Economic Reconstruction - Currents


Advocates of economic reconstruction advocate fundamental change related to key social problems related to environmental decay, militarism, parasitic globalization, unemployment and depressed living standards based on the social organization of work. In the environment, a key challenge is redesigning "the technosphere" or the ways in which the means of production, transportation and distribution are designed on a relatively unsustainable basis. When it comes to militarism, the key challenge is to support a demilitarized society through economic conversion, disarmament, alternative security, military budget reductions and related social innovations. When it comes to unemployment and depressed living standards, a key challenge is to promote economic democracy, through concrete institutions and actions such as cooperatives, worker participation and control, employee ownership plans, socially responsible firms, community procurement, and various initiatives to organize the economy on a decentralized basis. In many cases, federations among local cooperatives or networks of such firms may prove essential to move beyond the problem of "economic democracy in one firm."

Economic reconstruction also extends to the ways in which housing or communities and media are organized. By reducing dependency on the automobile, by linking work and residence, we can limit the problems creating by congestion, pollution and commuting (particularly those problems based on petroleum based automobile transportation.

Some may argue that economic reconstruction can be reduced to socialism or economic democracy itself or perhaps principles found in various anarchist or radical writings. The problem, however, is that many of these plans lack operational details related to how alternative institutions would actually be designed. These details are essential for creating operational plans and actions. In addition, economic reconstruction is not limited to a specific challenge such as capitalism, but must also address other challenges, i.e. militarism, environmental decay, the sexual and ethnic division of labor, etc. A goal of economic reconstruction is to show the need for multiple, yet integrated solutions to societal breakdown.

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