Book Cover

Capitalism,  The Way to a World of Peace and Plenty
by Ray Carey

Hard/Softcover/Kindle - 5 May, 2004, Available on

Ray Carey presents the theory and practice of democratic capitalism by coupling his experience with a synthesis of the thought of Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mill.  The empirical evidence is clear: democratic capitalistic companies produce superior results, and nations that support economic freedom and keep money neutral improve the lives of their people.

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CCDC 11/29/2017

Updated on November 29, 2017

At the time of Mill, Marx and Engels educational material on the superior economic system was available. It was not used for the reasons described in this CCDC article.The result is a feeling in society that the economic standard and the quality of life should be better. They are right.

When most academician find that the title of the book that I wrote is Democratic Capitalism, the Way to a World of Peace and Plenty their frequent response was "Isn't that an oxymoron?" If I find one who will listen I explain that is is not an oxymoron and that the question indicates to me that the person who asked it is defaulting on their responsibility to add knowledge of a superior economic system for broader application.

Ray Carey

J.S. Mill’s Democratic Capitalism Manifesto

In mid 19th century John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Engels studied Robert Owen’s demonstration of substantially greater profits from investing in his workers, “vital machines” as he called them. The culture in his spinning mill was trust and cooperation which Owen cultivated through company sponsored education of students as young as three.
Marx described the productive results from changing the culture from alienation to cooperation and even saw an end to war as nations switched to democratic capitalist trade. Engels described workers freed to reach their potential. Mill’s book had a whole chapter on worker ownership systems.

Mill’s manifesto combined greater wealth production with worker satisfaction:

The other mode in which cooperation tends to increase the
productiveness of labor, consists in the vast stimulus given
to productive energies, by placing the laborers in a relation
to their work to make it their principle interest—at present
it is not—to do the utmost, in exchange for their
remuneration. It is scarcely possible to rate too highly this
material benefit, which yet is nothing compared to the moral
revolution in society that would accompany it; a new sense of
security and independence; and the conversion of human’s daily
occupation into a school of the social sympathies and the
practical intelligence.

If democratic capitalism is superior in both profits and worker satisfaction why is it not the universal system? The answer is that instead of studying Owen’s positive experience of investing in the workers most academician inherited from Plato and Aristotle a critical view of capitalism and commerce. They viewed the State as the agent for social progress while Greece was over one-half slave, absorbed by repetitive wars, and without public education. Aristotle wrote: “a man who lives the life of a mechanic or laborer cannot pursue the things which belong to excellence.” Plato wrote: “It is important for the state first to keep its trading class as small as possible; second, trade should be made over to a class of people whose corruption will not harm the state unduly.”

The self-development of workers was inconsistent with this Greek tradition, but an awareness of this contradiction did not penetrate the cultural conditioning of most academicians, then or now. This view had a long life because it seemed to confirm for each generation of academicians that they were superior beings. The road to peace and plenty will not be found until the academic community studies economic alternatives and finds the system that maximizes wealth by providing humans the opportunity to reach potential.

CCDC 11/15/2017

Updated on November 16, 2017

November 14, 1995
Diane Dunlap
Dean, Graduate School
Hamline University

Dear Dean Dunlap:

I was very happy to hear about the plans for the “Carey Center” at Hamline University. It has been a source of much frustration to me that business concepts which I have seen working and which I admire have so little visibility in academia.

Ray Carey was Chairman of the Board and CEO of ADT Security Systems Inc. when I joined their Engineering Department in 1973. My specialty was Microwave Transmission Systems, and my previous employers were Bendix Navigation & Control Division and IT&T Avionics Div. Working at ADT was very different from working at either Bendix or IT&T.

ADT had a charter which was taken seriously. We, the employee-associates, were entrusted with a business which we ran for the benefit of the stockholders. We were encouraged and helped to become stockholders through profit sharing. The needs of the employees were recognized as an important benefit to the stockholders, and a “relaxed and purposeful atmosphere” provision was in the charter. The organization was advancement was by merit. There was a real sense of togetherness and common purpose between senior management, mid level management, and associates. At ADT, I didn’t know at first who was union and who was not, which was absolutely incredible after Bendix, where we were not allowed to touch an instrument without being “covered” by a union technician sitting behind the working engineer. At ADT, the union members were part of the team.

My personal history might illustrate how Ray Carey’s management philosophy worked in practice. I started as a consulting engineer with ADT’s corporate headquarters that I was a woman was simply not a factor. Several months later my husband was offered a wonderful job in Chicago. In a two career family tough decisions come up and we decided that the move to Chicago was in the best interest of the family. I explained the situation to my boss at ADT and offered my resignation. Their response was incredible. Although all Engineering was in N.Y.C., I was encouraged to stay with ADT, and work out of a local field office on stand alone consulting projects with monthly debriefings at the Corporate office. I was delighted to accept that offer.

In early 1976, I was called to the Corporate office and offered a position as Regional General Manager for ADT’s field operation in Chicago. The responsibility involved sales, installation and service of alarm systems, a multimillion dollar operation with several hundred employees. Very different from Engineering. Ray Carey explained that he believed that management skills are universal and transferable. Needless to say again, the fact that I was a woman and that all the managers reporting to me would be men did not enter into the conversation.

I enjoyed my seven years as a field general manager. During those years, the “rust belt” that Chicago was in, went through tow major recessions. Mr. Carey instituted a no layoff policy. Yes, we did have an obligation to the stockholders and yes we needed to have the company succeed but not through layoffs. We needed inventive products and excellent service, and our associates were to be re-trained to work with the new products.
There was some concern among outside training consultants whether our very long time employees could be retrained to use the new computer systems, but Mr. Carey insisted they could. He was right. Many of our senior people became the best installers and operators of the new systems.

All through that bleak period of 1979 to 1982, investments in automation, and training continued and there was profit sharing. We did not have layoffs and profits held up.
In 1983 I was promoted to Corporate VP of Engineering at the NYC headquarters. We moved back east.

My experience at ADT was not unique. There were other senior women in management; the General Manager of Holland, a Regional Controller in St. Louis, a Branch manager in California, and others. We had an Afro-American woman selling security systems in Chicago. When she was hired, the prediction was that a woman, and a black woman at that, would have no credibility in this highly technical sales field. She did exceedingly well.

The ADT meritocracy did not serve only women and minorities. When I looked around the table at the Regional General Managers meetings, we were a mixed bunch. There were people with advanced degrees from MIT sitting next to some who did not graduate college. All were promoted purely on the merits of their work.
By 1987 the revenues of ADT had increased fivefold since I had joined the company in 1973. We had a very strong balance sheet and the takeover frenzy was at its height. As they say, the rest is history.

Still, I learned through my youngest son who works for ADT in Minneapolis/St. Paul that despite all the changes and pressures after the takeover, many of the basics installed at ADT remain.
During the years I was in the field at ADT my two older children were going through college. They were at Brown University and University of Michigan where they were given a very negative view of business, with no feeling at all for the contributions that sound business practices bring to a country. I hope that the “Carey Center” would be able to redress that situation, enable students to differentiate between the various business systems, and educate them in the canons of Democratic Capitalism, which worked so well for us.

My personal contribution to help in the “Carey Center” start-up is inclosed.

Selma Rossen





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