Neither capitalism nor communism

Our economic system today is called capitalism because corporations(main economic actors) are supposed to serve for the capital(called investors or stockholders) and are obviously far from being democratically managed: most corporations are owned by stockholders who see these economic actors merely as their income source.  Employees are regarded, in this mindset, no different from machines, computers and other tools which are necessary for their moneymaking process and CEOs, always under the pressure from stockholders, are forced to save as much as possible to maximize the profit.  They open their factory in China where they can get somebody who works for US$100 per month while closing another one in United States, Western Europe or Japan where they need to pay more than ten times to get the same workforce, just not to “overspend.”  There’re for sure some laws in any country to protect employees, but it’s an universal rule that managers put employees just at the same level as machines, with the following priority: 1) stockholders(as they’ll be fired if they fail to make money), 2) clients(as they’ll give money) and 3) workers(who are easily replaceable).

We need to make clear the difference between capitalism and market economy, because both the capitalism without market economy and the market economy without capitalism are possible.  A good example of capitalism without market economy is monopoly(Windows, for example) where the sole provider of goods and/or service raises its price as much as possible to earn more.  And you can see some real experiences of market economy without capitalism even today, for instance at a farmers’ market where producers aren’t governed at all by anybody else.

Last century saw the emergence and fall of an alternative to the capitalism: communist countries nationalized all corporations to do away with stockholders and to improve workers’ life standard.  But the lack of pursuit for the efficiency, always and forcibly achieved in the capitalism in the form of pressure from stockholders, deteriorated these corporations and most of them had to give up this regime except Cuba and North Korea.

What’s common in both systems is that employees have no access at all to the management of the corporation they work for.  They’re at the mercy of a system they can’t control at all, and it makes little difference whether it’s run by private stockholders or by the State.  So how can we reach a system where employees can have a real influence on the management of the company they work for?


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