The Third Place: Council Democracy at the Workspace (Pt. III of III)

Competition in the Tournament rewards those who do their Professions well and this will consistently be demonstrated by those who have just found their Vocations in Life. Those who perform their tasks and complete their assignments with the greatest utmost passion, enthusiasm, perseverance and joyfulness are more likely to contribute superior Arbeit compared to those who have not found their Vocation. This phenomenon has been discussed in extensive detail throughout the Entries of The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.). The question now is how best to transfer this same mentality on a larger scale befitting of an entire Enterprise. It is here where the Tournament’s conception of competition becomes apparent.

Between Codetermination and Worker’s Self-Management, “Joint-Ownership” is arguably the best way to centralize the model of delegative governance–Council Democracy–within the workspace. Joint-Ownership entails having the political-economic governance of a given Enterprise subordinated by its affiliated Guild, another Enterprise, or the “Industry Leader.” There are two types of Enterprises where Joint-Ownership becomes necessary. The first type are Enterprises identified by Central Planners and State Commissariats as performing poorly will become liable for Joint-Ownership. The other are Enterprises which are too small and limited in terms of personnel and production capabilities to be able to choose its own Delegates or Delegative Administrators.

For Enterprises too small and limited, these are Public-Directed Enterprises (PDEs) and certain Public-Owned Enterprises (POEs). The obvious examples of such Enterprises are the Cooperatives and Small Businesses discussed earlier in two relevant Entries. Below are the three variants of Joint-Ownership that can be applied anywhere in the VCS Economy.

  1. Joint-Ownership by Delegative Guild (JODG): Most Small Businesses and Cooperatives, in addition to other PDEs and POEs, fall under this form of Joint-Ownership. To ensure that the smallest of property owners have political delegation at the Chamber of their local councils, PDEs and POEs as well as Small Businesses and Cooperatives will be led by their Guild. The members of a Guild choose their Delegates, who in turn will delegate for them in the Chamber of their local government’s council.
  2. Joint-Ownership by Delegative Enterprise (JODE): For Enterprises such as POEs and NSEs servicing larger ones like SOEs or SAEs, it is possible for an SOE and SAE on behalf of the smaller ones. These POEs and NSEs do not necessarily have to be ones that perform poorly or inefficiently, although it is possible for arrangements to be made by the State Commissariats to have the leadership of one Enterprise replace those of another. Alternatively, it is possible for larger Enterprises to have “Subsidiaries” or several large NSEs and SOEs to become members of a “Consortium” or an “Industrial Concern,” the latter of which occurring among Industry Leaders. In either case, the Subsidiaries and members of Consortiums and Industrial Concerns choose their own respective Delegates.  
  3. Joint-Ownership by Delegative Industry Leader (JODIL): For larger Enterprises identified by Central Planners and State Commissariats that have poor leadership or performance, they will be led by a superior Enterprise called an Industry Leader, whose qualifications for excellence and mastery of Arbeit and Geld will be reapplied on the inferior one. Industries Leaders are ranked by the Central Planners as being within the top twenty highest Enterprises in terms of Quality of Arbeit and Quality of Geld. The Intent is to give the inferior Enterprise their chances to improve themselves before an Inspector decides to send a Letter of Complaint and demand changes in leadership and personnel.

Enterprises that do well, by achieving higher Social Ranks, will become more likely to be eligible for Joint-Ownership. For the interested Administrators, Delegates, and Economic Planners of an Enterprise, they should consider consulting with either an Inspector, State Commissar or Superintendent of their State Commissariat about signing on to a “Joint-Ownership Agreement.” The Industry Leaders of any given Industry are always guaranteed special privileges to a Joint-Ownership Agreement due to them having the highest Social Ranks in their own Industries. By agreeing to the terms of a Joint-Ownership Agreement, the Enterprise involved will assume full Command Responsibility over their Guilds, Subsidiaries, Consortiums or Industrial Concerns.

The burden of Command Responsibility depends on whether the economic organization entering the Joint-Ownership Agreement is a large Enterprise, the members of a Consortium or Industrial Concern, or a Guild.

  1. In Joint-Ownership by Delegative Guild (JODG), Command Responsibility falls upon the whole Guild and whoever has been selected as the Delegates to the Chambers of the local or regional government’s councils. This applies to the Cooperatives and Small Businesses affiliated with the Guild as well.
  2. In Joint-Ownership by Delegative Enterprise (JODE), Command Responsibility falls upon the largest Enterprise. Subsidiaries of an Enterprise are allowed to choose their own Delegates. The Delegates of the Subsidiaries and the Delegate of the parent Enterprise must decide who among them will be sent to the Chambers. The same rule also applies to the members of a Consortium or Industrial Concern as well.  
  3. And in Joint-Ownership by Delegative Industry Leader (JODIL), Command Responsibility falls upon the Enterprise that has agreed to help and improve at least one or other Enterprise. In order for the arrangement to succeed, the lesser Enterprise must demonstrate to the Central Planners and State Commissariats that they are capable of improving their Quality of Arbeit and Quality of Geld.

All three variants are demonstrative of Subordinate Delegation. This is due to the fact that political-economic governance of affected Enterprises are overseen by at least one other economic organization. Similar to the characteristics of Worker’s Self-Management within Indirect Delegation, the general rules of Transvaluation of All Arbeit are still applicable, albeit with a few slight modifications to the general procedures.

  1. The Guilds have their Delegates, Administrators, Economic Planners, and Inspectors. In event of a Transvaluation, the Delegates play saint’s advocate, whereas the Economic Planners are devil’s advocate. In the absence of the Economic Planners, the Administrators become the devil’s advocate. If there are Enterprises governed according to Worker’s Self-Management, then the Delegative Administrator acts as the saint’s advocate. The Inspector is the final authority.
  2. The Subsidiaries and their parent Enterprise have their own Delegates and Administrators, but they both share the same Economic Planners, and State Commissars. In event of a Transvaluation, the Delegates and Administrators are the saint’s advocates, while their Economic Planners are the devil’s advocates. If Subsidiaries are governed according to Worker’s Self-Management, then only the parent Administrator acts as the saint’s advocate. The State Commissar is the final authority.
  3. The Consortiums and Industrial Concerns have their own Delegates and Administrators, but they still share the same Economic Planners and State Commissars. Due to their size and capabilities, the saint’s advocates are the Administrators and Economic Planners. The Superintendents and State Commissars are the devil’s advocates. The Central Planners are the final authority.  

The implications of Subordinate Delegation attest to the fact that the larger and more capable an Enterprise becomes, the more likely it will require government officials within positions of authority in the central government to initiate a Transvaluation of All Arbeit. Compared to the smaller Enterprises, the Consortiums and Industrial Concerns have had to turn to the Central Planners themselves as authorities higher than the State Commissariats of Wages and Prices, which were originally intended in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.) to be organized at the regional level. Even so, the pricing of goods and services produced by Consortiums and Industrial Concerns are still organized at the regional level, a role that will continue to be fulfilled by the State Commissariats of Wages and Prices.

Another set of implications with regard to MTEP is that the higher somebody is on the chain of command, the more generalized and abstract the Direct Orders will be. It is clearly the case if a Cooperative or a Small Business were to receive a Direct Order from the Central Planners. But it is also the case in the context of the opposite: an Industrial Concern or Consortium receiving a Direct Order from Cooperatives and Small Businesses. This implies that any increasing distance in the spatiality of the chain of command can cause anyone’s Direct Orders to become distorted or misinterpreted upon reaching their intended recipients. No information-gathering technology, no matter how sophisticated, is capable of resolving what is otherwise an inherent flaw of everyday human communications, whether spoken, written, or visualized.

The solution, according to Subordinate Delegation, is to have the spatiality in the chain of command be shortened so as to ensure that any Direct Orders can be relayed to anyone with the least possible distortions and misinterpretations of the Explicit and Implicit Intents. It is easier for the Intents to be received more clearly if the Economic Planners, Administrators, and Delegates are able to see each other eye-to-eye. A similar phenomenon can be observed when the Intents of Central Planners are transferred to the Administrators and Economic Planners of the different Enterprises that comprise a given Consortium or Industrial Concern. This demonstrates that any form of economic planning is more practical when the Economic Planners themselves are closer to the Enterprises that they are supervising, rather than being isolated from the Administrators and Delegates who have their own Legal Duties and Legal Rights concerning those Enterprises and its rank-and-file personnel.      

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