Worker Ownership for the 99% - A Good Idea

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by TheGoodNews, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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  2. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Do you have any comment on whatever this is?
     
  3. Collingwood Nick

    Collingwood Nick Vice Admiral Admiral

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    All it will achieve is a devaluation of wealth. Also, I talk to the 99% every day - they are my customers - and I don't think they have the knowledge, personality or courage to own the businesses that pay them. Most people are more comfortable with a regular paycheque than the risks of owning a business.
     
  4. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    And yet it works. At over 80k self-managed employees, Mondragon is still thriving. Of course, there are those who feel threatened by the idea of workers' self-management and will typically make any trite (and supported) remarks against it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neNwAZSBMb0
     
  5. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Rated Awesome By 9 out of 10 Awesome Experts Moderator

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    I've heard of a few companies that do this, it seems to work perfectly for them.
     
  6. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    And in the U.S. co-ops have been on the rise, as well as abroad:

    Greece:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK_Zsa2EAqA

    Argentina - where it turned out to be a life saver for many workers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcostesK0Ik

    And historically in Spain, which was the most profound experiment in worker ownership:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw

    The Nordic countries also have large numbers of co-ops.

    "In spite of all the monumental difficulties, one big fact stands out: in Alcoy 20,000 workers organized in their syndicates administered production, coordinated economic activities, and proved that industry can be operated better in every respect than under capitalism, while still assuring freedom and justice for all..." The Anarchist Collectives by Sam Dolgoff.

    "Human beings were trying to behave as human beings and not as cogs in the capitalist machine." George Orwell - Homage to Catalonia
     
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Do you actually have anything to say besides reposting the same spanish historical anecdote over and over again?
     
  8. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, co-ops RULE! Now go back to working for the Man.
     
  9. Captain Ice

    Captain Ice Cookie Constructor Moderator

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    The Good News, It is very much frowned upon here to post a link or quote an article and not comment on the content of whatever it is. I will give you a pass on it once, but please refrain from this in the future.
     
  10. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    I'd argue that it's still capitalism, just a different form of it.
     
  11. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    I'd argue that it's not even a different form of capitalism. That's the way the US has always done it. Workers start a business, and grow it, and hire other workers, etc, etc. Marx and Engels called America the graveyard of communists because every time they'd send an activist over he'd drop out of contact and disappear, and would later be discovered to have opened a small business because that's easy to do in the US.

    All this week, the means of production are on sale at Home Depot and Sears. It's not like we keep the cool tools locked away or anything.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Workers ownership for the 99%?

    No, actually, it was Wolverhampton Wanderers, who beat Leicester, 3-1.

    :guffaw: :guffaw: Touché! :techman:
     
  13. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Noam Chomsky might take a different view. In the book Chomsky on Anarchism he does mention that Dan Noble's work at MIT on computerized manufacturing, designed to allow the workers to self-manage with a minimum of supervision, was suppressed.
     
  14. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Don't forget, they also said capitalism will be done in by its own contradictions. And with the way things are fast going here with technological unemployment, severe wage disparity, environmental crisis, costly wars & surveillance state, dysfunctional infrastructure and all the social and medical ills they are engendering before your very eyes Monsieur Laserbeam, the U.S. may fast become the graveyard of the neoliberalism you seem to worship. :beer:
     
  15. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Well, anyone who starts out their business plan with "steal somebody else's tools" is probably not going to do very well, probably astonished to find out there are other people called "competitors."

    And of course, what dooms such enterprises is simple logic. As soon as they take over the means of production (aka "stealing someone else's tools"), they realize they could just sell the tools, pocket the money as 100% profit, and not have to work. ie. If a stewardess steals an airliner, does she a) give herself a moderate raise and keep serving drinks or b) sell it to Qatar Airways for $100 million quick dollars and develop a profound coke habit in Vegas? The reason this didn't entirely happen under communism was that their revolution simultaneously destroyed the market for stolen factories.
     
  16. TheGoodNews

    TheGoodNews Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Of course there isn't anything in cooperativism that mandates theft. They usually raise their own capital or buy the company outright. And cooperativism can function under capitalism as well as under socialism-anarchism-(true) libertarianism-(real) communism. But I digress.

    And let's cast aside your fake hypothetical scenarios (a pathological idiosyncracy of the proprietarians) and deal with where the real theft is occuring starting with the wage system (ripping off the employees), gentrification, austerity (more rip offs), union busting, powerful lobbies, PR machines, sovereignty busting organizations like the WTO, IMF and World Bank. Assasination of democratically elected leaders (remember Presidente Arbenz and United Fruit? Remeber Mossadeq and BP? No, you probably don't as you probably never bothered to find out.) Tax cuts for the wealthy that do nothing for the real generators of wealth (the workers). Wall Street crash of 1929 and subsequent wars. Deregulation and the economic collapse of 2008. Not to mention the IMF collapse of 2001, which forced displaced workers in Argentina to take desperate action.

    Then there's the history of workers' self-management itself, and how it has been, with few exceptions, brutally suppressed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers'_self-management

    As for "communism" as fools like you still call it, any decent historian could explain to you that the USSR, for example, was a state capitalist society. Ever heard of Lenin's NEP during the Tenth party congress? I'm guessing not.

    "The New Economic Policy was universally referred to as NEP, and the 'privateers' who flourished under it were known as 'Nepmen'. It was a form of mixed economy, with an overwhelmingly private agriculture, plus legalized private trade and small scale private manufacturing." An Economic History of the U.S.S.R. by Alec Nove

    Oh, and one more quote:

    "No one can really deny that the profit system is still what it always was: a way of redistributing money to those already on the top of the chain." The Democracy Project by David Graeber
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Can't tell if you're describing 2013 or 1913 here.
     
  18. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored Co-Founder of ISIS Moderator

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    Infraction for flaming. Comments to PM.