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Resistance to democracy at work

I have been listening to Economic Update for several years and appreciate the viewpoints this has given me. I have raised the issue of our small software company of 35 years becoming a coop, but nobody I have talked to here believes it is a remote possibility. I have also discussed it with others in my life as well, who reject it out of hand. The common feeling is that the workers don't want to and aren't capable of making business decisions. Unfortunately, I have strong reason to agree. I am also part of a 12 step program, a network of thousands of meetings around the world engaged in mutual aid among the members. Established on the basis of representative democracy, we have become dominated by the corporate office and they are influenced by corporate entities diametrically opposed to our goals. For instance, we have a strong policy of complete abstinence from all mind and mood altering drugs, but the drug treatment industry is moving to a drug replacement or medically assisted recovery model. Our corporate office is diluting our message of complete abstinence with these treatment modalities to sell our literature and promote our program thru these treatment facilities. As I said, we have been based on representative democracy from the start, but the lack of participation in that democracy has encouraged this corporate corruption of our program. In the average meeting of 30 members, less than 5 are likely to attend the 'group conscience' (business meeting) of that group. Less than half the groups send representatives to our Area Service Committees. These committee then send a representative to a Regional Service Committee, who then send a representative to the World Service Committee, which is dominated by The World Service Board, which includes strong representation from the World Service Office. Each level of service acts as a filter for more competitive egos, making each tier of service more challenging for the un-selfish people who really want to serve the individual and the greater whole. I believe this is the reason for the lack of participation at the grass roots. When the newcomer hears of the conflicts at service committees, they start building a resistance to contributing to this dysfunction. So, my questions are; do coops find that democracy is hard to establish and maintain? Do competitive individuals tend to rise to the top and defeat the good of the many? Are there procedures for preventing this? How can we push this movement forward when there is a general understanding (often unconscious) that democracy doesn't work? Finally, there is the koan from Robert Heinlein to contemplate; The proposal that one person is wiser than a million is as preposterous as the proposal that a million people are wiser than one person.

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Here is How Money Works

This is a very simple explanation of How Money Works. We have tried to use the most simple models of economy to help people understand it's complete function and complete reason for use...people either complain it's too simple or that it's too complex. Please let me know if you have complaints or if there is anything We can do better. -Guru

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Interacting with local government economic develpment officials

Schoharie County NY (45 miles West of Albany). I've been meeting with county legislative members, County Administrator, Planning officials, Workforce Development Exec., Community Action Exec., and SUNY Cobleskill staff to introduce Worker Co-ops to them and promote support for co-op development as an economic vitality strategy. Some of these officials have recently participated in development of sophisticated ED planning required by the state and just this month our county Board of Supervisors (legislature) approved a dedicated ED sub-committee and appropriated funding for development of a strategy. It might be the case that my efforts contributed in some way to these decisions. I will certainly continue to engage, meeting with the new sub-committee and communicating with the consulting firm which has been engaged to develop the plan. And, when I recently learned a local hardware store was for sale, I provided co-op resource materials to the staff and encouraged them to look into the possibility of buying the business. It is apparently working since they have been discussing the possibility with the owner. I will suggest they find a firm to help them through.

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The Vietnam War

the new documentary series

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I just watched your February 2017 update and cannot believe the cost of naloxone in the USA. Here in Canada we give it away for free.

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Membership structure for D@W action groups?

Are there any D@W action groups out there that are using or have used a membership structure to encourage members to pay dues as a means to collect fighting funds for any local activities? In addition, here in DC, we have not enjoyed consistent membership, with individuals attending sporadically or attending their first meeting and not coming back or committing to doing more with the local group. Do other branches have any advice on how we might tackle this issue? In part, the issue is that DC is a unique community of paid activists, we have a lot of competing priorities in this city, including other groups who explicitly focus on organizing workers to start/take over enterprises to create co-ops.

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Sample legislation or supporting docs?

Hi All I'm a new member of the Green Party of Manitoba. I'm also seeking Green nomination for provincial office in 2020. I'm going to run on Workers' coops, for obviously reasons ... Also, I'm going to present the contents of the "INVOLVING LOCAL GOVERNMENT" PDF that I downloaded from D@W. I was going to use it as a guideline for party policy -- to become legislation. In order to do that, I need to write a short, but convincing proposal to have this included as a party policy. Does anyone have some documentation that I might be able to use for this end? Sample docs to present arguments to political parties for inclusion into policy, or even sample legislation ... that I might be able to duplicate or utilize for reference in getting this important legislation included in our party policy and/or put into law? Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

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Organizing the workplace

I am a paralegal at a law firm in north San Diego county in California. It's a small firm of 15 to 20 employees. As workers we are abused in a variety of ways beginning with being underpaid. We all earn well below the Bureau of Labor Statistics national average for paralegals which is $23.80 per hour ( We are overworked, each of us doing at the very least the equivalent of the work of two people. We have zero benefits except for a few paid days off and mandatory sick leave. We get no vacation time whatsoever. Enough of us are sick of it that we are ready -- if possible -- to organize ourselves. How do we do this? What's possible?

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Democracy at Work action groups! What are you doing?

My name is Caleb and I am helping start an action group in Seattle. Could some other action group participants offer me their thoughts, ideas, or advice? We don't want to reinvent the wheel.

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Restorative Justice Non-profit seeking to reorganize top down structure to a collective.

Restorative Resources, a non-profit agency in Sonoma Co. California is fragile and on the ground staff are seeking to collectivize our structure. There is complacency on part of the BOD. We are hoping to present them with a model but have had trouble finding anything that is related to the human service work we do. We need your help!! Restorative Justice is by nature, circular, horizontal---this is what we practice and teach and offer to our communities yet we are organized in the traditional capitalist, vertical way.

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Looking for liked D@W minded people in North Texas

I'm looking for fellow D@W supporters, members that might be in the North Texas Region, more specifically the DFW area. I'm from Dallas and I'm interested in either joining a D@W group down here or starting one.

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Wolff Recommended Book On Slave Revolts

In a fairly recent economic update Dr. Wolff referred to a book about slave revolts and how they were constantly happening in one form or another in the U.S. and I was wondering the title of the book so I can give it a read. Thank you.

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RT On Contact

Dear Prof Wolff, yesterday I watched your last OnContact participation where you said that the US government borrowed in order to save the big banks and corporations. My question is, borrowed from who?

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Pearl Paint turns into luxury-lofts; an entertainment blog like the Gothamist trashes capitalism

From the article: "...The second floor is going for $16,000/month; the third floor is $16,500/month; the fourth floor is $17,000/month; and the penthouse is going for $18,000/month. It is safe to say that none of us could afford any of those. But hey, this is as good a reminder as any that everything you love in this city will eventually disappoint you and/or be ruined by capitalism. The sooner we all internalize this, the happier we can be admitting the future is not for us." When an entertainment blog like The Gothamist casually writes, 'ruined by Capitalism', and, 'this future is not for us', change is most definitely in the air. Not only has the owl of Minerva spread its wings with the falling of the dusk - that owl is mid-flight and full of mice, piss, and vinegar. R.I.P., Pearl Paint - welcome, revolutionary consciousness.

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