Ridding the World of Corporations

The issue is you hate top down, but you’re part of it so you project all your hatred of it onto the state.
Corporate is top down. There is no reason as a society we have to structure markets on total efficiency claims, they are far, far away from efficiency anyways. They’d have been at zero waste long ago if they were efficient and we’d already have 97% unemployment. In the back of your mind is that if we make the work place better, and based on the people who differ from your opinion who have the same type of background as in (The Star Fish and the Spider- comes out of Stanford) I dont’ buy for a moment that you’re right- if we make the work place better we will be beat by some efficiency Nazi’s on the battled field, never mind that it might well be a nuclear battle field. The one place where your model makes some sense, and in my mind the only place is the Marine Corps. But our stupid Fortune 500 agreed and at one point in the 90s about half of those firms were headed by former Marines.

I think Leland Stanford the industrialist tycoon would know as much as you about work efficiency and production. As he was founding Stanford University he decided to reformulate it into a cooperative because he had seen the light, but he died before he could make that happen. Too bad it would have been an even better organization, but again academia is already formulated on very similar principles because really smart competent people are almost all experts at lame one upmanship and don’t want to be distracted by it when trying to get things done.

You changed the topic…

No answer. You have no answer.

More gibberish. With no numbers. All theory, no reality.

We aren’t talking about a little inefficiency here. We are talking about a 100 fold increase in the amount of labor it takes to solve a simple everyday problem. With no increase in accuracy. No increase in productivity. And productivity is what pays everyone’s paycheck…

Organizations organize themselves, not for political reasons, but because such structure is needed for operational success…

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I’ve given you at least 10 solid examples. And even on this board for people who have acknowledge that they run companies, for instance companies with petabytes of data to transfer over and others with the means to do so, they don’t agree with you and your perspective and have voice it.

It reminds me of Max Planck on new scientific perspectives, paraphrasing the overtaken theorists do not admit defeat or succumb to reason, they aren’t persuaded- they simply die off. Can’t see outside your box. In businesses where robots do the work and computers do the calculation and we’ve moved beyond the knowledge worker you will see people interacting through cell phones at arms length think tank style and that will be how the pie is sliced.

You cannot explain the simple math I explained.

Reason has to do with reality, not stuff you read in a book.

I have worked in the organizations described in your books. Like I said, It works some places and sometimes, but it doesn’t elsewhere. There is no one size fits all system.

Business doesn’t make it’s decisions based on social agendas etc. It does what it can to stay in business. Remember that most all of them fail (9 out of 10) – There is not much room for error. Customers will not pay for products that are overpriced or obsolete. Having 10 people do the job of 1 is going to make things overpriced. It doesn’t matter how big you are – Generally getting too big is just a dangerous as being small…

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I see these as tiny organizations. They might be hyper specialized even if there is some overlap in knowledge. I just think they take care of their people and get everything they can out of them but also compensate them better and allow them more room to have a meaningful life. To me the waste of resource and power is the rent seeker that sits on top of a corporation and doesn’t know anything (literally generational) except how to harass and threaten the management for a higher percentage. Much better to flatten the thing and pay enough to the members that they can start there own cell if they are taken by a different vision. Just on work life balance this would seem provide enough of physical and psychological health difference to make a competitive impact. I’d rather the money stay with the experts (I don’t believe in fat) than go to people whose only skill is how to blackmail people with money. Sure their grand father was a titan and knew more than anyone else and was more productive but they don’t even know what the firm makes. That’s disgusting. There is a rule. Respect begets respect and respect has to be earned, and fear (which is what corporations run on) is not a true generator of respect only of rebellion.

You see all kinds of things.

Fantasyland Warren. You really ought to visit the real world sometimes. Then maybe you could make a convincing arguement.

There is no one size fits all answer.

You assume that there is no respect in the american workplace, and you are most definitely quite wrong about that. There are some places that are wage paying timecard punching human as a cog employers – but those are the exception, not the rule. And in many cases they are needed – As if you are in between jobs and have no useful experience, those help you pay your bills.

In most cases good employees are valued – responsibility grows. People are empowered to make decisions that they are competent to make.

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That sounds quite creepy if one imagines that post=person.

This reminded me of some of Warren’s ideas for the forceful removal of [insert-fav-capitalist-enemy-who-actually-helps-create-prosperity]:

Time after time, when faced with a huge crisis, he would use extralegal, “revolutionary methods” to solve it. Sometimes the result was to prolong and deepen the crisis. But if he was sufficiently ruthless, all opposition ultimately melted away.


Yes the benevolent princedoms that were rumored to exists by the Machiavellians and sweatshop sure are better than the dole.


Lets try it this way.

I have wanted to open a restaurant for as long as I have been working. I have saved up a million dollars or so, and I am getting ready to start getting it ready to open… I have hired about 30 people to work there, as it is going to be open long hours.

I am going to run the business with no leadership except for by anonymous committee like you suggest.

So one of the 30 people I hired is an accomplished interior decorator. She has done the themes and decor for 30 restaurants, and the last 20 or 25 of them have been highly successful. She knows what works, she knows what doesn’t. She knows the best suppliers for such decor – she knows which ones to avoid… She is an accomplished Artist…

So she is going to have to submit all of her ideas to be reviewed anonymously to a committee of her peers, All of them who have never done interior decorating? They get to decide what will work and what won’t even though they have never succeeded or failed at anything in this area? Other people’s ideas are going to be treated with just as much respect when being judged by the committee of 9/10 idiots?

How is that empowering to the artist? In a traditional organization she would be given freedom to pursue her art according to her expertise… She would be given leadership over items which she really deserves to have leadership.

Instead you have dissenabled her. You have stolen her artistic independence and freedom.

That is enslaving. It isn’t empowering. Leadership is empowering, not crippling. And that is what this will do to every job in the organziation. People who know there stuff will be treated as if they don’t know their stuff. Instead of highly trained people being able to pursue their passions and their trade you will subject them to a committee of ignorant overseers…

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If they know what is in their financial and professional interest they better defer to wisdom, knowledge, experience and their own limits. They should be happy to have someone on board with the required expertise, its a learning opportunity and an opportunity for them to watch an learn and not get involved in decisions they can’t reasonably add to.

You picked about the toughest example possible, artist and all. But if you were able to bring in other smart people, maybe friends of yours (would be nepotism except for the equality bit) maybe they would demonstrate taste and judgement and humility and not engage in the urge to sabotage.

The whole point is to get rid of that. You and me on the same team. You’re a professional programmer, business owner, operations expert accountant. Many hats, and I have a different skill set. If I am not a fool I am not going to a. interrupt b. arrogate c. ask questions or attempt to contribute unless there seems like a likelihood of gain for both of us. And lets say you as the sole expert in the domain get sick one day, with some over the phone instruction I might be able to limp along through a few days.

Lets turn this around a bit. Lets say MaidSAFE understands that its needs to produce a SAFE phone for real because that turns out to be the only way forward. They need to do this on a shoe string. After five years of forum experience with you and a measure of familiarity and confidence they ask you join them to help get the operations side of the project running. You agree. Now you and David are on the same team. You’ve asked him questions before in the forum and made contributions (for free damnit! because it was for the good of us all, the profit was the potential success of the project.) Now that you’re on the same team you’re not going to start as a matter of routine trying to override him on crypto stuff nor he you on operations- that’s how you lose good people. But in the blinded forum you might learn something from each other and no one will lose face or professional standing. And there will be the outside forum I am guessing something like what Sam_UK pointed to with Loomio which is more of a regular forum. I think part of the anonymity thing is getting at what John Rawls was talking about- there is a place in critical considerations for a different kind of perspective taking.

I see these a the kind of groups that form spontaneously when a problem has to be solved no matter what without regard for other concerns. This would be generalizing it a bit. If a small cooperative’s niche evaporates it will have to retool or dissolve. These would be very focused entities. This kind of focus is of course already present in the corporate world with little machine shops and S corps etc. Here I think its just following what should be the natural arrangement between pros with deep skill sets who come together. It takes humility but when you’re really successful you’re associated with people you’re proud to know and people you can learn from. If you’ve got junior people experience wise, its great because its almost part of any human’s development path to share what they know and it makes them better at what they do. And if you’re junior and care about your life or those who depend on it take that gift.

This is not an alien model, its a bit like what the guilds had, but it can be smaller flatter groups now. This is the familial developmental model on the say the farm. Eventually the children take over but they don’t just ditch their parents they respect and care for them in their old age.

But one thing about your model. You had to contribute the million upfront. Who pays you back for being the bank? This I don’t like. There would be a need for cooperative incubators and friendly credit unions etc and those exist. But they still serve more corporatized cooperatives and apparently some even taking on unions! Something is wrong there even though unions represent a model with membership where there is no ownership.

They don’t know what they don’t know. They have a good guess what would work because they have common sense. But an expert knows where common sense doesn’t work out to be the right answer in the real world. 9 out of 10 people who lack experience may well come to a consensus that is wrong, not because they are stupid, just because they are lacking facts that they wouldn’t even know to look for…

It isn’t the hardest case of all. I made an example so simple that you wouldn’t be able to avoid dialoging with it. Engineers are very much the same as our artist here…

If you give the Interior designer freedom to lead her project that means that she will need the power to tell the worker to hang this sign here - move that booth over there – No - we can’t have that green paint there – it needs to be red. In short, she will have the power to boss people around and that power is what you are trying to remove from the organization. I would argue that she earned that power, and the organization is best off to allow her to “make it so” without a ton of intermediary or second guessing committee’s.

Who the hell are you to tell me I cannot work to build my dream? I don’t want to be bossed around by a bunch of partners that may or may not share my vision. I saved that money fair and square through hard work - and If I want to build my dream I ought not need your permission, a bank’s permission, a credit union’s permission or any other person’s permission. Its my million dollars to lose. It’s my profit if I win. 9 out of 10 times it is a bad gamble, but if you get to live your dream it is worth it.

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But you can also do it alone. I don’t think any one ever earns the right to tell another person what to do. We already have this understanding in our society over prostitution. Economic coercion simply isn’t valid its actually criminal even if most current culture and law doesn’t fully recognize it. Its the source of a lot of backward whining about so-called freedom of contract- really enslavement by contract. Its really no more ethical than picking a loaded gun up off the ground and proclaiming this gives me the right to tell you what to do. Its basically engineered misfortune. If they wouldn’t work with you if they had money its a good sign you need to pay for a machine to do it if you want it done. Tyrants when they come first thing start separating families and making examples of people with violence in order to break down resistance through shock and force compliance. Its a version of the same.

So do you think I should be able to open my restaurant and put my vision into action or not?

You think that is only something artists should be able to have?

Nobody has to work for anybody. But if they don’t work towards the vision being implemented, then they don’t work for the person who is implementing a vision.

You just cannot have it both ways. Either people ought to be free to try to imprement their vision or all vision has to be done by committee. And that is a very bad way to do art.

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If your serious about openinga restaurant I wish you the best, its honorable, hard work and service oriented. But everyone must be free as soon as it can be arranged, especially with all the potentially dangerious tech coming into the world.

We need every mind free and contributing from a position of full development. In ten years North Korea could could have a thousand nukes in high quality delivery vehicles and a suicidal despot. everyone has to be free if we are to survive coming challenges.

Uhm – So what is the verdict? People ought to be free to put their dreams into action? or not?

Because you really cannot have it both ways.

Every business is the same as my hypothetical restaurant. Experts ought to be able to freely exercise their trade. Quashing leadership quashes the ability for people to become experts and the rewards of being able to put the vision of your trade into fruition…

Banning leadership does not free people, it relegates them to being cogs in a stupid system.

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Personally I don’t even like the word “leadership” but we both know its not a right to rule.

Right, You can lead, but nobody is required to follow.

Most people with good vision and good plans will have people follow them because it is profitable and fun to do so – Because they are providing goods and services that make the world a better place for the people that like them…

You cannot flatten and organization too much - because organizations without visionaries don’t prosper and visions are rarely sustainable for long without a champion for the cause… My interior decorator deserves the artistic freedom to implement her vision. If I choose to implement my restaurant, It should be my vision that is the one being implemented and tested by the marketplace. Committees and bureaucracy the impedes vision imprisons people to be cogs in a visionless dull repetitive lifeless machine.

It is the prospering of our trades that make work fun and it is that same skill that gives us power in the workplace.