Essay/Chapter 15. The productive-utilitarian society

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Chapter 15. THE PRODUCTIVE-UTILITARIAN SOCIETY


1. Definitions
2. Thoughts on the utilitarian society
3. Dynamics of the productive-utilitarian society
4. Responsibilization of all monetary act in the productive-utilitarian society
5. Basic laws for the protection of the productive-utilitarian society
6. Foreign trade and customs


This chapter is dedicated to enumerate the few basic laws for the protection of the productive-utilitarian society.

But before getting into this subject, some prior analyses and thoughts will be necessary on the utilitarian society in general, and on the productive-utilitarian society in particular.


1. Definitions

All along this work we have already defined twice, and in a different way, the utilitarian society.

In fact, from an exclusively operative point of view, we have seen in chapter 9 that we could define the utilitarian society or market as «the number of all the free elementary monetary changes».

And, from a much wider viewpoint, we have seen in chapter 10 that the utilitarian society could be considered as «a whole made up by: 1) all the individuals dedicated to production and/or consumption of utilitarian goods; 2) all the goods exchanged, whether produced or producing; and 3) all the monetary interrelations implied in these exchanges».

It is in this second viewpoint that we place ourselves now.

Following these two viewpoints, we can also make a distribution of the utilitarian society; and we say that, from the first viewpoint, the utilitarian society or market is made up of two cycles: the production cycle and the consumption cycle (see chapter 9); and from the second viewpoint, the utilitarian society is made up of two sub-societies: the productive-utilitarian society and the consumer-utilitarian society.

By productive-utilitarian society we mean, in short, «the number of persons, goods and monetary interrelations implied in the production processes»; and by consuming-utilitarian society in the same manner we mean «the number of persons, goods and monetary interrelations implied in the consuming processes».

With respect to the persons making them up, we must point out that, as the productive-utilitarian society is limited in its numbers and only includes strictly the so-called «utilitarian professionals», the consuming-utilitarian society is of a global social range, it is totalizing, as it includes the whole of the members of the empire, because all need, and a have a right, to consume: utilitarian professionals (called, because they are consumers, «consumer-producers»), the liberal professionals, individuals without a profession, families, the free associations of citizens (all these, called «simple consumers», because they participate in the consumption processes, but not in the production ones).


2. Thoughts on the utilitarian society

Traditionally, the utilitarian society, both the productive and the consumer one, has worked following the principles of the free private initiative, free private property and free competitiveness.

In fact, the free private initiative, the free private property of individuals on the produced goods (which are things), and the free competitiveness among companies (which are people) in the production field, and among consumers (who are also people) in the consumption field, constitute the more dynamic, agilizing and productive motors on the market.

This is so because the private market agents, both producers and consumers, move traditionally with the aim, if not the only one at least the main one, to obtain always, in each elementary monetary change, the greatest and best profit, specific and monetary. Without this incentive, the utilitarian society languishes.

We wish to go on perfecting, assuring and improving to the maximum and in the best way these traditional freedom, privacy and competitiveness, in order to encourage a greater and better production, together with a consumption more and more in tune and ecological communion with nature. The reason for this is that, even if all the production and consumption wealth generated by the market is since always a private one, it is also this private wealth which upholds the possibility of a communal wealth, expressed as a communal monetary mass, as we have seen in the previous chapter.

We are therefore concerned in fostering in the first place, in the utilitarian society, the generation of private wealth, because it is a positive fact in itself; but also, and above all, because by improving the generation of private wealth we foster the appearance of communal wealth.

From now on then we shall see how the utilitarian society should be protected, being a generator of private wealth; and in this chapter we shall deal specifically with the productive-utilitarian society.


3. Dynamics of the productive-utilitarian society

The productive-utilitarian society looks after the production of non-finished goods, some of which will become finished when they go to the consumer-utilitarian society (see the analysis of market cycles and sub-cycles made in chapter 8).

To carry out this task, the productive-utilitarian society combines several elements inside the production unit which is a company. These elements are of two sorts:

  1. The passive production factors: they are non-finished goods already produced by other companies, which may also be of two sorts:
    1. raw materials, that is non-finished goods which will be transformed into other goods, also non-finished;
    2. investment goods, that is non-finished goods which will not be transformed, but which are transformation tools;
  2. The active production factors (or production agents, or production forces), private: they are producing goods which the company buys by means of a salary. We distinguish four sorts of private producing goods:[1] [2]
    1. work, which is paid by means of a salary (a real one);
    2. the company spirit and team, which are paid by means of profits;
    3. the invested capitals, which are paid by means of interests;
    4. the utilitarian invention, which is paid by means of royalties.

The result of the combination of all these active and passive production factors, is the production of new non-finished goods, which production will be the greatest and best if the company combination is intelligent, effective and satisfactory for all the implied agents.

Through the salary-private remunerations to the production agents the produced, non-finished, goods but which can be finished, go finally to the consumption cycle, to the consumer-utilitarian society, thereby finishing and rounding off (at least partially[3]), the production cycle, the processes of the productive-utilitarian society: in fact it is the purchasing power generated by these private-salarial remunerations which allows to effect consumption.

Therefore, it is consumption which gives a meaning to production: the final end and purpose of the productive-utilitarian society: this lends to it a humanistic meaning with respect to the service to people, —since, as we have already said, consumption is a need and a right of all human beings—.


4. Responsibilization of all monetary act in the productive-utilitarian society

What we have said before with respect to the utilitarian society in general, we must repeat now with respect to the productive-utilitarian society: we want to protect it and help it in its traditional freedom, privacy and competitiveness, because the increase of private produced wealth represents, at the same time, the increase of the communal wealth.

Now, before going ahead to explain in detail the minimum laws of protection of the productive-utilitarian society, we wish to remember a fundamental principle which must give them shape.

It is the principle of the full personal responsibilization (individual and/or collective) of every free monetary-market act, from the first elementary purchase to the last elementary sale. This is the other face of all personal freedom which is not to become irresponsible lawlessness.

As we know, to uphold the total responsibilization of any act implying the use of the monetary isntrument, is easy, through the legal obligation of using, in all cases, the pro-telematic cheque-invoice.

In terms then of the minimum laws which will be established, and of the responsibilization principle we have just mentioned, there will be Specialized Economic Courts created in each field of the productive-utilitarian life, and at every territorial level of the different local Authorities and Autonomies (disctrict..., town..., county..., ethnic group..., interethnic group.., empire).

The examining judges in these Courts will be fully documented in each specific case, concerning monetary transactions, thanks to the access to the telematice archives of cheque-invoices —which, as we know, will be exclusively entrusted to Justice—. To all this antejusticial documentation will be added all the pro-justicial documentation, which is obtained through the judge's action; so the specialized Economic Courts will be able to judge contradictorly quickly, effectively, impartially and calmly, any conflict between contracting parties, and any anti-commercial crime or offence.


5. Basic laws for the protection of the productive-utilitarian society

We shall now examine how the legal protection of all the specific personal liberties must be structured in the productive-utilitarian society. This protection should be meant for all and each of the persons in this society: both for the companies and for each one of their collaborators: workers, capitalists, businessmen and inventors.

Company protection

The final purpose we are after is to make the company into an internally solidary collectivity of all the production agents which cooperate with it: effective company spirit and team, investing capitalists, practical inventors and competent workers. It is what we call «company self-management», meant as a direct management of the company by all its collaborators, true inter-company democracy, near and direct, permanent dialogue between the businessman and his collaborators.

Now, the path to a full company self-management is long and difficult; as long as it is not reached, the following basic laws will have to be applied:

a) Guild organization

All the utilitarian companies will have to register compulsorily in guilds (sub-guilds, inter-guilds...), according to their productive specialization.
Even if the guilds' task will be the defence of the utilitarian interests of the companies therein registered, these guilds will be organized as bodies with a liberal statute, and therefore financed by the geopolitical community: because in the long run the protection of the companies interests as a whole will redound to the advantage of all the community consumers.
So that nobody confuses this guild organization with an anachronistic and out-of-place corporativism, restrained and antilibertarian, we shall say that the liberal collaborators of the guilds will not be officials nor bureaucrats, with a life-employment, but will have been elected, within their own professional-utilitarian category, by their equals, and only for a relatively short term of office (4 to 7 years); in no case will they be elected again until at least 4 years from their dismissal.

b) Lowest sales prices

The first task to be tackled by all the existing guilds (sub-guilds, inter-guilds...) will be that of preparing a complete tariff of all the goods produced by the companies registered in them; each merchandise will be specified very exactly according to quality and quantity.
After this tariff has been established, each guild —based on the basic laws of the higher Authorities and Autonomies, which in turn will be based on the basic laws legislated by the State— will set up minimum internal laws on the minimum cost prices and minimum company benefit for each of the goods well specified in the tariff. From the combination of these two minima will result evidently a third minimum, which is the minimum legal sales price for each produced merchandise.
This basic legislation on sales prices implies, on the one hand, the duty every company has of making profits, if it is effective and capable: this is the companies' task and this is what produces merchant wealth. On the other hand, the prohibition to sell below the minimum sales price is the best defence against any attempt at monopoly or oligopoly: in fact these crush competitors unfairly by selling at prices below cost as long as necessary, and then, —when competitors have been eliminated—, they increase their prices without reasonable measure, recovering dearly from consumers the losses they had before.
Of course, both the tariffs and the minimum cost prices will be continuously perfected and updated by the guilds.

c) Ecology and coexistence

Also on the basis of the basic laws of each higher civic Authority and Autonomy —based on the State basic laws—, every guild (sub-guild, inter-guild...) will establish basic interior laws on the material and social conditions which must rule the production of each specific merchandise, in order to respect as much as possible and in the best way the physical, ecologic and social environment of each production act.

d) Publicity

The present company publicity will be radically suppressed: this sort of publicity is always an instrument of deception for the buyer and of unfair competition among companies, because only the most powerful can spend the enormous amounts which are spent nowadays in a stupid and idiotizing publicity.
The company publicity will be substituted then by a system of guild publicity (sub-guild, inter-guild...) which will aim at supplying the buying public, and any possible customer, the most and best technical information on each merchandise put for sale. Every guild will prepare lists which, without overlooking the pleasant side that any publicity mnust have, will give product by product, the names of all the companies making them, with their specific features; the advantages and disadvantages of every quality specified in the tariff; and the corresponding price for each company, quality and quantity.
Consulting this publicity will be completely free, and also any deeper enquiry that anybody may want to do in the technical archives of the guild.

e) Dramatic reduction of the legal working hours

The present technological progress continuously suppresses jobs, directly in every company or indirectly in every market considered; the important company investments, instead of being a solution to this problem, more and more imply corresponding reduction of jobs.
It is evident then that with the present legal working hours there is no way in which jobs may be increased; the only reasonable solution is to reduce dramatically the legal working hours, in such a way that the companies be compelled to engage more personnel to maintain their production rate.
We suggest a reduction of the weekly working hours from 40 to 20 hours, of course the salaries paid at present would not be reduced in any way.
In order for the companies to be able to bear this dramatic reduction, a financial plan will be prepared according to which the geopolitical community will pay, every year, a percentage of every company's payroll. This percentage will be progressively reduced until the time comes when the companies will be able to take charge autnomously of the whole of their personnel's salaries.
This solution has the very important advantage, if it is applied in a society without cheque-invoice, to instantly suppress all the hidden company market.

f) Promotion of self-management

Finally it is necessary to pave the way for a progressive company self-management. As we have indicated previously, to reach a full self-management (which implies the participation of all the collaborators of the company, both in the management and in its capital and profits) is not possible without a long preparatory stage educating the minds and actitudes.
For this reason we suggest a slow and voluntary transition system towards a full company self-management. We shall call pro-self-management companies those companies which of their own free-will will follow this transformation process.
The companies constituted as pro-self-managing will be compelled by law to deliver to each of their employees not less than one share per month; so that this is not a disadvantage in face of the non pro-self-managing companies, these will be compelled to deliver their employees the equivalent of one share in cash. In the pro-self-managing companies, the personnel shares will be syndicated in a company committee constituted according to law. When the whole personnel of a company holds over 50% of its capital, and enjoys more than 50% of effective rights and responsilities within the company, it will be considered already self-managing and the law will stop interfering in this respect.
The companies which, through the above-mentioned process, become self-managing, and those born as such, will enjoy the preferential lines of communal loans to investment, as long as they show the requirements of productive effectiveness demanded by law.
All the companies, whether or not pro-self-managing or self-managing, will have a labour Committee; besides, the pro-self-managing and the self-managing companies will have a Committee for the shares syndication and a self-management Body. The members of all these committees and bodies will have a liberal statute during all their term of office. They will be chosen by their equals for a four year period, and will not be able to be elected again until a lapse fours years from their dismissal will have gone, except for the labour Committee in which it will not be possible to be reelected until all the personnel will have had an opportunity. On finishing his term of office, each member of such committees will return to the company's personnel.

Irrespective of the minimum laws we have just described briefly, companies will enjoy a number of very important advantages and facilities to make them effective and productive both in quantity and quality. Among the most important, we shall mention:

a) The free hiring and unhiring
Companies are not charity centres; in a company the important principle is the optimization and maximization of production. And if, according to this principle, a company has two much personnel, it must be in a position to dismiss it freely, and to be able to hire freely every time it needs to do so.
In the case of dismissal, the company will only have to pay the worker that part of the monthly salary corresponding to the days worked until the dismissal date, plus 30 days; immediately after, the worker will be able to receive the social solidarity salary for compulsory unemployment for the remaining days of the month and then indefinitely.
Also for the worker the hiring and unhiring must be completely free.
b) Granting of communal loans to investment
In the previous chapter we have spoken of the conditions of this sort of credit. We shall only say now that they will be suitable especially for those candidates to company holders with good ideas but without enough capital to carry out their projects.
c) Suppression of taxes
The single tax of a fixed percentage on each cheque-invoice signed is one of the most important advantages given to the companies, which are today being bled by all sorts of taxes, which cause as a result the businessman to retire or the company to start on hidden economy. Besides, being known in advance, this tax may be easily charged on the cost price.

Protection of the collaborators of each company

We shall now deal with the legal protection of all and each one of the production personal agents, collaborating inside each company.

There is in the first place a general protection which is the same for all of them, and which is founded on two bases:

a) Free registration unions
In the same way as guilds are in charge of watching over the protection of companies, looking after the respect, in practice, of the basic market laws, unions will have the mission to protect the utilitarian professionals freely registered in them. This protection will show two aspects.
In the first place, there is the defence and protection of the utilitarian professionals in all the conflicts which normally come up within and without the profession. Unions will be able to take these conflicts to the corresponding specialized Justice, and be in charge of the private defence or accusation in front of the examining judge in each specific lawsuit, and in Court in the resolutory stage of the lawsuit.
In the second place the unions will dedicate themselves to the promotion of the utilitarian condition, through the ethic, educational, training and professional elevation of their followers.
Unions will not be allowed to duplicate the activities of any other possible bodies, for example political parties. Political parties extend their designs to all the social body, while unions must limit themselves to be the meeting point of all the utilitarian professionals (businessmen; workers; capitalists; inventors) who agree on a certain doctrine of defence and social protection of the same utilitarian professionals.
Of course, unions will also be constituted in liberal statute bodies, as anybody else.
b) Social security
The geopolitical community will watch over the social security of all the utilitarian professionals, through the utilitarian statute which we have described in the previous chapter. Moreover, the utilitarian professionals will enjoy, as everybody else, the general statute.
Now, the utilitarian professionals, and only they, will have besides the right and the full liberty to make in the market as many contracts as they will with the existing, free, private insurance companies.

In the second place, we must also foresee a specific protection for each of the personal production agents in the market.

a) Protection of the salaried workers
As we have already said, hiring and unhiring of workers will be free. The counterpart of this freedom will be constituted by the social-financial solidarity salary (s.f.s.s.) for compulsory unemployment, which will be collected automatically from the very moment of dismissal (by the simple registering of the dismissed by the corresponding guild office) and for an indefinite time.
The amount of this s.f.s.s. for compulsory unemployment will be the same for everybody, whichever be the teechnical-salarial category of the worker; the same will happen with the s.f.s.s. for strike and lock-out (identical to the compulsory unemployment). The reason is that it is a vital minimum which depends exclusively on the general prosperity and on communal solidarity. Only if these increase, will the solidarity salaries increase.
As far as the minimum professional salary is concerned, this will be established as double of the s.f.s.s. for forced unemployment, strike and lock-out.
The actual salary paid in each specific case will be a free and private contractual function, between each company and each worker, which will be established according to the need of the companies for competent workers, and the offer of competent salaried labour by the workers. Within a telematic economy, it is very easy and quick to prepare very effective labour exchanges at every local level, and at a level of the whole geopolitical community.
b) Protection of the capital-savings
We must now remember the distinction made in chapter 12 between savings and capital.
The savings, put away in current accounts, sight accounts, production accounts, production savings and consumption savings accounts, is not in itself an active production factor.
But when these savings are sold, put at the disposal of the market, in short they are invested, then they become capital, production force.
This tep from savings to capital is not easy, and implies many risks. It can be done through private contracting with a Business Bank, or through sales-purchase of exchange shares. In any of the two cases, however, the money capitalized must come out from a sight current account, and be transformed in a term deposit in a Bank, or in private capital-paper (shares, securities, bills of exchange...).
Capitalization (that is transforming savings into capital) is business as any other, with many risks, but which also brings many profits. This activity will be left completely free, both for private capital contraction with Business Banks and for the Exchange activities. The legal protection of the invested capitals will be through the obligation which will have the bank guild and sub-guild of creating several Interbank Guarantee Funds which, at any time, guarantee the safety of the capitals delivered to the banks. These Funds will sell or settle any bank unable to attend its commitments freely engaged in, and will be responsible of a maximum of 50% of these obligations when the sale or liquidation does not allow to cover 100%; the bankrupt bank will have to take charge of the remaining 50% as far as it can, and the difference will be a loss for the client. It will also be necessary to create Interexchange Guarantee Funds, with the same obligations as those specified for the Banks.
Savings, on the other hand, will also have to be protected, and very especially against the unscrupulous capital dealers. The most effective protection is the imperialization of all the positive balances of all the sight current accounts (production current account, production savings current account and consumption saving current account): up to now these balances have been managed by the accounting concerns (banks) which, considering them outer resources, have used them for capitalization. The imperialization of balances will mean that the accounting concerns will no longer be able to use them: any capitalization will have to be explicitly allowed, by means of a special contract, by the owner of the savings; and the savings not capitalized will be considered communal savings, which nobody will be able to use besides the community itself represented by its manager, the State.
As we have already said in chapter 12, the balances of the imperialized current accounts will pay a 6% compound interest per year, and will have the possibility of an automatic overdraft of 25% of the average balance, an overdraft recoverable by the accounting concern in a minimum period of 5 months, and paying the usual free bank-interest.
c) Protection of the utilitarian inventions
The utilitarian inventions, both those of private property and those which have already become public property, are at present the most powerful and effective production factor. For this reason it is necessary to foster and protect the private initiative of the possible utilitarian-practical inventors.
This protection will be entrusted to the General Patent Office, a specialized department of the ministry of economy, with as many centres and local laboratories as will be necessary.
This office, in each one of its local branches, will be in charge of the registration and technological study of all the innovations which will be submitted to it: when a project is approved by the office, after the corresponding study, the inventor candidate will enjoy, if he wants to, a social-financial solidarity salary, and financial budgets (ordinary and extraordinary) for laboratory and/or workshop, during the time necessary for the project to be put in practice. After the invention be experimented, by means of a prototype, with total practical satisfaction, and the patent granted, the inventor will be able to choose between two possibilities: either to release his invention to the whole geopolitical community, and therefore to all the interested companies, and maintain a liberal statute; or to privately exploit the invention, either alone (for example, by means of an investment loan to put up his own company), or selling or hiring his patent to one or more companies; and in this case he will pass over to the utilitarian statute.


6. Foreign trade and customs

Up to now we have not spoken of foreign trade, in spite of its importance in the present utilitarian systems, because, in fact, it is a secondary question within our approach.

Foreign trade covers all of the market areas, both of production (current production and wholesale trade; investment production; retail shops and industries) and of consumption (through domestic and foreign tourism).

Import and export will be completely free.

As far as the customs duties are concerned, they will be incidental, and will not be paid according to the type of goods imported or exported, but according to the two following principles.

In the first place there will be the customs duties for a continuous dynamic balance. Every import and export will pay a variable duty according to the state of the balance of payments existing at the time with the country of destination (export) or of origin (import). If the balance is even, the customs duties will be nonexistent; the import duties will go up with the balances showing a deficit, and the export duties will go up with the balances showing a surplus. These variable customs duties will be instantly communicated by telex to any company demanding them, concerning a given import or export, and they will be held for a prudential time period, if the company engages to do the operation within a given term.

By this system a permanent dynamic balance is reached, in each State, or within a number of States, which is the unavoidable condition for a healthy foreign trade, and therefore the main goal to be attained by any customs organization.

In the second place, antidumping customs duties will be established. In fact, in order to avoid competition for domestic manufacturers from foreign manufacturers who, taking advantage, for example, of cheap labour, produce cheaper goods, the minimum legal sales price will be compulsory for all the cheque-invoices, both import and export ones. If the sales price of an imported product is lower, the difference will be an antidumping customs duty, and therefore the importer will not be able to take advantage of this difference.



Notes:

1. Not everybody will agree with this list of four active production factors. Many handbooks and economy treaties, for example, only take two into account: labour and capital. We wish simply to be practical: private companies are the motor of production, and this implies the presence of a businessman eager for profits; therefore we consider profits as a further salary to be paid by the company. Something different is that we suggest a self-managing process which will cause the sharing out of profits among all the collaborators of each company; but this does not imply the disappearance, neither of profits (which will be shared out) nor of the businessman (as everybody will be one).

As far as inventions are concerned, it is also evident that, since the company must pay patents and trade-marks, they will have to be considered as another active production factor among those bought by the company.

2. We insist on the fact that these active production factors are private, because we consider that there exist, besides, active communal production factors which are not paid by the company. We shall develop this hypothesis in the Fourth Part of this work.

3. We refer again to the Fourth Part.