A participatory economy is organised around democratic councils of workers and consumers and a decentralised co-operative planning system, called participatory planning. It aims to balance jobs for empowerment and desirability, and to compensate workers based on their effort and sacrifice.
In a participatory economy the means of production are socially owned. The means of production have also been called capital or productive property. It includes our natural capital, such as land, resources and minerals; produced capital, such as buildings and facilities, the machines and equipment inside them; and human capital, such as the skills different people have. It also includes our accumulated knowledge and technologies used for producing goods and services.
The means of production are a product of thousands of years of human endeavour which each generation inherits as a gift. Advocates of participatory economics believe that all of this belongs to all of us and we should have an equal right to benefit from and decide on how it is used. This means there are no owners of our means of production in a participatory economy. Everybody and nobody owns the means of production. Instead society grants worker councils and their federations “user rights” to particular parts of the means of production through the participatory planning process in a way that ensures that all benefit equally, which is very different to both private and state ownership economies of the past.
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