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Forum Post: Noam Chomsky on workers´ self-management and workers´ takeover

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 24, 2012, 11:16 a.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
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152 Comments


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[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

So he has no idea of what kind of system would work on a national level, feels he's unable to even ask the question what's the best system. He simply favors worker self management of factories and businesses. Why hasn't this been done to any extent? Workers are free to form their own cooperatives and conduct any kind of business they want. Is there something he's not saying? Does he wish things to simply be handed over to the workers rather then have them actually work for what they want?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"So he has no idea of what kind of system would work on a national level, feels he's unable to even ask the question what's the best system."

He´s talking about the details. Libertarian Socialism has different "branches".Questions of details are especially important when it comes to organization of the different communities. The details and exact policies must be decided by the specific community.

"Why hasn't this been done to any extent?"

Crushed (by force and propaganda) by existing power structures. There are however a growing number of co-ops coming into existence nowadays.

"Workers are free to form their own cooperatives and conduct any kind of business they want."

The economy is all encompassing. The economy affects the whole community, nation - in fact the entire world. The enormous concentration of wealth and enormous inequality, nationally and globally, will still be there if a couple of co-ops are being formed.

"Does he wish things to simply be handed over to the workers"

that would be one of the main goals of Anarcho-Syndicalism, yes.

"..rather then have them actually work for what they want?"

I´m not sure if understand what you mean..Workers self management does not mean workers not working anymore.

[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

The devil in anything is in the details, Chomsky is great on hypothesis and talking in general terms, but never gets into the nuts and bolts of things.

True a few coops won't change how the world works, but that shouldn't stop the dedicated anarcho-syndicalist from building a worker controled business. He should be working to prove his methods work and improving his little corner of the world. It would be much better then simply waiting to appropriate the property of those that have invested and risked in order to build a business.

Self management is fine when you are managing what you own a share in. By not working for what they want I mean this idea that somehow factories, that workers didn't invest in and did not financially build, should be simply handed over to them.

[-] 1 points by MoneyBad (20) 2 years ago

==>"The devil in anything is in the details, Chomsky is great on hypothesis and talking in general terms, but never gets into the nuts and bolts of things."

I think you misunderstand his outlook, his values. When discussing matters of fact or fleshing out the reasoning of something, he often goes into extraordinary detail. But he doesn't regard it as his business to decide, all by himself, the procedures and outcomes of democratic processes.

Those should be left to the people involved (in this case, the workers), and not to ideological pointy-heads. Not even himself.

==>"He simply favors worker self management of factories and businesses. Why hasn't this been done to any extent?"

One factor is the current overall business climate. Workers' collectives wouldn't likely want to engage in a race to the bottom, to see which among them would be happy to work under the most inhumane conditions for the lowest pay. Yet that's practically the defacto condition of the world wrt most products (especially those that are easily imported).

Individual co-ops can make a niche and thrive, here or there. But the environment of corporate capitalism is extremely hostile to that mode of business, so it can thrive only in a systemically different environment.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I've always seen him as a theorist and disinterested in any actual testing of his ideas. I find it a major flaw when it comes to something as complex as reorganizing society.

It would seem apparent that workers have little interest in purchasing the companies they work for, and here I'm looking back through the last 60 or 70 years. During the growth of unions in the post WW2 years. Most companies start small and workers had the ability to invest and become a controlling interest over time.

I do agree that the entire issue is moot in today's business climate. Maybe in any economy, unless you somehow protect businesses from competition. Once you do that though you remove any incentive to produce a better product.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

That´s because the details must be decided by the ones living in the different communities. It´s silly to sketch out a detailed future Libertarian Socialist society. LS is based on strong local democracy, which means that details might vary from place to place depending on people´s wnats. The details must be worked out by the ones actually living in it, not by us at present time.

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

"True a few coops won't change how the world works, but that shouldn't stop the dedicated anarcho-syndicalist from building a worker controled business. He should be working to prove his methods work and improving his little corner of the world."

Absolutely! That´s why there should be both workers takeover and building Libertarian Socialist communities :)

"workers didn't invest in and did not financially build, should be simply handed over to them."

Current property rights are not graven in in stone, they can be changed just like they were, a certain time ago, changed into the ones we have today. Property rights come in different variations, and it has to be the public who have to live by these laws that should get to decide these. In other words, democracy. That would include that if there was major support for it, workers takeover is fine.

But listen, politicians have been given bailouts to corporations for a long long time now. Citibank, fex, first recieved their taxpayer bailout back in the 80s from Reagan and have since that, along with an increasing number of other corporations received an enormous sum of taxmoney. Isn´t that also a free ride? Should they pay it back? And what about exploitation? In state-capitalism many of the means of production are privatly owned by individuals who make a profit from other people´s work (cf exploitation /profit) In other words, the value of the worker´s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the payed hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets payed in the form of profit. This profit is hence the capital for future investments and more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value. Isnt this getting free rides?

We are actually being handed over things that we didnt finacially build all the time. We all live in the free ride society:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

True no law is carved in stone, but the right to private property is tied to the right to self. The right to own property is considered a human right internationally. To take it away from some is to take it away from all and we are not a hive species.

A libertarian/socialist society would be a stagnant one at best. Groups don't innovate, individuals do. That's why the successful coops are few and far between, they can at best only react to the business environment. It's what dooms many large corporation eventually, they loose the ability to meet changes in the marketplace when each decision has to be debated and voted on.

The handouts and bailouts have always been a poor idea. They don't have much place in this discussion, unless you'd prefer to see the money going to buying a business outright and letting the government run it democratically. The workers don't contribute any more to the production then the machinery does. They didn't come up with the capitol or the idea to start the business. They exchange labor for a wage, they are under no obligation to take the job.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

There are many examples of people not or to a very limited extent operating with the concept of private property, so thats not quite true. That said, I support the concept of private property on certain things. Personal belongings having no affect on soceity and your surroundings such as your sofa, DVD player etc etc, should be yours, but big corporations and means of production, things affecting society should not be owned privately. People should be able to have a democratic say in the things that affect them. That´s called democracy

Have you studied Anarcho-Collectivism. You might find it appealing.

Libertarian Socialism focuses very on the individual, having the ability to contribute based on its own capacity and wants:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

Co-ops are caught in a capitalist society. The economy is all encompassing.

Did you not read my article? http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html We all live in a free ride society.

You´re living in a dreamworld. These "voluntary agreements" you´re talking about, taking place in a class / capitalist / state-capitalist society in which the wealth and resourses are very highly concentrated, and where some individuals are owning huge corporations or important means of production, (and other individuals are not owning these things) are simply just cognitive illusions since the ones owning the resourses - the wealth and the means of production etc - have much more power, hence having the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring/negotiations in a worker/non-owner - employer/owner relationship.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

They can buy a share in any publicly traded company, invest in it and earn the right to vote in it's operation. The big corporations aren't owned by one man. Those owners, shareholders, all get to vote in the operation of their company, workers can buy shares like anyone else and earn the right to vote. Employees aren't owed anything other then the promised wage. If you want more power and say in the operation buy more stock.

That article on the opening OWS page about the Chicago window manufacturer is a good example of the fallacy in worker control of production. If the owner simply walks away and the employees take over, how will their life change? Forget that the company can't make a profit now, I'll pretend it can. What changes for the worker? Each still has to do the same tasks. Now they get to vote on raises, vacation time, equipment costs and repairs. The group gets to debate everything and vote but they still each have the same job. When issues get decided by a small majority, and some issues are bound to be bitterly debated, the minority will feel as powerless then as they do now.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I want democracy, not people "voting" with thir cash or stock.

I (and the workers at Chicago window manuf. I assume) like idea that people should have a democratic say in the things that affect them; in other words, democracy Its very much a principle-thing.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Depends on who gets to vote, you want workers to get to vote, they have a stake in the companies success ok fine, but so do the share holders and as I've said in other posts so should the people with any pension invested in that company. If it's democracy then it has to be for all those with an interest in the company, not just the few that give you the results you want.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

If its democracy everyone involved and affected would get an equal say in the institution. That´s democracy.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Then obviously a big corporation ends up staying as it is there are too many non-workers that have an interest in its success to risk handing it over to the workers. You have a shot at voting away small businesses from owners. That will work until the first news special shows a crying small shop owner losing every thing to the bullies that worked for him or her.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I don´t think you are aware of what kind of society I want. You can read all about it here

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Yes I do know, but I also see it as a society that a vast majority in this country don't trust and don't want. I could go through the entire set of suppositions and find fault with most of them, and so would most informed voters if it ever got that far. In Catalonia it was instituted during the civil war at the point of a gun. People don't want it.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"but I also see it as a society that a majority in this country don't trust and don't want."

But that´s what we have to work to change. Its called convincing.

The workers created this society despite there being a war. Dispite there being a war they were able to create workplaces run by the workers themselves and in general a society with lots of direct particiaption. Look at this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUig0lFHDDw

Actually, egalitarian, or very close to egalitarian societies are the ones that have been a part of human history the longest. There are egalitarian societies existing today, but even if there wern´t, it wouldn´t mean much. Feudal lords said the exact same thing to the ones wnating parlamentary democracy, and eventually parlamentary democracies came into existence dispite having not existed ever before.

[-] -1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Those egalitarian societies were all primitive, small in population, were unable to develop in complexity, and had leaders. You can't run a society of several hundred million people on anarchistic principles. I work with almost 400 other people, one issue can be debated for hours in a union meeting. I can see nothing but chaos at say that new Boeing plant with 4000 workers. Nothing would ever get done.

The anarchists in Spain did it at gun point and dictated how things would run. Hardly a shining example of respect for established law, democratic ideals, or individual rights. Easy to make things work when you can set it all up by force. I wonder how much of it's perceived success was due to the population's fear of the anarchists?

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

it would be easier to work for what the workers want if they had control of the means of production

[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

It doesn't matter what would be easier. You control what you own. Nothing stops workers that want to manage their own business from building one or buying a controlling interest in an existing business. It's a fantasy to sit around and simply wait for the world to hand you control of the means of production. My life would be so easy if money fell out of the sky into my back yard. It's not going to happen, so I'd better work for what I want. It's the same for the workers, work for it, borrow, invest, buy your business.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

But how can they obtain that control? It takes huge sums of money to build a factory, fill it with machinery, buy raw materials, etc. I don't see how the workers can control the means of production without actually buying those means of production themselves.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

If you are going to buy your own business, you don't have to start with a massive plant, few businesses do. What Chomsky and most other libertarian-anarchists want is for the world to simply hand over the means or production.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Not the "world". The owners of the means of production that others are using!

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Owners are under no obligation, legally or morally to simply give away anything. Let your workers make an offer and buy the means of production.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Owners are under no obligation, legally or morally to simply give away anything"

The moral thing would be work for a democratic, free, just society in which people control their own lives, including their work!

But we should work to change the laws so it will become legal!

"Let your workers make an offer and buy the means of production."

Nope, I say just take´em over.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I couldn't disagree more with the idea of changing laws to decrease individual rights. It's probably the biggest reason why anything with the word socialism attached to it will always be defeated when brought up to an actual vote. It doesn't even matter that we have a large number of socialist type programs already in place in this country. The minute you start talking about taking away private property people get uneasy with socialism.

There shouldn't be a need for any taking over. If it's a small business the workers should be able to meet a reasonable price and invest and buy it themselves. If it's a larger corporation, it isn't one person your taking it from, it's a much larger group of stock holders and they have rights to pieces of that business and should have a vote in this too.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

No, no. I want to increase individual rights: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

Freedom for the individual to control its own life and participate in the things that its affected by and are a part of.

If one likes the idea of democracy - people having a right to participate - workers takeover is a good thing. (Read the link above)

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

What can I say, you may honestly want to increase individual rights but it looks like you want to do it at the expense of some individuals. That sounds more like the rights of the group being somehow superior to the rights of the individual. It has an Orwellian feel to it, which is why anything socialist makes people uneasy. It certainly makes me glad the amendment process is difficult.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

No, no. Its actually not favoring some over others, its giving individuals equal say; that´s democracy. Again, its a principle-thing. I want individuals to be able to have a democratic say in the things theyre a part of and that affect them. Is that really so unresonable?

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Individuals have a say in their life now. You can get more education and training, or buy beer and cigarettes and complain about things. We vote with our actions everyday.

Go get an amendment to give non-owners the right to vote themselves private property and write in some guarantee that the entire community, not just the workers, get to vote on the disposition of a company.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Sure, you have some control of your own life and affairs. But I want individuals to have more. I don´t just want people to get to decide between paper or plastic, or what groceries to buy, I want them to have more say at the place in which they work. Pretty reasonable, since thats a place individuals spend lots of their time and energy.

"Voting" with your money has nothing to do with democracy.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

We've run out of replies, so I'll close with this. I support the concept of people having a say in their government and I think the representative republic we have is superior to the brand of direct democracy you speak of.

I would support the right of the individual to become as successful as he wishes, I'd protect his rights to keep what he earns, I'd support the right of people to invest in new ideas and profit from their investment.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I'm talking about voting with your actions. The world is full of people complaining and waiting around for someone to give them things. Voting as it were with inaction. They could just as easily put their energy into improving their situation. The actual right to vote is something close to half the country fail to exercise anyhow. If they did the government we have wold work fine.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

But "Actions" is very broad; it can include "voting" with your cash. When having lots of resourses / Cash you can do a lot more "actions" than the have-nots, and the wealthy´s actions have much more influence in society.

Again, what it all boils down to, Stacy, is: Do you like the idea of people having a democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them?

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

That may be true for some industries but definitely not all. You can't really have a small mom and pop car manufacturer. I understand the inherent problems with capitalism, but you need capital to start a business, no matter how small. If you don't have the capital yourself, someone else will have to provide it to you.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

My point is that Chomsky's worker controlled ideas are not workable, unless you're willing to let the workers steal the means of production from the owners. People start businesses all the time with an idea. Car manufacturers didn't start out as massive corporations.

Any group could get the capitol that an entrepreneur finds through loans. The real problem with a group doing it as a democratic collective is that very few groups share a common dream in it's specifics. A collective would debate every detail endlessly where a Jeff Bezos or a Bill Gates could simply act to develop an idea.

A group mind is simply not innovative enough to develop a successful business. Chomsky's ideas require workers either coming up with large amounts of capitol to take over a business that has proven itself to be successful, or it requires society to steal from the innovator and give to the incompetent group. If his society were ever built further innovation would likely be curtailed.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

There are "mom and pop" car manufacturers... not quite as the name implies, but compared to the Big 3, they are mom and pop. Tesla motors, could be said to be one. There are several extremely small outfits converting internal combustion vehicles into electric plug in hybrids. Aptera was one, until they folded.

The reason small automakers do not pop up frequently, is that just as in the rest of the chrony capitalistic system we have, small companies cannot comply with the crash and EPA testing that the large companies have lobbied to put in place. It costs a fortune, providing essentially a monopoly.

Did you know Tesla motors was fined $175,000 by the EPA for not filing a report on the tailpipe emissions of their electric cars? That's why the regulations are put in place, to slam down smaller companies. Lobbyists don't "give in" and let regulations hamper their profits. Doesn't work.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

i think the epa is socialism on a large scale.. there are more people that want clean air than dont. its not a ploy to inhibit small comanies.. but its the same thing your suggesting.. the people voted that they want clean air and put into place ways to ensure this.. in a socialist world like you envision it would be the same thing on a smaller scale.. for instance the farmer that can only afford to use rotted clams for fertilizer.. the rest of the people would put him outa business because they would say the stench was not in the interest of the whole. then what ? do you pay that farmer from a central fund the amount he could have made if the collective had not 'slammed him down" and start the entire process all over agian? or do you 'enslave; him in a working situation he hates? denying him his right to control his own destiny

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Neither, you tell the rest of the people to grow up and forget about the stench unless it interferes with their day-to-day activities. The farmer should not be forced to grow anything, and if the stench does in fact interfere with the day to day activities of the rest of the people, he can do something else for a living.

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

there in lies your flaw.. how can you conscientiously deny him the right to self regulate and then say society is not controlling him? why not tell all the others to leave the area ? either way,, the people or the person is under domination of others. and so you are right back to the same ol society... regulations. rrules, no freedom

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Then isn't that a more practical place to start? Lobbying the government to level the playing field, instead of siting around thinking you're going to take over a factory from someone else. If you're advocating democracy then try to use your votes to do something practical.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

I guarantee you that even at those small places the workers cannot afford to buy all the machinery and equipment needed to build cars.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

What? sure they can. I can build you a car out of a scrap yard using about $5,000 worth of equipment. You mean, workers cannot afford the equipment required to build cars at the rate of 35 per hour. Of course they can't. Such facilities require the labor of a great many people to design and construct them. If all of that labor was given to any person who wanted it, it would require enslaving all of the people the labor came from. Money is merely a certificate that you have given another person something they wanted, after which they gave you something you wanted. You need to satisfy a whole lot of people in order for them to give you the $500,000,000 required to build a fully equipped car manufacturing line.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

Are you a communist?

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Kind of... but I don't easily fit into rhetorical boxes and labels... why do you ask?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I often get asked that question myself. I just respond by asking "What do you mean by "communist"? Anarcho-Communist or Leninist?" They are very different and the latter one is awful"

Personally i favor Anarcho-Syndicalism / libertarian socialism:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

No, not at all unreasonable. But, these arrangements can be made in the current system, with democratic representation. The thing a lot of people seem to ignore is, with running a business there is great profit, but that profit comes at the expense of risk. The riskier the business, such as illegal ones, the greater the profit potential. There really is very little to not risk in being an employee. No one asks you to make any decisions that might cost you a decade's salary. If employees are expected to share profits, they must also share risk.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Totally irrelevant if one like the idea of democracy - people having a right to participate in the things they´re a part of and affected by. That means necessarily also democratic communities and workplaces. I also think you should read this one more time http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Alright. I managed to read the whole thing that time. I can't watch the video, because of bandwidth issues, but I must say that the thumbnail is somewhat stereotypical of people touting Great Societies, no offense. I am going to make a guess here that you have never worked a retail job.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Good.

The video advocates the principle that right democratic say should be proportional to how much it affects you; in other words, The individual should be able to do what it wnats, but when people gather in groups (communities, workplaces, organizations) engaged the society there should be direct democratic participations by the ones involved and affected.

Let´s stick to the issues, please. My personal life is not important nor relevant to political discussions.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

No problem. I have worked retail my whole life, and it puts an interesting perspective on humanity.

I agree that people and communities should work together more and organize. I long for and support stronger and more tight-knit communities. But these can exist under capitalism, and they do, in communes. There is a commune very close to where I live and I have had the pleasure of meeting several very nice people who live there. But free capitalism allows such arrangements and interactions. An anarco-syndicalistic system would not give people to control the means of production if they wanted to. Some people don't want to control their place of business, and that is their right. Basically, what's wrong with living on a commune and that being that? Why is it necessary to make every one live on one?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

What it boils down to is: Should we build on the idea/principle that the right to democratic say should be proportional to how much it affects you. Should people be able to control the things that theyre a part of (including of course workplaces and communities) Should we have democracy. I say "YES" to all these things, how bout you? Not very unreasonable when you think about it, right?

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

The reason I am against it, is because the rich and powerful will still control everything. Giving control of all business to the politicians? They can't democratically run the budget so that a majority of the electorate is happy with it, how could they run every business in the country satisfactorily?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I don´t want control handedover to politicians. I thought you said you read the article. If so you obviously did not read it thoroughly enough

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

So you think the electorate should be given the chance to vote on every issue? You realize nothing would get done, right?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I don´t get this. You want to have a discussion, but at the same time you don´t want to pay attention to where I stand politically.. I present an easily read article explaining the society I want ( http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html ) but you don´t want to read it. Wierd.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

Just curious.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Did you think I was from something I said? I'm really more of a capitalist.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Read and watch this: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

Hopefully you are now a convinced libertarian socialist :)

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Sorry, that article convinced me even more to be an anarcho-capitalist.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Are you kidding me. So all power to the wealthy, the huge corporations, the private tyrannies? That kind of undemocratic tyrannical society would be one of the most awful. Hope youll change your mind in the future. yours s

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Well it could be a takeover, workers simply taking over the existing factory, but what needs to be done also is working bit by bit building and creating engaged, active, solidaric communities, convincing more and more people, creating communities basing organization on libertarian socialist principles.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

The latter sounds like a good idea for those who want to have more control over their workplace. The former would likely result in violence though because it is essentially stealing.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

No stealing or violence (unless it´s self defense). It must all be done thru democratic process: large community support, change of legislation etc. In other words, workers´ takeover with the use of democracy.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Just because you use local voting does not change the act of stealing of private property. and what makes you think that a large company could actually be run by the workers. It would evolve back into the previous hierarchy. Having large groups would never get consensus to do anything. have you ever been on a large work group or committee? It is impossible to get anything done at an efficient rate. There is a natural need to have leaders and followers. You are also assuming that all education and competence is equal in all people.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Current property rights are not graven in in stone, they can be changed just like they were, a certain time ago, changed into the ones we have today. Property rights come in different variations, and it has to be the public who have to live by these laws that should get to decide these. In other words, democracy. The alternatives to democracy - dictatorship, minority rule etc - are awful.

But let me ask you something. Politicians have been given bailouts to corporations for a long long time now. Citibank, fex, first recieved their taxpayer bailout back in the 80s from Reagan and have since that, along with an increasing number of other corporations received an enormous sum of taxmoney. Is that also stealing? Should they pay it back? And what about exploitation? In state-capitalism many of the means of production are privatly owned by individuals who make a profit from other people´s work (cf exploitation /profit) In other words, the value of the worker´s pay is less than the value that was added thru his/her work in the payed hours. That creates a profit for the owner of the means of production who did not create the value, but still gets payed in the form of profit. This profit is hence the capital for future investments and more profits. So, the capitalist is making money simply by just owning, not adding or creating value. Is not this also theft?

Co-ops are growing in number today, bro. Democratic workplaces and communities is not very hard to imagine, and should be something one should advocate and work for if one likes the idea of democracy and freedom:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

If consensus cant be made, then democratic prosess should be used. It´s really not that complicated.

No im not assuming that all education and competence is equal in all people. All individuals are different and have different abilities and wants. that´s why we must work for a society where people are not treated like cogs in a machine and commanded to act in a mechanical way, but where each individual could live out its true potential based on its own capacity: Anarcho-Syndicalism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

First, i am not a big fan of bailouts, but am also a realist in keeping markets from total collapse, which then crushes the 100%. Bailouts were an approved process,, not stolen. If we don't approve, then vote them out; something we fail to do time and again. Labor is by mutual agreement. We freely enter into agreement with the owner to be paid for an effort. The owner has all the risk so he so get the reward. If the worker wants to invest I to the company, then he should get rewarded, but also take the losses whe they come, something I am not sure most would want. There are profit sharing and other formsof compensation thatbalso occur. I was never commanded in a mechanical way. I choose who and where I work based on my talents that I have to offer and we come to an agreement on wages and benefits. I am not saying that all coops would not work, but once a certain size is attained, it would be unwieldy to run something that way. Business decisions should be made by experts, not by majority vote.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Bailouts were an approved process not stolen"

Well, It can be debated whether it was approved by the population or not (if that´s what you mean by "approved") but let´s leave that aside for now. what if workers takeover were approved (by the public by the use of democracy) ,which is a condition for me being in favor of it, would it then be ok and not theft?

"Labor is by mutual agreement. We freely enter into agreement with the owner to be paid for an effort"

You´re living in a dreamworld. These "voluntary agreements" you´re talking about, taking place in a class / capitalist / state-capitalist society in which the wealth and resourses are very highly concentrated, and where some individuals are owning huge corporations or important means of production, (and other individuals are not owning these things) are simply just cognitive illusions since the ones owning the resourses - the wealth and the means of production etc - have much more power, hence having the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring/negotiations in a worker/non-owner - employer/owner relationship.

This risktaking that you´re talking about is totaly irrelevant (if one like the idea of real democracy) People should have a democratic say in the things that affect them (and that necessarily includes the workplace)

"Business decisions should be made by experts, not by majority vote."

No, the people should get to decide what kind of society they should have, not a small minority!

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

How can you not agree that a job is by mutual consent? You have been given wonderful opportunities in this country to acquire the skill sets and education. If you choose wisely you have great power in what you can do. Anyone can start a business, make it grow, etc. There is no one stopping you other than yourself and your aversion to the idea of risk/reward. There is no conspiracy set up against you. You want ownership, then get started! You want a coop, then start one. No one will stop you. Find a way. They did. This is not a dream world, it's reality. But don't take some one elses business, Get your own!

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"How can you not agree that a job is by mutual consent?"

I just told you.

We in the West live in a highly advanced modern society with lots of opportunities, yes. We all get free rides all the time, that´s why we should all share much of this wealth: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

"If you choose wisely you have great power in what you can do. Anyone can start a business, make it grow"

Irrelevant if one likes the idea of democracy, democratic communities and workplaces - having a say in the things youre a part of and that affect you. It s a matter of principle.

Read and watch: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Sorry, I'm not going to chase after personal blogs. So a free ride =automatic share? No, your share comes from what you earn, which is based on your valued skill set you have. there is no other entitlement. Also, how is starting your own business irrelevant? Your local democratic council decides what we do, make, etc? Sorry, not going to happen in this country. Sounds like your unhappy with your skill set, you must have chosen poorly, can't help you there, up to you to get right. Also, employment is always by mutual consent: both employer and employee say yes.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"But we do differ on individual rights versus collective rights."

maybe so. But if you can please set aside 10 minutes I politely ask you to watch this video, which explains libertarian socialism / left libertarianism pretty well, with a focus on showing that LS focuses on both individual and collective rights. I think you´ll find the arguments reasonable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

There will always be force - your´re forced to follow the laws in order to avoid unwanted concequences. State Capitalism has lots of force. Youre forced to rent yourself to the owners of the country´s resourses in order to have a decent life. Again, these "voluntary agreements" right-wingers are talking about, taking place in a class / capitalist / state-capitalist society in which the wealth and resourses are very highly concentrated, and where some individuals are owning huge corporations or important means of production, (and other individuals are not owning these things) are simply just cognitive illusions since the ones owning the resourses - the wealth and the means of production etc - have much more power, hence having the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring/negotiations in a worker/non-owner - employer/owner relationship.

"Never been to norway but my other european friends say it is a nice place to visit"

Come in the summer months. Winter´s kind of tough :)

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"So anyone making profit has a free ride?"

Yes, especially those making profits!

"Your blog is not that well written and much too slanted."

I have tried to write short and in a way that makes it easily read. Remember also that I am norwegian, English is not my 1st language. But I appreciate your honesty.

"I have read this whole thread, and most do not agree with your viewpoint. Does that tell you something?"

That many disagree? You don´t think I dont know that? We have a lot of convincing-work to do, yes.

"one major flaw in your agreements on this thread: you say that each should have a say I what effect them, then you turn around and say some would be forced to perform undesirable work."

How´s that a flaw? Work no one wants to do must be shared or given remuneration for. I don´t see the controvercy with that.

"How about a theoretical working example or plan, since you hide behind the concept that individual communities are different?"

You wont get that from me, not now at least.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

Apologies for the writing comment, made an assumption. As a world traveler, I appreciate your efforts in writing in English language. But we do differ on individual rights versus collective rights. I do not believe in anything forced in labor. Let the market forces work. If the job is undesirable, let the wage move to the equilibrium point and then there is mutual satisfaction. That is why labor needs to be at mutual consent. Labor has more power than you give credit to. Never been to norway but my other european friends say it is a nice place to visit.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Oh, you wont click on the link and read my arguments. Well, then I´ll just copy-paste them on this site, then:

The right-wingers often tend to look at taxes as a way of stealing the fruits of other people´s labor, that people are being taxed so that other can enjoy a free ride. Well they´re way off. First of all, the ones who are really stealing the fruits of our labor are the financial elite who have been making billions by pushing a few buttons on a computer at the stock exchange and exploiting people in the US and all over the world. And secondly, the "fruits" of one´s labor can´t be measured in an advanced moderen society.

We now live in a complex, highly advanced technological society built up by generations of people thru hundreds of years. People have been building infrastructure, contributed to science, developed technology, developed efficient ways of manufacturing etc etc. Because of all this effort we now enjoy a more wealthy, advanced and efficient society than ever. All of this, lots of it built and created long before we were even born, we´re now enjoying despite having little or nothing to do with contributing to it ourselves. In other words, our contributions, no matter what we do, are microscopic compared to what we receive from society. We´re enjoying the results of generations of people`s work gradually building a modern society - an enormous free ride.

Now, there are people, certainly in third world countries, but also in the West, who are struggling to get by and do not feel that they´re enjoying all these goods. I totally understand that but that has to do with the unfortunate concentration of wealth. I`m talking about the society as a whole. The western countries are more efficient and wealthy as ever, the problem is that we have a system that allows for more and more accumulation of wealth. That is one of the reasons why we have to abolish Capitalism and replace it with democracy.

Now, what´s really interesting about this "free ride" - debate is that even though the rich, which the right-wing tend to support, are becoming increasingly wealthy by doing less, the right always turn to the poor and working class when they want to give a speech about getting free rides and stealing the friuts of other people´s labor. Citibank first recieved their taxpayer bailout back in the 80s from Reagan and have since that, along with an increasing number of other corporations received an enormous sum of taxmoney. Is that not stealing the fruits of other people´s labor? And what about, let´s say, indonesian facory girls working 12 hours a day for 50 cents an hour at a Nike- factory so that Phil Knight and the rest of them can sell shoes and equipment for huge profits. Is that not getting a free ride?? Why isn´t this theft adressed by the right-wing? The rich, which have become rich mostly by pushing a few buttons at a computer at Wall Street, and/or exploiting workers in the US and all over the world, which isn`t exactly hard work, are being given more and more tax breaks and benefits by politicians, yet the right wing have the balls to criticize sick people for getting their medical bills covered by the government. To put it this way, as long as the wealthy are getting more and more recourses into their hands by doing very little, people should have no right lecturing the working class and poor for asking for welfare programs.

So how should we organize a complex highly advanced wealthy society? Make it more democratic! Make the workplaces democratic, make the communities democratic. Organize society so that people can be in control over their own lives. Create a society where we focus on peoples needs instead of short term profit. End the system we have today, which encourages greed and unsustainable and pointless consumption, and instead create a society where true human characteristics and feelings like engagement and solidarity will come to the fore. Create a decent civilized society where everyone can enjoy a decent life. Create a world where we all can enjoy the "Free Ride" Society.

"Starting your own business" is irrelevant if one like the idea of democracy http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

"employment is always by mutual consent"

No, it´s not. I explained why a few answers above.

[-] 1 points by engineer4 (352) 2 years ago

So anyone making profit has a free ride? Your blog is not that well written and much too slanted. I have read this whole thread, and most do not agree with your viewpoint. Does that tell you something? one major flaw in your agreements on this thread: you say that each should have a say I what effect them, then you turn around and say some would be forced to perform undesirable work. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways, and the details are very important. You consistently fail, and Chomsky does to, to address details. How about a theoretical working example or plan, since you hide behind the concept that individual communities are different?

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

if the population voted by party (not candidate),

representative are assigned to parliament based to how many vote each party got

parliamentary democracy, democratic form of government in which the party (or a coalition of parties) with the greatest representation in the parliament (legislature) forms the government, its leader becoming prime minister or chancellor. Executive functions are exercised by members of the parliament appointed by the prime minister to the cabinet. The parties in the minority serve in opposition to the majority and have the duty to challenge it regularly. The prime minister may be removed from power whenever he loses the confidence of a majority of the ruling party or of the parliament. Parliamentary democracy originated in Britain (see Parliament) ... (100 of 110 words)

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1384209/parliamentary-democracy

[-] 1 points by incomeforall (64) 2 years ago

So, is he saying workers should start their own companies or steal someone elses company? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to steal an existing company?

[-] 2 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

He is saying steal in a round about way. The idea is to vote away the owners rights. Then by claiming it's just democracy in action, the will of the majority, they can sooth their conscience, a little like what was done to the native Americans.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"The idea is to vote away the owners rights."

Workers takeover with democracy and popular support, absolutley! Its called democracy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgaV_4Yt4M8

In a libertarian socialist society indians, as all other humans would have equal right to participate in their affairs and the things that affect them.

[-] 0 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Everyone impacted by a company gets a vote? Every stockholder and every member of a pension fund that holds stock in a corporation gets a vote on whether to give it all away or not? I always get the impression from Chomsky that workers are some kind of special class and their rights are somehow superior to the rights of others. If you're opening the door to total democracy for all those that have a true stake in a corporation that's different, things will likely stay as they are for all the larger corporations.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I´m taking about real democracy, a right to democratic say in the things that affect you and youre a part of, not people "voting " with their cash. That´s an awful idea.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

I'm not saying vote with your cash, I'm questioning how serious you are about your statement, "In a libertarian socialist society indians, as all other humans would have equal right to participate in their affairs and the things that affect them." If that is an honest description of who gets to vote on things, such as company ownership, then anyone with a pension fund invested in that company or anyone that owns stock should get to vote concerning who runs the company right along with your workers.

As a member of one of the few financially sound state pension funds, my future can be directly affected by who ultimately controls production and the decisions they make. Is it going to be a true democracy with all affected parties having the right to vote, or is this a system where (to paraphrase Animal Farm) some voters are more equal then others?

Not that any of the answers actually matter. You're talking about a system we don't have and to get to it you need to work through the current representative republic. If anyone ever tries to amend the constitution these questions and others about ownership and owner's rights will have to be dealt with.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

In a libertarian socialist society nobody would have to worry about their future at any point in their lives regarding economic issues. There would be social safty nets and very good conditions and rights for all people including students, seniors, workers, disabled and so on.

A transition phase from Capitalism to a Libertarian Socialist society would have to involve finding good solutions that along this phase made sure seniors etc wouldnt be worse off, rather improving many seniors´ life quality

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

We may be moving slowly toward socialism, but people in general don't trust it. Worse they don't want to pay for it. It seems to work best in places like Norway and Sweden, where the tax rates are around 50% and many of the taxes are regressive, so everyone feels it. In other parts of Europe it's bankrupting nations as people vote themselves too much of other people's money.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I happen to live in Norway, and the tax rate for an avarage paycheck is about 30%, not 50. But we have a more progressive tax system in Norway (although not progressive enough in my view) meaning the more you earn the more you pay in taxes.

Socialism (as you evidently seem to call the social democractic system in Scandinavia) would work just as fine in the US as in Norway. We´re all human beings sharing the same genes; if it can work for us, it can work for americans.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

Yes I agree, if Americans were willing to pay for it. The article I read a while ago mentioned a national sales tax in addition to any income tax, I can't remember if that was Sweden though or Norway. Not that it matters, as a rule Americans just don't seem willing to pay.

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

local healthcare would help

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Yes, LS focuses very much on local issues and local self management. Services such as health care, retirement homes etc would be close to the ones needing these.

[-] 1 points by mserfas (652) from Ashland, PA 2 years ago

It's absurd to speak of "stealing existing companies" in these times. When companies go bankrupt, they get to "steal" the money they were loaned, or they get a bailout and steal (no quotes really necessary) money from the taxpayers. We just need to take a step back and say hey, if we're going to spend taxpayer money to keep a company afloat, we should spend it to create a rock-solid foundation for that company to continue by creating a pattern of worker ownership and control that cannot possibly close shop and move overseas, nor be paralyzed by strikes and lockouts, nor hand out the taxpayer money in ten million dollar bonuses to the officials who mismanaged the company in the first place. And if we're going to lay out a plan for a company's bankruptcy, then instead of selling it off and paying its workers and creditors a dime on the dollar for what they're owed, why not say that the workers can continue and repay the money over a much longer time period at lower interest? Just redirect such existing theft to be of more benefit to the community at large.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

It's equally absurd to use one form of immoral behavior to justify another. If the bailouts and bankruptcies are government stealing they don't make it right for us to then steal from others also.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I dont know what you mean by "steal" here, but if it means changing property rights thru democratic process so that billionaires and millionaires have to give up much of their wealth, then that´s not stealing (anymore than existing property rights) In a highly advanced modern technological society we should share much of the wealth. We all enjoy "free rides" all the time. http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

By steal I mean, to take (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it. Bringing up other ills of society or other wrongs, doesn't make it right to appropriate something from someone else.

True you can try to use a majority to change the laws. It's been done to justify slavery, subjugating native populations, taking control of entire continents, but it doesn't make it right. On a small scale it's been done with eminent domain, but people generally find even that small scale appropriation of property disturbing. That's why in the end the attempt to change private property rights would be self defeating. As a society we place the rights of the individual over those of the group.

I don't understand why we should expect to share in what someone else has built. There are sharing mechanisms in place, if I wish to avail myself of them. I could risk some money buying stock, if a company is successful then I get to share in that success. If I choose to simply work for a wage then that's all I'm entitled to.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Oh but you see, I want there to be permission - changing the laws that allows for takeover. Current property rights are not graven in in stone, they can be changed just like they were, a certain time ago, changed into the ones we have today. Just like the wealthy business owners have been given the right to own the means of productions others are using and profiting on someone else´s labor, workers can be given the right to instead control their own work and workplace. Property rights are not unchangable and come in different variations, and it has to be the public who have to live by these laws that should get to decide these. In other words, democracy.

In a libertarian socialist society every individual would have the right to participate in their workplace and in other things that affect them and theyre a part of. Awful things like slavery would not come about in a free libertarian socialist society where democracy is built frm the "bottom up" Libertarian Socialism focus on both strong individual rights and collective rights: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

"I don't understand why we should expect to share in what someone else has built"

We all enjoy what someone else has built. We live in a free ride society: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

"I could risk some money buying stock, if a company is successful then I get to share in that success. If I choose to simply work for a wage then that's all I'm entitled to."

Iit´s a matter of principle. Should we have democracy: people being able to participate in their own affairs or must thy work in a private tyranny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqlTyAMVDUk.

"If I choose to simply work for a wage then that's all I'm entitled to."

No, no. Read this one (if you havent already): http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Labor isn't given for free, it's exchanged for payment and that's all the worker has a right to. There isn't much any of us can do about the accidents of birth that place someone in a third world country. People in developed nations, have voted rightly or wrongly with their buying habits for cheaper goods. As those third world nations modernize their labor laws will change and evolve as ours have. Until then they are going to have to build the free ride their children will enjoy.

We build on and use what has come before us. Your workers have as much right to that free ride as stockholders of any corporation do and have the right to become stockholders themselves. That's how they could share more in the production. They also benefit from what has been built by others, it doesn't grant them any special power over someone that is more successful.

Property rights have been evolving in one direction as individual human rights. I don't see how you could acquire a majority to change that in a society where everyone aspires to own private property. Your also looking at this in a very simplistic way as though a modern corporation were just one owner. If placed before the public in a general democratic vote, the right of stockholders to own their corporation will win over the worker's desire to take property without just compensation hands down.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"and that's all the worker has a right to"

That´s your opinion, yes. I disagree. We all live in a free ride society http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320872575_the_free_ride_society.html we all get free rides all the time, so we should share the wealth. Again, today´s property rights are not graven in stone.

But it´s a principle thing. Should we have real democracy, people participating in thir affairs or should we not.

I havent said that corporations have only one owner. I ve said that corporations are private tyrannies ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqlTyAMVDUk ) and command economies ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmakLRxGbW8 )

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

It isn't sharing so much as theft under current law and your not likely to get a change in that. It always comes down to the level of envy, there are those that risked their money on a stock and those that didn't. Workers that didn't risk, that chose to take the safe path of only wages, don't deserve the rewards form the gamble.

People have the option to participate democratically in our republic many choose not to. I doubt it would change anything if you decided things under a pure democracy or not. You're certainly free to lobby for constitutional changes. Pure democracy isn't likely to evolve in a country where you rarely get 50% even bothering to vote in an off year election.

I know you've never said corporation have one owner, but when you mention owners you don't seem to acknowledge that shareholder numbers may rival that of workers in many cases.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

But I want there to be a change of laws so that we can redestribute the wealth.

Not envy, justice!

Risktaking is irrelevant if one likes the idea that people should have a democratic say in the things that theyre a part of and affect them. That would necessarily include democracy at the workplace and communities - Libertarian Socialism: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

We have a lot of work to do when it comes to getting people engaged and active. The Occupy Movement have started working on this, among many other things, and has done a good job so far in my opinion. What the future brings nobody knows. We just have to continue organizing and convincing.

No I want democracy in the workplace, not shareholders "voting" with their stocks.

[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

You want the rights of ownership given to non-owners. You're free to take a message like that, spin it any way you like, and lead the charge to amend the constitution. Things are so complex today everyone is affected by the kinds of changes you talk about. Trying to change the prohibition on taking private property without just compensation may be a tall order so I believe the republic is safe from what I see as the folly of anarchy for the next few centuries at least.

Chomsky's been preaching this same simplistic stuff for over 40 years now and has nothing to show for it. I wish you no malice, but obviously I would work to make the republic better and try to defeat any move toward anarchy with my vote.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 2 years ago

getting paid for doing nothing is still getting paid for doing nothing. They may have invested but that doesn't give them a right or the execs a right to take more than their share of the profits. It's an abuse of the system. Like any type of embezzlement, it took people a while to notice, but now they notice and it's coming to an end.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I agree, it's doing nothing the way any gambler does nothing. If a venture fails the worker has to look for a new job, the stockholder is out his capitol. The worker gets his pay even when the business is not profitable or stock prices drop. For the worker there is less risk. The rules are simple and known to all. When there is real embezzlement it's often the stockholders that lose more then the workers.

[-] 1 points by richardkentgates (3269) 2 years ago

If a stockholder looses there entire source of income and becomes homeless because one business fails, they should have diversified their portfolio. So the worker you see has all their eggs in one basket. They pour their time, lifespan and labor into that one company for the return of keeping the lights on and shoes on their kids. That is a far higher risk.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Using your logic, it could be said that the worker should have diversified his educational and technical background. None of it matters, we live in a society with a constitution and a way to change it. If you firmly believe in something like Chomsky's vision you're free to make an effort to amend that constitution.

I personally see flaws in our current system, but I'm not prepared to throw it out. I'd rather put my efforts into reform. I see Chomsky's leaderless society as risking individual rights in favor of a simplistic system that would lead to stagnation of our society and endless debate and votes on every minor issue.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

No, no. Libertarian Socialism focuses very much on individual rights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8J_UKKa-c

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I can't get past the idea that you start on this path by voting away rights and property from some individuals. See if you are able to get society to change it's laws.

I've seen the video before and like most related to this topic only brings up more concerns. With a maximum of about 200 people in any group, how would you run something like GM or the nation?

Leaders always emerge from any group, some benign leading by example, other aggressive and dominating. To pretend that won't happen is naive and ignores man's history. The most egalitarian societies had better hunters or elders that were listened to more then other members of the group were and then followed.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I think both takeover of existing institution, but also creating solidaric communities creating future institutions based on Libertarian Socialism, and I believe that is also what Chomsky advocates. (ps no stealing, but takeover using democracy)

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Takeover using democracy? It's more abusing then using democracy. Probably why Chomsky's brand of socialism will never be accepted, once you start allowing a group to take away rights there is no guarantee where it will end.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Current property rights are not graven in in stone, they can be changed just like they were, a certain time ago, changed into the ones we have today. Property rights come in different variations, and it has to be the public who have to live by these laws that should get to decide these. In other words, democracy. The alternatives to democracy - dictatorship, minority rule etc - are awful. People should have a democratic say in the things they´re part of and that affect them.

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

That decision has been made, and affirmed through laws over the years. Change is remotely possible, but not likely, and certainly not likely through a democratic process. Haven't you ever seen the way people react when someone looses property through eminent domain? Even when a large majority will benefit from a public project, people react strongly in favor of private ownership.

You'd never get public support to strip small business owners of their little family built company and with the big ones you're talking about trying to take property from stockholders, it's not just one owner, they will obviously vote for the status quo and may very well outnumber the employees in some companies. The only way around that is to be selective about who can vote (employees can vote but the stockholder owners can't), how do you get a law for undemocratic democracy in this country?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Many thought parlamentary democracy was impossible to achive in the times when feudalism was the dominating system..look what happened...

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Yes it evolved through the powerful barons pushing for changes like Magna Carta, happened through revolution, or evolved as industrialization changed the world. The successful systems have fostered individual rights and in the case of our constitution it would take a lot of political action to gain the support of congress to change that.

What you want requires direct democracy to replace our republic. That's a two thirds majority in both houses and three quarters of the states. In a country that places the individual about the group. Your motive to redistribute the means of production makes individuals uneasy because no matter how you dress it up as democracy, it's still simply a group taking what they haven't paid for from the rightful owner.

[-] 0 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I agree, with you JenLynn, it's a major obstacle to any form of socialism. The feeling of individual rights runs too deeply in most people in this country.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Libertarian Socialism strongly favors individual rights.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Not from what I see, it favors altering individual rights whenever a majority feels a desire to redistribute wealth. Libertarian-socialists dress up envy and a tyranny by the majority and call it democracy. Fortunately the system we have makes that kind of tyranny difficult to impose.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

redestributing wealth? Absolutley. Redistributing it to the workers, poor, sick, disabled, strengthening the rights of these individuals

A Libertarian socialist society would be a society where people participate in the decision-making and are in control of their own work, life and destiny. A society where people are not treated like cogs in a machine and commanded to act in a mechanical way, but where each individual could live out their true potential based on its own capacity. Individual freedom.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I see us as in control of our lives and destiny now to a large extent, but all life is a cog of sorts in some bigger system. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone if you think about it.

Even if you were to wave a wand and give ownership to the workers, they would still have their same jobs and be subject to rules. Most votes produce a sizable minority who are going to feel oppressed under your system too, and it won't always be the same ones feeling oppressed.

We have the ability to use the vote we do have to work toward improving our current system without turning the population loose to decide who does or doesn't have rights today.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

It´s a matter of principle, my friend.

If one likes the idea of people having a democratic say in the things that affect them and are a part of - real democracy in other words - then that would certainly include democracy in the workplace and community. There´s a name for this society building democracy from below, it´s called Libertarian Socialism. Anyone who likes the idea of real participatory democracy in which people are in control of their own lives and work, should work for Libertarian Socialism http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

You can certainly try to win converts, but after reading some of the other exchanges on here your brand of democracy excludes owners and others with and relevant concern in the success of a company in favor of just the workers. It's too simplistic to think only the workers get a say in who controls a company. I've read your comments about not wanting dollars to equal votes, but you seem to go too far in the other direction, that ownership denies people their right to vote.

Right now it's just talk, you'll need to dump that pesky fifth amendment, prohibiting any individual from being deprived of property without due process or having it taken without just compensation. Good luck getting the required number of congress people and states to change the bill of rights.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

I think that is an over generalization, and who cares what one person believes, Republicanism relies on compromises, and because half the population believes, I too believe, the owner and manager should have progressively more than the workers, that is not going to change. The compromise is just going to be the worker gets more. And how the manager and the owner decide to accomplish this, is their compromise to make.

It is one thing to fear communism, but don't think you can use the commie card to say the workers don't get a piece of the technological and the informational revolutionary pie. Just as the progressive movement of the industrial revolution changed the worker/manager/owner relationship, history is boomeranging back to reappropriate some of the economic gains.

Besides even if employment became a democratic endeavor, and not a hierarchy, I believe it would do better on its bottom line, but that's just me. But i'm also cognizant that democratic employment controls are something that I probably wont see go mainstream in my life time, but I can hope, lol.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

I agree with you about the role of compromise and negotiation and I see the role of unions coming in here. I can even see that you might be right about any company in general doing better under more worker control. If however Chomsky's vision of total worker control were to somehow be accepted I see it as the end of new business ventures. Workers in general don't invest and start companies now and if they can vote to take over any business, where is the motivation to start one as an owner or stockholder?

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

I guess I don't believe that workers would vote themselves the lion's share of the pie. As a worker I know, in most cases, management and investors play a greater role in the endeavor so deserve more of the cut. You get what you pay for in this world and when workers feel marginalized and underpaid, they work marginally and unsatisfactorily. I bet if they had more say in the business, they would perform more adequately, hence they would contribute more to the bottom line, but, again, that's just what I believe.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

Again I agree completely, what you seem to favor is a more equal partnership between labor and management. I see that as reasonable. The idea though in libertarian-socialism is to give all control to workers, it swings too far. Stockholders and those with pensions invested in a corporation have rights too and libertarian socialism seeks to change private property laws to subvert those rights.

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

if a owner actually run their business , they do work

they place orders and help people coordinate with each other

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Its actually not favoring some over others, its giving people equal say Again, its a principle-thing. I want individuals to be able to have a democratic say in the things theyre a part of and that affects them. Is that really so unresonable?

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

That is only true if you allow everyone with a vested interest to vote, workers, stockholders, pension holders. Otherwise it isn't much different then allowing a thief to vote himself the right to burglarize a home and preventing the owner from having a say because he was so crass as to buy the home.

There is another important question that comes up though that should allow society in general to vote (and probably reject) socialism. Where do new businesses come from under your system? Workers don't invest and start them and if by any strange chance this form of anarchy took hold no one would risk starting a business to have it voted away from them. Does this mean society in general gets to debate and decide if a new business opens up? Who would bother to develop a business plan under such a system? You're promoting a system that will lead to a sort of economic sterility. Not bad for monks or agrarian sects, terrible for a technologic society.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

In a LS society the stock exchange wouldn´t exist. It would be a society where people have a democratic influence in the things they´re a part of and which affect them - real democracy in other words.

In a LS the amount of theives would be down to the minimum, because nobody had to turn to crime in order to make ends meet :)

"Where do new businesses come from under your system?"

Glad you asked. It´s an important question.

In a Libertarian Socialist society communities are run democratically by the participants. That means that the different communities (and its workplaces, also run democratically) would cooperate deciding their affairs - priorities, production, distribution, remuneration etc. - democratically.

That would be a society where humans could live out their true creative nature and create a solidaric society on all levels: workers, workplaces, communities, federations, not any longer being encouraged to only look after themselves and striving for as much money and material goods as possible, like it is in capitalism, but instead cooperating for a best possible society for everyone, democratically run by the participants.

"Who would bother to develop a business plan under such a system?"

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4

So, in other words, to answer you question: human beings :)

"Not bad for monks or agrarian sects, terrible for a technologic society."

Libertarian Socialism, especially Anarcho-Syndicalism, has exactly a modern technological Society in mind.

[-] 1 points by JPB950 (2254) 2 years ago

What you say only confirms my belief that society run along your principles would stagnate. The great leaps have come from individuals and leaders, then gambled on by investors. Many fail. A society where everyone is cared for would view new technology as pointless or too risky. It sounds like a society for bees or termites. Everyone has their place does their job and is cared for, but it never changes.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

You´re wrong. Having the urge to be creative and contributing to society is part of human nature:

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Why not steal what is rightfully ours?? You're using the words of Bush in a sly attempt to make it sound like it's a bad thing! It is theft! and rightfully so, because it was ours in the first place!

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

This is hairsplitting semantics though: ) I´m not sure if I would call taking something back that was rightfully ours "theft".... Property rights are not absolute and graven in stone. Not the current ones nor the future ones. They have to be decided by the public thru democratic process; "stealing" and "theft" in that setting is therefore not the right words to use in my opinion.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

What other personal rights can be decided by the majority? Can we democratically bring back slavery, through the theft of the labor of a few people?

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 2 years ago

There will be little bits of slavery. By Chomsky's own admission there will very likely be jobs no one wants to do and someone will have to be forced to do them. He suggests just having the group pick someone or everyone rotating the unpleasant task. Either way, forced labor.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

People should have a democratic say in the things that affect them. In a local democratic libertarian socialist society, slavery would never come into existence.

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Sure it would. We would all be slaves, none of us would have a chance to work for more money or start a business. We would have one employment opportunity, and if everything is controlled by the majority, they could decide to do any oppressive thing to the minority they feel benefits them, E.G. lower wages for certain groups of people.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

This is just nonsense. In a local democratic anarcho-syndicalist society people would be in control of thir own lives, communities and workplaces. "Everything owned by the majority"? Listen, I want democracy built from the "bottom up" with local democracy - democratic communities and workplaces - as the core. That means people are in control of their own lives, instead of huge private tyrannies having the owerwhelming control.

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

those involved with issue should be those voting

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Agreed. Like I said above: People should have a democratic say in the things that affect them. That would include workplaces and communities in other words: libertarian socialism http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

I agree, that's how it's currently done. If you don't like your company's policies, trash them on the internet and find a new employer. If you don't like a product being offered, build your own like I do.

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Instead we end up with tyranny by the majority. Someone is going to have to be forced to do some of the jobs no one wants. In today's world we pay more until someone volunteers, in your world the majority gets to force that job to be done by someone.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Work that no one wants to do must be either shared or remuneration to the ones doing the work if necessary.

In the society I want people control their lives and work; and have a democratic say in the things that affect them, like their workplace and communities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w4ThqMEpUQ

[-] 0 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

People control what they do now. You assume that if I've been hired to put widgits in a machine I'll suddenly be somehow happier if my coworkers and I take over the factory. It's still the same job, how is my life any different? If I'm in the minority position on hours, wages, days off, whatever then I'm just as much a wage slave under either system. It's nice to have a say, but it's an illusion to think that having a vote will change the actual job. In fact it may make things more precarious. The majority may not actually know what it's doing or I may find myself on the 49% side of some issues and feel more frustrated.

[-] 2 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

the difference is that there will still be a job!

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

I don't see how changing owners gives me any guarantee the job will be there. If you're hinting about out sourcing or some other profit based reason for moving or closing a plant, changing owners may only postpone things. That Chicago energy window plant will likely fail no matter who owns it, there just isn't any demand for the product right now.

http://occupiedchicagotribune.org/?p=635#more-635 http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleynewsdispatch/s_783475.html

[-] 1 points by gestopomillyy (1695) 2 years ago

i dont think if the owners are the workers that that would happen. the whole point.. what do you think.. that when the workers own the companythey all get to stay home and draw dividends or something? when the workers are the owners the company doesnt have to make gigantic profits.. just enough to pay everyone corporations sell because they want 100m in profit if the company only makes 50m in profits they sell

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Of course not, it's just that this Chicago plant was closing because there was less demand for the product. If the Chicago workers manage to get ownership that doesn't change the market place at all. There still won't be much demand for the product. It may be a chance for them but there is no guarantee if they buy the plant they will have enough business to keep themselves employed.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Because there´s democracy - People should be able to have a democratic say in the things they´re a part of and that affect them. having a local democratic Libertarian socialist society would mean that people would have better working conditions so it would not be the same, but even if that were the case, it´s a matter of principle. Should people be able to participate in their own affairs or must thy work in a private tyranny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqlTyAMVDUk

The majority may not actually know what it's doing? The minority rule may not actually know what it's doing either..Whatever system we have, the ones in charge of institutions or at a more central level for that matter "may not know wht theyre doing" so whats your point??

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

The point is the workers don't have any right to the means of production and even if they took it, their position as workers wouldn't change. Anyone that owns stock in a company has a vote in what happens. Workers have the option to get a say through purchasing a controlling interest. In big corporations that's going to be difficult, but in the very large corporations there are likely to be more stockholders then workers so voting control away from the true owners democratically wouldn't work either.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

But I want to change the laws so that workers get the right to the means of production.

I want democracy, not people "voting" with their cash.

People should have a democratic say in the things that affect them and theyre a part of. Not very unreasonable if you think about it.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Your first job then ought to be to get people informed and then to vote. You're free to support socialist candidates and push for constitutional amendments. People don't make proper use of the republic we have, until they do this is all just useless talk.

[-] -1 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

Okay, good, state's rights. That is something we agree about, we can't have an overbearing federal authority, it should be 1/10th the size, with local governments picking up the slack. The Federal government is nothing more than an easily corrupted tool for corporate interests.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

You havn´t payed attention. I want to dismantle states (that being the end goal - what we should strive for)

Please read and watch: http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

[-] 0 points by JuanFenito (847) 2 years ago

If the end goal is no government, then you are really just an anarchist at heart, not a democratic socialist. Capitalism is a part of humanity, ever since the beginning of the human race, people would trade things they have for things they want. That's capitalism. If states don't exist in the end plan, then society will be capitalist again the instant they go away. Capitalism is the only economic system in which the force of an oversight authority is not required to keep order, everyone controls their own affairs.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

What´s going on, dude? Where have I given the impression that I´m not an anarchist / libertarian socialist?

"Capitalism is a part of humanity"

Absolutley not. http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

Capitalism/state capitalism has existed only for a couple of hundred years, humans have existed for about 100 000 years, human evolution for millions of years.

It´s quite the oposit of what you believe:

Now, we have to face the fact that we don´t know everything about human nature. We do, however, know that there are some fundamental human characteristics. Human nature allows for different kinds of behavior and it can be shaped to a certain extent, but there are certain things - such as solidarity for example - that make up some of the core features. Again, look at the history of our evolution. For millions of years things like cooperation, sharing, caring, sticking together and so on, basing social organization on a relatively egalitarian principle, have been central parts of our evolution. Even as far back as Homo Habilis working together for the common good, cooperating on finding and getting food etc. were essential and crucial for the survival and further evolvement of the species. Now, there were also things like rivalry and violence that took place at that time, and these things have to a certain extent also been passed on, but as our ancestors evolved further, all the way up to Homo Heidelbergensis and later on Homo Sapiens, these things decreased and elements like solidarity and egalitarianism - in addition to cooperation - became more integrated in the social organization. Working together for the common good turned out to be a crucial and highly successful factor in our evolution. And with cooperation and working together, things like solidarity, altruism etc - a more collective mentality - also became a natural part of our ancestors´ way of thinking and acting. When our ancestors finally evolved into Homo Sapiens this had become a big part of our way of life: Some of the first human societies consisted of hunter-gatherers basing society on solidarity, cooperation and egalitarian principles. Marx and Engels studied and wrote about these types of egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies; they called them "primitive communism" - a kind of preindustrial version of the modern classless stateless communist society they envisioned might come into place in the future.

In other words, evolution has allowed us to develop a free will, a mentality that allows for variation in behavior, making room for adaptation and molding of the mind; but our ancestors have also passed on certain elements - mostly good ones - that are determined and part of humans today. Things that were the main reason for our evolutionary success, like solidarity and cooperation, are parts of our nature.

In fact many of these things can also be seen among most species, simply because sticking together and helping each other increase the chances of species survival. Peter Kropotkin, a zoologist, philosopher and Libertarian Socialist - contributing especially to the philosophy of Anarcho-Communism - wrote about this issue in his book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution", looking at mutual aid and cooperation in nature, arguing that evolution naturally would develop things like commitment to helping others, and that these were important factors in the survival of the species.

Another important contribution to this topic is of course "The Selfish Gene" from 1976 by professor and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In this book he pointed out that altruism, and cooperation naturally would evolve among species thruout evolution because organisms act as if their genes - not the organisms themselves - are selfish. It is the gene that is being passed on endlessly thru organisms, and things like altruism would therefore accrue in order to increase the chances for the gene to survive. And it makes perfect sense; individuals sharing the same genes would naturally evolve cooperation, altruism and solidarity, because it increases the chances of the gene being replicated. Most scientists on this field regard Dawkins´ contributions to be correct.

"people would trade things they have for things they want."

You´re living in a dreamworld. These "voluntary agreements" you´re talking about, taking place in a class / capitalist / state-capitalist society in which the wealth and resourses are very highly concentrated, and where some individuals are owning huge corporations or important means of production, (and other individuals are not owning these things) are simply just cognitive illusions since the ones owning the resourses - the wealth and the means of production etc - have much more power, hence having the advantage and overwhelming power in a job hiring/negotiations in a worker/non-owner - employer/owner relationship.

"everyone controls their own affairs."

No because the individuals controlling the wealth and resourses would have much more power than other individuals. It would be private tyranny and command economy

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