Michael Albert

Published in 2013

By Seven Stories Press

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Introduction by Noam Chomsky

Parecomic is a graphic novel about something that affects us all: the system we live in—what’s wrong with it, and how we might be able change it for the better. Written by Sean Michael Wilson, and drawn by Carl Thompson, Parecomic is about Michael Albert—the visionary behind “participatory economics”—and his life’s struggle as a left-wing activist in the US.

Proposed as an alternative to capitalism, participatory economics (parecon, for short) values equity, solidarity, diversity, and participatory self-management. In Albert’s vision, workers and consumer councils use self-managed decision-making, balanced job complexes, remuneration according to duration, intensity, and onerousness of socially valued labor; and participatory planning.

Parecomic will guide readers through this anarchist-influenced economic system, alongside the biography that led to its development—beginning with the heady days of 1960s student demos and lifestyle rebellions; following the developments of the antiwar, civil rights, women’s, and Black Panthers movements; to the establishment of alternative media like South End Press and ZNet.

The recent upsurge in popular protest in the US and around the world shows that people are not happy with the state of capitalism. The Occupy movement, particularly, makes plain the desire for a better system, a model that will work for the 99%, not just the 1%. Parecon is one such model, and Parecomic brings this to life in illustrated form.