Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Parecon and Capt Kirk

Ahhh, now i know where Michael Albert got his Parecon ideas , from watching too much Star Trek and listening too much to Captain Kirk

(c) "Money" and Ownership in the Federation.
Federation citizens possess what a 20th century capitalist would refer to as "money" only in a limited way. What corresponds most closely to "money" in the Federation is referred to as "credits". These are earned by working, the more and harder one works, the more "credits" an individual earns. One can then use these to purchase food, transportation, living space, etc. Once one spends a credit, it disappears, it is not transferable to the store or anyone else (except parents to children). It is simply deducted from one's total. To get more, one must work more. Credits cannot be traded, except for some controlled gamboling instances, and cannot be stolen. The deduction and accumulation of credits is more of a bookkeeping system than anything else. As above, production units that produce transporters, food, etc. do not trade money for inputs, but simply get what was decided upon by the participatory planning process.
Due to advances in computer technology, product distribution outlets possess technology that tracks and records individuals as they make purchases through facial recognition and other means. Citizens simply take what they need when they need it, and are told by AI systems of their credit deduction and total at the time of purchase.
Thus the common assertion by Federation citizens that people don't have money in the 23rd century is entirely understandable and accurate.
Though one can buy and own food, transportation, living space, etc. in the federation, the ownership of the means of production is not allowed. Thus farms, ships, industrial plants, etc. are collectively owned by all, and in a another sense, by no-one.
Though one might think that the facilitation boards involved in the planning process would be a likely candidate for corruption, the lack of tradable money, transparency of facilitation meetings and rules such as facilitation workers cannot handle data from their own region have made this close to impossible, with very few such instances in the entire history of the federation.

1) Since everyone has a balanced job complex, there has been a powerful incentive to eliminate rote, dangerous, and arduous work. This led to increased robotics and computer development. (2) The less planning iterations needed, the better. This has led to increased computer technology, replicators, and a massive industrial base that astounds even people today, such that only three planning iterations are needed, and everyone basically gets what they want, on average. (3) The participatory planning process has allowed federation citizens to express their desire to allocate resources to explore strange new worlds and new civilizations.

But more accurately it would appear that someone from Parecon has infiltrated Star Trek and chosen to reconstruct The Federation to reflect Parecon society and i have to confess a bit jealousy about such an imaginative website to promote their ideas

Another website describes the Federation 's economy as "Marxist" but not all that sympathetically


ajohnstone said...

And don't forget the Smurfs being Marxist


marukusuboy said...

This is not related to this post, but I don't have your e-mail address (and am not on SPOPEN) and wanted to thank you for pushing on the digitalizaiton of Socialist Standard. For those of us living outside of the UK it would be wonderful to have access to 100 years of socialist literature. Plus I am relatively new to the movement and would certainly benefit from better familiarizing myself with the Party history.
Mike (in Tokyo)