I enjoyed this post because it asked the radical questions. The biggest failing of our technological progress has been capitalism. That the public paid for the tech development but owns none of it.
And if we want our crazy robot future, we better damn well own the robots.
I for one think all workplaces should be run democratically instead of the authoritarian structure they are now. Democracy good for government, why not where we work?
Democracy good for government
I don’t think this claim is broadly accepted. As American politics showed, voters can and will democratically choose terrible policies and incompetent leaders. I’m not saying we should be living under a benevolent dictatorship, but democracy isn’t perfect.
No it’s not. Democracy is the less worse that people can withstand. If people were mature enough the Platoo’s Politeia could become a reality, where everyone is a Philosopher who accepts virtue as the ultimate goal to achieve and there are no judges, rulers, nothing. Another alternative would be Anarchism. Even Communism in it’s description is the next stage of democracy, where people are not in need of anything physical. Unfortunately social and political evolution are totally disconnected from technological innovations and that’s why the later become ultimately dangerous.
Nazism for example, which is an extremely silly ideology with no scientific basis to back-up any claims, is not a new idea but it was a 20th century feature after all.
It’s not just American it’s world politics that show that there humans are not mature enough to embrace a really ground-breaking change yet.
Imagine you go to the store and you have two options for strawberries. One of them has maggots, and one of them has flies. You have a choice in picking one or leaving. That is our current system. And it is clear people have left instead of making a choice. Don’t blame them for being handed rotten politicians. Blame the businesses who sponsored them and the venues that present them.
I find your argument specious because politicians wield the monopoly on the use of legitimized coercion. Businesses don’t. At best, they can bribe politicians to indirectly wield legitimized coercion, but the politician is ultimately responsible for accepting said bribes.
Have you ever worked at a worker-owned cooperative? It’s very interesting, and you might come away with a more nuanced understanding of democracy than “good, why not?”
My own cooperative experience was unusually terrible (I was just thinking about what I lost to the thieves there, totally by coincidence) but I’ll probably go back for a second try at a different cooperative at some point in the next few years.
The way i look at it is this: Democracy is the principle that those affected by decisions have some participation in their making. At a co-op, decisions may not work out for you, but you had a chance to participate in their making. In a non co-op, the majority have no say. So really it is about increasing your chances for good decisions that affect you. Does not guarantee it.
One of the largest corporations in the world is a democratically run co-op. It seems to work very well.