Parecon: Life After Capitalism
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Parecon: Life After Capitalism

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  247 ratings  ·  30 reviews
'What do you want?' is a constant query put to economic and globalization activists decrying current poverty, alienation and degradation. In this highly praised new work, destined to attract worldwide attention and support, Michael Albert provides an answer: Participatory Economics, 'Parecon' for short, a new economy, an alternative to capitalism, built on familiar values...more
Paperback, 311 pages
Published May 17th 2004 by Verso (first published 2002)
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Let me begin by saying it's a terrible shame that Michael Albert couldn't write himself out of a wet paper bag on a humid day. This may one of the clunkiest most repetitious books I've ever read.

Having said that, the thing is actually worth reading. I don't know of many people who recommend reading the Bible or the Communist Manifesto for their clever page-turning plots either, but they do have their uses as texts.

In Parecon (participatory economics), Albert lays out a new economic vision for so...more
Chris Watkins
The horror, the horror... not as abhorrent as Walden Two, but nonetheless describes a society where a significant part of our personal autonomy is traded for a socialist ideal. I do not want to live there.

I read the book when it came out, and had an online conversation with the author. I asked: What if I had an entrepreneurial idea, for a new product or service, that wasn't approved by a committee - is there any way I could carry that out with the hope that if my idea was good, I could benefit f...more
I have had this book for five years without reading it. I bought it because there was an economics major who briefly had a stint in my university organizing group CCLeft. I don't think he got more than a couple of chapters in. He also never came back to our meetings.

For the first half of the book, I was able to trudge through the stale writing and the miserably boring concepts because I thought of it as an economics textbook, whereby I was able to criticise capitalism and central planning based...more
outline of the idea of participatory economics. Is considered dry by some, being that it is theory...but a great one at that. I would like to see the idea of Parecon taken on by more writers. Albert is an even better speaker. Hear him talk if you can. If you are not comfortable taking on a book of this magnitude, and are still interested in the ideas, try starting with Albert's more manageable works like 'The Trajectory of Change'.
Apr 20, 2009 Andrew rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Noone
This has to be the most terribly written/argued and dull book I have ever read. I had to force myself to finish it, though I didn't want to. That being said I want to bore everyone with the details, though if you want to stop here it is sufficient to say: After the "perils" of capitalism, Mr Albert wants us all to hold hands and remunerate each other in a nice, orderly fashion while still maintaining private ownership of property. Oh and we have to be intimately involved with every aspect of our...more
Feb 13, 2008 Dylan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Poly Sci nerds, progressives that can crunch numbers....
Hard to get through, and at times a bit hard to swallow. But for anyone who seeks a new socioeconomic path for this country a rewarding read.....
a little on the predictable side, with some unique ideas about implementation of alternative economic models.
interesting, if not completely convincing
Billie Pritchett
Michael Albert's Parecon is a book about participatory economics. Participatory economics is a concept that Albert developed to describe an economic system that would be democratically controlled. The basic idea is an economic system where people manage the work they do through workers counsels, and people manage their consumption of social goods through consumer counsels. People will receive payment in either money or goods for their level of effort and sacrifice and those who because of need c...more
May 07, 2008 Mita rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: your boss, mummy & daddy...
Fuih... buset dah!

Cukup bikin jidat berkerut2 euy bacanya

Buku ini awalnya menggambarkan mengenai bagaimana ekonomi dunia saaat ini yang berjalan dibawah sistem kapitalis melaui koorporasi2 internasional dan sistem2 perdagangan bebas serta forum2 ekonomi dunia, dan akhirnya kenapa kita harus menolak sistem ini. Argumentasi2 dan analisa2 yang dikasi bagus dan sangat2 logis dan realistis.

Trus alternatif2 bentuk aktivitas ekonomi juga dibahas disini, tapi yang menarik buat gw adalah model participa...more
Certainly a very intriguing idea, parecon. I admire Albert (and his accomplices) in daring to re-imagine another way of economic thinking beyond the standard forms of capitalism and socialism that have, for too long, been treated as the only options on the table. The end goals parecon sets out to meet are goals I certainly agree with.

Not everything was convincing for me though. My biggest issue with parecon is the immense amount of prediction planning, meetings, time and bureacracy it would requ...more
Michael Albert has, unfortunately, written a book called Parecon.
This incredibly dull writer has ambushed many previously enthusiastic readers with his detailed blueprint for a future society that rejects both state socialism and capitalism, unfortunately he forgets to tell us how to get rid of capitalism and has provided us with a shoddy and simplistic model for the replacement of a complex system that has created complex problems. Albert constructs his future paradise like a precocious, yet i...more
Simon Moon
Sick of D&D games with your spotty pals? Heres Parecon the ultimate fantasy of system change for the bored post-industrial office boy cum wannabe bureaucrat. Dream of a reformed techno-industrial system where the middle class coordinators rule directly without those troublesome capitalists and the oiks stay in their place because they know the systems set up "for their good"? Weeell, welcome on board team Parecon the brand of globalisation protest era citizenists even more boring and irrelev...more
Activists interested in social change need to read Michael Albert. He has some of the best insights about movement building that I've seen.
Trajectory of Change is a great little book about building large social movements, a good intro to his insights...
Life after capitalism is an attempt to describe what a society built on values of solidarity, self magagement and humanism would look like....essentially economic democracy...

Great read for anyone who realizes why markets and corporate division o...more
A surprisingly realistic take on a collective society. Essentially it takes most of the properties of our current economic system and turns them upside down in order to meet human need. You realize that there actually is more than enough to go around, it just doesn't due to human greed. It's an anarchist manifesto. It's what I think we should strive for.
conceptually, it's utterly fascinating. however, Albert fails to write on his subject in a way that's even remotely compelling. I still recommend that people force their way through it for the ideas presented, but it's a dreadfully dry read.
Michael Albert wonderfully introduces the idea of participatory economy all the while shying away from the evil "A" word, anarchy.

It's crazy how democracy has turned into a sort of regional feudalism.

Not as interesting/enlightening as I had hoped.... I think Albert fundamentally failed to consider questions of post-scarcity/abundance in his treatment of a non-/post-capitalist economy.
Tony Torres
I live in a free and democratic country, right? Then how come I go to work in an authoritarian institution everyday? Michael Albert explains how life could be different.
Brian Kelly
Outlining a participatory economic alternative to market capitalism. A must read for all those interested in a democratic alternative to our current economic system.
The banks bail-out have made you puke ? Fed-up with our economic system ? But have no concrete ideas of how to throw it away ? This book is for you !
An immensely important (and generally on point) work on a topic that deserves careful thought and if only Albert had a writing style to match.
Apr 23, 2010 Kam is currently reading it
I love his quotes. I hate the font. 50 pages in, the writing is kind of clumsy, I can't read it smoothly.
Steven Fake
Dry but very important. The details are open to debate but the general principles are indisputable.
A must read for everyone considering themselves human (and not shark).
David Johnston
Very compelling presentation of an alternative economic system.
Too much left winged for my taste. But it speaks the truth
Mirza  Sultan-Galiev
The GIK did this much better in 1930 something.
Sigh... if only.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

American activist, speaker, and writer. He is co-editor of ZNet, and co-editor and co-founder of Z Magazine. He also co-founded South End Press and has written numerous books and articles. He developed along with Robin Hahnel the economic vision called participatory econom...more
More about Michael Albert...
Looking Forward: Participatory Economics for the Twenty First Century Remembering Tomorrow: From SDS to Life After Capitalism: A Memoir Moving Forward: Program for a Participatory Economy Liberating Theory Realizing Hope: Life beyond Capitalism

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