Human organizations that mirror the structure of SAFE?

Human organizations that mirror SAFE?

The SAFE principle of Secure Access of Everyone is clearly an anti-lock out principle that matches the net neutrality principle at the heart of the current internet’s development. But in SAFE it takes it a step beyond the decentralized, but increasingly centralized, internet to a fully distributed format. SAFE means we will have distributed communications. We might say its bottom up because it’s so horizontal.

In our economic systems we’ve tried capitalism, socialism and socialized capitalism. They are all top down systems. In the early days of the US Jefferson suggested that we decentralize our political and economic power into as diverse a local base as possible. Economically we haven’t followed that suggestion and we’ve suffered. In line with this we really don’t have this distributed decentralized power in most of our work places. But we could have this power and I think we want it much more than efficiency and effectiveness, although I am aware of research that says we can have both.

I am still learning about such organizations but if I had to lay out one today it would be as follows:

Such organizations are fully employee owned. Managers and executives do not own stock or options. They do not sit on other boards or end up on the organization’s board or work for other firms. They get the same benefits as everyone else including a straight pay-as-you-go (not investment based) percentage of salary at retirement. If an employee becomes a manager they divest their company stock upon doing so. In a sense managers/executives are the only employees in the firm so becoming a manager is not actually a promotion, it’s a career change.

Boards are composed of pensioners. Board members cannot delegate responsibilities to management. Board members do not sit on other boards or own stock (outside the company) or options (even within the company.) Like other members, their stock cashes out / divests back to current/new members when they and their spouse die. Company stock can’t be inherited, it can only be sold back to other employees. Board members get the same benefits and retirement arrangement as any other member, a straight percentage of salary which the firms pays as it goes- non investment based. Board members are long term employees, no early retirement exceptions. Members (not managers/execs) vote the board members in with staggered terms. Rank and file members are barred from investing in competitors. Vestment is at five years.

If these are converted organizations they de-list from the stock exchanges and become privately held by their members/employees, outsiders cannot purchase stock. These organizations may seek unions with a similar make up or a Union that is not owned by anyone but member controlled. Labor could help convert media organizations into a similar format. Such media organizations would only take money from their legitimate end user customer/citizen base in a numerically proportionate way equivalent to a uniform subscription, no donations etc.

These organizations would bank with credit unions or similar co-operative structures. This is democracy in the work place. Concerns about such organizations competitiveness, resilience, and responsiveness to customers have been dis-proven. Such organizations as they spread would divest the public stock market reducing dangerous speculation and such organizations channel much more income to the middle class.

To me SAFE is the essence of power sharing, empowerment and democracy. It also helps disentangle our human conflicts of interest and preserves our vital privacy and security. I do believe it should inspire similar structures in the human organizations it touches.


SAFE doesn’t exist yet…

We can theorize about what it’s economic model will work out to be, but those are rarely very engineer-able. Once SAFE goes live, revising it is going to be pretty darn hard, as you will likely need the approval of those making money to change the money-making formula.

I suspect it will not live up to your dreams… It will still be cool in a lot of ways, but those who can afford to invest will still gain the most advantage, and those who can invest little will get rewards, but not astonishingly great rewards…

I suspect SAFEcoin will win the day as ‘quality money’. Unlike all the other coins (of which I am aware), SAFEcoin doesn’t violate Mises ‘regression theorem’ – it has innate value from the beginning as it can be used to purchase network resources. Also the SAFEnet will allow any with even the smallest of resources to earn some amount of SAFEcoin – meaning a much more distributed economy than bitcoin.

IMO, Warren, I think you conflate capitalism with mercantilism/corporatism/fascism. Without some State/tribal/oligarchical coercion system, individualism/capitalism is the default - people individually choose to either save and invest in their dreams - horizontal, decentralized, individualism i.e. basic capitalism - read Webster’s if you are confused about the definition; OR they choose to create a State/tribal/oligarchical coercion system.

As there has almost always been a State/tribal/oligarchical coercion system throughout history, we haven’t had pure capitalism, we’ve only had capitalism mixed with a State/tribal/oligarchical coercion system … which creates → mercantilism/corporatism/fascism - wherein wealthy interests infiltrate the coercion system and drive it to point guns at those who are competing with those wealthy interests.

The problem has been that choosing to create a State/tribal/oligarchical coercion system is an option that exists so long as it’s possible to rob people at gunpoint - so long as people who SAVE money do not have strong anonymity AND a system of ‘quality money’ that can’t be counterfeited/inflated.

So, IMO, what form of human organization mirrors the structure of SAFE? Pure capitalism and hopefully we will finally reach it. Although we still have the problems of centralized production and distribution - which makes anonymity very hard for the producer. Perhaps as technology continues to evolve in terms of cnc machines and robotics, we will see a shift to decentralized production … perhaps distribution will become more distributed with self-driving cars/trucks too … I can only hope.



And you never will . . and even if you did, it will not, in my opinion, solve the survivability problems facing Homo sapiens . .

In any case, it is a naive comment and immediately leaves you open to the counter-argument: “We have never had pure communism - only states that were ‘deformed’ socialist states (ie Stalinist)” as the Trots liked to say.




The so called communist/socialist states we had were rather state-capitalist countries.

Id say p2p/safe/the commons mirrors libertarian socialism or anarchism more so than anything to the right.


I want to support your statement and add that the discussion of political systems is naive by itself. Even in anarchic organiziations there is regulative discourse. Power is anything you own, it´s something that finds expression in the capacity to disseminate knowledge. That´s also why people who subscribed to a highly ideological systems internally believe that they are (the only one´s who are) able to take autonomous decisions, while from the outside perspective these people are all dependent on a master narrative. Power structures always exist, even in an ant colony.

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I certainly hope so!


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Tyler I appreciate that but we’ve tried capital or banks as the center of gravity.

@Warren Thank you for keeping this discussion going. I really like the direction you are going with your though process here in this thread. Very little on what the current problems are and a lot about how to fix them.

I too have been thinking about this a lot for a number of reasons. The biggest, glaring problem a successful SAFE network will face is the process of upgrading/evolving the core/code. I think the way SAFE solves that will give great insight for us business folks on how to run a company with the same philosophy the MAIDSAFE folks are doing in building SAFE.

The second problem a successful SAFE network will be faced with is what has destroyed all brilliant people/companies…greed and creative people losing control of their company. Apple is the best example I can think of. With a successful SAFE network there is going to be a lot of overly wealthy geniuses throughout the world and IMO that is about the only thing that has true ability to corrupt that type of person and company. We are going to have a bunch of early SAFE adopters (geniuses) running around not knowing what to do with the money/value and I fear will forget the SAFE philosophy and perpetuate the horrific “top down” economics.

I like the way you are devaluing the “management/executive” part of a company, but I don’t see anyone with those titles buying into your ideas and they unfortunately have all the control of companies…currently. My solution/thought-process is to replace them, like the internet has done for several non-essential job titles, with something more efficient and cost effective that keeps absolute control in the hands of the workers: DAO/DAC.

I think the DAC protocol being developed by BitShares is the most promising. I would have added a link, but I think they are updating all their info for the 2.0 launch in a few weeks.


@MrAnderson Let me not understate my enthusiasm for the approach you’ve outlined and just say I love it. Its as exciting as SAFE is/was to me.

Right now I am going through Naomi Prins “All the President’s Bankers”, but will soon move onto “Democracy in the Work Place” by Richard Wolff. I gather Wolff thinks people should cycle through the roles the way the headship of the EU rotates. That doesn’t seem satisfactory to me. The best I could come up with was to put the at-will gun to whoever thought they would be best in the pilot’s seat with the contingent approval of others on the gun trigger. That’s been my sense of what balance might look like. But what you’re suggesting seems potentially immeasurably better. Much better to have an auto pilot with the workers doing human work but retaining “absolute control.” Love is an understatement as long as the results are more ethical all around than with the typical fallible human in a so called leadership position. And since they are talking limited narrow AI it sound grounded and totally anti hamster wheel.

I kept thinking of a DAO as somehow at odds with us a adrift but serving us in some way. But this is much more organic and aims to change the nature of work in positive ways, always the info carrot but also the power sharing. Smart in every way but also counter intuitive as we were trying to run away from machines and didn’t want organizations headed by machines of either the carbon or silicon variety- well this one isn’t, its added the bottom up component and rightly characterized the role and contribution of so called management. No need for a board or any of that baggage.

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Ricardo Semler got me interested in alternatives to the growing corporate nightmare in 1993 with his book “Maverick”:

MaidSAFE should allow us to move on quite a way from there of course but it was a very interesting read.


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The almost non existent ethical leader-visionary-technical genius-sound business person is held up as the loss leader to get us to accept the typical magic 8 ball top down system. But even with the mythic individual in place at the top of such a system, they are one set of eyes and one perspective. I am sure the wisdom of the crowd (not to be confused with the fury of the mob in its heat if passion) is more than competitive. Its been the most conspicuious natural answer.

A new app SAFE organization builder and template.
We all know top down organizations us data bases in tyranical ways. The information system is the battel ground and the organizing principle. Possibly the main way top down oppresses is one way rungs of information.

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In the wikipaedia entry they mention stock. I don’t like the context, Id rather the workers retain control, no speculation.

I like the word control if you think people would see the relationship with what they are thinking about stock.

Here is a couple of links that are working now:,_Management_and_Development_Teams

I know I am going to run my new developing SAFE company with this platform. I feel when someone is practicing what they preach it has a lot more impact. My hope and dream is the world will suddenly have all this fresh new wealthy geniuses running around building business that are self-sustainable, profitable for the communities and not looking for the quick dollar.


My dream too. I look forward to looking over the material, but its late, so tomorrow.

I am still looking and reading. Have to look again at the wiki links. Noted today the workable futures project’s iCEO.

I suspect a distributed automated cooperative can replace the state and the corporation and the stock based shareholder. No owns the entity but a person can have a single stake in the system entitling them to a vote on all issues and to having their voice heard based on the merits of the expresses ideas. Also a system that offers good ideas anonymously for global evaluation so the politics of identity can be ditched.

I question ‘smart’ contracts. Let them be ethical contracts. Also question reputation systems applied to individuals. For organizations bottom up reputation systems that characterize the organization tare vital. But they strike me as incredibly stupid when applied to individuals. In that case they are lock out, drown out, exile systems and also work to support productizing people like the financial gossip US consumer credit system- which needs to die. If a population has sufficient income there will be no push to label them for credit and exploitation.

In Daniel Suarez two set book Demon and Freedom the demon’s dark net becomes a distributed automated cooperative. I’ve probably been through both books three times and still didn’t get that. Possibly my favorite fiction.

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This is a very interesting discussion - thanks to Warren and others for the thought provoking ideas.

I have a non-profit company that is set up to do a particular job; it has a fair chunk of cash in the bank; I am concerned that after I am frozen that future Directors of the company might not be entirely ethical and prefer to pay themselves excessively rather than have the company spending money doing what it was set up to do. In current Australian Law (it will be pretty much the same everywhere else), once you die, your assets pass to someone/thing else - so basically I can’t prevent any bad decisions in the future - but what if I could pass my assets to a DAO that would continue to do the good, right, proper and ethical things in the future (as I hope I would do if I lived forever!). This raises some intriguing possibilities!




@philip_rhoades, it does because everyone who has really given and therefore recieved in great measure has this type of problem. I think you’re onto something huge.

I have seen the light we are building the DACOOP or DACO


It will replace every state, every corporation and the current internet. It will have countless cells but replace these outdated constructs it will.
Human soul amplified by cybernetic logic.

Stocks is a form of investment. Shares are synonymous to stocks.

Sorry but that’s the fact of life. We invest into new technologies being build by the companies. Companies needs money, they look for investments. Thus stocks. Stocks is a certification that investors own a small chuck of the company. If the value of the company, and their role in society goes up, the investors can sell smaller bits of his existing stocks to new holders, while gaining profits. Investors can use the profits to invest new companies, or new technologies, or re-use that investment for the company. Either way, It continues to grow on his end, other investors end, and the company end.

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No its not a fact of life, we aren’t stuck with it. Its actually neither satisfactory nor remotely good enough. The firms actually don’t need the money, they can get it from retained income, credit unions etc. Investment is a gambler speculation model that isn’t matching contribution to gain. Profit is radically broken as its going to people who don’t contribute or in essence are thieving other people’s money with their income claims or for activities that make people worse off but worst of all just as the result of the gravitation of in place already unjustifiable concentrations of private wealth. It can also be noted that stocks are not spreading real constructive wealth nor political power but are instead are creating instability and the real possibility of economic and political collapse and civil and global war.

This old top down approach that leads to murderous rule by inherited wealth is obsolete and its time to slam the door on rule by money and its attendant psychopaths forever. Good bye to self appointed royalty forever. Economic gain will be matched to real contribution or provided on the bases of humanities collective inheritance in the fruits of competition to which every day people’s claim is much greater than the silver spooning members of the sit on their buts capitalist leisure class.

So in a cooperative model one gets a share, a very restricted right as a member owner on the totality of the organization. It will never be traded. At death it gets recycled back to be claimed by a new member. The retirement claim is still absolute and it comes completely from retained and current organization earnings and it is inviolable even if paying it in full means the dissolution of the organization as it is the single most important compensation.

If there are so called execs or managers or supervisors (which there wouldn’t be in a distributed automated cooperative) they are at will and will never sit on the board (only actual members) or sit on other boards or have stock or options or bonuses, no they get the same flat rate percentage retirement from a non investment pay as you go source, and the same benefits. The board will be composed of pensioners and will never delegate any authority to the at will management. But all that is unnecessary as the execs/management will be automated away.

Despite claims by Weber about the strengths and merits of the entrepreneur model (with or without back seat driver short sighted stock holders) or the liabilities of a collegiate power sharing democratic model or the inefficiencies of a due process bureaucratic model- none of it matters because the overriding most important thing in this world is democracy in the work place and driving every tyrannical feudalistic structure from the economy globally and permanently. If Voltaire were alive today instead of the last king being strung up by the entrails of the last priest he might have had the last exec being strung up by the entrails of the last manager and supervisor.

The plantation should have died with the Confederate South, this is about making sure it does. No more conflating bs lip service about a free market with actual freedom.

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