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Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Double Game of French Socialism

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  • The Message
    • II. Doctrine and Strategy in the Socialist Program for France
      • 4. Corporate Self-Management: a Socio-Economic Revolution
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4. Corporate Self-Management: a Socio-Economic Revolution

 

Self-management is the implementa­tion of the principles and form of government of the Revolution of 1789 in business enterprises. 15

The whole Program appears to find in employer-employee relations a residual image of the relations between the king and the people. It aims to "dethrone" the "king," eliminate his sovereignty in the business enterprise, and transfer all power to the "plebeians," that is, the employees, and particularly to the man­ual laborers. The Revolution has employed various means to prevent the resurgence of different types of aristoc­racy in the political sphere. Similarly, the Program endeavors to prevent corporate managers and technicians from surviv­ing as an aristocracy in "republicanized" firms. In "large" corporations the indi­vidual proprietor disappears immedi­ately. The traditional concept of a business is itself broadened. Not only do those employed by a particular concern share real rights over the company and what it produces, but those rights extend, via representative organiza­tions, to consumers, purveyors, and so on. In fact, these rights belong to society as a whole, represented by delegates of organizations or groups more closely related to the enterprise (see Chart 1V, -The Ideal Self-Managing Enterprise Pro­posed by the Socialists).

Like a democratic republic, each com­pany ultimately will be ruled by a voting majority of its workers. The company will hold assemblies to keep the workers informed about all of its business. "Rep­resentatives" or "deputies" will be elected to form a directorate (something of a soviet). The employee- managers will be mere executors of the directorate's will.

This system is defined as self-manag­ing and affirmed as the logical socio­economic consequence of the people's political sovereignty. According to this notion, a republic is a politically self-­managing nation. A self-managing regime entails the "republicanization" of the socio-economic structure. 16 In other words, it is the establishment of a corpo­rate regime in which the orientation given by specialists and technicians is subject to assemblies and organizations made up mostly of people with less intellectual development.

 




15.          "French democracy is large manipulated. It is also carefully limited. It stops at the threshold of the company." (Program, p. 231).

"We are determined to promote a decisive progress of economic and social democracy. The French, citizens in their communities, must also be such in their places of work. Employers should neither fear nor oppose this desirable and neces­sary evolution" ("Declaration of General Policy p. 49).

"In our Western societies, democ­racy is more or less tolerated every­where, except in business. Whether the employer is an independent industrialist or a high ranking government official, he holds the essential powers to the detri­ment of all ... A business is a monarchy with a pyramidal structure. At every level the representative of the hierar­chy is all-powerful; his decisions are final. The simple worker becomes a powerless man entitled neither to speech nor initiative" (PIERRE MAUROY, Heritiers de l'Avenir, p. 276.

 



16.          "Economic democracy and political democracy are indissociable; their joint development requires that every worker, every citizen have, at all levels, the possibility and the means of taking an active part in making deci­sions, choosing the means, controlling their application and results" ("Com­mon Program - Proposals for Updat­ing, p. 50)

"Economic democracy and social democracy are indissociable from political democracy " (Documentation Socialiste, supplement to no. 2, p. 145).

"The socialists want the French to stop being under tutelage. Decentraliza­tion will be the heart of the experiment of the government of the left, which, during the first three months of its accession to power will undertake the most significant reform of these uncertain times giving the power to the citizens. Finally the Republic will be liberated from the mon­archy" (PIERRE MAUROY, Heritiers de l'Avenir, p. 295).

 






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