Most Western capitalist institutions are islands of fascism in a sea of democracy. But democracy can be introduced from the political to the economic sphere by re-assigning the right to manage from capital owners to workers, thereby creating a sector consisting of self-managed firms. Such firms require external finance for efficiency; this can be supplied via a new form of financial asset (performance bonds), to be held by wage-earners' investment funds. Reforms such as these could improve productivity and the quality of working life, strengthen the role of markets and help to deal with the so-called pensions crisis. These reforms would threaten the interests of private capital owners and would therefore require decisive political action: they can thus be differentiated sharply from voluntary, enterprise-level schemes for introducing profit-sharing, employee share-ownership or industrial democracy.
- wage-earners' investment funds