Monday, June 07, 2004

The Power and Responsibility of Individual Corporations 

Sometimes I really hope that I’m wrong, that corporations are here to stay, that individuals will keep working and thinking in the coziness of the traditional employer-employee relationship. That would comfort me a bit. I wouldn’t have to worry about all those people who will not be able to adapt to the fact that they, as workers, need to become internationally competitive in order to survive. I wouldn’t either have to worry that the new self-empowerment of individuals will likely create two social classes: the valued ones and the non-valued ones, those who adapted to the knowledge economy and those who didn’t. Unfortunately, I am convinced that traditional corporations will soon be history…

So yes I believe that the end of corporations as we know them is coming. On the long run, it might well be a good thing by allowing people to think and create more by themselves through strong links with their community. The empowerment of the individual through his/her community will allow people that have a lot to contribute to get paid according to their direct influence on the society. It corresponds to the distribution of profit in a vertical production chain composed of infinitesimal production units, individual contributions. To put it simply, if you contribute something valuable to the society, you get paid. Otherwise you don’t. The responsibility of an individual’s income is then totally attributed to him/her. Is everyone presently a contributor of “real” added value to the society? I suggest that you look around yourself in your workplace and make your own opinion. That is why I am worried.

I don’t think that we should be arguing about going there or not. If it’s meant to arise out of today’s world, then there’s not much we can do to stop it. According to me the most relevant question at this point is to determine how we can ready our society. Education is obviously part of the answer (probably in a renewed form). But other than making sure that people have the tools, how can we make sure that they have the mindset? I have no idea.

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