by Wayne Price
<em>A review of Robin Hahnel (2005). Economic Justice and Democracy; From Competition to Cooperation. NY/ London: Routledge</em>
The second most important problem for anticapitalist radicals is how to get from here to there; that is, how to get from a capitalist society to a good society. The first problem is where do we want to go--what we mean by a good, noncapitalist, society. Working together with Michael Albert, Robin Hahnel has spent years on this first problem, developing a model of what a good society might be like, or at least how its economy might work. In a series of books and essays (e.g., Albert 2000, 2005; Albert & Hahnel 1983, 1991), they have thought out how an economy might function which is managed by its people rather than by either private capitalists or bureaucrats--an economy managed through bottom-up democratic cooperation, rather than by either the market or centralized planning. They call this "participatory economics," or "parecon" for short. Their model involves coordination by councils of workers and consumers to produce an economic plan. I will not go into it now; it is further discussed in Hahnelâ€™s current book. In my opinion, their model has enriched the discussion of what a socialist anarchist society might look like. .