Venezuela

Venezuela

In Venezuela experiences of self-management, workers control and co-management of the means of production and services can be found since the historical cooperativism to nowadays. The beginnings are in the early 20th Century. Carlos León, follower of the french Charles Gide, promoted the founding of cooperatives in Venezuela. The cooperative movement was victim of fierce repression. León was imprisoned in 1914 and exiled to Mexico in 1923. In the 1960’s the government as well as leftist organizations promoted cooperatives. read more »

Spectrum, Trajectory and the Role of the State in Workers’ Self-Management

Workers’ self-management and related forms of workers’ control over production is associated with periods of societal transformation. In its most advanced form it presents a challenge to capitalist property relations as part of a revolutionary process. Workers’ Councils, as a form of self-management, have occurred under capitalism but also in Communist command economy states. The relationship between the practice of self-management and the class nature of the state is not, however, straightforward.  read more »

OCCUPY, RESIST AND POSE FOR THE CAMERA

Nationalisations, bailouts, economic stimulus... much has been written about these and other recent events by the corporate media in the Global North and this so-called new wave of “socialism.” Fortunately many have responded that these events are all about saving a failing neoliberal model as opposed to building any alternative. read more »

Venezuela: Class Struggle Heats Up Over Battle for Workers’ Control

On July 22, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez again declared his complete support for the proposal by industrial workers for a new model of production based on workers’ control. This push from Chavez, part of the socialist revolution, aims at transforming Venezuela’s basic industry. However, it faces resistance from within the state bureaucracy and the revolutionary movement. read more »

Vth International Gathering “The Workers’ Economy”

Call for Participation

I. Background

Since 2007, the International Gathering of “The Workers’ Economy” (Encuentro Internacional de “La Economía de los Trabajadores-Trabajadoras”) has taken place every two years. The gatherings have opened up a space for debate and dialogue between workers, social and political activists, academics, and intellectuals concerning the problems and potential of what we have termed “the workers’ economy”—based on self-management and the defence of the rights and interests of the population that lives by their work, within the rubric of today’s conjuncture of global neoliberal capitalism. read more »

Book Review: "Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present"

Ours to Master and to Own is a compilation of articles offering a historical and global overview of workers’ efforts to gain control over their workplaces, the economy, and governance. It is wonderfully organized in both a chronological and thematic logic, from the nineteenth century through the early twenty-first century, while also moving from a general historical overview toward more specific explanations of how worker democracy was implemented and fought in particular cases. read more »

Book Review: "Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present"

The fact that the publisher is Haymarket Publishers indicates that the book under examination is concerned with labor studies. This particular book is an anthology of twenty-two articles by various authors, who specialize in labor movements or the history of workers’ organizations. read more »

A Multiple Socialist Administration Model and Enterprises of Social Property (ESP) in Venezuela - Success, Difficulties, Prospects

For a transition from capitalism to socialism the multiple  socialist administration model is proposed in order to avoid what the author calls the Soviet mode of production, in which, despite the elimination of the private property of the means of production, there still persisted social alienation, a hierarchical social division of labor and thus the exploitation of man by man.  Through Direct Social Property Enterprises (the property of popular communities) and Indirect Social Property Enterprises (state property) articulated in hegemonic integral socio-productive chains and networks and with the participation of forms of private property, including cooperatives, it is possible to advance toward integral sustainable human development. read more »

Cooperatives and the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Venezuela

This article looks at the vibrant cooperative movement within the context of the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Venezuela. While the cooperatives represent one of the most encouraging signs of radical democratic potential in Venezuela, there are conflicting
trajectories within the country that make the future of the “Bolivarian Revolution” unclear. This paper argues that the cooperative movement can only be sustainable and transformative of Venezuelan capitalism if it is integrated into a larger project of
economic democracy.

Full text in English to download as pdf

Praxis, Learning, and New Cooperativism in Venezuela: An Initial Look at Venezuela’s Socialist Production Units

In this paper, I address the question as to the extent to which the participatory and democratic processes taking place as part ofVenezuela's new cooperative movement can be said to be a component for the building of social relations that challenge those of capitalism. I begin with a discussion of praxis and learning. Then, I attempt to situate the role of cooperatives and the participation therein within the context of capitalism. read more »