Parecon or libertarian communism?

Parecon or libertarian communism?

A debate over 'anti-capitalist vision' between the Project for a Participatory Society, proponents of Parecon, and the group.

The debate is also available as a pdf and a print-ready pdf pamphlet.


In late 2008 the group were approached by the website to take part in a debate with the Project for a Participatory Society (PPS), themed around ‘anti-capitalist vision.’ This seemed like a good opportunity to get our own ideas down in writing, as well as to subject them to the test of robust criticism. We also had criticisms of our own of ‘participatory economics’ (‘parecon’) which again we had discussed but not written down anywhere, and this debate would give us the chance to put them to a parecon advocate. The debates were to be published on UKWatch and their US sister-site ZNet.

For, Joseph Kay was the main participant, while for the PPS Mark Evans took on that role. To kick off the debate, we were both asked to set out our own ‘visions for the UK economy’, which we would then respond to, and respond to responses in turn. The debate began with a flurry of exchanges, but from January 2009 we’d had no reply to our latest submissions. UKWatch were busy with a site upgrade, but despite exchanging emails over the intervening period by August 2009 we’d still received no responses and had gone offline.

Consequently, we publish the debate as it stands here as we think it contains much of interest to anti-capitalist activists. As our replies were the last ones we are aware of, we do have the last word. However we are sure this doesn’t preclude further debate, using this pamphlet as a point of departure.

The Project for a Participatory Society is a network of people based in the UK committed to progressive social change. PPS see war, poverty, climate change and many other problems in the world today as unsurprising consequences of particular forms of social organisation. They see the erosion of civil liberties, the abuses of human rights, the increase in inequality and other injustices as resulting from the core values and internal organisation of dominant institutions within society. Mark Evans lives in Birmingham and works as an NHS healthcare assistant. He is an active trade unionist.

The group is a small collective of libertarian communists based in and around London. They maintain, a resource for radical workers a resource for all wish to fight to improve their lives, their communities and their working conditions. The site takes its name from an abbreviation of "libertarian communism" - and its goals of liberty and community - the political current they identify with. Joseph Kay is a financial services worker from Brighton. He is a member of the Solidarity Federation.

Posted By

Joseph Kay
Aug 7 2009 09:34


  • Instead of generalizing work, wage labour and measure ‘fairly’ across the whole of society, we seek the opposite movement; a generalization of human activity that is fulfilling in its own right, negating the need for the incentives or sanctions of a wage system.

Attached files


klas batalo
Jul 1 2018 14:53

Anywhere else we can read thorough libertarian economic proposals?

Lucky Black Cat
Sep 15 2021 19:32

Just recommended this debate to some people on twitter who thought that a moneyless system means we'd revert to barter exchange. I can't count the number of times I've recommended this debate to those seeking a better understanding of communism and how it might work. I'm just really grateful it exists, one of the best resources on communism out there, IMO. I also think the parecon side raises some valuable points, so I appreciate everyone who took part in this discussion. All in all a very productive and informative exchange.

Oops, I said exchange, and exchange must be abolished! Bad commie.