Democracy in industry: an anthropological prolegomena

The following thesis contains two major areas of emphasis. At first I will present a comparative survey of types of workers’ participation systems in the industrial sectors of six countries. Preceding this will be a theoretical treatment of what I define to be, “dialectic of existence.” The survey will cover the main features of workers’ participation systems in the United States, Britain, Norway, France, West-Germany and Yugoslavia. The typology of those systems considered here will include: collective bargaining, profit sharing, joint consultation, joint management, co-determination and self-management. The theoretical part will posit an “anthropological prolegomena.” That is, it will deal with man, in general, as being subject to dialectic of existence. This dialectic will make a distinction between “forms of man’s being" and” contentual aspects of man's existence. “These two interrelated “constellations” are argued to be at the basis of a phenomenon known as alienation, the latter being a theme constantly recurring throughout the thesis. My essential proposal is for democracy as a "way of life” conducive to the realization of permanent change. By this I suggest a positive orientation toward social change as an intrinsic good. Implied here, is a reconstructive approach, by way of planning, toward a "genuine” democratic society. The explanation for my theoretical proposal is based on my conviction that the participatory schemes, surveyed in the first part, fail to do justice to the description "democracy.”