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Forum Post: Noam Chomsky & Richard Wolff on Workplace Democracy

Posted 1 year ago on Jan. 2, 2013, 3:18 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6276)
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41 Comments

41 Comments


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[-] 3 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Awesome for sure. How could 99% of us not want this?

Did you notice how it fits into the conglomerate?

http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/conglomerate-and-democracy-at-work/

Think Wolf would mind? The conglomerate can make it happen fast.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

I hope many more will become fond of the ideas of workplace democracy. Democratizing workplaces is crucial in the struggle for a free and just society.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Everyone Should Watch These!

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Glad you liked them. Feel free to share them and spread them around :)

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Chomsky video isn't working

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Fixed! :)

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

A lot of people on this forum could do some good by reading up on Chomsky. So many people here are still pushing the 2 party system rhetoric. Or as Chomsky calls it "the 2 factions of the corporate state."

[-] 2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Agreed, I do too. Isn't it a great tool for the 1% to control with? Two main parties giving the illusion of democracy, yet dividing the nation so that decisions are always in their favor...

Like if there's a $1.5 thousand billion deficit and one party thinks cutting the budget by $100 billion is smart, the other can say "slow down there, let's stop this craziness... that's WAY too much! We only want to cut it by $30 billion". Then they'll have to talk about it for a while and come to a compromise of under $40 billion.

$100 billion isn't going to get anyone out of debt... so what's the point of cutting the budget by $30 billion? It makes more sense to INCREASE the budget by $100 billion!

There's no hope for our current system. Radical structural change in governance is necessary to get debt free and fix the economy.

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

We need to dismantle the structures put in place by the 2 parties' assault on democracy and their ongoing support of capitalism. As well as constitutional amendment banning contribution based politics.

We could do a lot of good by passing monetary reform like HR 2990 the NEED Act. - in regards to your comments about the debt problems.. as well as ending the damn wars.

Just because a bunch of corporations want to build a new Silk Road doesn't mean the government needs to keep the troops in Afghanistan in the longest war in American history. Yet they're doing exactly that. And yes longer than WWII... back when they were fighting the Nazi's, which was a much more powerful group than Al Qaeda which never seems to disappear.

[-] 2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

I hope the revolution will be seen as an apology to the poor nations we've destroyed.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Chomsky definitely deserves more attention! As a libertarian socialist, I'm a big fan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY

[-] -1 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

They both are complete frauds. Sleight of hand disinfo artists -- 'don't look there, look over here!"

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Because...? Some arguments would be nice.

[-] 0 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

Sorry, can't do your homework for you. I've listed arguments before. If interested google Chomsky and gatekeeper.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/chomsky-on-boycott-divest-and-sanctions-bds-agains/#comment-667940

On Wolf, I don't know what's out there. But follow his analysis, it places the blame on the evolution of the labor market not on looting banksters and financial parasites. His solution is labor owned factories -- which have no record of working anywhere on a large scale, while he ridicules idea of reducing size of economic giants with the freedom to act with psychopathic freedoms. In other words, his solution is no solution at all. He offers nothing that will slow our descent into third world conditions.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Your link was meaningless; just a comment similar to what you said here.

This has nothing to do with doing my homework, this has to do with presenting arguments. If you claim something, you must back it up, not tell people to search for evidence on google.

Wolff don't care much for the bankers and the financial parasites, but he correctly focuses on the system which allows this wealth gap to develop in the first place. When we have a system that is exploitative, tyrannical, undemocratic, and immoral, then we need to ask ourselves if this is worth keeping.

There are lots of examples of cooperatives, and communities based on a co-operative economic organization that have worked fine. If you watch both or one of the videos you'll be introduced to one example, and if you look below the video, you'll find other interesting links.

[-] -2 points by nomdeguerre (1775) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

You've always been the handmaiden to that washed up, used up prostitute fraud Chomsky. I wouldn't waste my time trying to persuade you of anything. Do your own homework, or don't -- I don't care.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

This is just a typical comment from a guy who has no arguments to present.

I hope you some day into the future will embrace the ideas of Libertarian Socialism. Creating a real sustainable participatory democracy would benefit you as well.

[-] -3 points by Zophim99 (1) 1 year ago

Noam Chomsky’s biggest fault is that he neglects to realize that not everybody is as intelligent and reasonable as he is. Most businesses that adopted workplace democracy would soon resemble a monkey shit fight at the zoo rather than an organization.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

The fact that Chomsky's intelligence is far above the avarage is not an argument against people having the right to control their own lives.

We've seen many examples of cooperatives and anarchist/anarchist like societies being very successful, so your claim does not make any sense.

[-] -2 points by Zophim99 (1) 1 year ago

People are incapable of governing themselves, this is a fact just take a look around.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Yeah, that's what supporters of tyranny and oppression have always said. We need a powerful state, monarchy, Stalinism or whatever, to control the population. This is just absurd.

Systems of huge hierarchies and concentrated power is a pretty new phenomenon in human history, it’s not a law of nature to organize societies like this. Human beings should be free; they should be able to control their own lives, work, and communities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY

Again, there are many examples of highly successful enterprises and societies based on anarchist/anarchist like principles. It’s not a question of whether it works or not, it’s a question of how we most effectively achieve this kind of society.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 1 year ago

Perhaps Zophim99 meant incapable in that human nature eventually leads governments into corruption because so few people are actually willing to take an active informed role in self government. There is nothing wrong with the various forms of socialism (Chomsky's version included) or with a representative republic, or even capitalism, on paper. Our history shows us that in practice things don't work out as well as they do in theory.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

But if Z99 thinks (in the context is was written) that people are incapable of governing themselves, then isn't it reasonable to believe that he then advocates some kind of hierarchy and control?

It is the system that creates apathy, ignorance etc. I think most people, if they had the chance, would love to have a say in their communities and workplace, and participate in the decitionmaking.

enterprises and societies based on anarchist/anarchist like principles have in practice worked fine.

[-] 0 points by ChemLady (576) 1 year ago

Unfortunately there is a difference between having your say and having things turn out the way you personally think they should. That leads to apathy as well.

There certainly are very well run cooperative businesses, but government is another matter. Anarchistic principles don't work very well when you try to manage large diverse populations.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

"Unfortunately there is a difference between having your say and having things turn out the way you personally think they should. That leads to apathy as well."

When we live in a society with other people we won't get our will all the time. I think most people think that is pretty reasonable, and I don't think that leads to apathy. The point is that people should have a right to a democratic say in the things that affect them, including of course in the institution in which they work.

"Anarchistic principles don't work very well when you try to manage large diverse populations."

But anarchism is about democracy controlled from below - a strong local democracy with organic and diverse communities. A society that's based on solidarity and cooperation would have much less conflicts between people than today's society.

[-] 0 points by ChemLady (576) 1 year ago

I know what anarchy is about, I just don't have the faith in it that you do. All we're talking about here is opinion. There is no working successful libertarian socialist government. You believe one would work, you have faith, I don't.

I believe human nature is the problem and be it a representative republic or a direct democracy, you will always have a majority of the population being uninformed about many of the issues.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Well, when you say “Anarchism doesn’t work well when you try to manage large diverse populations” it makes me wonder.

Again, there are many examples of enterprises and societies based on anarchist/anarchist-like values and ideas working perfectly fine. There are no examples of really large scale libertarian socialist societies, but that’s mainly because attempts to create such societies have been successfully beaten back by existing power systems.

Human nature is not a problem at all. In fact, human nature is best suited libertarian socialism. In a free society human characteristics such as solidarity, cooperation etc would flourish. We’ve seen that humans can organize societies based on community and workplace democracy; like I said earlier: It’s not a question of whether it works or not, it’s a question of how we most effectively achieve this kind of society.

I think a sustainable and real democratic society could work just fine, yes. Our current state-capitalist society is undemocratic, immoral, exploitative and unsustainable, it must be abolished at some point, and it’s pretty obvious that the only reasonable alternative to capitalism is Libertarian Socialism:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY

Hopefully you’ll agree with this eventually.

[-] 0 points by ChemLady (576) 1 year ago

When you say, "attempts to create such societies have been successfully beaten back by existing power systems", you're making an excuse to ignore the fact. It doesn't matter what the reason is, we don't know that it would be any different from what we have.

I can't accept the premise that direct democracy would be better then a representative republic. We don't know that people would be any better informed or actively participate. You're making a statement based on faith.

Wollf's direction seems to be that workers over time should invest in themselves and that successful cooperatives would lead to the system changing over time. Unions in particular need to leave behind the 19th and early 20th century model of working only for a better contract today and focus on buying into and running their own worker run cooperatives tomorrow.

Looking to simply abolish capitalism seems foolishly optimistic. People themselves have to work toward a society in which they are more involved. If people become willing to actually work for the group rather then themselves then that system will slowly work its way into society.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

I'm not making excuses. I'm just saying that many societies and attempts to create such societies were crushed. That's a fact.

Obviously no one knows what would have happened if history had been a little different, but it's reasonable to believe that had they not been crushed, these kind of societies might have been more visible today.

But again, there are examples (both past and present) of people organizing society and production, to a large extent at least, based on anarchist values and ideas:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEzXln5kbuw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXQb11B0UjQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPl_Y3Qdb7Y

So I think you're excessively pessimistic.

Abolishing capitalism is not going to be done over night, it takes time. Dismantling it totally is the long term goal.

Capitalism is immoral, undemocratic, and exploitative, it must eventually be abolished.

[-] 1 points by ChemLady (576) 1 year ago

I could say that the anarchists in Catalonia would have developed a fair and open direct democratic society, or I could say that they would have continued to burn churches and become more repressive toward any individuals that disagreed with them over time. We don't know because neither had the chance to happen.

I doubt capitalism will be abolished. It may slowly be replaced by a system that works better. That is the key ingredient, be it the anarchistic model or some other, to be accepted a system must show it works in today's world in practice. Absolute monarchies, feudalism, these things were replaced slowly over time as better systems developed and managed to prove themselves.

Mondragon offers a way to slowly over time change the way society thinks of work and employment. It requires the workers to invest in themselves though and not look to government to simply hand over production to them. If you simply try to legislate it into existence you're likely to fail.

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6276) 1 year ago

Human nature is no obstacle to creating a libertarian socialist society, on the contrary: human nature is very much based on cooperation and solidarity.

Again you ignored the issue of power. The ones in power can “shape” society more than others, so in other words, you’re wrong. Power corrupts, therefore it’s important to work to dismantle all power-centers.

The anarchist organization that was implemented during the SR was supported by the vast majority, both in the cities and the more rural areas. There were people who called themselves anarchists that did things that I don’t support, but overwhelmingly mostly good things happened in the anarchist organization of production and industry. The collectivization of workplaces and organization of anarchist communes were highly successful; people didn’t become lazy, they became more productive.

Whether you doubt it or not, capitalism must be abolished, because it’s not sustainable. I agree, capitalism will not be abolished over night. It’s going to take time and hard work, but eventually it must be replaced.

(This is a response to both of your comments)

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Maybe in your neck of the woods.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Thanks, is it just the podcast link on the right to listen to the full Wolff interview? Looking forward to it, I get a lot of inspiration listening to him.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

He is the best. The show is on PBS (2 parts) they usually stream if you aren't in a broadcast area.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Cure for capitalism. Great speech.

http://vimeo.com/rdwolff/review/60039532/b2c4503d10

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Fuck ya! Wolff is the shit.

I dare anyone to step up and dispute that fact.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

The Wolff is out to get the sheeple. Don't have to eat 'em but they do have to submit.

AaaaaaOoooooo.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Please, please join the 99% Conglomerate. You have nothing to lose ever, but you have so much to offer. With this, people just like you and me can make Wolff's suggestion a reality on a large scale.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

I have no business to join with. But good luck.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

But people like you need to direct it and its evolution. Here's an idea: you can sell Richard Wolff books. Oh, you're out of stock? That's OK, your potential customers won't mind. You'll still get one share, one vote like the other business owners. You'll be involved in drafting the Constitution of the Conglomerate for Phase 2, Phase 3 and beyond. You don't need to incorporate or put any effort in at this point. Just get the proof of concept to viability by creating the Subsidiary "RRTB Books" or something like that. Five minutes to help, and if it takes any longer, it's your fault.