Worker Self-management

Self-management, Social Reappropriation and the Commons

I would like to start by examining the latter of these three notions, first exploring its meaning in the singular sense. The ‘common’ should be understood as a political principle whereby there is no shared accountability without co-participation in the same activity: simply being a member of a specific group (be it a family, a nation, a certain ethnicity, etc.) is not enough. It is this very principle that inspired the backlash against representative democracy seen amongst movements in recent history that have occupied squares (the Indignés movement as well as the Gezi Park and Taksim Square protests, to name but a few).

The workers’ self-management alternative

Discussions about workers’ control and self-management which were once at the heart of the labour movement are now once again on the agenda, both among British activists and internationally. The network of communists who produce The Commune are the most determined advocates of self-management among the English and Welsh radical left, and have generally found a positive response.  read more »

Who is opposed to self-management and why?

The venture of the self-managed VIOME in Greece has come face to face not only with the enemies of self-management “by nature and by stance”, i.e. the ruling class and the state, but also with the communist and anti-capitalist forces of the left, including the anarchist movement. Despite their differences, these forces seem to agree to the fact that within capitalism, self-management can be nothing more than a kind of workers’ “self-exploitation”, a form of a “collective capitalism”. From this perspective, not only has self-management nothing to offer in the direction of social emancipation,  but –even worse– it “absolves” capitalism of its obligation to create jobs and guarantee the welfare of all workers. read more »

Towards a radical cooperativism against the crisis of imagination: Speech at the Athens Biennale 2015-2017

This session explored four institutions of human economy – alternative currencies, cooperativism, urban welfare and commons – and reflected on how these forms can become permanent and sustainable alternatives. read more »

The leading Greek newspaper that is run by its workers

At the Journalists’ Newspaper in Athens, everyone is paid the same, from the receptionist to the senior reporters, except the editor-in-chief. He works for free and lives off his pension. They don’t argue about salaries because they are also the owners of the paper, which is run as a co-operative, so everyone knows how tight finances are. In return, they get to thrash out front page stories, editorial positions and headlines without even the shadow of interference by a media baron chasing political or financial interest. read more »

Spaces of possibilities: Workers' self-management in Greece

This article focuses on the process of workers’ self-management brought about by a wave of experimentation with alternative organizational forms taking place in Greece since the beginning of the current financial crisis. The discussion is supported by empirical evidence from qualitative fieldwork conducted in three workers’ collectives. read more »

Post-Capitalist Imaginaries: The Case of Workers’ Collectives in Greece

This article focuses on the case of two workers’ collectives in Athens, Greece, and reflects on the transformative potential of entrepreneurial creation. I argue that these social and economic experiments are collective and essentially political. read more »

The Worker-Recovered Enterprises in Argentina: The Political and Socioeconomic Challenges of Self-Management

The worker-recovered enterprises, defined as productive business units abandoneby their owners and put into operation once again btheir workers under self-management, are a relatively new phenomenon i Argentina and, on the whole, in Latin America.  read more »

Self-Management and Requirements for Social Property: Lessons from Yugoslavia

Problems with transitions in Eastern Europe have focused attention on alternatives to both central-planning and unregulated markets. Naive enthusiasm for the market has already begun to wane in the face of growing economic chaos and inequality, precipitating a search for more humane and stable forms of organization. Theoretically and in practice, worker self-management is being advocated as a system able to produce efficiently and at the same time distribute goods and power equitably.
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