Imagine this: an economic system that is designed to make democracy and self-determination the cornerstone of its function. Decisions are made on a local face-to-face basis in your own neighborhood and is coordinated to the town and region, so power always flows from the bottom up. When you go to work it is not to do the bidding of someone else but instead can be done eagerly knowing you directly own and manage part of that workplace, just like everybody else there. Jobs are designed to be equally empowering to everyone in a firm, meaning everyone is equally skilled and equipped to help manage their work. Your community directly controls natural resource health and stability, no longer to leave industries to pollute the environment and the people in it.Read More »
Who Will Mourn Syria?
On Wednesday air strikes were launched into Syria amid a formal announcement from Erdogan of Turkey’s intentions on Twitter. This came as a shock to nobody, seeing Turkey’s intentions have been explicitly known for some time. The air strikes targeted villages with locations of Syrian Defense Force positions, and has been reported by the SDF to already have taken civilian lives. The U.S. knew this was going to happen when they began pulling troops from the region despite historically supporting the Kurds in the offensive against ISIS. Trump’s announcement of pulling from the region came after pressure from Turkey to create a “Safe Zone” for which to relocate refugees. Read More »
Workplace Democracy (How to be Your Own Boss)
If you ask the average American why they believe their country is great they’ll usually mumble something about free speech, civil liberties, and eventually they’ll get around to democracy. In recent years the concept of democracy has lost its weight due to forces all around us working to diminish democracy; because at its core, true democracy is still a radical idea. I for one still believe in democracy. But it is curious that we continue to strive for a democratic process in our politics but not where it matters most: in the workplace.
The mainstream discussion about social issues does not even consider the idea of a democratic workplace because of the radical implications of democracy. But, if anything, it makes more sense to focus on democracy in the workplace. We are told to go participate in politics every 2-4 years when elections roll around to help shape our futures the way we see fit, but we spend far more time shoved into a workplace where we have no control at all about what happens there. People’s entire livelihoods – their entire means to keep surviving – are all the result of their time in the workplace, yet we have less control over this than we do the entire workings of our government.
If we truly believe in the principles of democracy, then those principles need to be extended to the most consequential parts of our lives. If our society promoted the idea of democratic workplaces then not only would that give people far more control over their own lives, but it would make society more productive and more equitable. The majority of our days would not be going to work to serve some boss that was placed over us arbitrarily, but instead every day when we go to work we would be working for ourselves to reap the benefits of our own labor.Read More »