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I’ve been thinking a lot of these things since the early 90s:

I’m obviously not the only one. This is salutary.

I think there needs to be more than just this. I think we need to rein in corporations to the point where they’re in service to human beings. I think it should be illegal to run a company where a percentage share of the profit, and of the responsibility, goes to every employee. Maybe not a huge percentage, but a percentage. We like the idea of democracy: it’s time to apply it to corporate structure, too — that is, to make it an absolute condition of incorporation that corporations follow this structure — not just the votes of shareholders, but also the votes of all participants in the company. And I know whose votes should count for more.

And guess what? It’d probably wake us up to political participation again. So it’s going to be a hard fight to get that through. But it should be done.

Then again, I think the notion of solely for-profit corporations is monstrous. (Companies, like people, should not exist solely for profit. They shouldn’t have to pretend social responsibility — they should actually have social responsibilities, and serious consequences for not carrying them out.)

And, likewise, we should abandon the idea of democracy-as-voted-temporary-pseudo-monarchy, replacing it with democracy as an opt-in life paradigm. You can be a fiscal conservative or even a libertarian; you will be tax free and social safety network-denied for the next ten years. Or you can be a hybrid economy/socialist-type; opt-in and pay taxes and get benefits for the next ten years. Other systems can be devised, too.

Opt in, get whatever benefits you believe. Let political systems compete on the open political market, the way companies do.

But we like to pretend we’ve reached an endpoint of political and economic development. So did those folks in the Middle Ages.

They were wrong.

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