October 21st, 2016 13:50

Prof. Wolff's Solution

Joe Public Seen by 373

Can anyone point me to "a brief story" of the solution that Prof. Wolff believes to be the best path forward to transitioning our world into a better and fully long-term sustainable world?

I'm looking to start comparing our two approaches/models. I want to be fully aware of his proposed solution before I attempt to contact him re my LE model.

I've listened to several of his interviews and I'm NOT seeing his proposed comprehensive solution(s) - instead mostly I see him just clarifying the problems of today's world. Here's the problems rather than here's the solution for all the problems.

Thanks for any help.

Betsy Avila

Betsy Avila October 22nd, 2016 00:32

The latest EconoMinute may be of help. Actually, it's a perfect
"brief" response that summarizes both the problem and solution to the problem that is capitalism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WMKL8HhHjY

If you wish to submit something Prof. Wolff may respond to directly, we encourage you to post it to his website suggestion page: www.rdwolff.com/AskProfWolff

Paul Palmer

Paul Palmer October 23rd, 2016 09:35

Betsy: It is not necessary to send people to watch a Youtube link which is a roundabout and time consuming (even though it's short) way to say that Prof. Wolff puts forward worker coops as his favored alternative to capitalism. In ten simple words, the subject is closed. That's all the Youtube video says.

John Rhoads

John Rhoads October 23rd, 2016 19:25

Equality or the lack thereof is the root of all of this. So, how do we get more equality? Democracy - specifically democracy at the workplace. I follow Prof. Wolff because his and my ideals mesh. I am here because I support his views and am not here to challenge them per se unless of course he "went off the deep end". I am not here prematurely short of a good examination of what Wolff thinks and does. I'm of the opinion that we are here because we've already determined d@w and its precepts is a good way to go and to then move forward with how we can propagate this. Continually circling back to reinvent the wheel in my opinion is time spent that could have been used hitting up church groups, unions, youth organizations, businesses, campuses, politicians, political organizations etc. If we are to get anything done, we need to get past the fundamentals and embellish what Wolff has laid out with our creativity. I think it may be wise to form a subgroup for those of us that want to hash-out Wolff's doctrine, methods and philosophy or need further clarification on it.
@betsyavila Thanks for the link.

John Rhoads

John Rhoads October 23rd, 2016 19:37

@joe21 "I'm looking to start comparing our two approaches/models. I want to be fully aware of his proposed solution before I attempt to contact him re my LE model." I would suggest you listen to all of his videotaped lectures/talks and radio programs to become "fully aware". However, this won't be something that will be "brief". It will take time yet in the end you will be fully aware of his proposed solutions. From there you should have no problem extending and embellishing this solution.


Paul Palmer October 23rd, 2016 21:09

I said something wrong in my previous post. In his Youtube video, Prof. Wolff also enunciated something I call The Wolff Principle. This is the idea that people should have a vote in any decision in proportion to the extent they are impacted by the consequences of that decision. To my mind, this may be more important than the concept of workers' coops. It goes deeply into the basis of how power is effected. Worker's coops may be supremely important as a way to move away from capitalistic corporations right now, but ultimately they suffer from drawbacks. I am not saying that the defects of coops will not be repaired by thoughtful and intelligent workers further down in the road. I am sure they will. But the exercise of power is the fundamental question of all societies - be it capitalist, socialist, feudal, slave or royal. Until that conundrum is cracked no progress is possible. The Wolff principle seems to me to take power head on. That's why I emphasize it so strongly.

John Rhoads

John Rhoads October 23rd, 2016 22:24

You are right! It reminds me of "no taxation without representation". If we are affected, we should have a say. Although this is not a new concept, it is very new when looking at workers at the workplace. If I was to look at all examples of this model, the one that would come to mind that would have the most impact is "democracy at work". For me, the way to address any drawbacks is to get people using this system in practice an not so much theory. My concern is not whether it will work but to get more people using it.

Betsy Avila

Betsy Avila October 24th, 2016 03:17

@paulpalmer1/@paulpalmer, there is more to the video than can be summed up in ten words, as you noted in your second post.


Joe October 24th, 2016 12:29

Thanks for this video. It's what I was looking for.

I have no real issues with any of what Prof. Wolff said in it. It was clear, concise and especially important was its shortness.

Now the devil is in the details of the solution and especially its transition plan component.

I have to assume that this type of movement starts as something that works seamlessly within the present model with a few brave souls creating coops this way and because these early players are so happy with the results - both personal and group work - that others adopt the details to the solution and in time the corporate solution gets overtaken across the world by the people. Is this the general approach?

So d@w is one of these early coop groups trying to figure out the specific details of harmonious collaboration.

I've worked on several teams for many years trying to do exactly this type of work. Trying to find the right tools, processes and rules to create this magical balance between participant engagement/happiness and coop mission objective. There are many groups out there working on this issue. I've tested many and so far no one has figured out how to remove the old leadership model from the solution. And there's many reasons why including that most of the efforts are based in capitalistic structures. Because to propagate and sustain the tool you create, you must build in a capitalistic economic sustainability component. It must make $$$ too. It must compete. And just this one piece of the solution seems to confound to effort.

I got very close with one tool once. It got to the stage where it needed big money to take the next step in development. It got millions in VC funding and then everything good about the tool was stripped away and it became a capitalists tool. It was supposed to be a tool for the people fighting back against the capitalists. I learned a lot from this experience though.

My muxive project is a next attempt to do a people's coop tool. Where LE is the long-term objective, muxive is the short-term next step to create better coops by providing them better tools for creating environments to focus on making each unique participant happy and more engaged with minimal time/effort asked of anyone.

I'm here to share my experience and lessons learned and to try to steer you away from the things that don't work great. It all gets very very complicated once the group starts trying to make decisions. Someone (or a few someones) always seem to gravitate to a leadership role and others disengage because of disagreement doing things the old way. Muxive added to a Loomio, a Slack or a FB is a new and innovative way to eliminate the need for traditional leadership. The leadership model within muxive makes the creatives who put forth their creativity the leaders without emphasizing the person and instead emphasizing the creativity.

Hope d@w participants will want to explore and discover the innovations built into this tool as one possible path forward to developing a coop that might be successful in taking on capitalism's solution. It's eventually going to be a very very difficult fight! We have to fight the fight within their world, so they have huge advantages at the moment.

John Rhoads

John Rhoads October 24th, 2016 22:19

"so far no one has figured out how to remove the old leadership model from the solution." Interestingly enough, the Loomio group has done an outstanding job of doing this and have put it into "practice" which for me is what makes it most compelling. I took the time to read through their Loomio Cooperative Handbook (next is Enspiral and Crisp) and must say these people really nailed it. Here are some links that address horizontal "leadership" roles: https://medium.com/enspiral-tales/how-to-grow-distributed-leadership-7f6b25f0361c#.2f3efr3se - https://www.gitbook.com/book/enspiral/enspiral-handbook/details - https://www.gitbook.com/book/loomio/loomio-cooperative-handbook/details - http://dna.crisp.se/docs/index.html - https://medium.com/enspiral-tales/breathe-in-leadership-breathe-out-leadership-enspirals-organisational-refactor-884d0babf6b7#.ujwqv5qq2 - https://medium.com/enspiral-tales/beyond-dreamers-vs-doers-full-circle-leadership-869557da1248#.qm4z2lkxy - https://medium.com/enspiral-tales/no-boss-does-not-mean-no-leadership-c4c97c660252#.8dyfevsog -

Betsy Avila

Betsy Avila October 26th, 2016 21:33

@johnrhoads this is an excellent response to that statement.