that you have the audacity to say I don’t have faith in humans!?

          1. Way to miss the fucking point. You really thought I was arguing against universal healthcare? You have a serious reading comprehension problem in that case.

          2. Universal healthcare isn't the issue, free and unlimited access is. In fact, the very reason the two are often equated is that people don't often abuse the system. I understand that you were trying to equate healthcare with food in order to make a case for free and unlimited access thereto, but in the process you underestimated patients. If it was instrumental as opposed to genuine, fine, but that's your fuckup for not just focusing on the thing you wanted to focus on.

        2. The idea that only the poor are overweight is absurd. 2/3 of Americans are overweight; I doubt 2/3 of Americans don’t have access to groceries. And while many rich guys may be able to afford wives who successfully struggle with temptation, that’s hardly a substitute for planning’s elimination of it. And what about objects of gluttony that are universally less available than healthy alternatives, like alcohol? Alcoholics aren’t just thirsty, they’re conditioned by brutal withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, while such impulses may be enough to take us to the corner liquor store for a bottle, they’re rarely forward-minded enough to make us stock up for the week, much less take hold of our pens and plan next month’s binge. And, as for both objects of gluttony, variability of need-per-consumption is only one reason not to make them free and unlimited. They also lack sufficient variability of need-per-person, so little in the way of equality would be achieved even if need were the only impulse. And what little variance there is is predictable by height, gender, and relevant medical conditions, so some credits could simply be distributed on their basis.

          1. Right ok, I see you consider that people are too greedy to control themselves without pareconist or some other kind of englightened guidance. If that's your idea of the future, I think you'll find better company with Trotskyists and Social Democrats…

            Again, I've had enough of this nonsense. This is a serious waste of time.

          2. It's oxymoronic to speak of pareconists as a special cast. The par stands for participatory. Now, you even said people would have to cooperate in order to deal with scarcity. Well, food is scarce. Nature doesn't offer it on a silver platter, but humans have to work hard to wring it out of her. You evidently wouldn't, then, allow free access. You would have them cooperate in some vague way, with no reliable information regarding need. When you can give an example of such cooperation that wouldn't be coercive, I'll believe you're not a Trotskyist, Social Democrat, or worse.

  38. I'm curious how you think future anarchists will deal with informal hierarchies and "house rules". For example I have noticed upon visiting two separate friends here in the states that as a guest I'm expected to volunteer to help with cleaning the dishes, even if they say no! One of my friends was visibly upset over my failure to offer to help (which I would have gladly done). I just reasoned naively that if you want someone's help you ask for it!

    This seems to bring up two issues: 1) Is the expectation that while you're in someone's house you "follow their rules" legitimate and how far should it extend? And, 2) do think an anarchist society will be full of "implicit rules" similar to the ones I experienced but more widespread and repressive? You've mentioned on your blog several times how some aspects of German society are tightly restricted even though nominally free; it seems to me that 'informal' rules like my friend's dishwashing rule are necessary, but at the same time illogical and easily taken too far in a broader context.

  39. I wish I could contribute something in greater depth. The threads here are quite cerebral.

    Anarchy is not the end result but a process, I definitely get that. In my opinion it may be centuries before an anarchical or social libertarian society emerges and probably not that there was a revolution but an evolution. Such a state would build on previous societal structures with the aid of technology and an embrace of transhumanism. Additionally, we need to dispense with practicing bronze age ideologies if we are to progress and perpetuate the human species.

    On a side note; the birds analogy may not have been that great. Birds can be quite brutal to one another. 🙂

    1. The birds are about emergent order, not about social relations. But some species of birds can be very very co-operative instead, even interspecie. In fact, the most succesful species of birds (in terms of population size) are the most co-operative ones.

    2. Larro,

      Your point of view is not anti-anarchist itself but is still flawed, and i can explain why. First of all, anarchy is any social relationship based on liberty and equality. Every time you, say, go hang out with friends and have fun – it is anarchy. Every time you collaborate with someone to write a novel, a program, a musical composition – it is anarchy. Anarchy was, is and will be existing in various degrees. What anarchists try to do is simply to expand this local anarchy to the global and organized scale.

      The problem with "future ideal societies" is that almost everyone can subscribe to it, even enemies of anarchy. Even such dictator as Vladimir Putin can say like "of course one day there will be liberty for everyone, and it is good, but right now we need an iron hand". Utopianism often leads to authoritarianism, and we can see it from USSR example, when millions were deluded by Bolsheviks, that one day there will be communism, but right now you should suffer from prodrazverstka, collectivization and mass repressions for great good".

      By the way, i still agree with you that technology and transhumanism ease achieving of full-grown anarchy.

      1. Hi Sindikat,

        Thanks for addressing my comment and I couldn't agree more. Additionally, I'm not sure my above comment is much at odds with what you just stated.

        Maybe I'm dense but and I'm not understanding what you're getting at. I completely understand the concept of micro-anarchy and macro-anarchy outlined in the first paragraph. And in your second paragraph I can't disagree that the State, and political figures who back the State, can and do use pseudo-liberty to garner adherents. Case in point is the current Tea Party Movement here in the US. They scream for Libertarianism yet in the same breath advocate for some of the most draconian immigration laws, anti-gay legislation and axing social safety net programs when the working poor need them most.

        Are you saying there are problems with being a visionary?

          1. Wow good stuff ! Tomb is incredible.We should all be getting collage credit in here.Well done.

          2. Could be but I tend to think he's legit.

            We've had conversations on my blog.

            I think he meant to say "college credit". Compliment? Sarcasm?

          3. Sorry College credit ,it was a compliment guys. Love reading your comments on this blog keep up the good work .Love IT! You guys RULE! Not spam dbo.

          4. Not spam my lady. Your comments look much better in +2 or above. Just a fan.Keep up the good work your comments very enlightening.

  40. Lots of interesting points in here. Too many to comment on this morning and since the conversation is not threaded, I am unsure whether the integrity would be maintained. Instead, I’ll mention an observation by Robert Sapolsky where the alpha individuals in a troop of baboons had died and the survivors lived harmoniously (as a anarchic society). It seems that these alpha-types are by and large sociopaths. These are the same types who run for public offices, run businesses, and become managers.

    The problem, I fear, is that even if humans could arrive at an anarchic equilibrium, some alpha-assclown would “see” the need to exert control, and we’d be back in the same place soon enough by fabricating another control structure based on fear and other incentives.

    1. Hey Bry. Actually the conversation IS threaded, but you need to use javascript to read it as threads.

    1. Christiania is a free-market individualist anarchist society that allows capitalism. They have drug and crime problems, and from what I understand, little organisation.

  41. I am of the persuasion that anarchism can only work in a decentralized setting. And when I say decentralization, I mean the decentralization of people. This means that there would be small towns that are widespread throughout the world. I don't believe that self-governance could possibly work in a centralized setting, like in a city, or a state with an incredibly high population density. There would be too much conflict between opposing forces. I believe that the decentralization of people is also tactic for humans to reach equilibrium between their own seemingly insatiable desire for material goods and the well-being of the Earth. I think the problem goes deeper than capitalism vs. communism. I am a libertarian communist, though.

    1. A question arises. How would this decentralized world work in terms of getting neccesary goods? What happens when your town runs out of (or didn't have in the first place) food? Also, assuming you will use the "we'll just trade with each other" argument, what happens when there are no other towns near you? Just use a car? Cars need resources, and many resources come from overseas, so how do you trade then? Use boats, but then someone needs to build those too. Do you think all the people in the world will build these complex pieces of equipment for food? If you do, you misunderstand human desires. And aside from all of this, even if those things could work out, you are still going on an assumption that someone is going trade with you. What if they don't? I think it is sensible that you are libertarian communist, but don't think that people will give up the desire for material goods.

      1. Even you desire material goods, otherwise you would have thrown out your computer and started living devoid of technology. No, people don't need to rule themselves, because people cannot seem to comprehend what that truly means and how to do it. There will always be governments because people will always need two things; leadership and guidance. I do not support Communism, or Fascism, or Anarchy, or Monarchy, or Feudalism, or (believe it or not) democracy. I support MY ideology, and it is called Neo-Monarchy. I hope that this ideology and party can one day reach the shores of all nations, because if it can, it will change the world like you have never known. Imagine a world devoid of pollution, poverty, mega-corporations, and just about no crime.

        1. Now, imagine that world with no drugs (because they are illegal), the death penalty for murderers, rapists and their ilk, where religion is a course taught in school so that all humans can research and truly take advantage of their right to believe just about any religion they want, where people can be gay or straight (and get married too!) and there are no issues so long as EVERYONE keeps it to themselves. This is what Neo-Monarchy strives to create, but with even more! The ideal of bringing underdevloped and developing nations up to first world status is on the list, keeping the standard of living we have while we DOUBLE that number to create the average annual income per person (so double the standard of living if that didn't make sense). It is a virtually perfect world, yet virtually impossible so long as mankind is constantly fighting and bickering. But that is where Neo-Monarchy is still better; it has it's limitations and we know that, but we will do our best to push past those limitations to create the closest thing to paradise. That, I hope, is a dream that all people of this world can strive for.

  42. Yeah ok, with utopian visions anyone can imagine great societies of any type. Even Utopian Fascism sounds great. Tell me how you're planning to to bring it about and then we can talk.

    But I don't even care to discuss how ridiculous the idea of "Neo-Monarchism" sounds, even in theory.

  43. Thanks for the good writeup. It if truth be told used to be a entertainment account it.
    Look complicated to more added agreeable from you! By the way,
    how can we communicate?

  44. Partly, in order to indicate why people should become anarchists. Most people do not like making jumps in the dark, so an indication of what anarchists think a desirable society would look like may help those people who are attracted intellectually by anarchism, inspiring them to become committed as well to its practical realization. Partly, it's a case of learning from past mistakes. There have been numerous anarchistic social experiments on varying scales, and its useful to understand what happened, what worked and what did not. In that way, hopefully, we will not make the same mistakes twice.

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