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Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century [Paperback]

By Chris Spannos (Editor)
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Item description for Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century by Chris Spannos...

What if we had direct control over our daily lives? What if society’s defining institutions—those encompassing economics, politics, kinship, culture, community, and ecology—were based not on competition, individual ownership, and coercion, but on self-management, equity, solidarity, and diversity? Real Utopia identifies and obliterates the barriers to an egalitarian, bottom-up society, while convincingly outlining how to build it.

Instead of simply declaring “another world is possible,” the writers in this collection engage with what that world would look like, how it would function, and how our commitment to just outcomes is related to the sort of institutions we maintain. Topics include: participatory economics, political vision, education, architecture, artists in a free society, environmentalism, work after capitalism, and poly-culturalism. The catchall phrase here is “participatory society”—one that is directly democratic and seeks institutional solutions to complex sociological and economic questions.

Contributors include: Michael Albert, Barbara Ehrenreich, Steve Shalom, Robin Hahnel, Maria Trigona, Justin Podur, Tom Wetzel, Cynthia Peters, Andrej Grubacic, and Mandisi Majavu, among others.

Chris Spannos is an activist, organizer, and anti-capitalist. He is a full-time staff member of the internationally acclaimed ZNet, a website dedicated to social change, hosting works by many of today’s leading social commentators, organizers, activists, and analysts, with 300,000 users weekly. He resides in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   416
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2008
Publisher   AK Press
ISBN  190485978X  
ISBN13  9781904859789  

Availability  0 units.

More About Chris Spannos

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Chris Spannos is a full-time staff member with Z, he works primarily on the internationally acclaimed ZNet, a web site dedicated to social change hosting works by many of today's leading social commentators, organizers, activists, and analysts. In addition to Real Utopia, he is also editing Hope, Reason & Revolution for AK Press.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Economics > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > General
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Ideologies > Radical Thought
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Politics > Practical Politics

Reviews - What do customers think about Real Utopia: Participatory Society for the 21st Century?

Practical visions of the good society!  Jul 28, 2008
Expanding upon Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel's theory of parecon, "Real Utopia" is an inspiring anthology of essays by left libertarian activists exploring the possibilities of a directly democratic, participatory, ecologically sustainable society based on egalitarianism, diversity, workers' self-management, solidarity, and the social ownership of the means of production. Rejecting the mandates of capitalist globalization and bureaucratic state socialism, pareconistas advocate a socialism from below, replacing centralized planning with participatory budgeting and substituting class division with workers' councils, balanced job complexes, neighborhood assemblies, and workers' cooperatives. Transcending the economism of many other radical left political theories, parecon has far-reaching implications beyond the workplace, potentially transforming every aspect of social life like ecology, education, technology, kinship, sexuality, and the arts. In the spirit of internationalism, this volume includes essays on exciting attempts at participatory economics in Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa, India, the Balkans, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. It also includes a couple of historical essays about revolutionary Russia and Spain. I especially enjoyed the interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Albert, and Robin Hahnel, and the brilliant essays on student organizing. The essay about the evolution of the South End Press collective I also found quite fascinating.
In short, this is really an excellent book, one that I encourage every activist on the left to read and discuss. Thank you AK Press for publishing yet again another awesome book!

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