Publisher: AK Press
Released: October 4, 2022
As of June 2021, 54% of Gen Z adults view capitalism negatively and over 41% have a positive view on socialism. A Participatory Economy is written for people who want equitable, ecological economy, but don't know what an alternative to capitalism could look like.
A Participatory Economy presents a fascinating alternative to capitalism. It proposes and defends concrete answers to how all society's economic decisions can be made without resort to unaccountable and inhumane markets (capitalism) or central planning authorities (state communism). It explains the viability of early socialism's vision of an economy in which the workers come together to decide among themselves what to produce and consume. At the same time, Hahnel proposes new features to this economic model including proposing how “reproductive labor” might be socially organized, how to plan investment and long-term development to maximize popular participation and efficiency, and finally, how a participatory economy might engage in international trade and investment without violating its fundamental principles in a world where economic development among nations has been historically unfair and unequal.
Praise for A Participatory Economy
"'What comes next then?' This is likely one of the most common questions opponents of capitalism are asked when we critique the brutal and exploitative features of our economy. Hahnel has been developing a wide-ranging response to that very question for decades and in A Participatory Economy, he expertly advocates for an alternative to capitalism that rejects both the competitive and dehumanizing features of markets and the authoritarian, bureaucratic forms that are part and parcel of central planning. A recommended read for any student of political economy and necessary for organizers who want to understand one of the most popularized alternatives to capitalism outlined to date."
—Deric Shannon, co-editor of The Accumulation of Freedom and editor of The End of the World as We Know It
Robin Hahnel is a life-long radical activist and economist whose work emphasizes environmental sustainability. Hahnel is best known for his work on alternatives to capitalism and as co-creator of the most famous and detailed model for a democratic and participatory approach to economics. He is now retired from American University where he taught economics. He lives in Portland, OR.