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Main Points of Adaman and Devine, “Democracy, Participation and Social Planning”

A supplement for the "What is Socialism?" module

Published onDec 27, 2022
Main Points of Adaman and Devine, “Democracy, Participation and Social Planning”
key-enterThis Pub is a Supplement to

In this article (and in other articles by them), Adaman and Devine offer a vision of democratic socialism similar to that of Gindin, but with more details. 

Economic planning should take the form “participatory planning.” Enterprise boards of directors and regional planning boards will be made up of representatives of those affected by the decisions. Inevitable differences among the participants in decision-making will be resolved through negotiation and compromise, aiming at outcomes that are acceptable to all parties. Represented groups will include not just workers, consumers, and members of the local community, but also groups focused on environmental sustainability and on social and economic justice.

Every economic decision will be made at the most local feasible level. Some economic activities require large-scale production that must be overseen at the center, but many productive activities can overseen by local planning agencies.

People will purchase goods and services in the market – in stores or on the internet -- deciding among available alternatives. However, this will not lead to profit-drive investment decisions about which products to expand and which to cut back as happens under capitalism. Profit-driven investment decisions destroy the environment, lead to falling wages and worsening working conditions, and bring other harmful outcomes. Instead, the relative popularity of various products will be taken into account in investment decisions but balanced against other social and economic goals.

No one will be stuck in a repetitive, boring job for life. Everyone will have the opportunity to work in a variety of jobs over their career that utilize their talents and promote their development. 

There will be an active civil society that participates in overseeing both the state and the economy

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