cj#394> re: Dugger: CALL TO CITIZENS


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996
Sender: •••@••.••• (Eric Loeb)
Subject: Re: cj#386> Drugger: CALL TO CITIZENS

A Response to Dugger's "Call to Citizens:"

Duggers said, "We are ruled by Big Business and Big Government as its
paid hireling, and we know it."  I'm sure we all agree.  I also agree,
however, with the responder who questioned Dugger's recommendation to
form another political party.  Why would a third party be immune to
the forces that have deranged the idealism of the other two?

But still, the U.S. is at war.  The multinational corporations have a
comparable level of combined power to our government.  Our laws treat
the corporations like people, but they do not have human sympathies.
It is the job of corporate leaders to conquer this country if they
can.  We should not hold that against them, but we should not let them

So, sure, we must to fight for our freedoms, but let's be careful to
plot a good strategy.  Big Business may be feeding on us, but it is
still *our* pet lion.  We have conquered the world with it, and it can
also give us the power to feed and clothe the world.  The
multinationals should be brought to heel, not destroyed.

Industrial capitalism is certainly a potential danger to our republic.
Efforts have been made throughout our history to reconcile the obvious
tyrannizing effects of industrialization with the values of the
revolution [1].  Consider the experiments in republican
industrialization tried at Lowell, Massachusetts prior to the Civil
War.  The Boston Associates founded experimental textile factories in
a sincere effort to "resolve the social conflict between the desire
for industrial progress and the fear of a debased and disorderly
proletariat."  So, the founders created total institutions.  The
workers lived in corporate boarding houses, participated in compulsory
religious services, and they were kept under strict supervision at all
times.  It was hoped that the workers would thus avoid the vice of
their British counterparts and become instead an enlightened model
community of republican virtues.

The Boston Associates expected their totalitarian systems to be model
republics, and it didn't work.  Within a few years trouble-makers were
agitating for more freedom.  That's not a surprising sight to our
modern eyes, but the original motivations for the experiment are still
valid.  We need to reconcile the hierarchical tendencies of industrial
capitalism with the egalitarian ideals of our republic.

I would suggest that the experimental industries of Lowell should be
tried again as republics.  After all, the world's republics have
out-competed the world's totalitarian regimes by a wide margin.  Why
shouldn't we expect that corporations run as republics will also
out-compete those run as dictatorships?  Perhaps market forces will
suffice to ameliorate the repressive tendencies of dictatorial
corporate culture.

So, let's fly United Airlines whenever we fly!  Are there other huge
employee-owned companies?  Let's be sure to buy from them.  Agitate
to turn your company into an employee-owned venture, and if it already
is, use Voice-of-Freedom tactics to subvert the morale of your
totalitarian competitors.  Since employee-owned companies are guided
in part by their employee/citizens, they are more likely to respond to
the complex long-term dynamics of employee health and loyalty,
customer satisfaction, and reputation for honest dealing.  These
"intangible" factors are hard to quantify on a quarter-by-quarter
basis, but they are sometimes painfully obvious to the employees

Flying the Friendly Skies and Voting Democratic,

Eric Loeb
MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory


John Kasson (1976) "Civilizing the Machine, Technology and Republican
Values in America, 1776 - 1900", Penguin books, ISBN 0 14 00.4415 9


 Posted by Richard K. Moore (•••@••.•••) Wexford, Ireland
 •••@••.•••  | Cyberlib=http://www.internet-eireann.ie/cyberlib
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