Democratic Economic Planning: How to Do it!

Robin Hahnel

2-3.30pm, 19th June

Goldsmiths, RHB144

Many today realise that neoliberal capitalism has become a disaster. Some believe the only realistic alternative is social democratic capitalism. Others believe market socialism is possible, and even better. While others believe that democratic socialist planning is both possible and what is needed if humans are to survive and thrive during the 21st century.

There is now an active debate among those in this “third camp” over how democratic socialist planning might be organised and operate. The model that has come to be known as “a participatory economy” is one answer to this question. It is a concrete proposal for how to organize and coordinate annual participatory planning, investment planning, and several kinds of long-run development planning in ways that are fair, efficient, and environmentally sustainable. In this talk I will highlight its main features, and also point out how it differs from others’ proposals for how to organise democratic economic planning.

Robin Hahnel is a life long activist, economist and Professor Emeritus from American University in Washington DC where he taught for thirty years. His work emphasises environmental sustainability and is best known for his work on an alternative to capitalism, known as a Participatory Economy. His recent books include A Participatory Economy, Democratic Economic Planning, The ABCs of Political Economy and Economic Justice and Democracy. Hahnel is a member of the Participatory Economy Project.