Reduced Work Time, Participatory Democracy and Time Currency. By Bruno Théret

The potential of time currencies to serve as a tool of social change remains relatively unexplored, and yet these
alternative currencies make it possible to combine into a single mechanism several different social and
environmental goals: reducing work hours, increasing civic engagement in public affairs, lowering public debt,
and redistributing wealth.

The current way in which time is socially distributed is a major obstacle to the democratization of contemporary
societies, as equal access to government authorities and public services is largely determined by the amount of
time citizens have at their disposal. Paradoxically, we spend much of our lives working in order to finance
through taxes political and administrative activities that we could for the most part exercise ourselves, yet from which we are excluded because of the rationing of disposable political time and the liberal-bureaucratic constitution of the state.
The reduction of working time should thus be seen as having a distinct political goal: the development of
participatory democracy.

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