The Third Place: Small Businesses

Similar to Cooperatives, Small Businesses also fall under the economic organizations known as Public-Directed Enterprises (PDEs) and Public-Owned Enterprises (POEs). There can be no doubt that Small Businesses will continue to exist in some capacity or another under Pure Socialism. Much of what has been covered in the related Entry in on Cooperatives are applicable to Small Businesses. This includes the ability to execute Life-Energy Charging (LEC). But unlike Cooperatives, it can be argued that Small Businesses rely on their own set of parameters with regard to the Tournament and Mission-Type Economic Planning (MTEP).  

Running a Small Business in a Socialist Nation, whose Currency is pegged to the Work-Standard, will result in developing a newfound relation to Arbeit and Geld. While there are larger National-Socialized Enterprises (NSE) and Council State’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and State-Administrated Enterprises (SAEs), there may be certain Professions whose skills and specialties are best suited for smaller scale activities. Below are three obvious valid examples where Small Businesses can fulfill roles where other economic organizations cannot:

  • An NSE might be manufacturing a lot of apparel, but it is possible that their production might not have what somebody might be looking for. If an interested customer is looking for a custom-made pair of shoes, they may consider visiting a local cobbler. If they want to have a three-piece suit or a particular article of clothing made, the customer could ask a tailor to create it for them.
  • A customer is in the Tournament to buy some furniture and décor for their Household that are artisan-crafted and decorative enough to stand out to any visiting house guests. They could just stick with the mass-produced furniture and décor being made by an SOE, but this customer wants original paintings, a small marble bust for the mahogany desk that they want furnished.   
  • The latest automobiles being built on the assembly lines of an SAE may not suit the technical specifications that the customer wants because the SAE is uninterested. The customer would like to have their vehicle customized with automotive parts that are beyond the usual stock factory ones. A small manufacturer of custom-build parts could have them built according to the specifications of the customer and a mechanic’s motor pool may be willing to install the parts.  

In each case outlined above, I am describing variations of the same scenario in which somebody wishes to employ the skills and expertise of artisan craftsmen and economic organizations with the tools and capabilities to fulfill special orders. They have the Geld to pay for the Arbeit that is to be made by calling upon such services. The point that I just demonstrated is that Small Businesses in general do not necessarily have to be a family-owned one like the bar and billiards hall in the middle of a major city or a plot of rural farmland out in the countryside. Speaking of which, economic organizations such as those owned by the family members of a Household or a small chain of retail stores also fall under the general category of Small Businesses.

We are more likely to envisage Small Businesses as operating in the Manufacturing Sector or Services Sector, given that one of their intended purposes involves fulfilling niche roles within those two Economic Sectors. Moreover, similar opportunities may exist for those interested in harnessing the technological capabilities of the National Intranet by setting up an online service on a website. In that case, such Small Businesses are considered to be part of the Socialist Nation’s Digital Sector. Any economic organization with any direct role in the affairs of the National Intranet is a part of the Digital Sector. Those whose presence is indirect are not part of it.   

For the National Intranet, there are two distinct implications based on interactions with the Life-Energization Reciprocal Electrification (LERE) Process:

  • Assuming that the Small Business in question happens to have its main activities offline, there is the opportunity of creating Digital Arbeit in the digital realm on top of the Actual Arbeit being contributed to the Life-Energy Reserve via the Life-Energization Reciprocity (LER) Process. Although the Actual Arbeit can be converted directly into Actual Geld, the Digital Arbeit that the Small Business is creating on the side undergoes additional steps. The Digital Arbeit, under the LERE Process, has to be converted into Digital Geld at an online LERE Refinery, which will then be converted into Actual Geld once the digital data reaches the Central Bank’s servers at the Life-Energy Reserve. The LERE Process is fully automated and may be overseen by either an algorithm or software program installed into the National Intranet to facilitate it. For the people involved at the Small Business, having advanced computer science or programming knowledge is not required in order to participate in the LERE Process.
  • For Small Businesses whose sole presence in online–that is, on the National Intranet, they will only be able to create Digital Arbeit and Digital Geld. It is possible that whatever goods or services they may be offering, it has far more to do with the National Intranet. Examples may include the administration of websites, testing the cyberdefenses against potential cyberattacks, facilitate in the production of digital media like “Machinima” (short films created on video game engines), the owning and operation of multiplayer gaming servers, and production and distribution of music, shows, movies, books, and other media. The precise capabilities of Small Businesses concerning Digital Arbeit is beyond the focus of this Entry, however.      

Whatever else that can be said about Small Businesses happens to be interrelated to the concept of Cooperatives they were discussed in the previous Entry. Just as Cooperatives are capable of graduating up to POEs from their humble origins as PDEs, it is also likewise for any Small Businesses. And much like how two or more Cooperatives are allowed to collaborate and collaborate their efforts together, it should not be too difficult to imagine Small Businesses trying to do the same. Where the Small Businesses differ from their Cooperative counterparts is how they interact with the political system of the Socialist Nation, Council Democracy.

Unlike Cooperatives, there may be some Small Businesses that do not have the ability to blur the distinguish between its Civil Servants and its Administrators insofar as it is still part of the VCS Economy. The same can be said for its ability to readily issue NSFIs. Not every Small Business that starts out as a PDE is going to someday become an SAE. The original owner or their family may decide to close the Small Business, the Intents of which may or may not involve them not having enough Geld to sustain it. But for those that can demonstrate the ability to persist and have no ambitions of ascending the ranking system of economic organizations, the Council Democracy of the Socialist Nation can and will accommodate them as it would to Cooperatives.

In essence, every Small Business operating in the Socialist Nation does not exist in a vacuum isolated from the rest of the Socialist Nation. Not even the ones on the National Intranet are immune to this. All of the Small Businesses under the jurisdiction of a village, town, city or metropolitan area have their own delegates at their local council. Unlike larger Enterprises, the affairs of Small Businesses are organized under a community-organized Guild whose members choose a delegate whom they believe should delegate for them at their local Council.

For every Guild representing all of the Small Businesses in a given jurisdiction, each one has a seat at one of the Chambers subordinate to their Council. These Chambers reflect the political-economic interests of the different members of the community, providing them with a forum from which they can address their concerns, questions, criticisms, and conversations with the authorities of the municipal government. In addition to the Guilds for the various different Professions and Enterprises, there are those which are for Small Businesses. And unlike NSEs, SOEs and SAEs, whose larger sizes require delegation at the regional and central governments, the political-economic interests of Small Businesses can be met by competent authorities at the local level without too much intervention from anyone above them.

This Entry and the previous have only covered the basic details of how Cooperatives and Small Businesses interact with Council Democracy, the Tournament, and Mission-Type Economic Planning. Over the course of the next two Entries, we will be discussing how these two special types of economic organizations conduct themselves in regard to those three aforementioned concepts from The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.).

Categories: Third Place

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