provocation 220 – capitalists as managers of community assets.
Capitalism is a way of making decisions on the use of resources and goals for those uses. In a way it is a replacement of democracy with a different social contract, with managers (I will inlcude owners) rather than citizens, making the decisions for society The stupid thing is, we reward these managers as if they were the old land owning elite rather than as highly skilled technical managers (Having known a few my impression is they are not that savvy. They have a good contact list and are taller. They are chosen, say by a board, based on the judgment that they will do what the organization needs, without exercising an independent perspective. )
The world, as a complex dynamic object needs management, and that means we need managers. But as of now the managers of the resources of society, from raw materials to institutions and skilled people, manage these parts for their own benefit, not for the benefit of society.
1. They are paid too much to do this
2. Treating wages as cost and profit as benefit leads the system to be managed to raise profit and lower wages. Good from a business oint of view if the business is to be managed for a few, not the commons.From a social point of view good profits and good wages are positive. Lets rearrange the balance sheets to reflect this: wages and profit as benefit, costs are rent, materials, and logistics. Lets manage for the good of society. The wealth of nations.
These managers of societal resources should be paid for what they are: reasonably performing technocrats. Ownership is mystification and class maintaining – and socially destructive as it sets one class, which tends to control the state, against another, which has to absorb distributed poverty.
The current logic of capitalism has Tim Cook as worth billions, but this wealth requires the participation of society, and he gets to privatize rather than share the results.
tim + society = $1 trillion
What proportion should each get? (Society equals educated workers, educated consumers, networks for commerce, infrastructure of energy and transportation, military technology, court and contract, and much else.)
Very important to see that the origin of the word economics includes eco – home and nomos – law. But each of these words has evolved. Eco as estate, given that large estates was the main way society was organized in ancient empires, especially Athens.
The word nomos, meaning law or method was first used an “nomia” meaning equal distribution. This is very important. A word does not arise if it doesn’t attempt to solve a problem. Equal justice has to be a corrective on a tendency to unequal distribution. Law corrects.
These set the conditions for what management needs to be about – managing the estate fo the good of all.
Thinking this through i important for consideration of what kind of society we want to work toward.