The Partism Foundation was founded in 2012 as a forum to research, debate and promote ideas which accord to the Partism philosophy and in the process try and create a fairer and more harmonious society.
The Partism Movement was conceived during the banking crisis of 2008/9 when there was a general recognition that free market capitalism as currently operated had failed, as demonstrated by the socialisation of private losses with the taxpayer bearing the huge costs associated with the lamentable failures in the banking system, even though it was supposed to be under very tight government supervision.
The Partism Movement gathered strength during the European debt crisis of 2010/13 when the economic response strategy of austerity led to huge increases in unemployment throughout Europe (particularly youth unemployment). There was wide recognition that free market capitalism, which saw employees as a flexible resource, capable of being hired or fired dependent upon economic circumstances, was incongruous with the long-term partnership relationship which should exist between capital and labour if both are to enjoy the best outcomes. Most importantly, free market capitalism appeared to be incapable of adjusting itself rapidly to deal with the social problems that unstable employment or high unemployment created.
The second half of the 20th Century saw a significant improvement in living standards brought about through employees organising themselves in trade unions and employee federations. However, the confrontational nature of wage negotiations, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon economies, stopped giving union members the advantages they had previously enjoyed. As a result, the trade union movement became emancipated and incapable of protecting employees from the ravages of unfettered capitalism.
At the same time as the trade union movement was going into decline, there was a huge shift in the sharing of wealth creation, with the wealthiest getting significantly richer and the poor getting poorer. The top earners were taking three times the share of national income than they did 25 years before. Many of those businesses paying the most in performance-related bonuses to their highest earners had achieved their high profits by keeping down the wages of the poorest.
Research has shown the importance that individuals attach to fairness. Unfair economic and political systems are known to motivate protest, disharmony and possibly revolution. Accordingly, for society’s sake there has to a new relationship between capital, labour and society; a relationship based upon long-term mutuality rather than one of master and servant. A relationship which, whilst not necessarily of equals, requires care, respect and active participation by all parties. A relationship which, follows the Partism Philosophy, and demands open, fair and scrupulously honest dealings.
The Partism Foundation was formed to take the concepts of Partism and to promote them so that they become an integral part of business, government and international relations.