PARECON

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Discussion

by Gavin Mendel-Gleason [1] :

"As far as negotiated coordination proposals, PARECON is probably the pinnacle. The proposal improves most negotiated coordination systems by demonstrating where algorithmic approaches could be employed to more quickly obtain convergence of plans. It is both complete and well described and one could imagine implementing it, something which always makes me inclined to give points (I give nuclear bomb size demerits to people who go on about “full communism” without giving the slightest idea of how we’re actually going to manage production).

I have to say I wasn’t particularly impressed by the format of the book, in that I thought it was confusingly presented, and unlike most of the other proposals here, it had very little interesting context to its development other than some value positions that are taken out of thin air. Specifically the idea of “balanced work complexes”, that work types should be spread amongst the workers in a firm, seems unreasonable, unworkable and poorly thought out. What sense is there in balancing the work varieties in an ice cream truck when others work in a sewerage treatment plant. The differences in the type of labour are often vastly greater between work places than within them.

Further, there are assertions that things will happen with no structural reasons that they ought. For instance, the claim is made that people will be remunerated according to how arduous a task is, which is certainly a laudable goal, but how can we be assured that it’s true? Very little effort is put into actually determining how these normative goals would actually be reached."