World Betterment Begins with Workplace Democracy
By Roger Copple
When there is workplace democracy or democracy in the workplace, there is not a fixed, hierarchical structure of employers or bosses telling workers what to do. Each person in the company both works and makes decisions: one worker, one vote.
So if more companies implemented workplace democracy in our largely capitalistic society it would be a wonderful thing: there would be more egalitarianism and social justice, at least in those companies. However, such companies would still have to compete with similar companies because under capitalism, if a company does not make sufficient profits, it will not survive--it will go bankrupt and get eliminated. So, to get ahead, such worker-owned companies would likely try to become more efficient in unethical ways, as companies do now, which would still cause the fabric of society and the environment to be compromised.
But then workers will not want to pollute the communities where they live if they are making the decisions, rather than a distant board of directors who only want to make a profit. Better laws and regulations will also help. Moreover, major utility companies and the banking system can be nationalized.
Nevertheless, six other things need to be implemented--if not in this generation, in a future generation--if a nuclear holocaust that eliminates everything can be prevented by then.
1. All television and radio stations should be publicly owned and operated--either by neighborhood block clubs, school districts, voting precincts, townships, cities, counties, states, and the national government.
2. Each elementary school district should be encouraged to choose its own completely autonomous school board which would develop its own school philosophy and curriculum, using public funds. Middle and high school districts could do the same, or they could stay organized as they now are--under township control usually. Neighborhood control of neighborhood schools would create a sense of neighborhood togetherness. In the age of the internet, neighborhoods could become tribal.
3. Instead of having two political parties--both of which are controlled by the wealthiest one percent--we can take all money out of politics, eliminating all financial contributions. We can give an equal voice to the 7 largest political parties and any political party that captures at least one percent of the vote.
4. State governments need to be revamped. At every election time, instead of the majority of voters voting a straight ticket for about 10 different offices for candidates whom they know nothing about--we need what I call the Precinct Empowerment System--to build government from the bottom-up.
Voluntary neighborhood block clubs could be encouraged within each voting precinct. Township government leaders would come from each voting precinct in that township. Township elected leaders would make executive, judicial, and legislative decisions, and they would appoint leaders for various township departments.
City or county leaders would come from each township in that city or county. City or county elected leaders would make executive, judicial, and legislative decisions, and they would appoint leaders for various city or county departments.
State government leaders would come from each county within the state. State elected leaders would make executive, judicial, and legislative decisions, and they would appoint leaders for various state departments.