I’ve posted before on the wisdom of discoursing about the private in the public sphere. Specifically publicizing the internal machinations of an oligarchics private enterprise can be deleterious. There is much familiar between that of the bourgeois patriarch and the modern day oligarch. The modern day oligarch or super-capitalist has eminent domain over the production activities of his organization in much the same way the bourgeois male had complete authority over his household.
The capability to engage in the public debate is strictly limited to the oligarch or his publicist. Everyone else is under the dominion of the corporation and therefore cannot represent the position of the oligarch. Indeed if a woman or a peasant were to attempt to engage in the bourgeois discourse they would be spurned from the public sphere. Much is the same with the current super-capitalist where unapproved publishing of corporate matters is equally regarded with less authenticity.
Any rationally formed opinion in the oligarchy kingdom by those who are ruled cannot be sustained in the public sphere because it would undermine the authority of other super-capitalist. This truth is not new but has been the hallmark of the “patriarchic-capitalist-disciplinary bureaucracy” (ref sociologist Helga Maria Hernes) from the dawn of capitalism.
Only when the producers of the elitist oligarch’s power form cohesion to their sentiments and express them as a unified communication will resultant action and public opinion be swayed. We find examples of unification of voice dating as far back to post civil war United States when the National Labor Union lobbied for and won the eight hour workday. It is not necessary to recount the victories for the common good that have been born on the backs of the non-gentry. Instead it is important to understand that in order for the laborer to have voice and give rise to change in the capitalist public sphere a critical mass is required.
It is equally disquieting to rationalize in modern living that near revolution is required in order for change of the oligarch led public opinion. A more recent American example of revolution in public opinion is the notorious collapse of Enron. While the fall of Enron is not directly attributable to the unification of voice of the workers it is a prima fascia example of the lengths to which the ruling oligarchy will attempt to control public opinion and thus state policy. The resultant scandal created public opinion that required the state to adopt and enforce strict accounting rules known as SARBOX.
The challenge for worker remora of the oligarch to voice opinion is extreme and without state protection can lead to loss of liberty and livelihood. The solution that gives the worker autonomy from the mandated opinion is complex and requires more intrusive state control in the forms of worker and speech recognition protections.
An egalitarian policy of communications within private and public spheres would help transcend the control of the oligarchs’ publicity machine. The notion of egalitarian reciprocity as defined by the feminist sociologist Seyla Benhabib gives hope to the oppressed masses. In her critique of the Public Sphere she writes of rules of discourse for the public sphere.
The procedural constraints of the ideal speech situation are that each participant must have an equal change to initiate and to continue communications…
The challenge is to work to craft this sentiment into policy within the confines of the private oligarchs’ domain. This movement towards egalitarian discourse is perhaps the most congenial way to achieve parity in authenticity of discourse amongst classically disenfranchised rational thinkers. Until such time as the state or ‘self’ regulated super-capitalist adopt egalitarian reciprocity it remains the dangerous business of the workers to unite in voice in the hope that their opinion will be heard.