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posted by on Wednesday March 08 2017, @10:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the socialism-at-work dept.

BBC reports

Do you really need someone to tell you what to do at work? Three years ago, Swedish software consultancy Crisp decided that the answer was no.

The firm, which has about 40 staff, had already trialled various organisational structures, including the more common practice of having a single leader running the company. Crisp then tried changing its chief executive annually, based on a staff vote, but eventually decided collectively that no boss was needed.

Yassal Sundman, a developer at the firm, explains: "We said, 'what if we had nobody as our next CEO--what would that look like?' And then we went through an exercise and listed down the things that the CEO does."

The staff decided that many of the chief executive's responsibilities overlapped with those of the board, while other roles could be shared among other employees. "When we looked at it we had nothing left in the CEO column, and we said, 'all right, why don't we try it out?'" says Ms Sundman.

Because they are all in charge, workers are more motivated, [says Henrik Kniberg, an organisational coach at the firm]. Crisp regularly measures staff satisfaction, and the average is about 4.1 out of five.

Last March, VentureBeat said

Crisp, a boutique consultancy company in Sweden, is made up of approximately 30 people, but none of them are truly "employees". They have zero managers; not even a CEO. Decisions are made through consensus, and instead of relying on some manager to allocate tasks, Crisp developed its own protocol detailing the chain of responsibilities when a new task appears.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Murdoc on Thursday March 09 2017, @03:52AM (3 children)

    by Murdoc (2518) on Thursday March 09 2017, @03:52AM (#476855)

    Well you're both right, and you're both wrong. The mistake you both make (and most people seem to) is conflating politics and economics. Socialism is neither bottom-up or top-down, it's just generally more efficient when done top-down, other factors aside. The main other factor being politics, which can be either bottom-up or top-down, and that doesn't have to be done the same way as the socialism (or whatever economics). Conflating the two so that they are both b-u or t-d is what keeps those in power now rich and powerful while making the rest fight each other in a fight that can't be won because both sides have some truth in them that they can cling to and both have something false in them that they can attack in the other.

    But if you separate the two, politics and economics, you can find that you can have all the benefits of cooperation and helping people (socialism) as well as the freedom and democracy people tend to like in politics. Sure, it hasn't been done nearly as often as the other way, like the aforementioned examples, but those examples are well known simply because they do help perpetuate the narrative that keeps the status quo. Nothing's going to change until people stop the conflating and begin discussing things from that position.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09 2017, @04:55AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 09 2017, @04:55AM (#476874)

    Socialism is neither bottom-up or top-down

    You clearly don't understand the term.

    helping people (socialism)

    You clearly don't understand the term.
    Socialism is a method of PRODUCTION.
    It stands in contrast with Capitalism and that method's absentee owners who do none of the production.
    In Capitalism, the only "work" the owners do is walking to the mailbox to get their dividend checks.

    People here have repeatedly called things "Capitalism" which are not that, most often "markets" and 'entrepreneurism" and "competition".

    N.B. I have no problem with the existence of any of those concepts; they all exist in a Socialist system.[1]
    I do object to Capitalism's pursuit of maximum profits at the expense of a stable community/society.
    I object to Capitalism's overproduction and its resulting boom-and-bust cycle.
    If you had a roommate as unstable as Capitalism, you would have kicked his ass out long ago.

    [1] The Socialist co-ops already mentioned compete with--and often eat the lunch of--Capitalist-owned businesses.
    (It's just amazing what you can accomplish when you don't have deadbeats skimming off the profits.)

    Folks here have also called things "Socialism" when those are not.
    State Capitalism and Totalitarianism are the most common.

    In this (sub)thread, you and Runaway1956 and the other no-name dingleberry are all trying to call State Capitalism "Socialism".

    The lot of you have a weak understanding of the terms you are using.
    In the case of Runaway1956, it's just his willingness to swallow Reactionary Cold War propaganda and a mind too weak to sort out the nonsense decades later.

    All of you need to do your homework.

    -- OriginalOwner_ []

    • (Score: 2) by Murdoc on Thursday March 09 2017, @09:50PM (1 child)

      by Murdoc (2518) on Thursday March 09 2017, @09:50PM (#477146)

      Socialism is neither bottom-up or top-down

      You clearly don't understand the term.

      I see nothing that you've said that refutes this, so on what do you base this? Well, let's go look up the meaning of socialism then, shall we?

      From Wikipedia:

      Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production; as well as the political ideologies, theories, and movements that aim to establish them. Social ownership may refer to forms of public, collective, or cooperative ownership; to citizen ownership of equity; or to any combination of these. Although there are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, social ownership is the common element shared by its various forms.

      So it appears that there are many different kinds of socialism. So perhaps what you should have said was:

      You clearly don't understand which specific type of socialism I am talking about to the exclusion of all others.

      There. FTFY.

      Clearly you already know about the bottom-up types of socialism, but you can't deny that most of the types of socialism practised in the world today are indeed top-down. The USSR, Sweden, France, Canada, etc. All of their "socialist" type programs come from the government: health care, wage protections/wealth redistribution, worker's rights, etc. Even the US has some of these, being a "mixed economy" instead of purely laissez-faire capitalism. So clearly socialism can be either top-down [] or bottom-up [].

      helping people (socialism)

      You clearly don't understand the term.

      I'll admit that that was a simplification, but look at what socialism generally tries to do: health care, wage protections/wealth redistribution, worker's rights, etc. In general, trying to make sure that people have good lives so that they can prosper, as opposed to the "every man for himself" and "dog-eat-dog" philosophy of capitalism. So really I think that "helping people", while simplistic, was quite accurate.

      Socialism is a method of PRODUCTION.

      Again looking at the above definition, it's a style of economics, which includes both production and distribution. Just so you know.

      In this (sub)thread, you and Runaway1956 and the other no-name dingleberry are all trying to call State Capitalism "Socialism".

      I don't believe I did. Where exactly did I do that?

      Oh, and as for your comments like "dingleberry", "weak", and in previous comments "dunce":

      They only hurt your case. []

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 10 2017, @12:54AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 10 2017, @12:54AM (#477207)

        Social ownership may refer to forms of public [...] ownership

        Someone went to Wikipedia and started Begging the question.
        What is being described there, assuming that there is *some* sort of feedback loop where the public can influence changes to the staffing of that stewardship, is Liberal Democracy.
        This has already been covered.

        N.B. In SoCal, there exists The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, a public utility.
        If you asked most folks in that city if Socialism was being practiced there, you will get a huge number of "NO" responses before you ever found someone who said "yes".

        The main characteristic of Socialism is empowerment of The Working Class.
        If a paradigm does not include -that-, it is NOT Socialism.

        collective, or cooperative ownership

        That's redundant.
        Not only is the question being begged, the writing is sloppy.

        The USSR

        ...was a Totalitarian gov't with a State Capitalism economic system.
        Only those who have drunk the Kool Aid hold that up as an example of Socialism.
        This has already been covered.

        Sweden, France, Canada

        Liberal Democracies.
        Begging the question.
        This has already been covered.

        "socialist" type programs

        More sloppy writing.
        Quoting this crap isn't helping your case.

        wealth redistribution

        Liberal Democracy.

        Wikipedia is occasionally useful.
        In this case, not so much.

        the "every man for himself" and "dog-eat-dog" philosophy of capitalism

        Throw in "maximize profits at the expense of society"--as long as we're going to mention things that relate to Capitalism but DON'T define it.

        Capitalism is defined by people who make money without doing labor.
        Socialism is the opposite.

        A pretty good description of what Socialism attempts to achieve is
        Social and economic decisions should be made by those whom they most affect. []

        The best definition I have ever seen is
        the extension of democracy from politics to economics through collective ownership and workers' control of production. []

        My major source is Richard D. Wolff, professor of Comparative Economics.
        He has a weekly 1-hour broadcast via Pacifica Radio affiliates and there is an available 10.7 MB webcast. []

        -- OriginalOwner_ []