Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr

Forum Post: Some examples of workplace democracy.

Posted 7 years ago on May 31, 2014, 5:24 a.m. EST by nakedsex (94)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Sorry if this is rambly. It's late and I'm tired...

Let's say a person makes beautiful, renowned sculptures. Not only does it require their talent, but it's hard work, and extremely tedious. It also requires the use of a chemical that's known to cause cancer. They hire someone to sit for 4 hours a day at a cash register and take peoples money who buy the sculptures. Now, should this hired person be entitled to equal profit? It took the artist 4 days of sweat, but took this person 4 hours, most of which they spent playing on facebook.

If I offer you a certain amount of money to help me with one aspect of something that I'm doing, and you agree, then why should you be given the right to have a say in that business of mine? Mind your own business.

Let's say a brilliant person named Bob really understands shoes like nobody else does, and he decides to make the best shoes ever. To achieve this he hires several people to sit around and preform simple tasks. Bob stresses night and day to make sure things are working just right, stuff the hired people don't have to worry about when they go home. They just do their thing, get paid, and then actually have free time.

No offence to these people, but they're idiots when it comes to shoes. Not only do they decide that they should be paid as much as Bob, but they think that the shoes would look better with a red stripe, and since workplace democracy is the law, they have the power to control these decisions. So they start making the worst shoes ever, and all the money Bob put into the company is drowning in poor sales, until they shut down, and there goes the risk Bob took with his life savings.

Why do coops work so well with grocery stores? Because a grocery store never requires brilliance. Sorry to make that so blunt, but when you unify popular will you dilute any brilliance, simply because you have unified the level of understanding. And brilliance is never really understood until it's had that chance to have an effect.

But think about this. This isn't about having the right to control businesses just because you work there, because that's ridiculous. It's about being exploited, and it's also about the cost of living.

Take a good look at Norway. A mixed economy allows private ownership of business while still being able to regulate certain things democratically.

The approach Norway has that seems to work so well is providing a decent standard of living by default, giving people their own space to find work and become motivated for increasing their depth of living even further. The democratic regulation of essential infrastructure is how our world resources can be made sustainable and how the exploitation of people can be neutralized.

The public would decide that something like pollution is too much, and it would be the responsibility of government to respond, not ignore.

Personally, I think we have a pretty good standard of living by default, if only sleeping outside wasn't illegal. Seriously, welfare in the US is enough to eat, even organic high end food. And if it's too cold to sleep outside there are homeless shelters. It's absolutely perfect, as long as the police don't harass you for sleeping (so you find a nice spot on the outskirts of town, or a beach maybe). Other people are not out to kill you.

Nobody thinks that i'm a homeless person because I don't drink or get dirty (that's a stereotype because sickened people often end up in homeless situations). I started being homeless because it occurred to me that paying rent was a joke, and it's amazing how much money you can save when not doing that. Now that I'm used to sleeping outside, the nature and fresh air is so much better then any box, I feel sorry for people addicted that way.

I know everyone isn't physically young and capable, and our system is definitely set up to poke and prod people into a certain way of living. That whole commercial program treating everyone like a crop on a farm. It's terrible. We need this to be understandable. People are in fact exploiting the world, and the planets getting trashed, and that absolutely has to stop. But even from my position it seems like a lot of people want to use democracy for the sake of more indulgence. We want more, but really, we need less.



Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

the world is a finite size

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 7 years ago

Nothing provided has been an actual example of workplace democracy. There is no law of workplace democracy applied to private businesses. Degrees of workplace democracy are either allowed at the discretion of private owners or are the product of the owners being the workers. Workers who come together to form or run a business decide who gets paid for what and it's not automatically all equal. Worker-Owners also regularly come together for meetings on how to achieve better results allowing for individual brilliance to shine. After all, when everyone's livelihood is at stake, people put forth their best efforts to achieve the best results even when it means agreeing upon a cut in pay when business is down. That's workplace democracy. Legally forcing private owners to allow their employees to make the business decisions is sheer fantasy.

Not everyone or even most people advocating for workplace democracy are advocating for privately owned businesses being forced into becoming democratic workplaces. Most are advocating for government support in making the option of cooperative businesses more available to those who would desire them.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 7 years ago

Yahr, sorry I should have explained, this is mostly in response to all the talk of libertarian socialism, that entirely political society with public ownership of means of production. Otherwise I have a lot to say about how much better community situations are, don't get me started.

[-] 1 points by turbocharger (1756) 7 years ago

Interesting post. Personally I like the comfort of my bed to the comfort of friends floors and car seats, benches or beaches. And while that does mean I have entered the rat race, I am ok with that.

Something you might enjoy: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/2476.Noam_Chomsky

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 7 years ago

Aye, I think the comfort of a bed and your own space is a good reason to do more with your life. It's enough reason. Mostly having your own space (I love my bed outside).

I've liked some of the stuff I've heard chomsky say, but i hate the way some people interpret and stretch it. I'll have to check out that video later.


[-] 1 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

but it doesn't matter what you believe or what I believe as if t did then we would be dictators. Under a free system many people with different beliefs can co-exist. Under your system you want everybody to yield to your beliefs.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 7 years ago

Expressing beliefs is conversation. I'm advocating private ownership with some democratic regulations. That's a mixed economy. It's a free system with a lid on certain things to make it sustainable for the sake of our planet and population. It's not my system, it's a good idea that I'm voting for. A free system is perfect, but it's not sustainable, like Matt says below. We need balance.

[-] 1 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

Not everybody agrees on the sustainability issue in fact nearly half the population doesn't agree on it and that is the point. A lot of people want more indulgence and just because you believe there should be less, doesn't make it correct. In a free market system the will of the people is the final arbiter

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 7 years ago

I wrote a paper on democracy that you'd probably like.


Independent freedom consequently creates an essence of democracy, and democracy gives people what they want but does nothing to make sure they want the right things. When we talk of mutual rule it's because we want society to reflect a profound understand, but profound understanding doesn't come from public desire, it comes from the inevitability of truth. It's perfectly possible to capture that, and respond to it.

Like Matt said (above now), the world is finite. Pure freedom is not sustainable, understandably, and evidently. We need to capture the truth, and respond to it.

[-] -1 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

That's quite an article. What I am understanding from you is that while democracy is a good thing, the people aren't smart enough to want the right things. Therefore, we have to have the cognoscenti decide what is good and what is bad? If pure freedom is not sustainable, then you want control?

I would argue that truth doesn't come from secular institutions. Just look at that poor boy who shot those kids in Santa Barbara. He was completely lost and the whole argument is about guns? No discussion about why his parents weren't married or didn't do a better job of raising him.

[-] 1 points by nakedsex (94) 7 years ago

Aye, you must not have read the whole thing. Truth doesn't come from public desire and it doesn't come from secular institutions either. It comes from independent education, that inevitability of truth always being there to discover because it's always reality.

That article talks about public discourse and education being the thing to discover truth, and the relationship between that and a transparent leadership to create that realm of democracy.

It's not a matter of wanting control, it's a matter of needing something to navigate the wrath of causality, which pure freedom and pure democracy are both blind to. The balance between them however creates something very special; it's hard to put into words, but it's like two things watching out for each other, a contrast that creates vision, ying and yang.

[-] 1 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

You are basically not saying anything. You want "something" to navigate the wrath of causality. That something is called a dictator.

[-] 2 points by nakedsex (94) 7 years ago

Uhrm, not a dictator. saying that the combination of public discourse and transparent leadership could respond that way, not at all one person. I sort of imagine that the method in which we hire and fire public servants would become more accessible, creating more obligation and responsibility. And if the public demands to know why something is happening or not happening it deserves to not be ignored.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 7 years ago


[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 7 years ago

Where does truth come from then?

[-] -1 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

Profound understanding comes from faith and the study of God. Which God, the God of Abraham.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 7 years ago

So if you don't believe in that conception of god, the you are incapable of understanding truth?

What about the god of Spinoza or Siddartha?

Oh, you mean Abraham Hicks!!!! I'm on board.

[-] -1 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

Why am I not incapable of understanding?

Like I said before, I don't rely in a government bureaucrat to tell me what is right or wrong. You obviously do and are waiting on Obama to help you; as an aside has there been anybody more incompetent or inexperienced for the job.

No I don't need Spinoza or Siddartha to tell me how I should think. I don't push my beliefs on you, why should you push yours on me?

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 7 years ago

First of all, I never said that you are not capable of understanding. I was simply contesting your point that in order to understand the truth you MUST believe in the abrahamic god.

Second, how did infer that I like or support anything Obama is or does?

Third, I don't need Paul to tell me how I should think. I constantly have paulian Christianity shoved down my fuckin throat. Pray for this, god bless this, don't marry this. I'm tired of it.

Truth is not exclusive to those who believe in right kind of god.

[-] 0 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

Yes, I absolutely believe that understanding the world comes from religion and not government. I don't rely on Obama or the government to tell me what my decisions should be.

My mistake if I inferred that you supported the government or Obama.

Do you really need to resort to vulgarity to make your point? I am not attempting to shove anything down your throat. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Liberty means having the freedom to make your own decisions. The opening comments made by the poster was that we shouldn't have a democracy were the people decide but that somebody else needs to make rules for betterment of society, To me this is a dictatorship.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 7 years ago

Yes, vulgarity is necessary when it is necessary.

I don't think religion is necessary for understanding any more than government. Quantum theory tells us that while truth is objective, it very easy to change.

Just to clarify my point: I am against democracy. Plato's philosopher kings approach would be much better and thoreau's common law republic would be even better than that. Democracy is good for those who agree with the majority, but not those who think for themselves.
Democracy prevents people from thinking individually and instead promotes group thought and crowd sourced law making.

[-] 0 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

That is where we disagree, vulgarity is not necessary as it just creates a uncivil attitude which is evident now in our society. First it is vulgarity, then immoral behavior and now violence. It is all ok.

Plato's approach is that somebody has to be in control, better and smarter than anyone else. No human in our history has been able to govern well with that type of power.

[-] 1 points by HCabret2014 (-11) 7 years ago

Gilgamesh, Alexander, Augustus, kublai khan, William and Mary, queen Victoria. Kallipolis is not unheard of. And was often quite vulgar. We all speak Vulgar English.

[-] 1 points by puff6964 (-5) 7 years ago

And those were crude times with a lot of violence.