Analysis
"Capitalism is Man Exploiting Man;
Communism is just the opposite
--Old East Block Joke
Q: What has Boris Yesltin succeeded
in doing, in just a few years,
Which the Communists weren't able
to do in seventy years?
A: Make Communism look good."
--Russian joke, mid-1990s.
"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy" -Wendell Berry

  Capitalism Communism A system based on
Economic Democracy
Control by: Capitalists Vanguard Party The people

The Economy:

"One Dollar = One Vote" More Party "connections"
= more voting power
One Person = One Vote

The Media:

Owned by <1% of
the population
Run by <1% of
the population
Owned and run
by the public

Workplace:

Employers "rent" employees;
Workers report to owner-bosses
Workers report to
Vanguard Party bosses
Worker-owned, worker-run
& democratically worker-controlled
factories & workplaces.
With community-run oversight

Is it Utopic thinking to work to shift to a better system? No! In afct, the seeds of Economic Democracy already exist today in Cooperative Supermarkets, Credit Unions, Community-Supported Agriculture, the Kibbutz, Indymedia.org, Ithaca Hours and other local currencies, and more. Section on "existing examples" to come

Why our system needs its own "perestroika"

Workplace democracy

A n a l y s i s
(Browse in any order...)

While officially denying our economic system is anything but the best,
mainstream culture implicitly admits it — wage-slavery stinks:

  • Cartoon: How our system works.. Satyrical elaboration: How the Miners Were Robbed (1907)

  • An Elaboration by Chomsky in an interview with Barsamian, and
    more about why fighting against wage slavey is as American as apple pie.

  • A superb elaboration by Chomsky on how opposing wage-slavery comes right out
    of the Enlightenment Era (yes, Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith and the rest) ideals..

  • Young Women, 1840s Lowell: "Those who work in the Mills ought to own them"

  • What kind of Economic System would you propose? Noam Chomsky responds in more detail.

  • Someone Is Stealing Your Life" by Michael Ventura (backup)

  • What is Wage Slavery? -- very personal -- from WhyWork.org


  • Aren't Capitalism and Democracy Compatible? Isn't Capitalism very democratic?
  • Isn't Socialism what they had in the Soviet Union? Isn't Socialism dead? (more & positive alternatives at Economics Overview)


  • Participatory Economics Interview with Michael Albert, by Kate Redmond,
  • Participatory Economics A user-friendly intro from the Workers' Network
  • Participatory Economics and Natural Capitalism? by Michael Albert
  • Essay on the Economic State of the World -- how our current economic system is amoral,
    antidemocratic, and ecocidal -- and how to change it. By Harel B.
  • Can we have Economic Success without Capitalists? Ask Argentina! Snapshot of a Nation



    " The people who work in the Mills
    ought to own them"
    --1840's Labor Press

    In the 1840s young women, called "Factory girls" back then working in the mills in Lowell Mass. Noam Chomsky quotes form the labor press in those days:

    "When you sell your product, you retain your person. But when you sell your labour, you sell yourself, losing the rights of free men and becoming vassals of mammoth establishments of a monied aristocracy that threatens annihilation to anyone who questions their right to enslave and oppress.

    "THOSE WHO WORK IN THE MILLS OUGHT TO OWN THEM, not have the status of machines ruled by private despots who are entrenching monarchic principles on democratic soil as they drive downwards freedom and rights, civilization, health, morals and intellectuality in the new commercial feudalism." (emphasis added)

    Chomsky adds, "just in case you are confused, this is LONG BEFORE Marxism. This is American workers talking about their experiences in the 1840s". And that one of the early leaders of the AFL, about a century ago, expressed the standard view when he described the mission of the labour movement as "to overcome the sins of the market and to defend democracy by extending it to control over industry by working people." That is, you extend democracy from being merely in the political arena (it's very limited and emaciated there, but that's another story), to be also in the industrial/workplace arena -- to extend democracy there too.

    If you think about it, what we have in the workplaces, with bosses giving orders to employees, if you translated that into the political arena, what would it be the equivalent of? Of some kind of despotism, certainly not of political democracy...

    An Elaboration by Chomsky in an interview with Barsamian, and more about why fighting against wage slavey is as American as apple pie.

    A superb elaboration by Chomsky on how opposing wage-slavery comes right out of the Enlightenment Era (yes, Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith and the rest) ideals..

  • What kind of Economic System would you propose? Noam Chomsky responds in more detail.

  • "Is There An Alternative to Capitalism?" by Paul Burrows, of the Mondragon Bookstore
      Capitalism Communism A system based on
    Economic Democracy
    Control by: Capitalists Vanguard Party The people

    The Economy:

    "One Dollar = One Vote" More Party "connections"
    = more voting power
    One Person = One Vote

    The Media:

    Owned by <1% of
    the population
    Run by <1% of
    the population
    Owned and run
    by the public

    Workplace:

    Employers "rent" employees;
    Workers report to owner-bosses
    Workers report to
    Vanguard Party bosses
    Worker-owned, worker-run
    & democratically worker-controlled
    factories & workplaces.

    Utopic? No. Seeds already exist today in Cooperative Supermarkets, Credit Unions, Community-Supported Agriculture, the Kibbutz, and more. Section on "existing examples" to come


    RETURN TO EconomicDemocracy.org Home


  • Why Wall Street is Doomed (and Postscript: Even more vividly why Wall St is doomed
  • If not now, when, for workers' control of industry? Los Angeles Times.
  • Capitalist 'Triumph' in Russia -- or near-holocaust?
  • Chief Economist of World Bank Rejects Structural Adjustment--and was fired.
  • On the Anti-government rhetoric used by the Right..
  • Chomsky on Anarchism (also at http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/interviews/9612-anarchism.html)
  • Are You An Anarchist? "The Answer May Surprise you" (backup copy)
  • Jobs Without Power (Jonathan Tasini is the national director of American Rights At Work)
  • Snapshot of a Nation How Workers in Argntina didn't "Sieze" but "picked up" the means of production.

  • The Banana Revolution and other humorous but insightful commentaries. "Don Quixote" and Albert Beretta contacted me, having learned of EconomicDemocracy.org, sent in these links and we will see if we can collaborate. Have a look at: http://committed.to/justiceforpeace and http://webspawner.com/users/donquijote1 and http://webspawner.com/users/donquijote40
    "If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive [cog in the machine], and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in." -Bill Hicks