Tomorrow We Dance To Freedom

Democratize the Twenty-First Century Corporation

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The frightful scars of endemic inequity have left our societal face grotesquely disfigured. Governments are engaged in a pantomime of promoting 'reconstructive surgery' that ignores the degenerative illness eating away at the body of humanity - a careless disregard for the general citizenry. Constructing a new 'face' for a societal structure that is gangrenous only temporarily hides the rot.

We need to attack the all-invasive corporate 'virus' that triggered the degeneration. It's an authoritarian monster that transforms citizens into compliant slaves to a corporate system that reeks of a Machiavellian contempt for all democratic principles.

The intertwining of democratic government with these disruptive fiefdoms requires working citizens to lead a duel life. We're obligated to become schizophrenics shifting between two diametrically opposed regimes: the pseudo democratic government outside work, and the business dictatorship at work. The characteristics that make someone a 'good' wage slave, like loyalty to anointed leaders and submissive adherence to all edicts are traits that are representative of a poor citizen.

A good citizen needs to question, research and speak out against authority when a basis for rational disagreement exists. Corollary to speaking out is acting in concert with others who believe that some form of change is required to move the body politic in a positive direction.

What should be clear is that a good citizen who is at times a rabble-rouser, instigator of positive change, and outspoken proponent against bureaucratic malfeasance is never a mindless follower of rulers. Therefore, a good citizen is always the 'circle' that never fits into the corporate 'square'.

This means activist citizen types, not those who faithfully pull the lever of their political party, but those who fight for a better quality of life, a purer freedom; will always struggle to fit in at work. For the fighter against the status quo and corporate 'robotization' isn't this 'changeling' that can instantly become a sniveling labor Droid at the beck and call of an authoritarian kingdom.

To reinvigorate or reinstate our democracies requires that we transform these authoritarian fiefdoms into pure democracies with corporate board directors elected by representatives from all stakeholder groups: employees, shareholders, and customers.

But the most important change that we need to make is beyond the gilded boardroom doors. It entails a psychological uplifting of workers, the breaking of this Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde dichotomy that stifles citizen involvement in the democratic process. In order to accomplish this we need to instill a feeling of empowerment in employees by fully democratizing corporations.

Every management position within the corporate organization of the 21st Century should be an elected position, including the CEO. By giving employees and for that matter all stakeholders of a firm a direct voice in its operation we build a culture of respect that isn't confined to the executive suite and the country club crowd.