Democracy At Work: How This One Idea Could Make Your Job Amazing

Democracy at Work is a project that aims to build a social movement. The movement's goal is to transition to a new society whose productive enterprises (offices, factories, and stores) will mostly be WSDE's, a true economic democracy.

The WSDEs would partner equally with similarly organized residential communities they interact with at the local, regional, and national levels (and hopefully international as well). That partnership would form the basis of genuine participatory democracy.

We begin with a definition of workers' self-directed enterprises. In some ways, they are similar to co-ops, worker-owned enterprises, and other organizations of production that reject the old, top-down, hierarchical capitalist model. Yet in crucial ways, workers' self-directed enterprises are also unique.

Workers' Self-Directed Enterprises: WSDEs are enterprises in which all the workers who collaborate to produce its outputs also serve together, collectively as its board of directors. Each worker in any WSDE thus has two job descriptions: (1) a particular task in the enterprise's division of labor, and (2) full participation in the directorial decisions governing what, how, and where to produce and how to use the enterprise's surplus or profits.

Simply put, in place of a hierarchical, undemocratic, capitalist production organization giving those decisions exclusively to a small minority -- major shareholders and the board of directors -- WSDEs institutionalize democracy at work as the economy's central principle and society's new foundation.

We believe that now is the time for a comprehensive new strategy and new movement for social change. We invite you to join Democracy at Work to work toward those goals.

 

Great! I love the idea of worker self-direction. But what can I do?

Consider everyday actions like shopping at locally owned and self-directed workplaces or having a conversation about what the world would be like if individuals made decisions about their own workplaces, or creating a business where employees were also their own collective directors, just as examples. The point is that YOU have the power to contribute to this movement. Join us!

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