Tragically, most people take bosses for granted. Capitalist firms have them by construction, by design. But, what of cooperative enterprises that are owned by everyone working within them? Do they also need bosses? A managerial class that tells the rest what to do? Or can we envisage boss-less firms? If so, how do things that need to get done get done – especially when there are chores that no one really wants to take on? Going beyond the inner workings of a modern cooperative enterprise, how do enterprises functioning within a non, or post, capitalist economy decide what to produce, who for and in exchange of what resources? Are there are viable and desirable alternatives to markets? Or should we be aiming at embedding cooperative enterprises within a market system, albeit one in which there are no capitalists?
Thanks to mέta, DiEM25’s Centre for Postcapitalist Civilisation, Michael Albert and I are debating these questions in an open-ended dialogue which we intend to continue ad infinitum.