Comparing Capitalism & ParEcon

Comparing Capitalism & ParEcon Regarding Insurance

Calamities happen, individually and collectively. Economies can react in different ways. This page compares Capitalism and Parecon in providing insurance against calamities.

Next Entry: Comparing Regarding Race


“The Uprising”
by Daumier


“Deep Blue Calm”
by Nel Whatmore

Introducing Capitalist Insurance

In a capitalist economy, a person or institution buys insurance against calamity, health or otherwise. The insurance we get, therefore, is a function of our ability to pay. Also, of course, the provision of insurance is a profit-seeking business, with all the attendent alienation and violation of both producers and consumers. Companies provide insurance, in other words, whenever they can extract payments sufficient to make a profit, and not otherwise.

It is an odd commodity — protection — (and put that way the analogy to criminal rackets is instructive), but other than being unusual, under capitalism there is really nothing particularly special about the attendent dynamics.

Introducing ParEcon Insurance

In a parecon, calamities still occur. Society deems, we can reasonably assume, that there is no moral or other reason why individuals or units should suffer unduly from bad luck. Thus, society tells the economy to set aside capacity to tend to and redress victims of happenstance, to be provided as a public good, universally, and equally, for all. How much is provided and the exact mechanisms of delivery, including determining amounts, etc., are, as with all other decisions in a parecon, determined according to the self managing will of the populace.

The only complication regarding equitable and just insurance is determining when losses are a matter of bad luck, and therefore redressable, and when they are a predictable price of freely made choices, and perhaps not redressable.

For example, should society say if you want to engage in grotesquely reckless or unhealthy activity, sky diving in storms or at night into forests, we will insure you and reimburse you for the price you pay…so that everyone has to shoulder some cost so that you can do this odd thing and not suffer unduly? Or should it say, if you want to do that odd thing…you can pay the price yourself, at least beyond a certain point, and if you don’t want to do it enough to pay the price, then you should not be doing it?

Society decides, and ought to decide…and this goes for not so odd things, too, like automobile transport — is it too unhealthy for society to underwrite crashes so that, in fact, we should not be travelling this way, or is it reasonable to travel thusly, or essential, so that society should underwrite crashes?

Evaluating Capitalist Insurance

Capitalist insurance beneifts those able to pay, who suffer calamities. It benefits companies providing the product, via their profits. It is good if one likes profit-seeking, hierarchalized access and provision of all things, including this particular thing. If not, then it is not good.

Evaluating ParEcon Insurance

If we like parecon per se, so too for parecon insurance, exemplifying and propeling the same values. If we don’t like parecon per se, so too for parecon insurance. And what’s to like or not like? Solidarity, diversity, equity, and self management.

 Next Entry: Comparing Regarding Race



All the latest from Z, directly to your inbox.

Institute for Social and Cultural Communications, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit.

Our EIN# is #22-2959506. Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.

We do not accept funding from advertising or corporate sponsors.  We rely on donors like you to do our work.

ZNetwork: Left News, Analysis, Vision & Strategy


All the latest from Z, directly to your inbox.