The following is a response to author Casey Dorman’s insightful essay: Big Business Really is the Enemy of the People
Just this week, I was thoroughly impressed with an interview of Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan on the Thom Hartman radio show on KPFK, Pacifica Radio 90.7 FM. ( It sounds as if his interviews are a weekly feature on the Thom Harman show). Pocan has represented the 2nd District in Wisconsin since 2013 and is a businessman and Co-Chair of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He’s an AFL-CIO guy and took fascinating questions from the listening audience and answered with intelligence and informed opinions that were impressive. I think this is the kind of person you mean when you state, “The first step, I believe, is to elect, and continue to elect, representatives who favor policies that are in the best interest of the majority of citizens.” I think that promising ourselves to become more involved with representatives like Mark Pocan is a good place to start.
The fact that causes have to be directed to “pocketbook issues in America” is true and is at the moral and ethical source of America’s problems. Granted, the disparity of wealth and the thwarted ability to have the stability our parents had is the cause of the focus on pocketbook issues, but I believe that attitude also comes from the moral leadership of the country and from the pulpits. If that is the case then it is only from the pulpits that it can be changed. The concept of “Jesus”, especially in the Evangelical churches along with the new prosperity theology has shifted so much away from the selfless bent Christ appears to have been preaching that until there are new interpretations of the most practiced religion in America, we will continue in this vein.
Those more generous messages and views caused companies in the 50s to embrace “profit sharing”. My father’s factory did that 60 years ago.
Today, the Mondragon Corporation in Spain is a fascinating study on the humanist concept of business, “a philosophy of participation and solidarity, and a shared business culture.” While economist Richard Wolf has portrayed The Mondragon Corporation as a working model of an alternative to capitalist mode of production, Noam Chomsky found problems with it being part of the market system. Nevertheless, I think the model is an important experiment to which we should give our attention.
I just read on the Mondragon Wikipedia page a fact that you might be interested in Casey because your newest novel is about Artificial Intelligence. Perhaps you’ve already read it, but apparently, there is a science fiction novel about AI ‘by Kim Stanley Robinson, in which “the Mondragón Corporation has evolved into a planned economy system called the Mondragon Accord. .The Mondragon Accord is controlled by means of a network of AI’s running on quantum computers, and rules large parts of the Solar System, including Mercury and most of the moons of the gas giants; only part of Earth, and its colonies in space, retain remnants of capitalist economies, while Mars has withdrawn from the Accord in the century preceding the story.”
Again, I use the word “fascinating”!