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Forum Post: A timeline into the future of OWS

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 15, 2012, 3:21 p.m. EST by JohnTitor (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

  • 2012: OWS loses steam as it falls behind the shadows of the elections.
  • 2013: OWS attempts to regain momentum, but fails to draw the large crowds of 2011. Nevertheless, a strong core remains. The dream of a revolution in the style of a coup similar to the Arab Spring protests is finally abandoned. OWS organizers begin to look for practical solutions tailored specifically for America.
  • 2014: OWS drops the 99% vs 1% rhetoric. It abandons the direct actions which were once the staple of the protest. It stops the fight against Wall Street and corporations. Protests and marches remain, but the focus is on building a new society instead of destroying the one that already exists. The plan is to overtake America from within. It has become clear this will take time, but the will for change has never been so determined.
  • 2015: OWS creates a news agency run under the model of anarcho-sydicalism. Everyone from the editors to the janitors are fully integrated into the company as a team of equals. This serves as a model for other startups which begin to pop up one after the other like wild mushrooms.
  • 2020: Some of the early anarcho-syndicalist companies started under the OWS news agency model have become heavy hitters in the American economy. Wall Street and bankers start to notice and want in. These companies close the door and instead start working with other co-ops also formed under the anarcho-syndicalist model. All employees pull their efforts together to make sure everyone is covered for health care and the proper schooling of their children.
  • 2025: Hierarchic based companies find it very hard to find new employees as people prefer to work for the many anarcho-syndicalist companies that have overtaken the nation. It's working, and people around the world take notice. Times have started to change.
  • 2027: Inspired by the positive functioning of anarcho-syndicalism, the government slowly starts to adopt programs in which citizens are encouraged to participate together. Some governmental decisions start being made using the anarcho-syndicalist model.
  • 2030: The government starts using A.I. and advanced computer technologies to aid in the decisional process. Powerful machines are built for this task.
  • 2035: Advance computer technologies become much cheaper and make their way into the planning of anarcho-syndicalist companies.
  • 2045: The Technological Singularity takes place. Computers become intelligent and start learning at an exponential rate.
  • 2100: The first computer to understand all the laws of the universe utters "Now, I'm bored" and commits suicide.
  • 2101: Humanity mourns the death of the machines and returns to using old Intel chips to run simpler unthinking machines. The whole world functions using anarcho-syndicalism resulting in a few jealous anarcho-primitives.

77 Comments

77 Comments


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[-] 1 points by riethc (1149) 2 years ago

This post is a perfect example of why OWS is completely worthless.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

Demand Election Holidays Over Shadow the Vote

[-] 1 points by BetsyRoss2 (125) 2 years ago

Don't forget to bring your towel!

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

In a company where everyone from the editors to the janitors are fully integrated into the company as a team of equals, who would mop the floors? The janitors? It sounds like they're not as equal as the editors already, or else why mention janitors?

[-] 2 points by nazihunter (315) 2 years ago

Ignorance and stupidity do NOT belong here. Get off this site.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

That was a serious question: in a company of equals, who mops the floors?

Valve Software, for example, is a company of equals. But they also have a cleaning service, because all of those equals are busy writing software and selling video games. Software developers don't mop the floors.

[-] 1 points by nazihunter (315) 2 years ago

what is the purpose of this site? ..ur a tech junkie? r u serious?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm a lot more serious about that than you are about your fantasies for how a company should be run. I've created a few companies, and I set them up after my own vision for how a company should work. You should stop fantasizing and try it.

[-] 1 points by nazihunter (315) 2 years ago

Here's the deal boy: Equality doesn't come in the form of a paycheck. It comes in the form of dignity and respect. However, there those out there that believe that occupation and pay also applies to the amount of respect and dignity they're given. And power? Oh, that's a big corrupter. And then there's those that are just born well-off that believe they're a different species altogether. People beneath them just deserve toil and death. Respect means if you can't pay your janitor enough to sustain himself-no matter what you pay the others-you have no business being in business.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

It's kind of funny to be lectured about respect by a guy calling me "boy".

But tell me this: you really don't think that a top performer in a company is more respected than the lowest performer? Respect and human dignity are two totally different things.

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

Some people prefer moping floors to writing software. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both are necessary in a software company. Both require different types of personalities and qualities. I don't see why both could not be treated equally well. It's a myth that it's easier to come by a great janitor than a great software engineer. I did both, I know.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Ah, so in this fantasy world, some of the equals will just volunteer to do the dirty work instead of the glamourous work because they just prefer dirty work.

Can you point to any real-life businesses that work like this?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

physical motion

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Was "physical motion" supposed to be an example of a real-world business that operates as an anarchic co-op? That seemed very non-sequitur.

[-] -1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

I worked a while as a janitor by choice, even though I had a masters degree. There's something very Zen about cleaning, and you don't bring your work home. You don't get stressed. It can be pleasant in those ways. You don't have deadlines, you're never under pressure. And, the janitor is the bread and butter of any company. Without a janitor, everything goes down the drain pretty darn fast.

I also enjoy working as a computer programmer, but it's a whole different game. You think a lot which is fun, but it's also stressful. There are deadlines, etc... You often are unable to think of other things at night since you bring the work home (hard to let go a computer programming problem). Etc...

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Rationalizations like yours are part of why it's so hard to take ideas like this seriously.

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

No one is asking you to participate. It's like co-op banking, you don't need to use it.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Who does participate? Surely there must be one example that you can show me of a successful company that works like this?

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

You don't have co-op companies in your country?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I used to live in a town where the power was provided by a co-op. They have managers and executives and authority, just like any other company. Can you point to a successful anarchist co-op where everybody is equal? In any country?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Book shops and coffee houses? In a little book shop, what other work is there, other than cleaning and maintaining the place? I was looking for companies, not little shops.

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

Why don't you do some research of your own? Do you know Google?

What about a company town and village? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unity_Cooperative_Company

Type "cooperative company" in google search and you'll find tons of stuff.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

A village in Iran? Are you serious?

You must hate your boss? Is that what motivates your fantasizing about an anarchist utopia where you're equal to everybody else? You resent the hierarchal nature of the company where you work?

[-] -1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

You resent the hierarchal nature of the company where you work?

I don't work for a company. I freelance. Always have.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I love when you go on little rants like this. It's a good look into your lack of experience and your age. Nobody thinks like this. It's like a child describing what they want to do for a living. The truth is that the biggest complaint from IT workers is the continual interruptions. Letting go at the end of the day has never been an issue for me, my coworkers, or geek friends. Nobody with a masters works as a janitor unless they are a convicted felon or have suddenly become mentally impaired, though I could see you falling into the latter.

[-] 1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

If you've never been kept awake at night by a tricky algorithm, then you're not a programmer. My guess is you're just a cook.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 2 years ago

I am whatever you say I am.

[-] 0 points by JackPulliam3rd (205) 2 years ago

They don't? You must be new.

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

That's a valid question - 'who would mop the floors'. I'm telling you right now, I'm not doing it. And before you ask, I'm not doing windows either. I'm not mopping floors. I'm not doing windows. I'm not cleaning shit. Yes. I'm totally uncooperative. I guess I'll have to be coerced in order to cooperate. Uh oh. Anarchy is lost if I'm forced to clean shit. Even then, I'll be uncooperative. I'll be ostracized. Then I'll start my own regulated capitalism society. Or maybe I'll just be shot.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

That's the nice aspect of anarchy; if you, as an individual, prefer to sit in a corner, in the woods, even start your own regulated-capitalist society, you're free to do so: no big brother.

The catch is everyone else would expect the same from you.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Right. Everyone else will 100% cooperate. And everything will run oh so smoothly based on mutual love of one another, and mutual agreement on everything, doing everything for the common good. Nobody has different ideas of what the common good is. Or how to get there. Because consensus works oh so well. I guess I'll be very lonely if I'm not shot. Love, peace and anarchy baby.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

How would a company like that even manage to decide on what business model to pursue? Normally that's the CEO's job, but CEOs are evil, so I guess that means that everybody would have to collectively come to a consensus about what the company should do. It would be like watching OWS try to decide on an objective. Half of the people would probably push for not making any decision at all, like all of the OWS people who didn't have any goal other than to avoid selecting a specific goal.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

You don't have to cooperate, you can always leave. A person that refuses to be part of a communal group and abide by majority decisions is free to find a self-sufficient way to exist alone or as part of another group.

Universal consensus is nearly impossible. Communal societies rarely operate on such a premise, any more than a democratic republic does.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I think that's what we have now. Any person wishing to opt out of mainstream society can certainly do so. And go start a commune. I think the hippies did that back in the 60's. They must have decided it wasn't such a great idea. I think they missed their VW Beetles or something. I mean, I don't see people flocking to communes.

People don't flock to socialism/communism. There's a reason for this. It doesn't work.

If not 'universal consensus', what then? How do decisions get made?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Small communes have their own problems, though many successful ones, like those of the Hutterites or many of the Israeli kibbutzim, continue to thrive. Social misfits rarely make good candidates for the rigors of communal life.

France recently went socialist not only for the presidency, but for parliament as well. Most Scandanavian countries practice limited socialism, etc.

A majority consensus should be satisfactory in most cases.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I can't say I've ever been called a social misfit before. But I suppose in a kibbutzim, yeah.

Depends on your definition of success I suppose. Again, I don't see people flocking to these places to where they're growing leaps and bounds. I don't see millions of people immigrating there. There are millions that immigrate here though. That should give us some clues.

'France recently went socialist'. Goody for them. And neo-nazis are gaining power in Greece. Who knows. Maybe millions of people will begin to emigrate to France.

We have majority consensus decision making. By some 500 odd Congress persons (get it? 'odd' Congress persons haha). It can be quite cumbersome with 500 people.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

The social misfit label was meant for the hippies, not for you. Immigration to the U.S. has actually reduced over the last decade, and most of that, which remains is from third-world countries. Even immigration from China has declined, while more Chinese are emigrating back to China.

Socialism isn't some type of boogeyman that will steal your children and force you into a zombie-like trance; it's simply a political-economic system postulated to reduce income inequality and ultimately to eliminate class division and central government.

I did notice that neo-Nazis had gained a couple of seats in Greece, but they are a tiny minority. The big gainers have been the left wingers, like Syriza, which appears poised to play the spoiler, the one that picks up all the marbles, when the game goes sour, which appears the case for for the economic future of Greece.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

lol. Those social misfits from the 60's are the Wall Street/hedgefund/vulture capitalists of today. Damn hippies.

'Immigration to the U.S. has actually reduced over the last decade'. Of course. It's part of the neo-liberal economic plan. Less economic opportunity means less immigration. I guess it's working pretty well. Maybe they're neo-nazis in disguise.

'more Chinese are emigrating back to China'. They see opportunity. Communist state run capitalism is not sustainable. The more wealth spreads to the populace, the more likely it is that China will have to democratize.

I'm not afraid of socialism. I don't think pure socialism would work. I think capitalism has more benefits. Not right wing batshit crazy Ayn Rand neo-liberal policy capitalism.

I'm fine with some degree of socialism mixed in. I'm not fine with pure socialism. Or pure capitalism. But I do think the more capitalism, so much as society can take without going over the cliff, (like we have) the better. It's astounding to me that after all that, financial crisis, extreme levels of wealth inequality, people would still advocate, and vote for, more neo-liberal policies that got us here. Ca-Razy.

I don't think that it's necessary to change economic systems. I think capitalism can be made to work for the majority of people by applying different policies. Keynes v neo-liberal.

People have been made to believe that progressive taxation, government social services and government regulation is socialism/communism. It's not. Those things are all perfectly consistent with classical capitalism according to Adam Smith. It is only neo-liberal economic policy that says all taxes are bad, all government social services are bad and all regulation is bad. The right wing has turned Adam Smith into a socialist/communist. And yeah. That's pretty scary. That people are that stupid.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I'm not a dogmatist and am willing to try anything to improve current economic conditions, especially those of the working class. Still I believe the only sure way to obtain reasonable income equality, to eliminate the perpetual, capitalist class struggle is Marxist.

You are absolutely right in pointing out that neo-liberal policies have put us where we're at, but the point we are at is almost perfectly described by Marx in The German Ideology. In fact if you read the tract, you will swear in some parts that he and Engels must have been gazing into a crystal ball.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

I think I've read what you've wrote here about that. And a bit of my own research. What little I've read, I did find pretty chilling. All the more reason to abandon neo-lib policies. I don't agree with income equality. I think inequality is ok. So long as regulations and policies are in place that the vast majority of people can prosper and have opportunity and socio-economic mobility.

If Marxism is the end game to capitalism, so be it. I'm pretty certain that more neo-lib policy just gets us closer to that. But I'll be working and voting against that. Maybe you'll vote for it?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I have reluctantly decided to vote in the upcoming election, only because the thought of Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and pals left in the playroom alone, makes me believe what few safety nets still exist for the workers will be emasculated.

I have to admit, though, I don't see many options at the ballot box, unless I vote Green.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Ryan and Boehner are indeed frightening. Eric Cantor also scares the beejeezus out of me. Most of the Republican party has gone overboard with batshit crazy. If they should lose big, it will be interesting to see what direction that party takes. Triple down on batshit crazy or get some sanity.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

but you're the manager

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

Technically, I don't think there is such thing if we're all equals. But ok. Just for snicks. You're mopping the floors and doing the windows. nazihunter gets to clean out the shit bowl.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

stop rearranging the furniture for the sake of the bloody camera

it is causing moving path disruptions reducing efficiency

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

It wasn't me. I got shot. By nazihunter. For imposing authority. Guess he really didn't want to clean out that shit bowl. Shit happens.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Well, you won't be fired, at least. Because: who would fire you? Is the whole company supposed to come together for a meeting where everybody votes with twinkles and stinkles to form a unanimous consensus on whether to fire you? What happens when a group of anarchists joins together and refuses to ever vote to fire anybody? Then I guess anybody in the company could do whatever they wanted -- or do nothing, until the company runs out of money?

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

The problem you bring up has been addressed by researchers into communal societies. They even have a name for it: adverse selection.

In the Bible, Paul wrote, "He who does not work, neither shall he eat." (2 Thess 3:10). Lenin pretty much believed the same way, but most modern communal societies have different forms of discipline starting with public announcement of the person's failings then limited ostracism, etc.

You get the picture. One of the first tasks of a communal society is to establish disciplinary measures.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You can only punish the person who was supposed to mop the floors if there is a person who's job it is to mop the floors. My question isn't really about how to enforce the decision that you have to mop the floors. My question is about how do you reach the decision that you, specifically, have to mop the floors? While I sit at my comfy desk and write software? Who gets to hand out the assignments if everybody is equal? And who is responsible for getting any given thing done, if everybody is equal?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Marx theorized that all members of the community would rotate jobs. Obviously that wouldn't work in trying to make a high-school drop-out into a genetic scientist or, no sense in wasting, a skilled scientist in doing a janitor's job.

I would say that those whose education and skill level fit into the unskilled pool would rotate jobs like janitor, dishwasher, etc. Really, the point is that the janitor is no less essential to the community than a high-level technologist; just more people have the skill levels and education to do the janitor's job than the technologist's.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

If "the community" refers to a technology company, then sorry but a high-level technologist is far more essential than a janitor. Every argument on this page seems to come back to the idea that both have the same intrinsic worth. Maybe at their church on Sunday they do, but when they're working at the tech company, the janitor is just an enabler, whereas the technologist produces value for the company directly. Creating a new product that generates revenue obviously contributes more value to the company than mopping the floor.

How is this anarchic collective supposed to determine the proper allocation of skills? Does a software company with ten employees need ten software developers? Or nine software developers and one janitor? Why not one software developer and nine janitors? They're all equivalently valuable to the company, then why not ten janitors and no software developers?

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Actually, the non-human intrinsic worth of one position is the same as the other. A technology company specializes in selling, for instance, software, but someone is just as necessary to clean up. One janitor and ten technologists might do the job just fine depending on how dirty the technologists were. Certainly, the world could get along with no software developers, but someone would still be needed to clean up the mess.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The guy who builds new software that earns the company millions of dollars over time is contributing more value to the company than the janitor who creates nothing. He enables the real work, but he doesn't do the real work.

But since it's a lot simpler to just mop a floor, all ten people might prefer to do the mindless work. Who is going to stop them, in an anarchic collective like this, where there are no managers and nobody is responsible for anything? How is the company going to come to the conclusion that it only needs one janitor, if everybody wants that job? Or maybe everybody wants to be the security guard. Even easier than janitor. You just wander around all day/night. If all 10 people want to be the security guard instead of the guy doing the really hard work, then what authority would stop them?

This becomes sort of a game theory experiment at some point. All ten of those people have to decide between looking out for themselves, and looking out for the team. Like on Survivor. If all ten of those people opt for the security guard work, then the company will become insolvent and everybody will lose their jobs. Eventually. But if a couple of people do some real work and a couple of people just slack off and dust the curtains instead, then those slackers are the ones who win. They get the paycheck without the work. Maybe two or three people form alliances like on Survivor. Then each person has to choose between looking after themselves, honoring their alliance, and looking after the company. What if a few people form a slacker collective and they all start doing the easy jobs and leaving the actual production work to other people? If there are enough of them then they can't be fired. So then the people who do the real work will have to choose between working twice as hard to make up for the slackers, or just letting the company go out of business.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

I'm not sure about Survivor (I've never seen it.), but no business, collective or not, can be run without leadership--management. Even in modern worker cooperatives, though all employees are owners in the company, someone makes the day-to-day decisions, though that person is directly responsible to all employees.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Yes, okay, so we do agree on something. The idea of an anarchist collective company with no hierarchy is an unrealistic ideological fantasy, and nobody defending the idea can cite a single example.

[-] 2 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Even anarchism or communism, on any thing more than a small scale, require levels of representation. The power of the representatives, however, devolve to the constituents or employees--in the case of coops.

Still, someone is needed to make decisions. The Paris Commune used representatives subject to quick recall, and whose decisions were subject to revocation by constituents. The judiciary functioned in much the same manner. It isn't really a hierarchy, in the sense of levels of power, but only an expedient way to make daily decisions without having to resort to a general majority consensus for--as an example--what day to clean the streets.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The problem with this idea of interchangeable equals rotating through each job is that different people are better at different jobs. One person might be really good at making deals and acquiring financing and strategy. Another person might be a really good detail-oriented worker with an eye for numbers. Another person might be really good at creating new products. How does the company benefit if the innovator stops innovating and becomes CEO for a while? Or if he's suddenly responsible for payroll instead of the one who is good with spreadsheets? A company full of specialists who are totally focused on their own jobs is always going to outperform a company where everybody gets to take a stab at being CEO.

But I get the impression that an anarcho-collective corporation isn't really about competing with other companies. It's about rejecting the idea of market competition. Forfeiting the game before it starts.

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Any enterprise has to evaluate educational level, skill sets, and natural abilities in specialized fields; an electronics technician may not function well as an astrophysicist and vice versa.

Nonetheless, you're comparing apples to oranges: a communal enterprise with a capitalist one. In the first case workers have abandoned the traditional capitalist role of labor. Accepting that humans must work to live, except for the incapacitated, workers take on various tasks within their abilities to produce what may be above their needs, but not for a competitive edge or profit. In the second case workers are capitalist labor, treated like any other commodity, objects, subject to supply and demand, to reduced pay for increased profits, to loss of jobs to reduce costs.

Not to demonize capitalism or to sanctify communism, but enterprises under each system function with different goals and different operating criteria.

[-] -1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

You'll always have people who prefer to wash the floors over programming. Not everyone likes to site in front of a computer and think about algorithms. The janitor moves and gets exercise. He can talk to people, hang out. He doesn't bring his work home. Etc... There are many perks to being a janitor.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

But if your job is to mop the floors and my job is to sit at a comfy desk all day, then how can you and I be considered "equals"? And if you prefer to mop the floors instead of contributing directly to the company's product or service, then are you really my equal? In business, an employee who contributes value to the company is a more valuable employee than the guy who cleans the office. In this utopian business model, employees would all be valued equally, regardless of their contribution to the business?

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

I consider a janitor's job as being extremely important to a company. Most people don't notice it because the janitors do their jobs. However, if the janitors stopped working for a few days, you'll soon find that the offices are in a mess and productivity will go down a lot.

If you could only hire 10 people in your company, you would be more productive with 9 programmers and 1 janitor, than with 10 programmers.

Janitors do contribute, thinking they don't is just stupid.

But if your job is to mop the floors and my job is to sit at a comfy desk all day, then how can you and I be considered "equals"?

We can be equals in the sense that we both contribute to the company. We are also both replaceable. Everyone is. But, it's hard to replace a good janitor just like it's hard to replace a good programmer. If the company has a great janitor that keeps the place spiffy clean, then the programmers are going to be more productive.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

This is where the liberal, utopian fantasy goes off the rails:

If you could only hire 10 people in your company, you would be more productive with 9 programmers and 1 janitor, than with 10 programmers.

The purpose of a business is not to mop floors, it's to make money. Plenty of people in OWS think that it's not fair for a company to value a guy who contributes to the bottom line more than a guy who cleans the floors. But the reality of the situation is that the goal of the business is not to have clean floors, it's to make money. If you contribute directly to making money, than you're more valuable to the company than the guy who merely enables other people to contribute directly to making money, by cleaning the floors or maintaining the building or purchasing supplies.

I know that the standard kum ba yah wisdom in OWS is that everybody is equally valuable. But no, in a business context they're not.

And so, one of the many flaws in this idea of an anarchist company run by a team of equals, is the risk of valuing the wrong employees. If your team of 10 has one rock star software developer and one guy who can only clean floors, then the company would be making a gigantic mistake if it put the same value on both of those people. The company would be over-paying a janitor, and under-paying a software developer. They might both have the same basic human dignity, and maybe you could even argue that they both should be valued equally by society as a whole. But if the company values both equally, then the company is managing its human resources very poorly. Because a company's goal is not to make everybody feel good, it's to make money.

This should be pretty obvious to anybody who has ever managed employees in any kind of business.

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

Because a company's goal is not to make everybody feel good, it's to make money.

This is one thing you don't seem to understand. This is only true in a capitalist style economy. There's no reason why we couldn't create a world in which people work together in co-op type environment and where meeting everyone's needs is more important than making money.

After reading a few of your postings, it seems to me you have a myopic mind.

[-] -1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

BS. The janitor does contribute to making money. Without him the place would be a mess and people could not work. He's the bread and butter. Business is business and it's all about making money. If janitor's were not part of that, believe me. CEO's would be the first to fire them all. Every single company that have offices have janitors because janitors are very important.

The problem is you don't see the whole picture. You think a software company is only about hands typing on a keyboard. Well, programmers go to the bathroom, they eat, they need clean environments.

Do you know how bad moral would be if an office was not cleaned ever?

Obviously, you've never owned a company. And, most likely, if you did work in offices the janitors were cleaning at night when you didn't see them. See, good janitors don't get noticed. The bad ones do because everything's a mess.

Sorry buddy, but a janitors are just as important as programmers in a software company.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Janitors are enablers, but they don't directly contribute to the bottom line. They don't create new products. They don't sign up new customers. They don't do what the company does. They enable all of that other work, but their contribution is indirect. You're still confusing basic human dignity with the very real necessity in business of valuing your top performers.

If you value the guy who earns millions for the company the same as you value the guy who cleans the toilets, then you're paying a janitor a lot more than you need and you're paying your high-earner far less. That's a mistake in business, because you're wasting money on the janitor. Successful businesses don't waste money. And it's also a mistake because other companies that place a more appropriate value on your high earner are going to poach him. And then you'll be left with just the janitor, who is unable to directly contribute value to the company.

(And BTW, I have owned my own company since graduating from college over 15 years ago, and I am currently the CTO at a profitable startup. A software company.)

[-] 0 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

If a company made no money , it would go out of business and have no need for a janitor.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

That seems obvious enough, yes. If a company only employs janitors and they're not a janitorial services company, then they won't have anybody who can directly earn any revenue for the company, and the company will go out of business. Everybody will lose their jobs. Whereas if a company doesn't have a janitor, things will get dirty. People will have to take out the trash themselves. Life will go on. Nobody will lose their jobs.

[-] 0 points by salta (-1104) 2 years ago

of course it's obvious ( and logical) thats why it eludes sirtruth.

[-] 0 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

Janitors are enablers, but they don't directly contribute to the bottom line.

I believe they do.

If you value the guy who earns millions for the company the same as you value the guy who cleans the toilets, then you're paying a janitor a lot more than you need

The point of anarcho-syndicalist based companies is not to squeeze the lemon as tightly as possible. What's important in that scheme is that everyone lives decently, not that the CEO make big bucks.

I guess you still don't understand the purpose of occupy.

If you're a hard core capitalist, why are you even here? Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's always nice to have a different point of view from non OWS people, but isn't it a waste of time for you to be here?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I'm not a hard-core capitalist. Don't you realize how far out in left field this concept is? The fact that you can't point to a single example of a company that works like you're talking about should be a hint.

And a janitor does NOT contribute directly to the company's bottom line. Does a customer pay the company when the janitor mops the floor? How does a janitor directly earn revenue for a company? The only way that a janitor can directly contribute is if the company is a janitorial services company. In that case, sure, the janitors are some of the most valued employees. Otherwise, they're indirect enablers who don't directly earn money for the company.

[-] -1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

I view a business as a team effort and I consider every link in the chain as being important. If your janitors are not important, then fire them to save money.

Who said I couldn't name any anarcho-syndicalist companies? What are you, some kind of Internet bully? Why are you so aggressive?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

can we skip the who failed speech and just pass the bread

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 2 years ago

Make mine rye.

[-] 0 points by April (3196) 2 years ago

lol. Then we're all bogged down by the consensus nonsensus. Ugh. Just shoot me.

[-] 1 points by sirtruthhurtsalot (7) 2 years ago

consensus nonsensus. I really like that!

[-] 0 points by commonsensefolks (-55) 2 years ago

Sounds like mental masturbation more than anything that's gonna happen.

Truth: Elections come in November, OWS disbands in December. Done.

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