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From Improvisation to ‘Planning Factories’

Once peace was re-established on the planet, the Internet revealed itself as a horizontal networking and sharing tool as useful now as during the period of revolutionary emergence. The first order of the day was to make a rapid assessment of the state of the planet and its population so as to address the most urgent needs, the first wounds to treat.The Net facilitated first the gathering of information and then the matching up of needs and resources around the planet.

During the period of capitalist collapse and revolutionary emergence, networks of anti-capitalist scientists and other specialists formed in every country to exchange data on agriculture, ecology, migration, refugees, famine, drought. Global data bases were established. Statistics brought together in the data bases permitted specialists working with the popular assemblies to simplify choices by permitting discussion of alternatives, their advantages and disadvantages. This whole system, if you want to call it that, was improvised in haste. There was a planet to heal, with its human, animal and vegetable inhabitants.

As reconstruction progressed, the network system was refined and elaborated. Research Centers were created on the regional, national and planetary levels to bring together all the economic data transmitted by collectives of producers and consumers and by the local assemblies. These centers also had the task of classifying and analyzing this data, then transmitting the results to the regional and local Assemblies in a form readily accessible to ordinary workers.

The researchers were also responsible for producing a range of alternative plans in every domain: different plans each with their own forecasts about the costs in human effort, the time it would take to complete, its environmental impact and the benefits it would bring to individuals and collectivities. These ‘Planning Factories’1) as the centers were commonly called, provided the kind of information about alternatives which made possible truly democratic and popular debates all on essential questions of social and economic life.

The Internet also permitted great planetary debates and referendums on certain fundamental questions: ecology, health, human rights. There were competing global plans for limiting the extraction and use of fuels emitting CO2 and other gases dangerous to the ozone and the atmosphere. There were proposals for the creation and coordination of sources of alternative energy. There were also plans for saving plants, animals, seas. The different choices proposed by the ‘planning factories’ and their likely consequences were clear and comprehensible to every voter.

Development vs. Simplicity

1) Foreshadowed by Cornelius Castoriadis in On the Content of Socialism, published in Socialisme ou Barbarie in 1957 and in English as a Solidarity pamphlet.
improv-planning.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/30 15:36 by Richard Greeman