quetzalcoatl wrote:The choice of 250 employees is somewhat arbitrary, although I justify it on the basis of how many people can operate in a direct democracy.
And I do agree with that point. My problem is that many essential activities require far more people than this. I think the actual end result would be an artificial division of those activities into sub-entities, with the result of voiding the leaves of their practical freedom by putting them at the mercy of the end product manufacturer (the trunk), their exclusive consumer.
From what I understood you would like to ban this (under which criteria?) and have those complex activities taken in charge by the govt. But very large parts of your economy would then be taken in charge by the govt. Automobile manufacturing, computer manufacturing, etc. Many complex products involve tens to hundreds of thousands of employees and thousands of high-level executives alone to coordinate the swarm of sub-contractors and logistic chains. So the end result would be an economy mostly controlled by the govt, unless you revert technology back to XIXth century like levels.
These worker-owned enterprises are not free to simply re-enact the same oppressive hierarchical structures they were designed to replace.
I do agree but I was actually interested in knowing why you think such scheme could be reproduced. If the workers are in charge they are not going to favor a minority of them. The risk is rather that they will discriminate the minorities.
they don't want to be harassed by idiots who pride themselves on being assholes.
I think this will still exist. Do you know about the game company Valve? They do not have hierarchies, instead decisions are taken by agregation: people are encouraged to work on what they believe in, which is a form of democracy that avoids many of the problems of traditional democracy
. Here is the handbook for new employees
This has a lot of great sides, for sure. But the reality is that there are "high-school gangs" who drive most of things. Those ones enjoy the actual authority. Whatever you will do, authority will find its way to you because this is how humans work. As I said before I do not think your model fixes as much problems as you think it does. If you want to get rid of coercion then I am afraid the most important step is to make sure that no one has to work to get a decent living, which is unfair for those who continue to work.
For me the enterprise under communism is like a dogpack. Leaders would naturally emerge out of the pack: politicians and brutes. There may very well be be more psychopaths in charge than there are today since other leaders' profiles would disappear (the individualists, the innovators, etc).
I assert that such skills can be taught, and that every worker should be encouraged to learn as many different skills as they feel capable of taking on.
But reducing specialization is yet another inefficiency source.
You claimed that you do not care about inefficiency, but reducing it would lead to impoverishment. And I am afraid you are too generous with the way you stockpile inefficiency sources. Is it better to be an employee in the XXIth century, working 35h a week and living in a warm and enjoyable house, or a coal miner in the XIXth century working 80h a week with a high mortality rate? Democracy in the workplace is not worth the latter choice.
For most people freedom and democracy only outweigh wealth past a high level of wealth. Especially democracy, since actual freedom gains would be tiny.
On the contrary, I assert that innovation as a value in itself is literally worthless.
I think changes make the world interesting. And to prevent them you would need to shut up curiosity, to discourage those with ideas and desires for changes. Those people would grow to hate your society and people would complain that your govt is unable to fix problems and would regret the good old capitalism where mankind was advancing and people could hope to see cancer disappear.
I know: you would fund cancer. The problem is that a cure for cancer will not come from researches against cancer. It will come from all sort of unrelated things: nanotechnologies, chemical and biological simulations, genetic manipulations, etc.
But, yes, everything would eventually happen. Far later. Far far later.
I'm interested in hearing your solutions. Do you have some?
Personally I am a capitalist betting on the fact that capitalism will consume itself by making all productions so cheap and commoditized that people will naturally opt for freedom rather than efficiency (including purchasing power). I see capitalism as the lesser evil to reach this point as fast as possible.
Also on a personal note I am more comfortable with an individualist and hierarchical society than I am with a collective and normative one. The latter would have been very oppressive for me.