Time Heals All Wounds, And Then Kills the Patient
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Tue Jul 17 16:50:13 2012
Strikes and Socialism

In a well functioning socialist-market system, the need for workers to strike should be very rare.

This is because workers will have their necessary needs met by virtue of their being human, their reasonable needs met by virtue of their being willing to work, and their compensation beyond that is primarily set by the collective in which they work, that collective deciding based on an inner democracy, presumably using criteria such as age, particular need, and performance, as well as available funding (which would depend on how well that collective competes with its peers, itself dependent on organisational choices, product strategy, and other things set by a robust inner democracy in each workplace, all regulated by rules set by broader society.

Deep democracy at the lowest levels of society is more important than democracy at the highest levels, and it should be present first so the habits needed to recognise and respond to abuse of power, as well as the social structures needed to sustain democratic habits (well-informedness, moderate discourse, integrity) are present for high governance.

When workers and people are directly deciding their fate together and basic/reasonable needs are met, remaining disputes happen in the knowledge that they are between people, and democracy is as adequate a response to changing compensation schemes as direct action would be. The tyranny of an owner provokes strikes in the same way that a misbehaving monarch provokes unrest.

Envisioning the structure of socialist markets and the details of the society that hosts them is one of the challenges facing socialist theorists today.