Comparing Capitalism & ParEcon

Comparing Capitalism & ParEcon International Relations

Economies impact how a society interacts international and of course how international exchange occurs — on what terms, with benefits accruing to what parties, etc. This page compares capitalism and parecon for implications for international relations.

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by Francisco Goya


“Dove of Peace”
by Pablo Picasso

Introducing Capitalist International Relations

To discuss capitalist international relations is hard, without becoming overly aggressive. Basically, the powerful seek to exploit the rest, and do a very good job of it, year in and year out. As a result, the world becomes a skewed habitat in which within countries there are gross disparities, and between countries, humongous disparities again.

International trade occurs via corporate globalization in such a manner as for the benefits of exchange to accrue largely and often overwhelmingly to the more powerful and richer units, and away from the weaker and poorer units. That is the effect of markets, writ large, backed by armies. Of course, that isn’t enough for the gorge of capital itself, writ large, so we have such phenomena as colonialism, neo colonialism, imperialism, and empire. Blood and guts strewn on a world stage so that the masters of market share can have even more markets to share. Capitalism writ large is international mayhem.

Introducing ParEcon International Relations

In a parecon, there are a few parallel ways to think about international relations. Optimally, the world becomes a parecon so that the gains and benefits of economics everywhere impact people everywhere similarly and as equitably as within parecons.

Short of that there are countries with their own economies. They engage in exchange. If they are both pareconish, presumably the exchange would be planned, as it would be within economies, in light of full social costs and benefits, and we are more or less back to the paragraph above. If one partner in trade is pareconish and the other is capitalist, many possibilities for the terms of exchange exist. One good and graphic one is that the parecon exchanges at either market rates, or at parecon rates, depending on which benefits the poorer country most.

One can’t claim that being internally equitable inevitably means being externally equitable, but it surely paves the way for that possibility, as do the dynamics of domest parecon activity and logic. And parecon imposes no drives to accumulate or for market share on the economy, biases in no way toward militarism, develops no capacities for exploitation, etc. Parecon writ large is justice, not international mayhem.

Evaluating Capitalist International Relations

It is an abomination.

Evaluating ParEcon International Relations

It is what free people in a context that propels self management, solidarity, diversity, and equity, freely decide, as with every other domain of parecon economic life.

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