“The contradiction between capitalism and democracy is at a point of no return.” by Isabelle Ferreras
If capitalism has a future, democracy may not. Nationalist populists, bolstered by transnational firms whose algorithms prioritize expressions of fear and antagonism, are stoking citizens’ legitimate anger. Faced with the unbridled power of the very private entities they seek to woo, political leaders are attempting to conceal how powerless they are to reduce inequalities and save the planet. But people are no fools: the contradiction between democracy and capitalism is...
By Isabelle Ferreras Professor of Sociology at the University of Leuven (Belgium) Le Monde - Op-Ed
"The firm is a political entity, and must therefore be governed according to the rules of democracy with the participation, on an equal footing, of workers and capital investors," says the sociologist Isabelle Ferreras, in a forum in Le Monde.
The recent Notat-Senard report commissioned by the French government, which brings to life the reflections of Pierre de Gaulle, Pierre Mendes France and Michel Rocard, makes a correct diagnosis: the 21st century firm is much more than a « corporation » , this legal instrument serving shareholders. But it is also more than an "object of collective interest", as the report modestly describes it.... Read more about "We must make French companies benefit from a shock of democratic competitivity"
The « Firm and Common Interest" report, requested and submitted on March 9 by Nicole Notat and Jean-Dominique Senard to the French Government, proposes to reinforce co-determination - the participation of employees in the management of the company. At the proposed level, it will certainly not allow French employees to give voice as much as their counterparts in Sweden or Germany. But this proposal makes it clear in the public debate that the company is a political entity.
In the book just published by Belgium's sociologist and political scientist Isabelle Ferreras (Firms as Political Entities, Cambridge University Press, 2017, not translated to french), this idea is at the heart of her thinking, and she deduces logically that corporate governance should result from the election by two "chambers" - one representing the capital contributors, the other the labor contributors - this government having to collect the majority in each of them.... Read more about MEDA: On Democracy at Work
What should we think of the reform of the Labour Code defended by the government? Isabelle Ferreras, LWP Senior ResearchAssociate, has defended the idea of genuine bicameralism in firms with shareholders’ councils and worker’s councils being obliged to agree and to adopt the same strategic texts and decisions.... Read more about Re-thinking the capital code
“'In order to win workers’ rights,” Pope, Bruno, and Kellman argue, “organized labor should act like a rights movement. History tells us that rights movements—from abolition to women’s suffrage to civil rights—succeed when they claim a few key rights, exercise them at every opportunity, and place them front and center in every phase of movement activity.'
To me, two words are holding them back: “acting like.” There can be no “acting like” for organized labor, for in today’s world of global finance capitalism, labor is the new frontier in the historic struggle for rights—which is in fact a phase in the struggle for emancipation...."