Wolff, co-ops and socialism

June 2022 Forums General discussion Wolff, co-ops and socialism

Viewing 14 posts - 76 through 89 (of 89 total)
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  • #219694
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    I think being foremost a union, the IWW will always have to prioritise current class struggle with their revolutionary aspirations. They have evolved and modified their tactics over the course of their existence and still have internal debates on how to operate within changing industrial relation laws

    A few years ago there was a controversy within IWW when a branch promoted the co-op alternative

    https://libcom.org/blog/co-operatives-capitalism-iww-18022012

    But there are still members who seek to remind other Wobblies of their grand goal.

    https://socialismoryourmoneyback.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-iww-and-abolition-of-wages.html

    #219877
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster
    #220520
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    John Lewis, an employee-owned partnership, often praised by proponents of co-ops found to be paying staff below the legal minimum wage.

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/aug/05/john-lewis-named-in-government-list-of-firms-paying-below-minimum-wage

    They dispute it, calling it a technicality

    “Our average minimum hourly pay has never been below the national minimum wage and is currently 15% above it.”

    Even if true, I find hovering just above the minimum wage-level not a good defence

    #225701
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Another WSM post that may be of use for those who become engaged in online exchanges about Mondragon and cooperatives

    Not the best exposition but I think sufficient to portray co-ops weaknesses.

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/wsm/2022/01/19/capitalism-co-opts-co-ops/

    #225708
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Co-op restaurants, having your cake and eating it?

    Serving More Than Food: Restaurant Co-Ops Put Economic Justice on the Table

    #225870
    ZJW
    Participant

    I know little about Lassalleanism (especially after Lassalle’s death, in the Lassallean party, the ADAV, under Schweitzer) and even less about Wolfism.

    Question: What are the similarities/differences? I mean on the subject of cooperatives and their replacement of capitalism.

    Or more specifically:

    1) for Wolfism, how is the society-of-cooperatives to come about? (Presumably not through state-aid brought about through working-class universal suffrage, as with Lassalleanism.)

    2) With Lassalleanism, is the final goal also producer cooperatives producing for the market (as I gather it is with Wolfism)? Or something more socialist than that?

    #229043
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Some may find this essay on Wolff and his WSDEs a useful link

    https://www.worldsocialism.org/wsm/2022/04/27/a-wolff-in-sheeps-clothing/

    #229736
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    An article on co-ops in Argentina

    Employee-run Companies, Part of the Landscape of an Argentina in Crisis

    “All we ever wanted was to keep working…”

    #229740

    Factories run by workers in Argentina is nothing new, It has been done several times, and all the work places have been run as capitalists enterprises and when the factories started to produce profits the government along with the capitalists of Argentina have passed law to take them over again.

    I do not know what kind of Marxism has Richard Wolff being reading, probably, he has been reading Robert Owen ( utopian socialists ) instead of Karl Marx, the problem is not capitalist management, the problem starts at the point of productions, all these theoreticians created more concussions than clarification

    #230370
    alanjjohnstone
    Keymaster

    Wolff on anti-inflation policies

    There Are Better Ways for Societies to Address Inflation Than by Hiking Interest Rates

    “…The solution to that inherent contradiction of capitalism is surely not an endless series of oscillations between private and public control. That is what has failed in the capitalist system. Rather, the alternative solution that beckons is system change, putting all the workers in democratic control of the enterprises (instead of a tiny separate class of employers). A system based on a democratized workplace community interdependent with a democratized residential community offers a much better way to prevent and not merely “manage” inflations and recessions.”

    #230394
    ALB
    Keymaster

    He doesn’t tell us how inflation will be prevented in his workers’ co-op market economy. As a market economy there will still be money, but who will control the money supply? The workers coop running the Federal Reserve perhaps.

    He blames profit-seeking private enterprises for causing inflation by raising prices, but wouldn’t his workers coops producing for the market also have an incentive to charge what the market will bear?

    #230565

    He calls himself a Marxist, but I do not know what kind of marxian principles he has learned or studied. He is closer to Robert Owen than to Karl Marx

    #230582
    sshenfield
    Participant

    Let me try to clear up some confusion over ‘communes.’ The word has been used to refer to several quite different things.

    First, there was the age-old village commune that still existed in Russia in Marx’s time. Land was controlled by the community but not farmed collectively. It was redistributed regularly among families depending on their size. They could use ‘their’ land but not sell, bequeath or otherwise dispose of it. Some Russian socialists thought the village commune could be a basis for socialism and Marx did not rule out the possibility (his correspondence with Vera Zasulich). This sort of commune existed in many other countries. After the Mexican revolution the indigenous commune was reconstituted in modernized form as the ‘ejido.’

    In China, during the so-called Great Leap Forward of 1959-61, ‘people’s communes’ existed temporarily as very large collective farms, although in the so-called ‘communist’ countries ‘collective farms’ were only formally owned and controlled by a collective that elected its own chairman. In reality they were owned and controlled by the state as a means of extracting surplus from the peasantry, just as ‘state farms’ were.

    In the West a ‘commune’ may be a collective farm (in the real sense) or just a bunch of people who live together and share living expenses.

    #230585

    That letter has been used as a pretext by the left-wingers and the Marxist Humanists to indicate that capitalism can be skipped toward socialism, and it sound like the permanent revolution of Leon Trotsky, now they call it revolution in permanence. There are many communes in Mexico and Bolivia, and in Venezuela the Quakers are working with the natives to create communes, and they call them socialists communes and they are saying that they are socialists

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