left formalism: an extremely short manifesto

1) authority should correspond to stakeholding

2) but everyone an institution exercises power over is a stakeholder in it

3) ergo, all institutions should be democratic

This passed my dash some days ago now and I couldn’t articulate why I felt it was wrong but I’m compiling right now so I went back and looked again and I found my disagreement.

It’s at §1.

(I agree with §2)

If I start Shieldfoss’ Coffee and Philosophy Club where me and my friends enjoy wear fancy clothes and enjoy coffee and philosophy at a local cafe, here are the people it exercises some degree of authority over:

The cafe laborers (presumably they own the cafe together), whose income depends on whether or not the club disbands.

Various weavers and tailors, book sellers, coffee planters etc., same reason

Guess who don’t get to vote on fuck-all in my coffee club? That exact list of people. I’m not even sure I’m willing to let the previously invited friends vote on anything in the club I started and named after myself. There is, in fact, authority in names – if I announce that I don’t like FossShield and they’re no longer welcome, that will actually work – through the power of social rules first or, if FossShield doesn’t take the hint, then through the fact that the cafe workers will throw them out if they have to chose between FossShield’s business or the business of the rest of the club.

So I can be a right dick, but the proper remedy to me being an asshole in my club is not public expropriation and democratic rules, it is the far simpler fact that if my friends think I’m being too much of a dick, in a free country they can start their own coffee and philosophy club.

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