Won’t there be too many meetings?

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It is important to first note that meeting time is far from zero in our existing economies. Conception, coordination, and decision-making are part of the organisation of production under any system.

Under hierarchical organisations of production relatively few employees spend most of their time thinking and meeting, and most of the rest of the employees simply do as they’re told (or try not to do as they are told). So it is true, most people would spend more time in workplace meetings in a participatory economy than in a hierarchical economy. This is because most people are excluded from workplace decision-making under capitalism and authoritarian planning. However, it does not necessarily mean the total amount of time spent on thinking and meeting rather than on working would be greater in a participatory workplace.

Decisions are taken at appropriate levels of organisation. The whole workplace doesn’t meet to decide everything. Rather some things are decided widely, others more narrowly. And while it might be that democratic decision-making requires somewhat more overall meeting time than autocratic decision-making, it should also be the case that a lot less time is required to enforce democratic decisions than autocratic ones.

In addition, decisions made through democratic procedures are more likely to have better outcomes and are less likely to have to be changed in the future. Also, workplace meeting time is part of the normal workday in a participatory economy, not an incursion on people’s leisure.

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