the general organizational
principles of the economy.
own the tools and the fruits of their labor. They, not
any capitalist class and not the State, shall own the economic enterprises.
This is the basic
principle-- that the workers of the individual enterprise shall
have control and
keep the "full value" of their labor, including the "surplus
value." (Here is Principle #3.)
"Full value" means the remainder of
income after deducting proper expenses. Implicit here is the
requirement of decentralization of socialist economic
structure (Principle #4), so that power is on the shop floor rather than in the
capital city, and so that the workers in the plant and not the state have first
claim to income.
entire society has co-equal claims to the fruits of workers' labor,
and the democratic State represents the entire society.
So while an
individual group of workers have first claim to their
tools and their own labor, they contribute support for "all the
people"-- the entire body of fellow citizens, including children,
elderly, disabled, caretakers and all others who cannot work. (Principle
#7) "All the people" means those interests which are general to
all members of society (e.g. health, welfare, education, defense,
police), and the State has the function of insuring these
interests. This is the justification for socialist taxes
institutions in society shall be democratically run, including the
economic enterprises. (Principle
# 2) It
is not just the State that must be subject to democratic
control. Socialism is the ultimate
application of democracy to the entire society and to all
institutions and organizations, so that no abusive or exploitative
power exists anywhere.
of enterprises shall be democratically chosen and replaced.
# 2) Enterprises
have an undeniable need for professional managers, and a healthy
enterprise depends on a good balance between worker preferences and
enterprise efficiency. Workers thus submit to management that
they choose, but may easily eject management which looses their
economy can operate well without stability; thus the State shall apply
consistent monetary policy to stabilize the economy. Every
enterprise must plan and budget, and a stable currency is a necessity
to making the economic predictions necessary for good planning.
Bergonian socialists have been sensitive to how price instability
benefits the powerful and bleeds the average family.
It is an injustice to allow inflation to shrink the real value of
workers' labor, effectively robbing the people. It is also
understood that capital cannot be effectively accumulated and used
without price stability and a stable currency.
society's institutions are expected to remain solvent, and limit
expenditures to income. Yes, Bergonia has a "balanced
budget amendment" to discipline not only its government entities,
but its worker run enterprises as well. The lack of fiscal discipline
will have the effect of
obfuscating the value of workers' labor and make efficient
shall not subsidize enterprises, except for emergency, public health
or seed resources (e.g. capitalization).
If the Development Council planners see the need for a new industry (e.g. imaging, genetic
engineering), they may dedicate original capital to buy the necessary
machinery and set it up. Once the first workers are hired, they
take it over and move on.
banks shall finance expansion and recapitalization.
are the national and regional development banks. Every state
and every subdivision has at least one bank of its own. Worker-run enterprises may borrow money at reasonable interest rates.
Capital is made available for expansion of targeted industries, and to pay
for the expenses of complying with environmental laws. Development
banks also underwrite research, study and design projects, in conjunction
with the syndicates, academia and the professions.
central economic planning authority must be representative, so that
the regulated enterprises can participate and put a check on it. This
means that all the regulatory and planning bodies must contain
representatives of the affected classes, usually delegates from syndicates
and professional associations. e.g. the Environmental Bushenre
(council) includes reps from the national association of
manufacturer coops, while the Telecommunications Bushenre
includes (among others) reps from the actors, artists, writers &
journalists syndicates, local stations associations, the technical
trade & craft syndicates.
planning authority must be reasonably limited, so that workers enterprises can
function autonomously in a relatively open market.
The planning authority sets minimum wages and some maximum prices, product quality
standards, and accounting standards. It provides
independent auditing services, and may step in when an enterprise begins to fail. No
production quotas exist, except as stated in arms-length contracts,
which the government negotiate with worker-run enterprises.
While Soviet style planning trumpeted production goals for state-run
enterprises, Bergonian planners have depended much more on contracting
between autonomous sectors & industries. This allows, in a
socialistically institutionalized fashion, for production to follow
example, the fed-coop that builds tractors & other agricultural
equipment does not respond to a government directive, but waits for
forecasts & actual orders from the peasant coops. In turn
they reach out to their suppliers, other coops that make the tires,
the steel, the electronics, the paint and the spark plugs. The
scale and the nature of the agreements is not to unlike the
agreements between a large multinational manufacturer negotiating
huge purchase of parts & material from other corporations.
benefits from the class of independent shopkeepers, craftsmen, sole
proprietors and professionals.
These people require
little regulation, except to protect their employees and the public
health, and yet they
generate much of society's creativity and beauty. Who can
beat the local bakery?
courts and mediators freely sort out disputes between various interests &
Law) In a
pluralist society, disputes will flair up between the independent
units, and neutral arbiters will be needed to settle and quell the
disputes. A neutral arbiter of disputes frustrates all grabs for power.
society in policy and practice will value conviviality, relaxation, stability, artistic creation,
public pageantry, and spiritual and other non-material pursuits.
Daily Life) Thus the
society will repudiate values such as greed, lust for material crap
and other deformed capitalist values. The payoff for such
pursuits should be structurally limited. Vanity, pride,
achievement and self-improvement will hopefully have more appeal than
wealth and gluttony.
socialism has failed because it merely reapplied capitalist's core
materialist values. Marx himself never justified the classless
society beyond assuming that the revolution would unleash the
productive capacity of the proletariat. .Since communist thinking remained dominated by materialism,
communist societies remained susceptible
to capitalist regression. The truly socialist man in the deeds of his life
places value on non-material things. Socialism should bridge the
false divisions between "science" and religion.
requires a cooperative ethic.
The ethic necessary for group
enterprises is the same ethic that
promotes politeness, taking turns, civic honesty, and respect for law.
Individualism and tyranny both allow a ruder, crueler ethic.
understand that structures work feebly and rules barely at all when
the people working in enterprises follow a corrupted ethos.
The nature of the underlying ethos determines the ultimate
quality of the decisions of government and cooperative councils.
It rarely happens that deliberate government action will mold
or alter the popular ethos (although it happens more often than
American conservatives will admit).
Instead, the popular ethos/culture/values will dictate the
form, substance and style of all government and economic activity.
Economics, socialism by another
A great many
enterprises and consumers purchase goods through "buyers
collectives." Many local supermarkets are, in fact, such
collectives usually sponsored by the local commune. Sometimes the collectives get
quantity discounts and pass the savings on to their members. Villages and city neighborhood collectives sponsor and help capitalize needed local
stores and arrange for a discount to the members. A lot of the
big federated cooperatives (like auto plants, naval works, tax
processing centers, banks) sponsor buyers collectives for their
members, and even sponsor stores. Collective members often put in
orders for goods in catalogs circulated by the
original organizers found inspiration in the cooperative movement of the
Scandinavian countries. However
the best models for collectives exist in Bergonia's own history,
particularly in the traditions of the peasant lunra
(village) where virtually
all work and all wealth was shared.
Similar cooperativeness abound in the peasant life of
cultures, such as the panchayat of India, the mir of
Russia, and the manorial villages of Medieval Western Europe.
Here is a fine example of how cooperative enterprises in
pre-industrial society should be adapted to modern urban conditions.
have gone on to form credit unions for members, rental discount
programs, vacation clubs for group tours and discounts on hotels,
inns & rentals. All in all this cooperative purchasing has
radically affected the retail sector.
The arts &
crafts syndicates, to which creative individuals belong, organize
collectives for purchasing materials and supplies, and also for the
marketing of the finished products. Fishermen's cooperatives
join collectives for selling the catch, sharing processing
facilities, joint purchasing and rotation of boats, equipment and
Numerous small cooperatives, as well as the tiny proprietorships,
join collectives for purchasing materials cheaper. Manufacturers form cooperative associations to buy raw materials and
components. The relative weakness in "antitrust"
restrictions in Bergonia make this possible.
State's limited role:
this is not "state
In Berg-Soc theory and constitutional
law, the productive forces belong to the workers. They do not belong to the
"workers" as a vague class or the "people" in the
meaningless abstract (with the party or state acting as
trustee). Instead the productive capacity (e.g. capital, equipment &
other assets) of an enterprise belong to the workers of that
The state does not direct any economic enterprise in the Soviet
manner (except in emergencies). No government bureaucracy
issues production quotas or "Five Year Plans," though
every modern economy has someone somewhere calculating future demand and
production. The various economic councils & ministries do collaborate with
the syndicates to engage in
coordinated forecasting and the issuance of advisory targets and
guidelines. There is always danger in any economy of
over-production or under-production. The cyclical occurrence
of over and under production produces economic instability, and
planners want to steer between them.
The state plays a large role in
spawning new industries. The ministries, together with the
syndicates, determine the need for economic investment and the
development of new industries. The ministries then have the
development banks to finance the creation of new worker-owned
enterprises. This is how, for example, the nation's computer
industry was launched.
The state, like the state in most
capitalist societies, indirectly coordinates and supervises the
productive forces through law and fiscal policy. This is where
the state plays the role of umpire in market transactions and
competition. The state has played this role in every society
in history which has had a state.
Like governments in capitalist
countries, the governments in Bergonia direct a lot of economic
activity through procurement purchasing according to law, procedure
and standardization. At various times government authorities,
including Congress itself, have tried to dictate all manner of terms
to the vendors, such as requiring certifications of loyalty, audits,
and conformity to centrally planned work rules. But the courts
(well versed in new socialist legal theory) have consistently ruled
that anything outside the needs of the transaction itself is
improper subject matter for contract terms. The federal
government in the US and the limited governments in Tan Era Bergonia
have both used this ploy to extend their jurisdictions, and modern
Berg socialists are wise to it.
"Free Trade" with
This is in part because
The writing is
on the wall: the future New World Order of transnational corporations
structured into a system of regional trading blocks under the WTO
umbrella. Bergonians realizes and accepts that they have to have a
functional relationship with the Great Beast.
generally believe that free trade cannot exist between capitalist
economies and a socialist economy without a set of "filters" to protect
the latter from the former.
(a) the currency of a socialist country is
not something that is susceptible to free market trading against
(b) stable & balanced prices structures in the
socialist economy should not be subject to the fluctuations of international
(c) the socialist economy should not risk being
flooded by cheap mass-produced capitalist crap,
(d) a syndicalist-socialist-ecological
economy is based on local production, to assure a minimum of
transportation of goods, so that autarky becomes sound policy.
The "Developing World" or
Bergonia repeatedly deplores the way the
industrialized nations exploit the third world-- child labor, slave
wages, slave work conditions, nurtured dependency on First World
largesse and patronage. Bergonia supports forgiveness of Third
World debt. Bergonia regularly condemns IMF and World Bank
policies and will not have anything to do with them. Instead
Bergonia has its own programs of assistance, loans and grants for
FOR MORE DETAIL
SEE THESE PAGES:
SECTORS -- how
health care, agriculture, manufacturing, media and other sectors are organized.
-- how most economic enterprises are organized, and how workers own the means of production.
WORKERS GET PAID --all workers in an enterprise partake of the
profit, according to "shares" determined by labor & skill.
-- how the central authority taxes economic activity to fund the collective
TO SOCIALISM -- the basic argument.
THEORY -- the underlying justifications for Bergonian Socialism.
THREE BASIC TYPES OF ECONOMIC ENTERPRISES:
& federated cooperatives,
(b) monopolies, and
(c) small proprietorships.
This economy consists of
hundreds of thousands of
worker-owned and worker-managed cooperatives (also referred to in
law as "corporations").
Large enterprises are
structured federations of functional, elf managing cooperatives. For example,
a large manufacturing enterprise includes numerous production
cooperatives in the factories and cooperatives handling clerical,
IT, procurement and other support functions, with contracts with
independent sales cooperatives. Nearly all the manufacturing,
distribution and wholesale sectors are organized on this cooperative
The exigencies of
modern industrial production necessitate an internal organization of
specialized function, which is traditionally and capitalistically
accomplished by a pyramidal hierarchy and a "disciplined"
Foucault) workforce. In contrast the "federated co-op" approach
sets up a new democratic upward process that stands parallel to the
traditional, reliable command hierarchy, and the command hierarchy
itself is democratized so that the ones who (under any
circumstances) issue orders are accountable and recallable.
The core idea is that every work unit or cell gets its orders from the
command hierarchy, but determine internally how to get the order fulfilled. The members of the unit or cell are collectively
rewarded for good work and collectively criticized for unsatisfactory work.
The command hierarchy is necessary for production, if for nothing
else to coordinate the scheduling and timing of production and
coordinate production with sales, and after its democratization it
serves as the coordinating agent among federated collectives.. The appearance of the new
would of course attenuate the old, and-- in time-- supplant it
There are a few big monopolistic
corporations, charted by Congress, each one either
handling a crucial area of the economy or a manufacturer of a
massively complex & socially/politically important commodity.
The peculiarities of Bergonian tax policy make it convenient to
monopolize these economic activities that are taxed-- primarily what
they call "energy transactions." This makes the collection of
revenue for all the levels of government incredibly easy, and
freeing millions of people from hassle.
The monopolies are organized as federated collectives, so that the
workers still enjoy internal self-government. However the
usual organs of federated cooperative government are augmented by a
politically appointed board of governors to represent the national
These are the monopolies:
(a) Teleberga, the phone company,
The all-important railroads:
regional railroad lines that maintain the rails, beds & bridges,
six regional railroad freight carriers,
the national federation of passenger rail services,
(c) five major
airlines and a few others serving the special needs of localities,
like the Sargaso islands,
the national electric generation authority (named after an ancient
lightening god), and several regional distribution authorities,
"Workers Revolutionary Weapons & Armaments
Reorganization" (WRWAR, called "Warware" in slang), the
national weapons development authority,
the one big company that builds commercial and military aircraft,
Arvesar, the one big company that builds ships,
the one big company that builds missiles, rockets and spacecraft.
This economy also consists of a large number of
shopkeepers, professionals and craftsmen
working as (a) sole proprietorships, (b)
partnerships and (c) family-owned enterprises. Nearly all professional and personal services (lawyers, doctors,
barbers, plumbers), and the rather large sector of
"shopkeepers," are organized on this small-scale
The laws of
enterprise organization set limits on the size of these
proprietorships-- usually limiting such entrepreneurs to twelve employees before they have to transform the business into a
worker-owned enterprise, and such employees have specific entitlements to minimum
wage, vacation, sick leave and workers compensation.
A large segment of the retail market
consists of independent
shopkeepers. A large number of the nation's plumbers, electricians and
mechanics are independent. Here are the thousands of people in society who prefer to work alone or
in small groups as opposed to a collective or corporation. They are often
called "cats," as opposed to the "dogs" in cooperatives
rule of twelve keeps an artificially low cap on the size and scale
of businesses. Small
business proprietors have kept pressure on the politicians to
raise the number higher, but they face daunting odds,
especially since in 1955 the Congress raised the original limit
of eight to twelve to widespread opposition. In
1968, when the radicalism that mirrored what was occurring around
the world swept Bergonia, the Congress flirted with the idea of
restoring the lower limit, which would have meant layoffs in small
shops all over the country.
One way of getting around the limit is to split the
enterprise into specialized segments and then to unite them with a
contract. For example, a
small builder will, instead of hiring carpenters will find a
carpenter with whom he feels comfortable and help him form his own
small business, consisting of junior carpenters.
The contractor and the carpenter will enter into a contract
whereby they build homes together.
This gives the two men an effective ceiling of 24 employees instead of
small hotel will encourage someone to organize a
This new friend hires young women and enters into a contract to
perform all the housekeeping & maid service for the hotel, so
that the hotel proprietor will not have to count the
housekeeping staff against his maximum of twelve.
In the same way the hotel finds a trustworthy cook
who forms a business and they sign a contract
for the operation of the hotel's restaurant.
The law protects
the employees in such circumstances by allowing them to organize
a cooperative and force the proprietorships into a new set of
How Open are the
Thankfully not as open as in capitalist countries. This
economy is divided into different sectors,
some where markets function openly, some subject to
rigorous planning, and others that are hybrid in nature where restrained and channeled markets are
Every city neighborhood and every town of any size has an open
air market where you can buy fresh produce, clothes (including knock-offs
of US brands), new and used electronics & appliances, arts
& crafts, car batteries and chain saws, CDs & DVDs (many
knock-offs), the local wine, and even marijuana. These markets are unregulated,
except as to space, parking, sanitation and honesty.
When a family goes shopping for whatever, they go to
collectively-owned stores with bright cheery interiors, helpful staff,
stocked shelves and mark-downs-- very similar to small supermarkets
in capitalist countries. They likely studied the
newspaper advertising earlier in the week. They might
also stop in some small cozy shops, operated as
proprietorships. There are opportunities to haggle over prices
with antique dealers, craftsmen and second-hand storekeepers.
Bergonians enjoy shopping as much as people anywhere (although what
constitutes "shopping" for them can be quite different
than in suburban USA).
As opposed to the relatively benign
retail sector, markets in other commodities are instruments of
oppression, and become inefficient and unjust means of distribution. These include
for health care, insurance against risk, and basic utility services.
Markets are, if nothing else, systems for distributing commodities,
and when labor and land are reduced to commodities, the markets for
labor and land become instruments of destruction. Socialism in
Bergonia has destroyed these markets, and substituted rationally
socialized methods of distribution.
primary Bergonian criticism of market-driven economics is
(a) Markets are rarely free and
equitable as they are portrayed in classical theory. Because of disproportionate strengths and weaknesses among the
players, most markets becomes rigged and onerous.
Open, unregulated markets generate their own demise, as competition ultimately
concludes with the formation of monopolies, oligopolies or
(c) There is
always an upward force on prices rarely admitted by capitalist
apologists-- namely the inherent "gouge" factor that
motivates all sellers to charge as much as they calculate they can
get away with, and pay as little for costs as possible and give as
little value as possible to the buyer.
Bergonian economists have always been greatly interest in
"market socialism," as a more efficient alternative to central
planning, at least in the sense that the market is a more efficient
system of exchanging information than either central or cooperative
Joseph Stiglitz, in Whither Socialism (1993), examines the
soundness of the economic assumptions underlying market
socialism. He observes that, while classical economic theory
(taught in every Econ 101 class) allows that market socialism would
work, classical economic theory itself fails to take into account
problems that afflict the functioning of all markets. As he
says, "the very criticisms of market socialism are themselves,
to a large extent, criticisms of the neoclassical
paradigm." (ibid. 66)
this analysis Stiglitz goes on to identify several specific failures
of those advocating socialism, including market socialism.
Here's how the Bergonian anarcho-syndicalist deals with these
Socialism has always been criticized for the
failure to provide incentives for good performance, either by
workers-owned enterprises or managers of state-owned enterprises.
This is largely true, but Stiglitz
points out that large capitalist corporations suffer from a split between
shareholding owners and management, so they suffer as well from a
skewed system of
The Berg system retains a proper
system of incentives, by making workers' pay partially dependent on
his cooperative's net income. When every worker's pay goes up or down depending
on the profitability of the cooperative enterprise (see worker
self-government), every worker receives a direct material
incentive to work for the good of his cooperative.
Allocation of Capital
bemoans the difficulties that socialist economies have had with deciding
how to allocate capital. Classical theory assumes that capital
will be efficiently allocated by free markets in futures & risks.
Socialism usually assumes that central planners could simply allocate capital
on some "rational" basis. Market socialism
grew out of the real concern that central planners could not
conceivably have all the information necessary to make all capital
allocations. On the other hand, Stiglitz points out, huge
corporations like GM make investment & planning decisions very
much with the same degree of complexity that central planners in
socialist economies would face. Moreover, the markets in risks & futures
in capitalist economies are often themselves grossly distorted, in
part because of corruption and insider manipulation. Stigliz
also implies that neither socialist nor capitalist economies are immune to either
excess capacity or shortages.
also refers to the absence of banks in socialist countries, but Bergonia
has a network of cooperative "development banks" that make loans to
cooperatives. Another source of capital available
to small enterprise are the funds & credit unions established by the independent
syndicates. These provide multiple sources of capital.
Stiglitz reveals the falsehood of the capitalist myth of the equity
market. Decisions about futures & risks are ultimately
decisions requiring information, and information is incomplete in
both capitalist and socialist settings. His analysis manifests
the common-sense truth that no one can very well predict the
Decentralization and Competition.
argues that market socialism followed a false market of price-takers
and devalued the positively generative effect of true competition in
open markets, particularly how competition relates to
innovation. But he is mindful of the excesses of competition.
Stiglitz correctly notes that
government-directed research has produced abundant fruit in both
capitalist & communist economies, he notes the failure of
socialism to provide
market signals to direct the attention of researchers to innovations
that reduce costs and improve the quality of life. Soviet
history sadly shows what happens when political agendas direct
research & development. When there
is a well-defined social objective [e.g. space program, the nuclear
bomb] resources can be marshalled and directed in an effective
way. "But the far more difficult task of thinking up ideas and,
equally important, evaluating them seems to be beyond the
scope of government." (Ibid. 152)
A variegated, pluralistic economy,
consisting of thousands & thousands of worker cooperatives.
are independent, free-standing, run pretty much by standard
co-op protocols and direct democracy. Examples: restaurants,
small glass plants, IT & computer services, nursing homes,
publishers, heating & cooling services, and building
contractors. To handle paperwork and record-keeping, a lot of these co-ops
either hire a "business
agent" or contract with an independent cooperative of
Other co-ops become units or cells within large
"federated" organizations (with open committees &
votes as needed), such as hotels, hospitals & institutional
healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, banking, and retail
enterprises, often with thousands of workers, some combining
A Heterogeneous, Decentralized
There is no one-size-fits-all mentality as to economic
organization. Different economic sectors require different
degrees of coordinating authority, different command, information
and exchange structures & patterns, different degrees of
workforce heterogeneity, and different public interests at work.
Thus, each sector is said to have its own "constitutional
formation," and each bears examination in turn.
This is a variegated economy, with
pockets of unsupervised liberty and pockets of militarized order,
This suits the variegated personality of humankind. Different
people have different personalities. Some work well in
structure, others want independence, while a few want to be in
charge. There are introverts and extroverts, people with high
stress levels and people with low stress levels.
A citizen owns his personal property-- his clothes, furniture,
appliances, mementos, books, guns, jewelry and cash. He has an
absolute right to this that defies any government's attempt to tax
(i.e. no personal property taxes in Bergonia). His right to
these items also defies police searches and seizures. This
includes his bank accounts and mutual funds, as well as his income
entitlements from the various socialist income funds. He may
build up equity in collective property that may entitle him to a
share after his separation.
A citizen may pursue whatever career
he chooses, as in a capitalist country. No one assigns him to
a job or a position. However the citizen is not allowed to
become a capitalist, which is to say that he may not own the means
of production on which another's livelihood depends, except on a
very small scale.
A citizen enjoys the power and the
right to participate in the management of his collective
and in the organization of his own work. He also has a right
to a share of the collective income, which is certainly more than a
take-or-leave-it boss-imposed wage. (The difference is the
"surplus value" that the capitalist expropriates by means of his
unearned power over the "employee") He
has the assurance that his share is inalienable. These are
prerogatives he would not have in a capitalist country.
A citizen has the right to come and
go. He may quit his job, move across the country and try
something new. However, freedom in a socialist-syndicalist
system is more valuable than capitalism's "labor
mobility," which makes workers
desperately chase across
continents in pursuit of work. The typical Bergonian worker
chooses to stay close to home with family and community, and if he
wanders far he always knows where home is.
A citizen has a right to his copyrights and patents,
and to make money from them. However, Bergonian law allows
patents for only seven years and a copyright for fourteen. They may renew
afterwards on a shared basis by the artist or inventor and the
public interest, which is assigned to the artists guilds, the
scientific societies, and the schools.
A citizen and his family have
proprietary rights to their dwelling place, commonly translated into
English as a "leasehold," which is obtained from the
public land authority. The leaseholder pays "rent"
to the local government, and real estate taxes do not exist.
No authority may cancel a leaseholds and evict a person except for
non-payment of "rent" or violation of land use &
zoning laws. Leaseholds may be inherited and transferred, up
to a point.
is free of economic hassle. Besides the small number
of self-employed, the citizen is free of of the web of taxes and
profiteering that oppresses every man and woman in modern
capitalist economies. Thus, in Bergonia:
no paying income taxes; no
filling out income tax returns, no saving receipts.
no kind of personal
no need to buy health insurance,
or pay for medical bills.
no need to buy auto insurance.
no need to qualify for mortgages. No credit ratings.
are the Syndicates?
Certain economic sectors are
coordinated, at least in part, by syndicates
Syndicates are federations of worker-owned enterprises within a
single industry, trade or profession, like guilds. They
sometimes have the authority to set prices and engage in huge
transactions that Americans would regard as "restraints on trade."
Syndicates manage just about all commodities transactions in
Bergonia, plus a large amount of wholesale trade.
For example, peasant syndicates negotiate contracts for huge
quantities of wheat with the bakers syndicates of the various cities
and counties. In turn the bakers syndicates negotiate with
milling and processors collectives, and with the truckers.
Although syndicates end up regulating
or setting standards for their members, they do not control the
entire sector-- because membership in a syndicate is optional for
any cooperative. syndicates, as a matter of law, are voluntary
associations. Indeed, in many sectors, there are networks of
syndicates, or competing syndicates.
More on the syndicates in the
individual economic sectors.
the Development Councils?
A number of
development councils exist in the land.
The Congress created these to promote new industries by
providing capital and planning.
The development councils receive funding from the Congress in
the form of both loans and banks, and the development councils also
raise money from interest on loans it makes to enterprises and the
selling of bonds. The
development councils play a major role in the proliferation of new technologies.
They make loans to both new and existing enterprises.
The loans to existing enterprises enable them to adopt new
The councils enabled many
manufacturing and mining enterprises to install environmental
controls, for example, in the 1970's by extending loans and
arranging for discounted prices on the controls.
The councils arranged the latter by purchasing the controls in
mass quantities from the enterprises manufacturing them.
The councils saved the manufacturers the expense of marketing
Development councils fund the
transfer of agricultural technologies to peasant collectives.
The Agricultural Development Council have funded
irrigation projects. They have
funded large new enterprises, such as computers.
The Communications Development Council funded the creation
of Bergonia's version of the Internet and the protocols.
The Health Development Council has distributed the funds
necessary for the development of new medical technologies,
including heart valves, surgical supplies, and MRI's and other imaging
Governance of the development authorities
conforms with those provisions in the
constitution that delineates
the structure of corporations. The
member ship of the council consists of representatives of
constituent organizations. In
typical Bergonian fashion, the councils include (a) representatives
of the particular national "Bushenre" (councils) which controls the pertinent
economic sector, (b) members of the organizations who receive
the councils services, and (c) specialists in the
particular field. Thus,
the National Agriculture Development Council includes (a)
four representatives of the National Agricultural Bushenre, (b)
seven representatives of various national peasant and farming
organizations, and (c) seven agronomists nominated by
various specialist bodies and chosen by an election of other
specialists, as well as three specialists selected by the
corporations are not permitted to operate in Bergonia, unless they
do so in conjunction with cooperatives.
example, Toyota contracts with local cooperatives to build Toyota
vehicles in Bergonia. The federated cooperative enterprise
(consisting of over 2,400 individual collectives),
named Banken Motors, receives a license from Toyota to build the
vehicles to Toyota's general specifications. Toyota, however, has
say in how the autos are built. Banken, of course,
pays Toyota per vehicle it produces, but Banken owns the
vehicles it produces and sends them to the distribution cooperatives
for retail sale. (Incidentally, in Bergonia it is common for
individuals to order cars in advance to specification.) Under
the licensing agreement, Banken and the distribution cooperatives
are permitted to use and display Toyota trademarks. Banken
and Toyota also have a joint venture agreement for marketing the
Toyota brand in Bergonia.
system preserves the integrity and autonomy of the worker
cooperatives, while allowing the foreign corporation to make a
arrangement works well for the importation and production of foreign
brands. There is absolutely no foreign investment in the oil,
minerals, forestry, and agricultural sectors.
of Bergonian defiance of the criminal
U.S. embargo of Cuba, the Helms-Burton Act, passed by the mad
dogs in the U.S. Congress in 1995, has drastically reduced American
foreign investment in Bergonia.
When foreign corporations want to buy
Bergonian commodities, they make deals with
the syndicates, which
represent the various small-scale producer collectives. Trade
in services and manufactured goods usually occurs between capitalist
corporations and the federated collectives.
A special buying
arrangement has occurred that saves everyone in Bergonia money, and also
illustrates perfectly how syndicalist collective organization can
promote small-scale capitalism: Small shopkeepers operate as a
healthy capitalist preserve in Bergonia. A great number of small
shopkeepers organize their own collective association to go abroad to
buy goods for importation. Thus the representatives of five
thousand specialty shops go to Turkey to buy containers full of rugs, or
Thailand to order and ship tons of gold jewelry, or to Malaysia to order
electronic components on specifications. This system entails on
two mark-ups from the foreign source to the Bergonian consumer.
Many Europeans complain
about the vigor with which France protects and subsidizes its farmers
(as does Japan), but Bergonians do not care, since they regard the
health of special sectors of the economy something worth subsidizing.
France subsidizes its grain farmers and vintners, while the U.S.
subsidizes its weapons contractors-- which is worse?