W. J. Sidis
1929 - 1930
[MS, presumably unpublished, found in Helena Sidis's files.]
WHAT THE PLAN IS NOT
The planned Geprodis Association is not a new form of labor union. It is an organisation composed of employees―its own employees―but it is most distinctly not a form of collective bargaining with the employer, for the simple reason that the members of the planned Association are to be employees of the Association. The members are therefore organised to own, operate and manage their own industrial activity, not to negotiate for terms of employment in activities owned and managed by others. Geprodis is thus neither a union nor a private industry, but "partly each" (that is, having characteristics belonging to both). It is true, the plan includes, besides regular members, "novices" (applicants for membership and employment) and "auxiliary members" (ex-employees) for whom employment and bargaining service may be rendered by the Association similar to the sort of work tackled by a union; but, as only employment in the organisation makes one a members, and only application for such employment gives even "novice" standing, there could be no attempt to organise all employees of a given outside firm. On the contrary, all Geprodis employees are automatically members by being employed, as the same application will be for both membership and employment.
The planned Geprodis Association is not a co-operative in any accepted sense of the word. There are to be no dividends, and no contribution of capital expected from members, either by way of dues, initial payments, purchase of stock, etc. The plan is to divorce completely capital from voice in the management. An employees' co-operative may attempt to make the same persons laborers and capitalists, and thus exclude from employment those who cannot invest; the Geprodis plan calls for giving a vote to all employees regardless of any contribution except their own labor, so that labor alone votes without any vote whatever for any source of capital. For further independence from Capital, it is intended that initial capital is to start from either contributions or (preferably) short-term loans which will quickly cancel all claims of capital without saddling the organisation with them permanently by giving the contributors of capital a vote in the Association. The separation of capital from membership is a very important feature of the plan.
The planned Geprodis Association is not a propaganda organisation of any sort, or one requiring any sort of political or religious beliefs or non-beliefs. Admission to employment under the Association and admission to membership are not separated; and members are recruited therefore, not by their believing in something, but by their wanting a job. Those who merely believe in the Geprodis plan but do not intend to be employed by it, may form affiliate organisations to help the Association offers, but have no special beliefs, even as to whether the Association is good or bad, are full members as soon as they get employment, and have "novice" standing (entitling them to a voice but no vote) between application and actual employment. The plan even provides that house organs, newspapers, magazines, etc., that the Association may publish are not to have editorials on policy.