“The ditch is nearer.
There are no statues for
the last war here.”




Against the
Renting of Persons:
in conversation with
David Ellerman

Suppose we reconstitute the corporation in a way that acknowledges that people who buy shares are not owners in any real sense? What if we turn their shares into something like variable income bonds, with no vote attached, and then reassign the vote to the people who work within the corporation? By reconstituting the way the firm runs, people who work in the firm can monitor management, and management can be the real representatives of the people they’re governing.

We see examples of this in worker co-ops like Mondragon. They’re big companies, but they’re run democratically. Making the legal transition isn’t the problem. We’re not talking about a bloody revolution. You can just turn the fiction that absentee shareholders are owners into the reality that they’re actually absentee suppliers of capital. They’ll still get a return on their capital.




From The Straddler Archives

Digital Records of Incarceration:
An Annotated Bibliography

“The collection of detailed metadata on prisoners by the US prison system represents a grand-scale archival effort. It is on the basis of records that fail to provide a full and detailed picture of incarceration that critical judgments are formed by our culture.”

Occupy by Analogy:
in conversation with
Christopher Mackin

“‘Be practical. Demand the impossible!’ That sentiment is precisely what the Occupy movement has revived. It is a sentiment that pushes against this ever-present cynicism that nothing can be done. Now is the time to build the institutions that prove the cynics wrong. It’s going to take a lot of work.”

Thinking Through
the Savage Machinery:
Peter Temin and Economic Crises

“The reason that I’m pessimistic is that I think we’re engaged in class warfare. The new technology has given rise to a very skewed distribution of income around the world, but particularly in the United States. And the rich are trying to destroy the New Deal, and they don’t even feel that they have to give a logical argument for it.”

Seeing Surveillance:
in conversation with
Kazys Varnelis
and Trevor Paglen

“If you build a surveillance society, you create a giant power imbalance between the people and the state. That’s kind of an abstract thing to point out, but the whole point of a democratic society is that people have more power than the state. When you create mechanisms where that is not true, then you are creating a situation in which a democratic society is increasingly difficult to approach and maintain. ”