Friday, January 6, 2012

Democracy Now...

Greetings good citizen,

One of the, er, ‘problems’ of being a revolutionary is the competition. Believe it or not, there are many, er, ‘alternatives to capitalism’ out there…

Unfortunately, most of ‘em are not alternatives at all but the exact same shit with different, er, ‘rules’

For example:

America Beyond Capitalism: Is It Possible?

January 3, 2012

        “Black Monday,” September 19, 1977, was the day 34 years ago when the shuttering of the Youngstown Sheet and Tube steel mill threw 5,000 steelworkers onto the streets of their decaying Midwestern hometown. No local, state or federal programs offered significant help. Steelworkers called training programs “funeral insurance”: they led nowhere since there were no other jobs available. Inspired by a young steelworker, an ecumenical religious coalition put forward a plan for community-worker ownership of the giant mill. The plan captured widespread media attention, the support of numerous Democrats and Republicans (including the conservative governor of the state at the time), and an initial $200 million in loan guarantees from the Carter administration. [snip]

The developmental trajectory from Youngstown to today illustrates what might be called “forced institutional innovation”—a process that, once underway, also suggests further possibilities for larger-scale and more refined development both within Ohio and elsewhere—especially as many other parts of the nation now experience the massive job losses and community decay that hit Ohio and other rustbelt states three decades ago. Critically, all involve new ways to give concrete meaning to the idea of democratizing capital.

Did ‘democratizing’ the company help it to survive?

That’s not what these pictures show

Which is not to say that they don’t have other facilities still in operation, but this is what a web search yielded.

Maybe maintaining a strong web presence isn’t foremost on the mind of the worker/owner.

Maybe they’re too busy thinking about the fuck job of being very silent, er, ‘partners’ in a company that owes its survival to the politics of globalization?

I admit to not reading beyond the first page of today’s offering and maybe there’s ‘full disclosure’ in there somewhere…but the first page sure reads like we could save our entire economy if we just ‘democratized’ capitalism!

If we made all of the workers ‘shareowners’ then they would all have a stake in the company’s future…and maybe they’d work harder and be more careful (which would boost company profits, thank you very much!)

Yeah, the capitalists LOVE giving away tiny shares of the company…hell, it’s ‘free’ to them!

That said, most people are completely clueless as to how ‘corporate democracy’ works.

Let’s fix that! First, you are issued ‘shares’ of the company and it is those shares that carry your ‘voting rights’.

Unlike our political system, under corporate democracy, one share equals one vote…so the more shares you own, the more your vote, er, ‘counts’.

Now, just like our political system, what you get to vote on is already decided for you by the ‘directors’ of the company.

SOME companies have by-laws that permit share-owner initiated ballot items but if you start circulating a petition to round up enough votes to put an issue on the ballot, chances are good you will be terminated before you can vote your handful of shares.

And understand this good citizen, for every share they ‘give away’ they give themselves two!

So you get to vote ‘your’ shares along the predetermined lines the company’s directors ‘recommend’…

Which is pretty much the same thing that happens when you step into the voting booth to find the media’s candidates lined up under their party’s designation.

All of the ‘deciding’ has been done for you…but you didn’t go out in the freezing cold to NOT vote, so you hold your nose and pick one!

Not that they don’t have their ways of fixing the outcome…they do.

But now everybody knows you can’t trust the ballot box, which turns the next election into a real interesting can of worms!

But I digress and time/space is running short.

‘Democratizing’ the workplace is NOT a solution much less an ‘alternative’ to capitalism.

In order to ‘fix’ our economy (both globally and locally) we need to put an end to ‘income streams’.

The term ’profit’ has to be redefined from what the owner ’nets’ to what society reaps in exchange for the effort expended!

There are too many worthwhile things that need doing that can’t be done because ’it is not profitable’ and we can start with the proper disposal of waste as the lead example!

So, back to the original question…can there be an ‘America after Capitalism?’

Oddly, the answer is, if we don’t stop capitalism in its tracks TODAY, there won’t be an America (or anything else) in the not too distant future.

How’s about them apples?

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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