We have allowed democracy to fall into neglect. All decisions must be made by the people guided by the well being of the whole. The basic principle of democracy is that each and everyone has an equal say — equal power.
One vote per person, it´s not all that complicated. This rule must apply in all sectors of society, in economic life as in politics. Enterprise must be democratized. The rule of partisanship must diminish in the realm of politics, e.g. by instituting participation decision making processes, random selection and voting for individuals.
We only have one planet, one home, but we act as if we had many. If the
over exploitationof the earths resources continues then cataclysm can not be avoided. The only solution possible is that the demand for growth give way to sustainability.
The main ideals of the Alda – Association for Sustainable Democracy are two: democracy and sustainability. Alda calls for the democratization of every aspect of civil life including the economy. Experience shows that it is in economic life that democracy is most needed.
A society that is dependent on unlimited economic growth and financial tricks will never be truly democratic. Such is not a government of the people, the wielders of democratic power; it becomes an oligarchy of the financiers and the wealthy, the wielders of economic power. An unavoidable side effect of unrestrained economic growth is wasteful use of resources and the disruption and destruction of ecosystems and the natural world.
Against this distortion of democratic power Alda puts forth a simple solution which is at its core the very ideal of democratic rule. Companies, corporations, and institutions should be democratically governed by their employees, one vote per person. Employees will elect representatives that run the company. The mandate of the representatives must be regularly renewed. Further more employees will have options available to them to force their representatives to step down when necessary, and to put certain matters before the body of employees in general elections. Democratically run companies will by their very nature aim at objectives other than maximized short term profits. They will aim at sustainability, transparency, job security, equality, and improved conditions for employees.
To attain the objective of economic democracy the growth of capital must be severely limited. Alda aims for an economy where stock markets and derivative trading that are founded in the investment and growth of capital will be history. Companies pay a capital assets tax which goes into a national investment fund for creating new investments and for innovation. Allocations from this publicly generated investment fund will depend on regional population. In each region democratic and professional banking institutions distribute the funds to new companies in the form of grants. Businesses that generate employment have priority when it comes to the allocation of grant money.
Markets for commodities and services will still be in place. Democratically controlled enterprises would interact with one another and with consumers on a market regulated by such economic forces as supply and demand, and so the market would arrive at a sensible level of production and consumption. Competition would no longer aim at attaining monopoly over a market but at maintaining this healthy level of production and consumption.
A welfare system will be in place that ensures equal access to education, healthcare and pension. Unemployment will no longer be considered a normal state of affairs. The objective is full employment. Banking institutions have the fundamental objective to generate employment opportunities, and the government employs people to maintain a good welfare system and to maintain the foundations of civil society.
Shorter work hours – Fair pay
Alda wishes to abolish inequality of wages, wage slavery, and to shorten labour time. Today wage difference can be as much as 500 to 1. In an economic democracy one would expect no higher wage difference than about 9 to 1. Employers would also be able to choose between shorter working hours or more pay because there would no longer be significant pressure to work as long as possible for as little as possible. The ultimate objective is a sustainable economy founded on equality, but not infinite acquisition of wealth and wasteful uses of resources for the purposes of a chosen few.