by George Bosh Book : Poetry
OCCUPY: A NEW APPROACH   (2012-05-04)
I have written 3 books, The Murdered Heart, Typhoon Coming On: The Separation of Church and State, and Typhoon Notes. These books, while designed to stand separately, are meant to stand together as a 3-book memoir with a central theme. They indirectly address the economic work of Keynes/Hayek, the prevalent economic theorists of our time, and how their work fits into the political framework of the Founding Fathers, with particular attention to Thomas Jefferson.
I find in the work of Schumacher as expressed in his book, Small Is Beautiful, a unifying perspective, although I find myself uncomfortable with certain of the book’s particulars, which I mention in passing here.
Schumacher takes issue with Science and Technology, and quantification. He’s appears somewhat taken with Karl Marks, but faults him for his Labor Theory of Value, as do I. I feel that Schumacher misconstrues Adam Smith’s Labor Theory of Value, and address my sense of Smith’s meaning in Typhoon Notes, comparing it to the Marxian concept, which I find objectionable. I introduce the idea of qualitative man-hours, or knowledge hours, to be more specific. Schumacher quotes Mao Tse-tung in a somewhat favorable light, which I find unsettling.
Schumacher was a religiously-minded man and an important British economist of Keynesian persuasion. The British political system is unfamiliar to me, and while Schumacher refers to a British corporation which in his opinion addresses worker social issues successfully, he is non-specific. For my own part, I agree with Elliot Jaques that meaning of life concerns can find no resolution within a work-producing structure.
Unlike Jaques I maintain that this structure, or bureaucracy, must fit within a political body that provides a law-making framework, supporting the primacy of contract law as a natural right with its consequent due process for the individual. I look to Thomas Jefferson and the Founders for an elucidation of these ideals. The Jaques structure addresses a corporate due process, but its deliberations cannot be definitive within a free society. His interpersonal relationship rules are discovered. Our society must look to the people, the moral individual, as it ultimate law-making source. An outlet for religious conviction is provided for in the doctrine of separation of church and state, which is a pre-condition for religious pluralism.
Schumacher recognizes that man does not exist for the economy, and that work should not be soul destroying. Greed is not good. Schumacher died in 1977 at the time Hayek was still alive. (Hayek had previewed my Jubail work by 1983.) In Small Is Beautiful, Schumacher understood the problem of corporate bigness:
1. In small-scale enterprise, private ownership is natural, fruitful, and just.
2. In medium-scale enterprise, private ownership is already to a large extent functionally unnecessary. The idea of “property” becomes strained, unfruitful, and unjust. If there is only one owner or a small group of owners, there can be, and should be, a voluntary surrender of privilege to the wider group of actual workers…. Such an act of generosity may be unlikely when there is a large number of anonymous shareholders, but legislation could pave the way even then.
3. In large-scale enterprise, private ownership is a fiction for the purpose of enabling functionless owners to live parasitically on the labour of others. It is not only unjust but also an irrational element which distorts all relationships within the enterprise.
It’s unclear whether Keynes would have embraced what appears to be tending toward a communal solution to corporate personhood. Schumacher senses the importance of breaking the large corporation into entrepreneurial units. But abandons the subject with the corporation left as a monolith. He doesn’t see that a great part of the problem is the inherited military command and control structure which inhibits real growth. Hayek, on the other hand, recognizing the destructive influence of corporate money on the legislative process itself, seeks to restrain it politically by proposing in Law, Legislation, and Liberty, Volume 3: The Political Order of a Free People, a Constitutional model incorporating the operation of a moral court, which in effect would subvert government of, by, and for the people. Since his Constitutional model would provide for a legal consensus from a tribal source, I felt in my Jubail work it could prove useful, especially since the Executive Bureaucracy in the Hayek model was then undefined.
In 1990 with the publication of Requisite Organization by Elliott Jaques, I came to consider the Jaques’s bureaucratic model as practical and that it pointed a way forward. My last book, Typhoon Notes, speaks to the subject of intellectual property, corporate ownership and the large scale corporate structure, looking to a fundamental building block for corporate growth, foreshadowed by the Schumacher small entrepreneurial model.
I admire Hayek as a hard money advocate, linking the issuing of money to regional banks, although that will never happen, the linked regional units might have a similar effect by associating value with market product and treating the consumer and knowledge worker as one and the same person. In the Friedman model this is not the case. An interesting, though gothic, take on the evolution of hedge funds can be found in The Fear Index by Robert Harris.
The following is a page from the Jubail schema inadvertently left out of Typhoon Notes.
Was this review helpful to you?