The Truth is Powerful

Basecamp’s controversial move to ban politics at work is a reminder that the workplace is not a democracy — workers have little power to combat bad policies

Legally, bosses and managers have the power to silence speech and end discussions. Marianne Ayala/Insider In the last year, workers have called on their workplaces to address political issues like systemic racism.

The founders of Basecamp recently shut down political talk at work, which shows how little say employees have.

Businesses are structured like dictatorships, which disempowers workers, weakens democracy, and consolidates the power of bosses.

Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein writes about economic life in America.

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

See more stories on Insider’s business page . Over the last year, American workers have attempted to make their workplaces sites of social change and political discourse. Employees have fought for action, hoping the firms they work for will be agents in the fight against, among other things, systemic racism and harassment.But recent changes at Basecamp, a workplace collaboration software company with approximately 60 employees, show why it is so hard to make American businesses respond to these problems. At the end of the day, the American workplace is not a democracy, it’s an autocracy. In a democratic workplace, bosses would be accountable to the employees through a union or because […]

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