The general approach to planning in this economy includes these propositions:

1.  Polyarchy--mean plural authorities, each with functional jurisdiction & specialization, operating parallel to each other, under a coordinated structure.  This in opposition to a pyramidal structure of planning and authority.

2.  Decentralization, with levels of authority devolving to the level of the workplace cooperative, or to state and local levels of federated authority, such as the syndicals.

3.  Incrementalism-- there is constant data feedback in the system, so that mid-course corrections are possible.  In fact, there are no "five year plans," but rather short and long range projections and decisions that are constantly being revised and revisted.

4.  Stability-- a logical corollary to the stable population, which underlies all planning assumption, namely that economic stability is more important than economic growth.  This understanding is completely contrary to the reality of capitalism, where the only stability possible is in growth.  Without growth, capitalism falters and crashes.  That is the ultimate environment-destroying truth about capitalism.


Sectors of the Socialist Economy

each sector with its own specific organization

This page is (like everything) incomplete and still under construction

Practicality, unlike ideology, does not favor a "one-size-fits-all" mentality as to economic organization. The Soviets were wrong in their time, and the radical free-marketers are wrong today.

In fact different economic sectors require different degrees of coordinating authority, different command, information & exchange structures, different degrees of workforce heterogeneity, and different public interests at stake.  Thus, each sector is said to have its own "constitutional formation," and each bears examination in turn.

Each sector has unique requirements as to: 

a)  The degree of socialization, meaning whether compensation for labor comes from direct sale of goods or services or by social assignment of resources through the particular mediums of taxation and "funding."

b)  The degree of decentralization, meaning whether the local collective has great discretion in the nature, discipline and direction of its work, or whether it is bureaucratized or "militarized" (as the Bergonians say) in nature, due to (i) the "urgent" nature of the work, which recognizes the speed in conjunction with the complexity of the work (e.g. running an airline) and (ii) the social reliance upon the work (e.g. electrical power generation).

The Planners & Organizers:

National Legislative Councils,


State Planning Councils

Local Development Councils & Banks

The Syndicates.

The Sectors:


Electricity and Coal  


Automotive, Appliances & Big Retail Manufacturing

Insurance and Disability

Pharmaceutical & Med-Tech

Timbering and Fishing


Wine and Produce

Weaponry and Defense


Construction, Urban Development and the Building Trades


Books, Magazines and Newspapers

Levels of Planning, Coordination and Activity:

National Legislative Councils:  The Bushenre (Min.) is the name given to the national legislative councils, created by and subordinate to Congress.  They promulgate the essential regulations for all spheres of economic activity.  Syndicates submit proposed regulations to the bushenre.  The Bushenre, generally authorized under Art. 6, Sect. 5 of the Constitution, usually include reps from the pertinent syndicates and interest groups and professions.  One quarter of the members of each Bushenre are Congressional delegates chosen by the Congress, with individual members usually selected by the parties in negotiations.  

The Environmental Council

Established in 1973 the Environmental Council includes reps from all manufacturers and the energy producers, and delegates chosen by a congress of environmental advocacy groups.  It has statutory power to regulate air and water emissions.  It also develops a set of national land-use guidelines, primarily as to set-asides for wilderness and animal habitat.  It also exercises certain veto prerogatives over the activities of other councils to preserve animal habitats and to limit carbon emissions.  I

The Commerce Council

The Commerce Council has supervision over a number of other councils.  The Commerce Council itself includes reps from the national bank, the development banks, the nat'l association of retailers and proprietors, the nat'l association of manufacturers (consisting of syndicates & cooperatives). 

Jurisdiction over currency matters has been assigned to the powerful Monetary Council, which operates under the Commerce Council and supervises the operations of the Commonwealth Bank and the Commonwealth Mint that administer the currency. 

Also under the Commerce Council's supervision is the the Industry and Technology Council, consists of manufacturers' syndical representatives, plus a few reps from the scientific academies.  This council has specialized groups on metals and raw materials, information and communications technologies, basic manufacturing. 

Usually these councils won't do much more than monitor, intervening only if a problem breaks out, and they do have the power to impose price controls under certain circumstances.

Numerous other councils function under its purview, such as the Workplace Safety Council and the Product Safety Council, which enjoys independent discretion,

The Labor Council

This is a very big council, so big in fact that it has to function with an executive committee.  It includes reps from all parts of society.  It supervise the minimum income program and the national pension fund.

The Judicial Council

The Judicial Council generally vets amendments to the Commonwealth's criminal code.  It supervises and insures funding for the national system of prisons and rehabilitative programs for criminal offenders.  It includes representatives from the national and state bar associations, elected directly by the nation's lawyers.

The Agriculture and Food Council

This council has jurisdiction over food safety regulation.  It includes reps from the peasants & farmers associations, the food industry (consisting of coops), the medical community, and the retailers.

The Health and Human Services Council

This body includes representatives from the professions (e.g. physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists), and delegates chosen by a congress of health advocacy groups. It supervises the national health service.

The Energy Council

This body includes reps from the producers and the consumers. This group maintains a national energy plan, adopted and constantly revisted after receiving data and recommendations from (a) the relevant ministry, (b) the representatives themselves and their syndicates and (c) the state authorities.

The Ministries: Congress creates the national ministries. 

They enforce Congress's laws and the Bushenre's regulations, and even state regulations.  To do this each ministry deploys a force of inspectors and marshals who enforce the regulations.  These are the guys who are supposed to keep everyone honest.

Parallel to the structure of each ministry exists a structure of specialist administrative courts, which hear the charges of rule violations as  well as serving as civil courts or arbitrators for disputes within an economic sector. 

The ministries contain departments that collect comprehensive economic data and coordinate scientific research.  The ministries do not issue orders or quotas to the economic enterprises, although they do make projections and recommendations. 

The ministries also supervise the distribution of treasury money as allocated by Congress to the various recipients, usually to the states or subdivisions for them to administer the targeted program or service.  A perfect example is Congress's Capital Budget which contains all money for public works-- the money is given to the states who then undertake the actual construction and management of the process.

The lesre/state governments have parallel ministries that often do the heavy lifting in providing services to the people. 

The Lesre/State Planning Councils: 

Each of the 31 states sponsor the creation of new cooperatives to spur economic development, working in conjunction with the development councils & banks.  They do so through State Planning Councils, which are actually clusters of specialized councils that unite into a general council.  They take the lead in promoting new economic sectors, such as information technology, internet development and genetics.  They also take the lead in locating big new enterprises (e.g. power plants, biotechnology, information and communication technology, wind power).  They do their work in conjunction with the commonwealth level planning authorities. 

The Local Development Councils:  

Every county and autonomous county has a development council   They identify specific enterprises that need development or expansion, then sponsor the establishment of new cooperatives & federated-co-ops, recruit the workers and help them organize.  They also provide services to protect the existing cooperatives.

The Development Banks: 

Whenever a Development Council sponsors new cooperative enterprises the Development Banks offer the loans necessary for capitalization.  They also make and extend loans to existing cooperatives.  Each county and autonomous county has at least one development bank.  Each state has several state-level development banks as well, each usually with a specialization.  The purpose of this redundancy is to prevent capital from accumulating in a single set of hands, and to offer alternatives to collectives and individuals. 

The other type of bank in this socialist economy is the Cooperative Bank, which is a local or state-based credit union operated by a council elected by members that contracts with a 'bank services cooperative."  Many of these are sponsored by the syndicates for their members. 

The Syndicates: 

These are federations of workers and collectives, within a particular occupation, industry or profession.  The syndicate for each craft, occupation and industry is structured according to the particular sector's needs, but for each such sector there is generally either powerful county syndicates (e.g. taxi drivers, bakeries) or powerful lesre/state syndicates (e.g. coal mining, grain farmers).  The syndicates perform a variety of functions, varying from sector to sector, but usually including these:

Most syndicates have responsibility for determining demand and planning capacity, under the supervision of the

They provide economic data to the national ministries entities, the state planning councils and the development councils. 

They often times coordinate the work of member collectives, when necessary, sometimes issuing advisory quotas, sometimes allocating available work among member individuals or collectives. For example the trucking syndicates rotate loads among its member drivers.

They often take the lead in promoting standards for work safety and product quality, although here their self-interest often needs checking. 

The syndicates send representatives to attend bushenre / legislative councils meetings and advise the bushenre in rule-making.

It cannot be emphasized enough that the syndicates are, in every instance, voluntary associations, with no requirements for organizations or individuals within a sector to belong.

Individual Economic Sectors:

Sector:  Healthcare

Summary:  In  1937 Congress created a national health system.  It has gone through several contentious permutations, and health care remains as much a contentious issue in Bergonia as it is in any other country.  While all funding of health care is centralized, the overall scheme of providing medical services has decentralized.  

The constellation of National Health Funds pays for all medical services for all people in all situations-- without qualification.  Everyone, from the President to prison inmates and street people, has the same card and is entitled to the same bundle of services.  Every economic enterprise (in theory) pays into the National Health Funds, and everyone get equal medical care from them. 

The NHF, predictably, has generated the largest single bureaucracy in the country, with a branch office in every city and county, all enforcing and following the same set of regulations.  This localization of bureaucracy allows the local processing of claims for payment by physicians and hospitals and the localization of disability determinations.

Organization of Sector:   

a) Physicians and other specialists in private practice

Doctors and nurses working in the "clinic" or "practice" setting, nearly always organized as small proprietorships, deliver most primary and specialist care.  They sometimes have their own free-standing offices, or they have contracts with clinics and hospitals to work in those premises.  Some physicians in small practices directly employ nurses and other staffers as proprietorships are allowed, but many instead have contracts with nurse cooperatives and medical clerical cooperatives.  Many physicians locate their offices or clinics at or near big factories, banks and offices to treat the workers and their families.  Often the physicians will have a contract with a clerical cooperative, a nursing cooperative and maybe with med-tech collectives (e.g. radiology).   

All physicians depend upon the single-payer National Health Funds for reimbursement at rates set by committees of doctors and fund managers.  But they do get money from the "office visit fee."

This sector includes dentists, wet nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists and masseuses, and psychotherapists.

b)  Hospitals and Other Health Institutions

Cities and counties have over the years set up and licensed hospitals, clinics, sanitariums, hospices, nursing homes, other specialized long-term care facilities, and mental health facilities. But each such facility, once established, becomes a self-governing cooperative. 

Many of the large universities maintain teaching hospitals where research  is performed.  Many religious and other private facilities also exist, though all of them must  have  a charter approved by the Health Council.  

Hospitals function as "federated co-ops," meaning that each section within the hospital is run by its own co-op.  Reps from all the co-ops sit together around a table to run the hospital.  More specifically, a hospital commonly consists of these cooperatives:  physicians, nurses, therapists, med-techs, clerical, financial services, dietary/food, laundry and hygiene, maintenance.  In many cases the hospital / clinic workers vote directly to elect the governing councils, and sometimes they undertake to decide matters directly in a big assembly.  Many such councils & assemblies are bicameral, with the doctors meeting separately, and the staff in another body, so that proposals require the approval of both groups.

c)  Syndicates:   

Every health profession has its own syndicate, including the physicians.  The syndicates are organized on the local level and the state level, and have national congresses.  The professional syndicates set professional standards, including acceptable protocols and standards of care for use in malpractice inquries.  There are local and regional bodies, as well as practice specialization groups (e.g. Nat'l College of Cardiac Surgeons, Nat'l Assoc. of Hosp. Social Wkrs.), that conduct continuing education programs for doctors and nurses, publish journals and set standards for professional education. 

The syndicates have independent tribunals for administering professional discipline for incompetence and misfeasance.  These exists on the state level.  Typically professional discipline for neglect & misfeasance is confidential, but if a professional is disciplined a third time, then the whole history becomes public.  If a physician is disciplined for a willful violation of professional standards (e.g. prescribing himself drugs, prescribing pain killers as part of a racket, having sex with a patient) the violation is made public.

d)  Local Health Councils

Every local government has a Health Council which monitors all the physicians and the use of medical facilities and plans for improvements.  The County Health Council parallels the local NHF bureaucracy.  They vote to initiate the construction of new facilities.  They generally provide for the bricks and mortar of the health system.  Sometimes the Health Councils of rural counties have to recruit needed specialists to come and open up practices.  If necessary the Council can institute actions against hospitals and health facilities, as well as doctors, for waste and misuse of funds and insolvency.   

e)  State Health Councils

The Lesre/States operate state health commissions that aid the local governments in expanding present services and creating new services. This councils are powerful vehicles for the bricks and mortar construction and expansion of medical facilities (e.g. upgraded cardiac unit, new nursing homes).  If a state health board identifies an unmet need (e.g. not enough doctors in a locality, not enough mental health in-patient capacity, slow epidemic response capacity), the board will work with the local health council to create the service, arrange loans from development banks to get it started, and then hire the initial organizers.  After its establishment the entity is on its own.  The Lesre health commissions also supervise certain special state institutions, like correctional and forensic hospitals, and secure public mental health institutions to which individuals would occasionally be committed.

f)  The National Health Council:  

Congress has created a Health Council (Bushenre), as has every state and subdivision.  It has the primary responsibility for writing binding laws and regulations for the entire health care sector.  It oversees and audits the NHF.  It requires all health care providers to maintain and submit records records necessary for statistical research.  It also has primary responsibility for planning and promoting medical research.   The national & state councils measure need and demand for health services.  

Income Sources:  

This an utterly socialized sector.  Nearly all reimbursement for services come from the National Health Funds, a series of funds set up by Congress in the 1940s.  For their operating budgets, all doctors and medical facilities depend completely upon fees paid by the Health Funds for services actually rendered.  But the medical institutions can look to the local government for capital improvements and new programs.  

The National Health Funds have created rate boards to set fair maximum rates for all services.  Specialized medical boards review and assess the mortality, morbidity  and standards for use, and also calculate the costs of each procedure and inventories of medications and equipment necessary.  They then calculate demand for medication and equipment, and thus can advise those cooperatives how much to plan to produce.  The medical review boards of course have physician and nurse representatives at the table, along with representatives from the med-techs, patient advocacy groups, and also specialists from inside the fund appointed by National Health Council. 

The medical proprietorships (the physicians) and collectives (the hospitals and clinics) all get income from the "office visit fee."   The patient must pay this fee," usually the equivalent of $22.50, at any physician's office, at any clinic and upon all "planned" hospital admissions.  It is meant to be remitted to the NHF by the proprietorship or collective that collects it, but in practice the proprietorship / collective simply debits the fees collected against their bills to the NHF.  Thus the "office visit fees" serve as a slush fund for the proprietorships & collectives, to protect them against any possibility of delayed payments by the NHF.  The medical syndicates therefore all like this fee requirement and support it.  

Free Health Care for All:

Nearly all health care is free to the individual patient.  There is however the one significant exception, namely the unpopular "office visit fee," usually the equivalent of $17.50, which adult patients below the age of 70 must pay at a physician's office, at any clinic, and upon "planned" hospital admissions (mentioned above).  The fee is frankly intended to discourage use of the health care system. It does not apply to return visits ordered by the physician, nor to annual physicals.

There have been a number of proposals to reward people who refrain from using the health care system, such as paying small annual bonuses, or allowing people small rebates on amounts withheld from salaries in exchange for not using the system.  But many see these schemes as direct rewards for health, something that has been controversial.  Their advocates claim that they would pays to live a healthy life, while its distracters claim that it punishes disabled people and people sick with unavoidable illnesses. A number of refinements to the proposals would allow

The National Health Funds -- the NHF

The Funds largely depend on a "payroll tax" that all coops, proprietorships and other worksites-- including government ministries and even the armed forces-- collect and remit to the funds.  It is not "deducted" from the worker's pay, but rather a tax upon the enterprise itself, based per head on the number of its workers.  It is calculated on the principle that the entire national expenditure on basic health care is divided by the total number of workers in the country (i.e. the total number of contributors), with no gradations as to individual income or any other differential. Here we see the fundamental implementation of the policy that the people who work will pay for the care of those who don't. 

Individual Funds take in  money from specialized sales taxes on discretionary items which cause illness-- liquor and tobacco-- and which cause injury-- skis and motorcycles.  This is a way of generally forcing  those who incur personal risks of injury to bear a primary responsibility to defray the costs of their injuries.   

The Environmental Health Fund takes in money from taxes on the gross income of certain industries condemned as big polluters, which is basically adjusted so that all the producers within each such industry can put the same surcharge per unit in order to insure equity in burden-sharing. In some industries if an individual producer gets its pollution under control, that is, if the plant installs specified pollution abatement equipment, it can escape the requirement to pay this tax-- which means a little more money for its workers.  In other industries all the plants are committed to sharing the burden so that all the collectives pay the surcharge into a fund that pays for all their pollution abatement needs.

The Workers Compensation Fund receives funding from a surtax on all enterprises, and is calculated on the same simple form as the basic NHF payroll tax.  Higher rates are charged on industries that generate higher risks of death or injury, such as mining, fishing, timbering, and factory work.  There is no such thing as workers compensation claims by "employees" in Bergonia, since all injuries and illnesses whatever the cause are treated under the socialized health care system.  Some money from this fund transfers into the general payout to physicians, nurses and hospitals, but it also funds institutions and agencies dedicated to increasing worker safety, including clinics, therapy programs and research institutions dedicated to treating common workplace injuries, and Workplace Safety Inspectors, who go after lax enterprises.  This presents the ironic scene where the agents of the state s essentially exists as a way

The fund also finances the Workplace Safety Commissions, which develops rules and standards for each type of work in the country, and also safety standards for the design of all kinds of equipment, tools, and machinery.  The various guilds have automatic representation on the pertinent commission in its particular sector.  Obviously the Miners Syndicate would have a seat on the Mine Safety Standards Commission.   These commissions set up research facilities in conjunction with universities and the syndicates, which often design equipment improvements.  It is common for industries to submit their own product designs to the appropriate commission to get them pre-approved-- the Bergonian equivalent of the old "UL" (Underwriters Laboratories) approval tags.

Sector:  Electricity and Coal  

Organization of Sector   Fushamir, the national electric generation authority, named after an ancient lightening god, buys coal from the coal miners syndicates.  It operates power plants, hydroelectric dams and a few nuclear plants built in the 1970s.  It sells the electricity to several regional distribution authorities, who in turn sell it to local power authorities generally associated with states or subdivisions.

Basic Unit of Production:  the coal mine, the power plant, the transmission crews, each organized as cooperatives..

Syndicals   The miners have a strong national syndicate, comprised of representatives of all the individual mine co-ops.  The strong electrical plant and transmission workers also have national syndicates.

Income Sources   Everyone pays for their electric consumption.  The rates are approved by Public Service Commission style bodies.  Calculation of rates includes a figure for the actual cost of production and a figure for paying off bonds.

Role of the State:  The state is usually pretty passive about this sector unless there is a massive black-out.  

Social (State) Regulation:  Every state and county has an organization with powers similar to a US State's Public Service Commission, which sets rates and approves major expansion and maintenance projects. 

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:  Television and Movies

Basic Unit of Production:   The studios make the "product," and the local stations, networks and cinemas handle "distribution."  Studios, networks and stations are all organized as cooperatives.  

Organization of Sector   

Syndicates:  Everyone in this field has a professional association or syndicate, including the actors, the writers, and all the technical people.  Together they agree to uniform working conditions and methods of collective and share-based compensation..  

Income Sources:    This is a socialized sector, meaning that money is socially channeled to the sector.  Money does come from sold advertising, which law limits to ten minutes an hour, and this is not enough to sustain the industry (thank God).  Other needed money comes from the tax imposed on the sale of all televisions, and also from monthly cable fees.  A great many individual organizations, like the Catholic Church, the Red Artists Union and the political parties, underwrite production of shows, and also make regular grants to studios.  Actors often turn their fortunes back into the industry by way of grants or loans to the studios.

Role of the State:  Congress maintains an arts fund, financed in part by (a) duties paid on importation of foreign media products, and (b) the public's share of residual copyrights.  The Arts Council allocates money out of this fund to studios for projects.  It also funds the purses for the various national competitions.  When someone gets nominated for the Berg version of the Golden Globes or the Oscars, they get a nice little cash prize.  

National and state law forbids any elected or appointed officer from trying to influence content in any way.

Social (State) Regulation:  The national Communications Council allocates frequencies and determines technical standards for the television industry, including the standards for signal digitalization.  Once the Com-Council makes the allocation, the state and zhubo governments issue the licenses for individual stations.  The Com-Council also regulates content of all electronic media for obscene and anti-child content, fraudulent advertising, and racist and pro-capitalist propaganda

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships

Sector:   Automotive, Appliances & Big Retail

Basic Unit of Production:  Three large federated cooperatives.

Organization of Sector   there are four national brands of cars and trucks, each with its family of models.  

(a)  Banken Motors, retaining the name of Arein Banken, the capitalist who founded the corporation in 1910.  Banken has a contract with Toyota to build Toyota nameplates in Bergonia.  Of  course Toyota produces the car design and specifications and does quality reviews of all work, but the car is actually produced by collectives in the Bergonian manner.

(b)  Seprei (Reliable) Motors.  ("seh'-pray")  The most popular car in Bergonia is the Lightray.  Four plants assemble Lightrays. 

(c)  Landauer Motors, originally organized by militant anarcho-syndicalists.  (In 1934 the syndicalists chose the name to honor the great German anarchist Gustav Landauer who in the abortive German revolution of 1919 was murdered by the military with the connivance of the Marxist Social Democrats.  Adopting this name was intended as a slap at the communists.   Landauer produces luxury cars, sports cars and limousines, as well as a line of buses.

(d)  Volland Chariot, the big truck and equipment manufacturer. 

Each of the four has an executive council, consisting of representatives from the factories, the design and engineering groups, the distributors and other work groups.   The council meets monthly.  It appoints a management collective, commonly called "the umbrella," that "coordinates"-- as the Bergonians put it-- the work of the other collectives, and supervises the formation of contracts between the engineering cooperatives who design the cars, the production collectives who make the parts and assemble the car, and the distribution collectives who market and sell the cars.

Each of the three corporations has assembly plants, and each has stamping plants and plants to and manufacture components and parts.   The parts plants sell their products (axles, wiring harnesses, spark plugs, seats, hoses, windshield glass) to the assembly plants.  The engineering collectives sell their designs and services to the manufacturing cooperatives.  The assembly plants in turn sell the finish units to the distributors by means of orders taken and processed by the management cooperative.  Each of these collectives form bonds with clerical and maintenance collectives, and computer and information-technology collectives, a collective of market researchers, several cooperatives who handle product testing, a workplace safety collective, a risk management collective, and a collective of procurement specialists.  There is even a collective that manages the unified phone system for the other groups.

On behalf of the other collectives, the management collective contracts with a multitude of independent cooperatives -- for printing forms, publications and advertising, to design logos and advertising images, to provide audits of all the other groups, to run the computer services, to conduct polling and project sales, to market the cars to dealerships, to provide legal services, to run restaurants, commissaries and daycare services  to the other groups and all the workers, to manage the big cluster of buildings where all these groups worked.  

All these groups sell their services to the federated cooperative or to each other, all according to agreed upon prices endorsed by the executive committee.  Of course the workers in each group received a base pay that depended on the contract it had with the others, and then a proportional share in the profits of the federated cooperative. 

Syndicals  In this sector of giant enterprises the syndicals are groups representing classes of workers within the giant enterprise, e.g. the machinists, the electricians, the metal workers, the assembly workers, the engineers, the office workers, the procurement workers.  They serve as interest groups within the governance of the giant enterprise.  They usually have representatives on the executive council, and are always well-organized for the periodic assemblies.  They are quick to react to any proposal to change the pay-grades.  They advance demands upon each other for improvements to their safety and convenience.  They argue their particular occupational perspective when the giant enterprise designs the product,  and the steps and routines for producing it, plus the communications systems and payroll systems.

Income Sources:  Sales of goods.

Role of the State   

Social (State) Regulation:  (a)  The product safety council has a sub-council that deals exclusively with automotive safety issues.  (b)  The Energy Bushenre (Legislative Council) sets fuel efficiency standards.  (c) The Environment Bushenre sets standards for pollution emissions.

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:  Insurance and Disability

Organization of Sector:

Most of the sectors of the economy in some from or another experienced  trans�formation during the Revolution and civil war of the 1930's.  The insurance industry, however, was completely destroyed.  Before the Revolution, the insurance industry functioned like that of the United States and Europe.  In the wake of the Revolution no insurance existed at all for anyone, regardless of the type of casualty. 

As the government and the various enterprises rushed to provide health care for all Bergonians, no need remained for individual health insurance policies, and therefore no health insurance programs ever developed.  To this day Bergonians look upon the American approach to private health insurance as a rank barbarism.

a) Casualty Insurance:

In  the late 1930's and 1940's, people quickly recognized the need  for casualty insurance and certain forms of liability insurance.

Since the Revolution destroyed private ownership of real property, the notion of casualty insurance for buildings developed with the community ownership of property in mind.  In the first years after the Revolution, if fire, flooding or storm destroyed a piece of property, it simply reverted back to direct government control, and the government  would  assign  new quarters to the occupants.  The government would later build something new on the land as its planning dictated.   No one made provisions for the loss of the  occupant's personal property within the structure.  Within a short time, popular pressure brought about the use of lease�holds, which gave many residential occupants a protected long term lease of their houses and apartments.  Such leases restored to the residents a vested interest in their homes, and they demanded some form of fire and flood insurance.  The constitution assigned the authority  to lease  land  to the local governments.  Most of the local governments responded by setting up insurance programs.  They themselves lacked the means of set up insurance funds, so they worked  with the newly emerging banks to provide this service.  Now, residents may purchase insurance  on their homes, as well as their possessions.  The banks created  separate  insurance services  for the various manufacturing and commercial enterprises.  However, enterprises do not enjoy the same right as residents do to continue the possession of the land in the event of  a casualty, and local land planning agencies may require the relocation of a business after a fire. 

b)  Automobile and other Liability Insurance:

People driving automobiles occasionally hurt other people, sometimes very seriously, even in utopia.   

In the United States, the business of compensating car wreck victims has become a massive industry which feeds insurance claims adjusters, plaintiffs lawyers charging contingency fee, insurance lawyers charging hourly fees for unneeded defenses to claims, and a range of specialists providing "independent  medical examinations" and "expert testimony" in the manner of prostitutes.  The system churns millions of dollars, with a minority of the funds ever reaching  the pockets of injured parties.

In Bergonia, the existence of a universal medical health plan has obviated the need for much of this, since all injured persons receive their care from the same source.  Moreover, a person who loses time from work can often qualify for unemployment or disability payments.  However, a person who may lose work and endure pain, loss of physical capacity, and inconvenience requires some compensation.  In the US the matter of compensation is ultimately left to jurors, who are given very little guidance and thus produce wildly disparate verdicts for identical cases.  In Bergonia, there are schedules 

Bergonians reject the idea of "hedonic" damages or damages for "enjoyment of loss of life."  They take a much more stoic view of life, and expect a person beset by misfortune to adapt-- to make the most of the change.  The closeness of family and communities give an injured person a resource usually lacking in the life of an injured American.  Moreover, the continuing education everywhere in Bergonia includes programs for the disabled that address their special needs for development of talent.  Finally, Bergonian medicine takes a much more aggressive approach to pain management & palliative care, since Bergonian doctors lack the obsession with the addictive possibilities of prescription drugs.

The Lesre have created compensation funds for this purpose.   They take the place of liability insurance in common cases. 

The funds receive their contributions through a system of mandatory requirements designed to distribute the risks generally among the population, while still targeting individuals who drive carelessly and cause injuries.  For example, in direct proportion to the historical percentage of claims paid out for car wreck injuries, the funds will require that the same percentage of contributions come from drivers.  Different sectors pay in different ways.  Drivers pay through a gasoline tax, the only tax that rises and falls in direct proportion to the amount of driving that occurs.  Lessors of land pay a tax in addition to their rents, and the local land management authority remits the tax collected to the insurance fund. 

At one point the trade unions proposed expanding the funds to cover workplace injuries in imitation of the American workers compensation funds.  The idea of general cover�age, regardless of who or what caused the injury, did not win support.  Opponents to the idea pointed out that universal health eliminated much of the need for such coverage, and the unemployment benefits system satisfied the remainder of the legitimate need.   Moreover, opponents pointed out that the existing insurance program did not  compensate people whose own negligence caused their injuries.  Therefore, the program came to cover employees injured on the job for injuries caused by the negligence of co-workers or the employer.

Recent laws permit the funds to now cover injuries caused  by  defective  pro�ducts.  The funds receive appropriations directly from Congress to cover this category of  inju�ries.  Such injuries are relatively few, by individually they are often very serious.

The funds have the right to seek limited indemnification from a negligent person or enterprise.  The idea of indemnification recognizes the very limited ability of individuals and most enterprises to repay the entire cost of the payment to the injured person, but it does preserve the important value of responsibility.  Bergonians believe that everyone should bear responsibility for what they do.  Therefore, most people respect the right of the funds to re�quire the person or entity responsible for the injury to pay something, even if  that something amounts to a small fraction of the total compensation.  The fund usually applies a formula and then bills the responsible party.  The fund may require an employer to withhold the amount from  the person's pay.  The funds have the authority to tax enterprises for most of the cost of compensating  a person for injuries received from a defective product. Bergonians believe that such indemnification creates a deterrence to careless behavior.

c)  Life Insurance and the Mutual Aid Societies:

In America , life insurance resembles gambling.  The insurance company plays the role of the house and bets you that you will life a long, fruitful life, while you bet against yourself.   As in all forms of institutionalized gambling, the "house" always set the odds and always wins, allowing itself to lose just enough to attract the betters.  Of  course, in a fully capitalistic society where no safety nets exist to protect widows and children, insurance becomes the capitalist's way of selling a safety net to the middle class.  Of course, the  lower classes can never afford to buy a net.

In Bergonia the revolution swept all that sort of profiteering away.   Medical insurance benefits everyone.  The public ownership of land has allowed for the provision of inexpensive housing.  The system of social security payments an universal pensions provide incomes to everyone, albeit small in many cases.  After the Revolution, enterprises and coop�erative societies begin to create mutual aid funds.  These filed the vacuums created by the collapse of the banks and insurance industries.  Workers and farmers created these funds with the professional assistance of unemployed bankers and insurance company managers employed for the purpose by the government.  These unemployed professionals served as consultants and managers for  large  groups  of  peasants  and workers who wanted some kind of fund.  Sometimes, a mutual aid fund sprang up for the benefit of all the farmers and peasants living in a given bunec, or for all the workers at a particular factory.  Sometimes a small city or town created a mutual aid fund for all its citizens.  Other times a fund elicited membership from many small businesses and cooperatives in a given town or bunec.  In the larger cities neighborhoods and wards established such funds.  Churches also established funds.

The funds worked much like an American credit union.  The members contributed money.  They had to contribute a minimum amount in order to maintain heir membership, and they could deposit more.   The funds promised to pay interest on the contributions, although they often limited the availability of the funds for withdrawal.  The limitations meant that the contributions worked much like a savings bond purchase or a certificate of deposit.   In fact, the members received coupons or bonds each time they made a deposit.   The funds allowed the members to borrow against either their contributions for a low interest rate or borrow above their contributions at an increased interest rate.  Additionally, the funds also provided life insurance, usually in small amounts to provide burial or cremation money, credit insurance to cover any outstanding debts the member had to pay on, and some "solace"  money for the widow.  In time, the funds offered different levels of insurance from which the members could choose. 

The funds operated like typical socialist enterprises, with the contributing members forming the governing assembly.  The members also typically elected an executive council who worked along with the professional manager.  Many smaller funds consolidated management, relying on the same group to keep the books and manage the money.

In the late 1930's and the 1940's these funds functioned without much regulation, since the politicians assumed their popular basis assured their good operation.  Moreover, since the mutual aid societies became something of a fad with the  Revolutionary  population, any proposal to regulate them met with stern opposition.

However, in the late 1940's & early 50s a string of scandals broke the bubble.  It turned out that a number of the mangers exploited the lack of regulation and the relative dearth of business sophistication  of  the  members  to indulge in embezzlement.  They lined their pockets with bonuses, expense payments,  improper loans, as well as outright theft.  Some of these men made heady fortunes, and enjoyed expensively tasteful clothes and finery, imported automo�biles, and lavish vacations.  The most successful of these thieves cached their money in American banks.  Many of these unrepentant capitalists ended up in prisons and labor camps, while some managed to flee to North or South America .  Because these men crippled the funds, many of them could not pay off their depositors, and the members lost much of their money. 

The scandals resulted in a sweeping move to impose regulations to insure that the funds kept proper quantities of funds on hand to cover deposits.  Each Lesre created an auditing board and better reporting of financial conditions developed.  The auditing boards ini�tiated training programs for mutual aid fund executive council members to show them how they could better supervise their managers. 

Today the mutual aid funds serve an important place in Bergonian  life.   The majority of employed Bergonians maintain deposits with them, and they provide the vast bulk of life insurance to Bergonians.

New laws implemented  in  the 1950's reformed  these  insurance  services  by requiring that all insurance be paid into discrete funds which supervisory boards established by the  Lesre may oversee.  Banks and other cooperative insurance providers may not commingle insurance proceeds with other money, and the services may not increase premium rates if the funds grow too large.  The banks and the other services may, of course, invest the insurance funds, usually by lending the money out.  Every Lesre's  insurance  supervisory board may audit insurance funds.  

In this, as in every other area of regulation, some of the Lesre had  consolidated their authorities.  For example, Giles Free State has decided it is too small to regulate insurance.  So it has entered into a cooperative arrangement with two bordering Lesre, Foi-Pentanta and Kalicon, resulting in creation of the East Central Insurance Authority which regulates the insurance services in all three.

Basic Unit of Production   


Income Sources   

Role of the State   

Social (State) Regulation   

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:  Pharmaceutical & Med-Tech

Organization of Sector   

Basic Unit of Production   

Syndicals  In this sector of giant enterprises the syndicals are groups representing classes of workers within the giant enterprise, e.g. the machinists, the electricians, the metal workers, the assembly workers, the engineers, the office workers, the procurement workers.  They serve as interest groups within the governance of the giant enterprise.  They usually have representatives on the executive council, and are always well-organized for the periodic assemblies.  They are quick to react to any proposal to change the pay-grades.  They advance demands upon each other for improvements to their safety and convenience.  They argue their particular occupational perspective when the giant enterprise designs the product,  and the steps and routines for producing it, plus the communications systems and payroll systems.    

Income Sources   

Role of the State  

Social (State) Regulation:  The national Drug and Medicine Council approves and sets standards for new pharmaceuticals, like the FDA in the US.   

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:  Timbering and Fishing

Organization of Sector:  Various proprietorships and small collectives of timbermen and fishermen work under the license and general supervision of the respective syndicate.  In the case of fishermen, the syndicates works in conjunction with the Nat'l Fisheries Protection Council to prevent over-fishing.  The syndicates also arrange the sale of the product.  

Basic Unit of Production:  The fishing village collective and the saw mill collective.

Syndicals:  The timbermen's syndicates are regional and small.  The fishermen's syndicates are federated, one group for each major type: cod, salmon, tuna, etc.

Income Sources:  This is not a socialized sector, so money comes straight from the product sale.  

Role of the State    

Social (State) Regulation:  Very detailed environmental regulation.  The Environmental Police have to stay on these guys all the time.  Repeat violators get their licenses revoked.  The state does not concern itself with production quotas or capital formation.

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships:  Much of the actual production is in the hands of small holdings, but some operations by necessity are very large, and thus are organized as federated collectives.

Sector:  Farming

Private Farms:

Marxist orthodoxy condemns private agricultural holdings as regressive, and regards the class of small farmers as counter-revolutionary.  In part Marxist suspicion of small farmers is well founded; in his time the 1848 French revolution ended with the election of Louis Napoleon to the presidency in national elections, who won with overwhelming support of the French peasantry.  The Bergonian revolutionaries, in deciding to exempt self-employed professionals and shopkeepers from the requirements of socialization, also decided to exempt the small plot-holder. 

In those areas settled by Europeans, many of their descendants still reside on private family farms.  These areas therefore have the highest occurrences of family farms, although some family farms are found in every part of the country.  Some people do best and are happiest when working in their own private endeavor, and a social system that respects individual liberty must allow non-exploitative outlets for the less social of men.  Thus private farms are restricted in size to the amount of land that an individual or his family can be expected to work.  Such farms, once exploitative debt is removed, are actually quite productive, yet thy cannot be so large as to necessitate the hiring of additional workers.  Now in fact a small amount of private employment is permitted-- the family farmer often hires relatives or local boys to help.

Nearly all private farmers have joined cooperative associations that buy, own and maintain the expensive machinery, buy seed, fertilizer and other commodities they need, and market their crops. 

Agricultural cooperatives:

For thousands of years Bergonian peasants have lived in hilltop villages and walked together down the dusty tracks every morning to work the fields.  And for thousands of years they had to turn over as much as half their harvests to landed gentry called iregemi. Their occasional revolts availed them little, until the Liberal Revolution of the 1840's rid them of their obligations to pay rent.  Still they remained at the mercy of middlemen and lenders (usually ex-iregemi) who bought the crops low and resold them high to city-dwellers.  The peasants didn't win true autonomy until the 1932 Revolution.   Even now, the peasants work their collective lands together in cooperatives. Many of their traditions (such as the collective dinner) have not changed, and many of them live in brick-and-stucco houses centuries old-- but now they enjoy televisions, computers and Internet access.  

They still refer to themselves as "curei"/"ore," ancient Nacateca/Minidun words that translate as "peasants," not as "farmers" with any connotation of yeoman or freeman. 

In the USA farmers constitute only 3% of the working population.  In France more than 10% works in agriculture, and in Japan over 15%.  Bergonian agriculture likewise employs a full 15% of the work force, and remains labor intensive.  Efficiency zealots bemoan this, but revolutionary doctrine holds that an economy should employ all the people at dignified work, and that the shibboleths of reducing production costs and maximizing output do not themselves justify destroying peoples' way of life.  The labor intensive method insures attention to, and closeness with, land and crops.  Bergonians do not want herbicides and other chemicals to replace human labor, and the result is an environmentally cleaner farming.  The Bergonian method insures intensive small plot cultivation and frequent crop rotation, rather than huge one-plant operations. 

Private agribusiness conglomerates in the US make food the same way that Henry Ford made cars, slaveholders fed slaves, the army feeds its soldiers, and the prisons feed their prisoners.  The US has produced homogenized food and destroyed the small farm, out of allegiance to free market principles, whereby large corporate farming operations enjoy economies of scale and thus have out-competed the family farm.  In other countries, including Japan, Bergonia and many European countries, government protection of small farms distort market efficiencies so that many food items cost more than in the US .  But no one can argue that Bergonians don't eat better quality food than in the US.

Individual peasants in Bergonia have small private holdings within collective lands for raising vegetables, but commodity crops (sugar, maize, wheat, beans) and dairy cattle are raised by village-based cooperatives.   The agricultural cooperatives are nearly all village-based, but they dominate all sectors of agricultural production, from wheat to truck farming to livestock and poultry.

Some cooperatives firmly control production, so that individuals engage in group work on land owned by the cooperative.  The harvest is owned and sold by the cooperative, and the individual member gets paid per his share in the cooperative total.  In other cooperatives, individuals control their own plots of land, select their crops and sell their harvest to the cooperative, which then handles the marketing and selling, and possibly the processing, of the harvest. 

The individual farmer has a single membership share in the cooperative, as well as a single vote, and his share entitles him to a guaranteed share of the co-op income.  He forfeits his share and vote if he ceases working.  Disabled and retired farmers keep partial shares.  All working members draw additional income shares according to the nature of their individual occupations.  Whether members gain increased shares for working extra hours is a matter of controversy-- some co-ops pay overtime, and some do not.  

Rights to shares in a way " pass" to the children of members, which is to say that the children of members can become members if they want.

Federations of Cooperatives

Often a number of cooperatives from different vertical sectors of the agricultural economy will form contractual unions, so that cooperatives of farmers will produce the crop, a second group of cooperatives will process and package it, and a third group will ship and sell the finished product, all three assuring each other a consistent market and all three sharing in the profit from the sale of the finished product.  Representatives of the three groups meet routinely to plan their joint endeavor, and they together share capital and seed costs, and sometimes go to the development bank together.  

All cooperatives have access to a floating line of credit good for two years worth of seed and other pre-harvest expenses.  The idea for such loans date back to the Liberal reforms of the 1840's, and the present program went into effect with the very first Democratic Congress in 1932 before the revolutionary chaos upset everything.  The loan guarantee in effect spreads the capital expense for farming among everyone, including consumers.  The loans are recouped through liens upon the sale of the crop.

Many farming cooperatives sell directly to consumers through one of two ways.  They form partnerships with neighborhood markets in cities or with markets in towns.  Under such arrangements the farm cooperative truck the produce from the farm village directly to the market  and set it out for sale on market days.  Cooperatives also form contact partnerships with stores and supermarkets in the urban areas and sell directly to them. 

This market system functions in the context of the artificial support provided by the National Commodities Reserve.  This agency buys up surplus grain for bad weather years and for export. 

Syndicates:  Local and regional farming syndicates of growers negotiate with syndicates of grocers and buyers.  None of this is done on a national basis. Typically the grocers of a city, or a neighborhood of a city, will compete with the grocers of another area.  The syndicates also collectivize and pass around big farm equipment like combines.  Farmers rarely have to buy fertilizer & seed from retailers, since their commune's syndicate makes bulk collective purchases of fertilizer & seed to keep costs down.  The national federations of agricultural syndicates are influential in the halls of Congress.

Sole Proprietorships:  The "family farm" does exist in Bergonia, but history and culture in this land favor the collective approach.  Not surprisingly, the majority of privately-owned farms exist in areas settled by European colonists, though it is a style of life that favors the introverted everywhere.  Even solo farmers form collectivizes or "associations," for the limited purposes of purchasing seed, fertilizer and equipment, and to sell the crop harvested from all the members' farms. 

Income Sources:   Market sales.   Agricultural credit institutions.

Role of the State:  state ministries calculate present & future demand for agricultural products.  The ministries then, working in conjunction with the various syndicates, set advisory supply requirements, calculate current productive capacity, and determine appropriate price structures.  The ministries also supervise the "granaries" program-- the national reserves of wheat and other grains and commodities, guarding against bad harvests and enabling famine relief.

Social (State) Regulation:   The Environment Bushenre is a great bother to farmers, since they have so aggressively regulated the use of herbicides, pesticides and now nitrogen-based fertilizers.  But of course there has been a good side too.  The environmentalist push toward alternative fuels has resulted in rapid development of ethanol-burning vehicles, which delights the nation's growers of corn and sugar..

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:   Weaponry and Defense

Organization of Sector:   the "Workers Revolutionary Weapons & Armaments Reorganization" (WRWAR, called "Warware" in English slang), the national weapons development authority.  Icarus-Rex is the one big company that builds missiles, rockets and spacecraft.

Basic Unit of Production   The plants and all collectives are self-governing in matters significant to schedules, internal plant management, job sharing.

Syndicals  In this sector of giant enterprises the syndicals are groups representing classes of workers within the giant enterprise, e.g. the machinists, the electricians, the metal workers, the assembly workers, the engineers, the office workers, the procurement workers.  They serve as interest groups within the governance of the giant enterprise.  They usually have representatives on the executive council, and are always well-organized for the periodic assemblies.  They are quick to react to any proposal to change the pay-grades.  They advance demands upon each other for improvements to their safety and convenience.  They argue their particular occupational perspective when the giant enterprise designs the product,  and the steps and routines for producing it, plus the communications systems and payroll systems.

Income Sources:   All funding comes directly from Congress, and passes through procurement committees in the ministry of defense, these usually consisting of civilian specialists rather than uniformed personnel.  There are of course a swarm of independent auditors.

Role of the State.  Pursuant to national foreign policy, the military establishes military doctrine which in turn determines weapons needs.  All weapons programs are approved by the President, yet production ultimately depends upon the amount of money contained in the budget approved by Congress.  The military prescribes the specific product in consultation with Warware's engineers. 

Social (State) Regulation

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships:  None.

Sector:   Transportation

Organization of Sector:   This sector by its nature requires large, complex and disciplined federated co-ops.  

Air:  The flagship national airline is Avina, plus an international cargo carrier that competes with Fed Ex called Porters.  Within Bergonia there are five other airlines, Amota, Nordair (serving northern Bergonia), Suma (a mythological reference), Sun-Bird (English name, serving southern Bergonia) and Escovar (named for the first Bergonian to fly a plane--a Portuguese-Bergonian).  Local transportation authorities license helicopter services here and there, especially around urban areas, to fly people short distances.

Stratos Aircraft builds the majority of Bergonia's big planes, including the Stratos class of big airliners used by the various airlines..

Rail There is one authority in the country that coordinates the maintenance and upgrade of the railroads.   There are six regionally based railroad lines that run passenger trains.

Sheieco Trains builds the majority of Bergonia's railroad engines, gondolas and cars.

Seacraft Ocean Voyager is the one big company that builds commercial and military aircraft.  A number of smaller enterprises build all kinds of small craft.

Syndicals  In this sector of giant enterprises the syndicals are groups representing classes of workers within the giant enterprise, e.g. the machinists, the electricians, the metal workers, the assembly workers, the engineers, the office workers, the procurement workers.  They serve as interest groups within the governance of the giant enterprise.  They usually have representatives on the executive council, and are always well-organized for the periodic assemblies.  They are quick to react to any proposal to change the pay-grades.  They advance demands upon each other for improvements to their safety and convenience.  They argue their particular occupational perspective when the giant enterprise designs the product,  and the steps and routines for producing it, plus the communications systems and payroll systems.

Income Sources   

Role of the State   

Social (State) Regulation   

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:   Construction and the Building Trades

Basic Unit of Production   

Organization of Sector   


Income Sources   

Role of the State   

Social (State) Regulation   

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:   Communication  

Organization of Sector   Telberg, the phone company, supplies both local and long distance service.  Selberg, a division, has built up the solitary cellular phone system, relying as much as possible on satellite-based systems, and based on European standards and methods.  Another division, Netberg, insures the functioning of the Internet and sells blocks of bandwidth to local service providers.  

Basic Unit of Production:

Syndicals  In this sector of giant enterprises the syndicals are groups representing classes of workers within the giant enterprise, e.g. the machinists, the electricians, the metal workers, the assembly workers, the engineers, the office workers, the procurement workers.  They serve as interest groups within the governance of the giant enterprise.  They usually have representatives on the executive council, and are always well-organized for the periodic assemblies.  They are quick to react to any proposal to change the pay-grades.  They advance demands upon each other for improvements to their safety and convenience.  They argue their particular occupational perspective when the giant enterprise designs the product,  and the steps and routines for producing it, plus the communications systems and payroll systems.

Income Sources   

Role of the State   

Social (State) Regulation   

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships 

Sector:  Books, Magazines and Newspapers

Basic Unit of Production: co-ops of journalists, writers and editors work with co-ops of clerical and computer people to put out magazines, newspapers and books  

Organization of Sector   A newspaper's staff of journalists, writers and editors are organized into a collective, which works with collectives of clerical, computer, and distribution people.  The presses are owned by the printers who work them; they have their own co-ops and charge individual customers who want books, magazines and magazines published.   

Syndicals:  There are local and regional syndicates of writers.  The most powerful are of course the journalists guilds. There are very many small, competing syndicates, sometimes with syndicates inside of syndicates.  Some-- many-- have distinct political and religious preferences.  

Income Sources:  This is a very unsocialized sector, so publications depend upon subsidies from private groups and from direct sales.

Role of the State:  None, except to provide protection for copyrights. 

Social (State) Regulation:  There are some laws designed to guarantee press access to any group that wants to print up materials, providing they can pay for the work.  But non-ideological motivations generally take care of this; most printers will print anything for payment.  In a nation as large and as diverse as Bergonia, one whacko can usually find a collective of like-minded somewhere.

Role of Small Co-ops & Proprietorships:  the entire sector is decentralized into small cooperative enterpries. 






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