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(en) anarkismo.net: Labor and social self-management / Martin Bubber by Giorgos Meriziotis

Date Tue, 27 Feb 2018 08:50:13 +0200

In light of the small "labor and social self-management experiments" that have taken place recently in Greece, as well as the so-called "social and solidarity economy" promoted by today's left-wing government, we publish our own constructive criticism and a text / study by Martin Bubber on Labor and Social Self-Management Experiments in the 19th Century * to find out how and why these experiments either failed or dissipated or assimilated from the capitalist system. ---- Circus. Joan Miró. 1934 ---- Experiences of Labor and Social Self-Management ---- (From the failed past to the successful future?) ---- Prologue ---- 1. From the failed past to the successful future? ---- In Greece and today, the situation reminds a bit of PASOK's first PASOK rule in 1981, where it promoted the so-called socialization of troubled "bankrupt" private companies, such as Sophetx, Skaramagas, etc. PASOK promoted the "tripartite economy "Or the" third way to socialism "as it called it, ie the private, state and social economy, because it was contrary to nationalization - nationalization of sectors of the economy, which was promoted by the domestic Marxists of all tendencies.

Naturally socialization and falsified self-management by the workers of socialized businesses end up later went by walk, but how and why this attempt was wrecked is not in the intentions of this text, without this meaning that it does not need an analysis and study - in-depth - for that period.

With what we write, we do not want to despair the struggles and experiments that have taken place in the past or today in this direction, but - as anarchists and with particular interest in these issues - we want to criticize with the criticism and the necessary reflection to draw useful conclusions for the race.

2. Urban influences on the "subversive" - competitive movement

I. In our era of minimalist modernity, everything seems new, capitalism creates a fake image of itself wants and always imagines a new one, in our time it succeeds through the renewal of technology / innovation in this field are now happening any revolutions ... I write about the "Premiere for a world story of dishonesty" ... Capitalism is like Oscar Wilde's novel "The Doctor Gray's Portrait". Capitalism is turning away from the past and fears the future, wants to imagine as a new eternal child - a teenager who does not age and is constantly renewed, hence in his everyday life he excites and distorts time into a constant present in one now, .

What happened as a historical (let alone class) memory and what will happen or could prospectively happen is secondary to capitalism and to the extent that it manipulates social and individual time manipulates us all. Capitalism fears death, namely its decline and overthrow. Capitalism wants to look like a new child-teen, the bourgeoisie always want to hide the fact that capitalism and the state, among other things, come from very old age, is an ancient rust ... "(1)

Thus, a large part of the subversive-competitive movement - or what it wants to be called - has become entangled - and many unrepresented and ignorant people have stung the neocapitalism story about modernity, and when you ask them that some of these issues we are busy today and are not new and have been concerned and previous generations of rebels give you the following answer (typical recent online dialogue with a man of this mentality):
You say: "I do not think tomorrow is something that history should help us deal with ... "

I answer:" ... Obviously you and many other new (not only age-old) anti-authoritarian, anarchist, libertarians are writing this to your old shoe:
"... A movement that ignores or discards the social and class history, but also its history, does nothing but to be constantly on the island of the lofotens ..." (GM)

Or even better this:

"His struggle man against power is the struggle of memory against oblivion "(Milan Kundera). Expand and say that: the loss of class memory is - it was one of the constant aspirations of the superiors and pretty much they did.
Now if the story does not repeat itself, or it makes circles or is linear, if there is a constant evolution in human societies, my friend, there is a small evolution and an evolution, a step back but you - you who write in the soles of your old shoes story to see?

A little about the usefulness of the story in order not to be accused of historicism.

Our history needs us not to repeat mistakes omissions and shortcomings of the past in today, without sacrificing neither the past in the present nor the present in the past. Let us draw useful conclusions from the world revolutionary experience because the compromises and half the revolutions of the past have determined and haunted today.
II. Coming to today we say:

{...} Under the conditions of capitalist barbarity we only live in the creation of a movement from the base, that is to say from the social, labor and municipal space, to a rupture and overthrow of the institutions and processes of the capitalist order, issues of overcoming these conditions.

Through the procedures of general assemblies and the revived representation for the joint functioning of social life, creating and proposing to society processes and instruments that will open it in conditions of restored freedom, destroying the centralization of the state and the urbanization of the cities. Against the economy for economy and consumption for consumption, turning work from wage slavery into creative action and creating the conditions that allow understanding and cooperation with nature.

In this direction, it is necessary to create libertarian associations of action (neighborhood councils, local committees, collaborative actions, autonomous trade unions, cultural hubs, work councils, youth and student clubs, ecological groups and organizations, ecosciences etc.) that can be transformed in organs of deconstruction of state and party control and rupture with the existing situation.

These deconstruction instruments, in horizontal interconnection, cooperation and coordination, both for their own, local, and for their general problems and interests, must involve separate from the partial and total issue of overturning through the connection of everyday life with the actual problems that this society of exploitation, oppression and contamination creates, in a process inextricably linked to the whole rupture and overthrow of capitalist society.
Finally, these self-contradictions create their own model of life, their own "inner" life with their own human relationships that are against alienation and alienation, where each fighter, and each oppressed person, will He must find warmth, understanding, love, warmth and solidarity. These self-governments, these collective organizations can and should be our "anti-society", the model for the transition to the new social life. {...}

{...} Even if we wanted to, it is impossible to describe, prescribe or predefine in their details the form and content of the social regeneration that social self-management will bring at all levels. Without that, it does not mean that we do not let imagination and imagination be envisioned and designed.

Nothing can be predetermined-trapped in deadly strokes and militant deeds, the orgasm and the wealth of life in the non-class society, in a society in which life acquires meaning and content, in a society that man as a person becomes important and meaning. In this way, the question of overcoming and transitioning into these new conditions excludes any sense of legitimate certainty, since the liberation of the oppressed-exploiters of the present era is a work of their own.

Besides, design under the guise of scientificity is a fanny, ". The invocation of science instead of the invocation of the people restores, echoing, those old pages of Bakunin about the sleeping, the happy children of the bourgeoisie, the diplomats, who, as he says, "devote themselves exclusively to studying the great problems of philosophy, of social and political science - and they are working on theories that ultimately have no purpose other than to show the ultimate incompetence of the working and grassroots masses. "

It is not historically confirmed that the oppressed exploitants of the present age will follow one way or the other. What, however, can be said with certainty is that without this broad massive libertarian, anti-partisan, counter-organizing organizations, without popular counter-institutions, without consistency of theory and action, this struggle can not be achieved. Or that will be a liberating struggle or it will not be! Since there can be no libertarian-anti-communist society without libertarian-anti-authoritarianism, and since these are only created by rational discussion and understanding of the struggles, those who are already confronted with state and class sovereignty must support and help positively and practically these processes and the games.

The struggle for a society towards the more human, that is, without humanity and human dominance, will be lasting and multiform. It will not only be a struggle to improve the standard of living but also a struggle to change our consciousness and our way of thinking. A struggle that is not only about changing the "social basis" (economy, production relationship), the Marxist theory, but also the "superstructure" (civilization, social relations), challenging and overthrowing its state and cultural model capitalism and the state. {...} (2)

(3) and the islands of non-exploitative relations within the capitalist world that promote a piece of the "subversive" movement (4a) are not the precursors of a rapidly expanding new but heterotopias, whose very existence and meaning depend on the continued dominance of capitalism all around them. The necessity of the social revolution as a first step towards the establishment of a communist self-directed (5) libertarian mode of production reverses the temporal sequence of the previous mode of production, bourgeois or bourgeois, in which productive relations have changed before political relations changed or changed institutions).

Returning to the subject of the new and old, (6) a young comrade in a meeting said: "let me say something new," and I said with pleasure that: "after the Big Bang - Big Bang, the universe is - it's finite because time began to count. "But let's leave the jokes and let's see why all the experiments of labor and social self-management since the 19th century failed or assimilated from the system, when these issues were concerned a large part of it rgatikis class in movement terms.

Finally, as far as the so-called "parallel social and solidarity economy" is concerned, there is, of course, the capitalism of alternative movements, and if you think they are new, just look - as I foretold - in the twilight of the 19th and early 20th centuries to see the hundreds producer-consumer cooperatives and how they were assimilated by the system, last few remnants were some of the kibbutz in Israel.

Giorgos Meriziotis

1) The whole text here: Preamble for a universal history of dishonesty
2) Extract from the "Handbook of Historicity of Speech and Action. Synopsis of social anarchism "
3) On Friday July 17, 2015, a news item was given that gives the opportunity to comment: "The reopening of the autumn of the Naoussa, Marnea and Komotini spinning of the former Lanara Group, which has been inactive for more than three years, announced the Secretary General of Industry of the Ministry Production Reconstruction by Yannis Tolios. He said a cooperative reopening plan was being prepared by joining the new corporate scheme to create workers and the banking sector, with a capital of 10 million euros to be provided by the National Bank.
However, it has not yet been clarified whether the new scheme will take the form of a social cooperative or the Commonwealth of Independent States. According to the Secretary General of the ministry, "the debt regulation has been very high and has been secured". These are debts to employees, to IKA and to third parties totaling 250 million euros. "It is urgent to see capital participation with a co-operative scheme of the workers themselves that some of the employees owed to get them back payment. Part of them will participate in the chapter and a part, unfortunately, will be lost, "said Mr Tolios. (The program remains with the current government).
Commentary: This is a new scenario that employees have to reject. It will not only solve the survival problems faced by EN-CLO's redundancies, but also contribute to their disorientation, along with the final loss of their due to them. We will repeat it, even if it sounds like a "wooden tongue". Socialist self-governing islands can not exist under capitalist conditions. "Cooperative experiments" and in our country have - at least as a duration in time - fail! And it is necessary to look at two issues (apart from the failure of the cooperative productive-consumer movement in the 19th century).
(a) why self-management in former Yugoslavia, Algeria and so on has failed,
b) the differences and similarities between this self-management and self-management.
4a) Some time ago, the employees of BIOMME proceeded to the occupation and operation of the closed factory that worked, because for them / their class brothers, in these socio-economic conditions since we are a matter of substantial survival, we are with them solidarity, the "experiment "Has many positive elements on the issue of self-management, but if it is not generalized and unrelated to the overall social-class movement, it is in danger of being assimilated like similar" experiments "in Argentina pochi discretion.
Capitalism has powerful assimilation weapons because it continues and perpetuates this: "... From the emergence of the power-hierarchical systems and the state as the force of enforcing the will of the few, the oligarchs perceive and organize social life" by image and likeness " of themselves. They perceive the world, and thus life, uniquely, one-dimensionally and uniformly, therefore, sovereignly.
For this reason, where a different manifestation and organization of social life appears, sovereignty tends to suppress it. And when it is not enough, the repression attempts to assimilate it and accept it insofar as it manages to reproduce itself within it ... "(see note 2). With what we say, we do not want to despise the struggles that are taking place in this direction, but with our criticism we want to draw the attention and the necessary reflection to draw useful conclusions about the struggle.
4b) To update the text, see this: The social and solidarity economy is pushing ... Gazi
5) What are the basic principles of self-management?
We will briefly mention them:
Self-management means by definition self-determination. It excludes the direction of others, the dominance of man over man. It excludes not only the state's permanent legal authority with repressive institutions, but also demands the abolition of the state principle by unofficial associations of the people: from trade unions, from workplaces and from the myriad clusters and relations that constitute society .
Self-management, by definition, is the idea that workers (all workers, including technicians, engineers, scientists, developers, coordinators, all) who are engaged in the production of goods and services can themselves run and to effectively coordinate the economic life of society.

This belief is based on three inseparable principles:
a) belief in the creative ability of the masses, in the "common man", and not in an aristocratic class of "superior" people.
b) autonomy (self-government),
c) decentralization and co-ordination, with the federalism's free agreement.

For more insight into the subject, see the tribute:
Self-direction and hierarchy Self- governing
society and its enemies
Community Control, Labor Inspection and Cooperative Commonwealth
What is Communalism? The democratic dimension of anarchism
6) For the new and old see this: Their democracy, modernity and political lie

3. Labor and social self-management experiments of the 19th century *

Martin Bubber

With the same oversimplification as the first socialist "utopian", the people named the two great waves of the cooperative movement that upset the largest part of the working class in England and France in the 1830s and 1848 "romantically" absolutely unjustifiably, since the word means daydreaming and unrealistic view. These waves were an expression of the deep crises that accompanied the mechanization of the modern economy, as were the political movements themselves: Papermanship in England and the two revolutions in France. But, as opposed to the political movements that wanted to change the entire hierarchy of power, the cooperative movements wanted to start with the creation of social reality,

They were accused of overriding the role of man in the desired transformation and underestimated the role of circumstances, but you can not measure the potential of man in a given situation that must change, except if the demands are excellent. The "heroic" forms of the cooperative movement have demanded from their members a belief and self-sacrifice which, at least in the long run, was impossible for them to have but this does not at all prove that faith and self-sacrifice, which exist during the extraordinary moments of political turmoil, to have a satisfactory degree in everyday economic life.
It is easy to ridicule and say that the founders of the heroic cooperative movements "put the ideal man in place of the real man"; but the "real" man very much approaches the "ideal" equally when he is expected to fulfill tasks that overtake him, or who thinks that they are beyond it is not only true. for the person that he "is taken to the height of his superior pursuits". And finally, it depends on the purpose, the awareness and the will to achieve it.

The heroic era of the modern cooperative aimed at transforming society, the era of technology is essentially aimed at the economic success of each separate cooperative venture. The first failed, but this does not condemn the cause, nor the way to the latter has to show great successes, but they do not seem to be stages on the way to the end. A supporter of the bureaucratic cooperative movement says the following about his beginnings: "Let us especially admire the humble and loyal souls guided by the lighted torch of social beliefs ... But let us acknowledge that heroism is not by itself a mental state suitable for to bring economic results ". Actually,

With regard to the three main types of cooperative (apart from credit cooperatives), namely consumer cooperatives, productive cooperatives and general cooperatives based on the union of production and consumption, let us give a few dates from the two seasons of the movement. 1830: In 1827, the first English consumer cooperative was established in the modern sense under the influence of Dr. William Qing in 1832 set up the first French productive cooperative according to Buzez's plans; in the middle, were Owen's experimental "colonies" and his followers: the American experiment and the experiments of England?

Era of 1848: first the consumer cooperative of Rohden's weavers, then the "national workshops" of Louis Blan and such, finally, as a parody, the comic-tragic "Ikaria" of Cambe (which was genuinely utopian in the negative sense, with absolute ignorance of people) on the Mississippi banks. We will say about these attempts to make "utopian" socialism only what is needed for the purposes of our book.

King and Bushez were doctors and, unlike Owen-who had set war on religion as his primary purpose-were faithful Christians, Protestant and Catholic. This has its meaning. For Owen, socialism was the fruit of reason, for King and Busez was the realization of the teachings of Christianity in the sphere of public life. Both, as Bushez says, felt that the time had come "to create social institutions from the teachings of Christianity." This basic religious feeling profoundly influenced the overall view of both, and King, who liked the Quakers and collaborated with them, influenced the tone of his words: everywhere we feel the tangible, direct, profound care for his fellow humans, for life and their soul.

They justifiably named King in his time - before falling into oblivion - the first and greatest English theorist of the cooperative movement. But beyond and above that the charisma had to speak simply and to show to everyone the essential nature of the things that he was talking about. In the entire co-operative secretariat, I do not know of a text that gives the impression of the "popular" and "classic" of the twenty-eight issues of The Co-operator magazine, written and edited by King in the years 1828-1832 to educate those who spread their ideas. He had a depth and clarity of social perception that had no other touch, except for the more scientific but more abstract, William Thompson. It starts from the job, "the root of the tree, regardless of the height at which it will eventually reach".

The job is "in this respect everything". The working class "monopolizes this good". No power on earth can take it because all powers are "the only power to direct the work of the working class." The workers are missing capital, that is, machines and the ability to be maintained as machines work. But "all capital is created by labor" and it is "nothing in itself". To be productive, it must be united with work. This union is now achieved, the chapter "buys and sells the worker as an animal".

True union, "the physical alliance", can only come from the working class itself - but the working class does not know it. Its only hope of succeeding is to unite the workers, to co-operate, to create joint capital, to become independent. King is passionately expressing the thought Thomson had already said before him, that cooperative is the form of production that suits the work. "As soon as the workers unite on the basis of the principle of labor rather than the beginning of capital, they will sweep everything ... and it is a pity, because the dust will also blind some bosses." If the workers unite, they will acquire the tools they need - the machinery - and they will become, in their cooperatives, the same subject of production. But they can also get land. King clearly states that he considers consumer cooperatives only a start, that his goal, like that of Thompson, is the general cooperative. Once he has enough capital, the cooperative "company will be able to buy land, live in it, cultivate it and produce what it loves, so that it covers all the nutrition, clothing and housing needs of its members . Then the company will be called a community. "

King asks the unions to buy their land with their economies and settle their unemployed members, creating communities that will mainly produce to meet their needs. These communities will embrace not only the special interests and functions of their members but also their lives insofar as they want and can live together. But the community of life, even if it can only be fully realized in the general cooperative, could potentially already exist in the relations between members of the consumer cooperative. King has in his mind not a faceless faceless solidarity, but a personal relationship, generally latent and yet ready to manifest at all times, a "sympathy that will gain new energy and eventually become enthusiastic." Therefore,
The basic law of the cooperative means, for King, the establishment of genuine relationships between people. "When a person enters a cooperative society, he acquires a new relationship with his fellow human beings - and this relationship is immediately ratified morally and religiously." Of course, this ideal, this "heroic" demand was not respected in the years to come, when the members of the cooperative grew and the cooperative was bruised and bureaucratised; but if we see things from the perspective of the restructuring of society, this is precisely the cause the inadequacy of "individual" cooperatives.

When William King stopped publishing his magazine in 1830, three hundred companies had already been created under the influence of his teaching. For the most part, these were short-lived, because the "selfish spirit" prevailed within them, as one of their leaders said at the 1832 conference. The crucial stage of consumer-based cooperatives began in 1844 when the severe industrial crisis that hit once again in England shortly after the loss of a strike, a small group of weavers and representatives of other branches met at Rohdale and wondered: "What do we do to escape from misery?" Several thought that everyone should try alone u luck - and indeed this is true in all situations, because without it, nothing can ever succeed; only one must know that it is just a piece of what must be done, but an important part. And because they did not know this, they offered to give up the pleasures of alcohol, and of course they did not convince their comrades. (How important, however, it seemed to be the proposal we can see from the fact that, later, in the statute of "Equal Pioneers of Rohdenel", the construction of a hotel Abstinence from alcohol was mentioned on the company's agenda.

Again, there were some members of the paper movement that aimed to change the constitution and take power, who proposed to take political action in order for the Labor to conquer what they needed from legislative power - but the movement had begun declining and they had learned that, although the political struggle is necessary, it is not enough. Some Owen fans who were present proclaimed that there was no longer any hope for them in England and that they had to emigrate and set up a new life abroad (probably thinking about new experimental colonies in America); but it was also rejected because the dominant sense was: "to do" means to do here, means not to put it on the feet in the face of the crisis, but to endure it with as much power as we can. This power was small, and yet some witches, familiar with William King's teachings, indicated that if they were all together, they would probably create a force with which they could do something. So, they decided to "co-operate".

The duties assigned to her by the company were very high, but we should not impute the authors of the charter statutes. Tasks were classified in three stages. The first, consumer cooperative, was considered to be organized immediately. The second, the productive cooperative, which would include building houses for members, jointly producing goods and jointly farming fields from unemployed comrades, was also a perspective of the not too distant, though not the immediate future.

The third stage, the cooperative colony, was even more distant, because of the term "as soon as possible": "as soon as possible, the company will proceed with the resolution of production, distribution, education and governance powers - or, in other words, set up a self-sufficient colony of common interests, or help other companies set up similar colonies. " It is amazing how the practical intuition of Rohden's weavers caught the three essential areas of the cooperative. In the first field, the consumer cooperative, their simple and effective methods (for example, the distribution of profits to the members according to the relative volume of their markets proved to be particularly successful) marked a new path. In the field of production, they have made several advances with increasing success, especially in the grinding of cereals,

Only half of the workers were members of the company, and therefore shareholders, and that they immediately applied the principle of rewarding work with salary but distributing profits exclusively among the shareholders, "entrepreneurs and business owners", as observed in his monograph on the Leaders, the important co-operative Victor Amee Hyber, who repeatedly visited Rohdeel in his first steps. They did not, however, reach the third, the largest and most decisive task: the realization of the cooperative colony based on the combination of production and consumption.

It is worthwhile to pay attention to an element of the Rohdaten cooperative. The co-operative cooperatives, the cooperation of the various cooperative groups and institutions, which the "Pioneers" themselves attempted and later extended to others. "The principle of federalism," says Romanian researcher Mladenic in his work The History of Cooperative Theories, apparently based on Proudhon, "derives naturally from the idea that forms the foundation of the cooperative system.
Just as the cooperative company unites people to jointly meet certain needs, the various cooperative cells unite with each other by applying the principle of solidarity to jointly perform certain functions, especially production and supply. " Here again we find the basic principle of restructuring, although, of course, consumer associations as such, ie cooperatives that only combine certain people's interests but not people's lives, do not seem suitable to serve as cells of a new social structure.

The modern consumer cooperative, which has become an important reality in the economic life of our time, derives from the ideas of "utopian" socialism. William King's plans have a clear tendency to reach the great socialist reality through the creation of small socialist realities that are constantly expanding and federating. But King acknowledged at the same time, and clearly, the nature of the technological revolution that had begun in his day. He recognized the key importance of the machine and approved it; he rejected all the attacks on the machines and described them as "madness and crime".

But he also acknowledged that the inventors, who are themselves workers, destroy with their "marvelous inventions" themselves and their comrades, because "selling these inventors to their bosses works against them instead of keeping them in the hands and exploit them by working for them themselves. " That is why, of course, it is necessary for co-workers to work in companies. "Workers have the ingenuity to make all the machines of the world, but they still do not have the ingenuity to get them to work on their behalf. It should not be long to awaken within them and this second ingenuity. " Consequently, the cooperative organization of consumption is, for King, only one step towards the cooperative organization of production,

In the first hundred years of his life, the consumer co-operative conquered a large part of the civilized world, but without fulfilling hitherto King's hopes for his internal development. Consumers may, in many places, and sometimes to a large extent, have turned to production for their needs, and there is, as Fritz Naphtali rightly points out, a tendency to penetrate increasingly into production and to lead it in the direction of 'Basic' production. But we have not come any closer to an organic alliance of production and consumption in a comprehensive Community form, although we have already noted examples of large consumer companies - or groups of companies for individual productive sectors - organized into productive cooperatives,

Similarly, the confederation of local companies has maintained a genuine federal character, even when their association has taken place on a large scale - in these cases, small companies, as reported for some decades, have been mainly transformed from independent outlets social solidarity in simple institutions with members, and their stores in simple branches of the overall organization. The technological advantages of such a concentration are obvious; the bad thing is that there was no authority to try to save as much autonomy of individual companies as was compatible with technological requirements, although people tried in some cases - in Switzerland, for example - to compensate with a planned decentralization the gradual loss of "soul" and the essence of companies.

But for the most part, the operation of large cooperative societies is more and more akin to the operation of capitalist institutions, and the bureaucratic authority has in many cases purged the voluntary principle, which was once considered the most valuable and indispensable property of the cooperative movement . This is particularly clear in countries where consumer companies have increasingly collaborated with the state and the municipalities, and Charles Zid did not fall far short when he reminded us of the wolf legend that was disguised as a stomach and expressed the fear that instead of doing the state "cooperative", we will only succeed in making the partnership "state". Because the spirit of solidarity can truly remain alive only if there is a lively relationship between people.

Tainis considered that when they moved to the joint market and then to production for their needs, consumer companies would "lay the foundations of an economic organization that would openly oppose the existing social order" and that in theory "the capitalist world, as a result of which, would be dismantled. " But "theory" can never be realized as life forms of capitalism permeate cooperative activity.

Busez, who came shortly after King and designed and inspired the founding of productive cooperatives in France, is also a deeply "utopian" socialist. "The communist reform that circulates everywhere in the atmosphere," writes in his magazine "L 'Europeén" in 1831, "must be supplemented by the union of workers". For Busez - who, though Catholic, attended the school of Saint-Simone where he liked the radical socialist Bazar - production is everything and the organization of consumption, not even a stage. In his view, the productive cooperative-and, having less understanding of technological developments than King, means manual workers rather than modern industrial workers-leads directly to the socialist order of things. "The workers of a branch unite, put down their economies,

A small industrial community: here, Busees approaches King's idea that a company aspires to become a community but only prematurely attributes this character to the productive cooperative as such while King, with his deepest intuition, saw such a possibility only for him total cooperative. Buzez concludes in the simple, very simple wording: "Let all the workers do this, and the social problem will be solved." He knew very well that this did not solve the great problem of land ownership, and for this he devised the additional slogan: "Land to farmers, factory to workers" without properly and thoroughly understanding the problem of social reform of agriculture - did not understand the problem of the creation of the entire cooperative, the major problem of the rebuilding of society,

On the other hand, Bouzez clearly distinguished most of the dangers that threaten the socialist character of the productive cooperative from the inside, and especially the ever-increasing diversification within the cooperative in its early stages between the comrades who founded it and the workers they came after a differentiation that puts it in the cooperative, although strongly advocates socialism, the indisputable seal of its integration into the capitalist order of things.

To eliminate this risk, Buzez received two countermeasures in the modified program he published after his first practical experiences in 1831: first, the "social capital" that will increase each time with the addition of one fifth of his profits will remain inexpensive property of the company, which is declared unresolved and is constantly strengthened by acquiring new members and secondly, the company will not hire external workers as employees for more than one year, and then will be obliged to she has new partners according to her requirements (in a standard contract published in 1840 in the L 'Atelier newspaper, the year was limited to a trial period of three months). For the first of these points, Buzez says that, if we abandon this chapter,

As has been rightly said, this program aimed at creating a capital that would eventually absorb the "industrial capital of the whole country and thus expropriate all productive means through labor cooperatives." We also find this "utopian" element here; but what, ultimately, is more practical: to try to create social reality through social reality, with its rights to be preserved and expanded by political means, or to are you trying to create it only with the magic wand of politics?

As a matter of course, the two companies that were founded under the influence of Bouzeg have very little respected these two rules, and after twenty years the basic principle of indivisible capital has been challenged so that those who have been faithful to them have been forced to give a tough and fruitless battle, as well as the basic principle under which property conditions would change and capital would come under the sovereignty of labor - a basic principle that had to be supported if the cooperative wanted to benefit the whole working class century not only "the lucky few founders who, thanks to this, had become rentiers rather than employees." And right at that time, in 1852, we read about similar experiences in England in a report by the Society on the Promotion of Labor Cooperatives.

But from all this, from the similar experiences of the Middle Ages and from similar experiences in the history of consumer companies, the only conclusion we can draw is that the internal problems of cooperatives and the dominance of the capitalist basic principle that still prevails within them , can be overcome only gradually and only through and within the entire cooperative.

Luis Blanc may have been influenced by Buseaz's thought, but he differs from him in essential points. At the same time, the important thing is not that, as Lassal later did for his working and productive cooperatives, he asked for state help for the "social workshops" he wanted to establish, since "what is missing from the proletariat to be released is the tools, and it is the government's job to give it to him. " This was, of course, a great mistake, a contradiction in the terms we would say, since a government representing a certain state order of things can not be forced to create institutions designed to abolish this order of things (as Blanlan explicitly said).

Therefore, logically, the anti-socialist majority of the interim government of 1848 replaced Bull's plan first with a caricature and then destroyed even that caricature - but with regard to the nature of the social reform he was planning, this Blaan claim was not absolutely necessary. More important is the fact that Blanco's social program was centralized: he wanted every big industry to be formed as a single association centered on a central lab.

He wanted a lot of blame at the root of the "cowardly and brutal basic principle" of competition, as he called it once in a speech to the National Assembly - that is, to prevent the emergence of collective competition in the place of private competition. And this is, in addition to internal diversification, the main risk that threatens the productive cooperative. A good example of this widely spread risk is given by a letter written long ago by a leader of the Christian-Socialist Cooperative Movement in England, in which he says about the productive cooperatives that founded this movement that "they were pushing for a completely mercurial competitive spirit" and " they were only aimed at a more successful competition than in the present system. "

This risk was recognized by Buzez and his supporters - but they refused to fight him with monopolies, which considered them even more dangerous, because monopoly meant for them paralysis, the end of all organic development. According to their proposals, competition between cooperatives should rather be organized and regulated by a union of the cooperatives themselves. Here, free federation opposes the planned merger. But we must acknowledge that this federal idea is constantly appearing in Blanch and breaking the crowd of centralization, especially after the failure of his state plan. It slightly amends Bouchez's plan for the reserve fund,

But as soon as the state plan for free cooperatives moves forward, the only way it sees to achieve its goal is to federate from existing cooperatives; they have to get together and set up a central committee; which will organize throughout the country "the most important recruitment of all: the recruitment that will eliminate the proletariat". These words are mediocre between the wonderful and the ridiculous - but the call to the proletariat to self-abolish through co-operation implies a certain practical gravity which is of great importance for the immediate next period. And by the end of 1849, we see Blaan approving the Union of Brotherhood Cooperatives,

Everywhere in Blaan we come across thoughts that belong to the living tradition and to the "utopian" socialism. He sees the productive cooperative as a whole cooperative in the future, just as King was seeing the consumer cooperative merged into the whole; and in this respect, just as the Union of Brotherhood Cooperatives, whom he praised, was aiming to establish, as a federation, agrarian and industrial colonies "on a large scale, so he aimed to create community colonies on the territory of the national territory. Its starting point is the technological necessity for large-scale enterprises: "We need to launch a large-scale farming system for agriculture by linking them to union and joint ownership" and wants, if possible, to transplant industry to the countryside and to "marry industrial and rural work". And here he announces Kropotkin's idea of "sharing work in time" for the union of agriculture, industry and craft professions in a modern rural community.

Despite the rapid repression of the cooperative federations by the reaction, many new productive cooperatives were created in France in the years to come; as doctors and pharmacists were united on a cooperative basis (obviously, in these cases, genuine producer cooperatives could not be said, since here was no ground for working together). The enthusiasm for cooperatives lived much longer than the Revolution. Even the persecution and dissolution of many cooperatives after the coup d'état[of Louis Bonaparte in 1851]failed to tame the movement.

The real danger that threatened them was, as in England, from the inside: their capitalisation, their gradual transformation into capitalist or semi-capitalist companies. Forty years after the enthusiastic attempts of the British Christian-Socialists to create a broad network of workers-productive cooperatives, which "rejected any idea of competition between them as inadequate with the true form of society," beginning in 1850, Beatrice Weber stated that, with the exception of a few cooperatives that had remained very loyal to the ideal of the "brotherhood of the workers" - which, however, became questionable for the most part - all the others "have an amazing variety of excellence government, plutocracy and monarchist statutes. " And fifty years after Louis Blair, a completely productive (in this respect) productive cooperative in France was created, the actors of the spectacle, who, apart from the few partners and about the same number of supporters, employed ten times as many employees. Yet, we can find everywhere perfect examples of the internal struggle for socialism. Sometimes they have something tragic, but also something prophetic.

The productive cooperative was rightly named "the child of sorrows and the beloved" of all those "waiting for the cooperative movement to create something essential for the salvation of mankind"; but we can easily understand from the facts why an advocate of consumer cooperative societies the productive cooperatives working for the free market "completely anti-socialist in spirit and substance" because "producers, starting something on their own and on their behalf, strap and in all circumstances have been divided, individualistic or mikrofatriastika interests. " Beyond, however, from the exaggeration inherent in such an assurance, productive cooperatives should never "start something on their own and on their own."

The development of the consumer cooperative follows the straight line of numerical growth; a large percentage of civilized people (except America, which is remarkable) is currently organized in terms of consumption on a cooperative basis. On the other hand, the development of productive cooperatives (and I speak here only for the productive cooperative in the strict sense, not for the many individual, mainly agricultural cooperatives that simply aim at facilitating or intensifying production) can be represented by a broken line, which, in general, does not show an upward trend. New generations are constantly being created, but over and over again most of the most vigorous go into the sphere of capitalism; there is no continuity.

But the overall / general co-operative is a different case - its development, as long as it grows, looks like a circle of small circles, which are generally not really connected to each other. Consumer and productive cooperatives were based on a broad movement that stretched from one region to another - colonies in the sense of the whole cooperative were always sporadic, improvised, they did not have specific goals. Unlike others, they lacked something Franz Oppenheimer called "the power of long-lasting impact." Not that only some of them were spoken - but their pulling power was individualistic, they did not generate new community cells. In the history of cooperative colonies, nor in Europe (with the exception of Soviet Russia,

Consumers' cooperatives are constantly and continuously federated - productive cooperatives in the true sense have done this incongruously, sometimes incrementally, sometimes downcastly - community colonies in general, at all. Their fate is different from their desire: at first they did not want to be isolated, but they were isolated - they wanted to become functional models, but only interesting experiments were made - they wanted to be the dynamic and dynamic beginnings of a social transformation, but each contained the end of it. The cause of this difference between a consumer and productive cooperative on the one hand and a total cooperative on the other, I think it is ultimately their fundamentally different origins. However, there have been developed situations that were roughly the same in many places and factories,

In addition, the plans that inspired the founding of these cooperatives did not come from an overall thought, but from a question that in some way addressed the designers themselves the situation. We can clearly follow this process in King and in Busees, because both of them were initially champions of federation; Busees even had in mind a federal union of unions he had proposed. In both cases, the projects were aimed at tackling a given difficult situation and were local inasmuch as they sought to solve these problems at the point where they arose. Such plans can be called locally in all the meaning of the word, because they were by their nature linked to the specific places where the problems arose.

Quite different is the history of "colonial" total cooperatives. Here, every now and for all, irrespective of the situation, but with no real relation to the given place and its requirements, we see the "idea" of dictating its commands, preparing its plans somewhere in the clouds and then downloading them on earth. Regardless of how theoretically these are the plans at the outset and therefore totally schematic as in Fourier; no matter how much they rely on specific experiences and empirical assumptions as in Owen - they will never answer the questions that raise a specific situation but will to create new situations, irrespective of the place and the local problems. This becomes strangely evident when we study colonies in foreign countries: immigration is not organized and is not regulated in socialist directions; anyway - the future of migration is linked to a new drive, ie to the desire to participate in the realization of a social plan - and that too often turned into the dogmatism of an organization that felt and they believed that it was the only right, the only fair and true organization that its binding claims sometimes oppose to the free game of relations between members. (The sense community is never enough to establish the community of life; this requires a deeper and more vital bond). The colony that remains faithful to the doctrine is threatened by paralysis; that which is increasingly revolting against doctrine, from fragmentation - both are lacking corrective,

Where the doctrine rules, the only result is the isolation of the colony; the exclusivity of "the only right form" prevents the union even with homogeneous colonies, because in each of these "believers" they are totally captured by the absolute character of the unparalleled achievement their. But where the doctrine subsides, the economic and intellectual isolation of the colony, especially in a foreign country, is familiar with the same fate: isolation, lack of association, inefficiency. None of this would have been so important if a great educational force, supported by a vigorous spell of life and fate, could secure a will-to-be community victory over the residual selfishness that goes with it, or rather exalt itself in superior form this selfishness. Usually, however, collective selfishness,

Most of the known experimental colonies failed or flushed, not just the communist ones, as some think. Here we have to exclude the individual efforts of various religious groups, efforts that their vitality can only be understood by the faith of a particular group and as a separate manifestation of this faith - it is characteristic that the federal form appears only here , such as, for example, the Russian heresy of Duhovor in Canada or the "Chuterite Brothers". Kropotkin, then, fails to attribute the collapse of the experimental Communist colonies to the fact that they "were founded on an upsurge of religiosity, instead of considering the community as merely a way of consumption and production imposed by the economy."

Of the reasons Kropotkin mentions for the collapse of colonies, it is worthwhile to pay attention to two, though in depth, one is the same: isolation from society, and isolation from one another. It is mistaken when the small size of the community is considered to be the cause of the failure, believing that in such a community members will come to dislike each other after a few years of such close coexistence: because there are small and large colonies that have endured in time. But he rightly claims a federation to make up for the small size of the teams. The fact that the federation allows its members to go from one colony to another (which is crucial to Kropotkin) is in fact only one of its many positive elements; the federation itself is vital, complementing and assisting each group with the others, the flow of community life that flows between them and strengthens from each group. It is, however, less important that the colonies have a somewhat altered relationship with the wider society not just because they need a market for their surplus products, not just because youth, as Kropotkin points out, does not tolerate to be cut off, but because colonies must, if they do not possess a special Messianic faith, influence the surrounding world to survive. Anyone who eavesdresses a message must be able to express it, not necessarily with words, but necessarily with his own. less important is the fact that the colonies have a somewhat changing relationship with the wider society not just because they need a market for their surplus products, not just because youth, as Kropotkin points out, does not tolerate being cut off but because colonies must, if they do not possess a special Messianic faith, influence the surrounding world to survive. Anyone who eavesdresses a message must be able to express it, not necessarily with words, but necessarily with his own. less important is the fact that the colonies have a somewhat changing relationship with the wider society not just because they need a market for their surplus products, not just because youth, as Kropotkin points out, does not tolerate being cut off but because colonies must, if they do not possess a special Messianic faith, influence the surrounding world to survive. Anyone who eavesdresses a message must be able to express it, not necessarily with words, but necessarily with his. if they do not possess a special Messianic faith, to influence the surrounding world to survive. Anyone who eavesdresses a message must be able to express it, not necessarily with words, but necessarily with his own. if they do not possess a special Messianic faith, to influence the surrounding world to survive. Anyone who eavesdresses a message must be able to express it, not necessarily with words, but necessarily with his own.

In a question from the inhabitants of a colony, Kropotkin once responded with an open letter to all the gathered groups - he stressed that every state worthy of this name should be founded on the basic principle of the union of independent families that unite their forces. It meant that even every group had to come from the federal union of even smaller community units. If the federal movement is to spread beyond the group, space is needed. As he says in his book Modern Science and Anarchy, "the experiment must be in a certain territory". He adds that this territory must include city and countryside. Once again, with the great social motivation must be linked to financial incentives; genuine community life means a complete game of all functions and their interaction, not limitation and isolation. But it is not enough, even if Kropotkin thinks it, to become a city "community"; if he faces the delicate articulated federation of the villages as an uncoordinated and socially amorphous entity, it will have a rather negative influence in the long run. It must be co-ordinated, transformed into a federation in societies, to have truly fruitful relations with the villages. We can already see remarkable moves towards this in today's "planned economy" theories, stemming mainly from technical and managerial thoughts. to become a city "community"; if faced with the delicate articulated federation of villages as an uncoordinated and socially amorphous entity, it would have a rather negative influence in the long run. It must be co-ordinated, transformed into a federation in societies, to have truly fruitful relations with the villages. We can already see remarkable moves towards this in today's "planned economy" theories, stemming mainly from technical and managerial thoughts. to become a "community" city; if faced with the delicately articulated federation of villages as an uncoordinated and socially amorphous entity, it would have a rather negative influence in the long run. It must be co-ordinated, transformed into a federation in societies, to have truly fruitful relations with the villages. We can already see remarkable moves towards this in today's "planned economy" theories, stemming mainly from technical and managerial thoughts.

From their long and teaching history, we can only give here a typical example of the problematic career of many experimental colonies to date: the first such Owen colony, the only one he himself built, the New Harmony in Indiana. He bought the estate from the heresy of the Separatists who had migrated from Germany - after twenty years of work, they had managed to give them little fruit. The members were admitted without choice - the great German economist Friedrich List noted in the American Diary: "Elements[people]do not seem to be the best". In the beginning, the charter of the new community was based on full equality of members, and was named "The Community of Equality". Two years later, after having cut off some groups, attempted to turn the community into a union of small societies. But this and other conversion plans failed.

When Owen, returning from a trip to England, saw the colony that had already lived for three years, he had to admit that "the attempt to join a crowd of strangers not previously trained for that purpose, who would live together as a family, was premature, "and that" the habits of the individualistic system "are hard to die. Selling part of the land as plots and leasing in the same way another - the experiment costing him a fifth of his property - replaced the company with a colony of colonies operating under conditions of private capitalism, only incidentally giving them the following advice: "To join the general work, or to exchange work with work with terms that are most beneficial to all, or do both, or both,
We have here the example of a colony that failed not because of doctrine - despite its specific plans, Owen did not insist on this point - but rather by the lack of a deep, organic link between its members. As an example of the opposite, we can mention the development of Camber's "Icaria". As he attempted to realize an amateur but successful utopian novel, it was then followed by terrible disappointments and deprivation and, like the Owen colony, he settled in the lands of a sect - the Mormons, in this case - the colony, fifty years from the beginning until its fragmentation, she experienced slots. First of all, a schism was made because Cambe (an impulsive and sincerely enthusiastic man, but modest) attempted to command dictatorship with a dogmatic plot,

Of the two groups that were born of the schism, the first was dissolved after the death of Cambe; in the second it became a second schism, between the "Young" and the "Elder", where the "Young" supported the dogmatic plan to abolish, thanks to the pergolas around the houses where the members planted and fruitless except for flowers. Here we actually had a pitiful "remnant of individualism". The question - when judged in court - resulted in the division of the colony - the part that contained buildings that the "Geri" had built with their hands was given to the "Young". The piece that remained in the "Elder" lasted another twenty years and then died from old age. The economic powers were strong enough to survive, but the faith had faded away. She writes a woman in the colony:

The colony of "Young" lived very little. After having faced all kinds of difficulties, they moved to California, but in the new way of organizing, the basic principle of private ownership took hold, so the colony was rightly considered to be a joint stock company; it did not take long to dissolve and in its dissolution the role of valuation value of land. Thus, the career of Ikaria is a strange sequence of dogmatism and opportunism. "We had the strong desire to succeed," wrote a member a few years later, "but the clothes we wore were heavy and long, sometimes dragged into the mud; I want to say that the old Adam, or the beast he had inadequate suppressed, he made his appearance willy. " But it was not the beast, it was only the special human selfishness.

Finally, let's look at the three main types of cooperatives from the point of view of the restructuring of society. The much stronger, historically, consumer cooperative is by itself very little suited to functioning as a cell of the restructuring of society. It connects people only with a very small and very impersonal part of their total self. This piece is not, as we could at first glance suppose, consumption. Consuming as such has great power to unite people; and, as we know from antiquity, there is no better symbol of community life than the symposium. But the consumer cooperative deals not with actual consumption but with shopping for consumption. The joint market as such does not raise any particular requirements from the individuals who make it, extraordinary in exceptional times, when it is a question of shared care and responsibility for a joint project, such as in the "heroic" era of the cooperative movement or in the later periods of crisis when private individuals appeared in a sacrificial spirit to relieve the misery of many. Similarly, as soon as the joint market becomes a job, the responsibility for it is loaded into employees, it no longer connects people.

The bond becomes so relaxed and impersonal that communal cells can not be said and about joining them in a complex organic structure, even if the co-operative organization of the alpha or beta branch of production is linked to the cooperative's warehouses. This view is set out very clearly in Irish poet George William Russell's narrative (pseudonym: SA); this book is written in true patriotism and deals with the social restructuring of Ireland. He says: "It is not enough to organize the growers of a region for a single purpose in a credit company, a dairy, a meat producer, a fruit and vegetable company or a cooperative. All this can and must be the beginning - but if they do not develop and absorb all their agricultural work in their organization, they will have little impact and no character. No genuine social organization will have been created. If people join as consumers to buy something together, they come into contact only at this point there is no general identity of interests.
If cooperatives are specialized for alpha or beta purposes - as in Great Britain or the rest of Europe - greatly limitation of objects prevents the formation of a genuine social organization. And that has a huge impact on humanity. The specialized cooperative develops only economic efficiency. The evolution of humanity beyond its present level depends entirely on its power to unite and to create genuine social organizations. " That is exactly what I mean by the organic restructuring of society.

The productive cooperative is in itself more appropriate than the consumer to participate in such a restructuring, that is to say, to act as a cell of the new structure. The joint production of goods involves people deeper than the joint acquisition of goods for private consumption - it embraces much more their forces and time. Man as a producer is naturally better prepared to coexist with his similar assets than man as a consumer and is more capable of forming living social units. This is true for the employer, although he draws more power from the union to discharge his productive activity than he ever did or could do as a person. But it is especially true for the employee because only within, and through,

But as we have seen, it succumbs very easily, indeed almost fatally, to the desire to overwhelm others to work on its behalf. If the consumer cooperative is externally adapted, in a technical and managerial sense, to the capitalist model, the productive cooperative is adapted to it internally in a structural and psychological sense. At the same time, the latter is more receptive to a genuine, not just a technical federation - but how little has been recognized the immense importance - in terms of restructuring - of small organic units and their organic-federal development (even in the circles of the most enthusiastic supporters the revitalization of society through productive cooperatives), we actually saw it two decades ago in the English Socialist Movement.

On the one hand, they argued for the blatant plan to turn the state into a dual system: multi-faceted, coordinated representation of producers, and unified, mass representation of consumers. On the other hand, there was soon a tendency towards the "national" (that is, embracing the whole industry) trade unions for "disciplined organization in a single group of all those working in a given industry", which proved to be much stronger than the a tendency for the formation of "local" guilds, ie small organic units and their federation. If the basic principle of organic restructuring is to become a decisive factor, it will need the influence of the entire cooperative, because production and consumption are united and industry has to supplement agriculture.

For as long as it may be necessary for the whole cooperative to become the cell of the new society, it is vital that it now begins to build itself, as a long-term cluster of interconnected, magnetic poles. A genuine and time-consuming restructuring of society from the inside can only thrive on the association of producers and consumers, where each of the two partners will be composed of independent and homogeneous cooperative units; a union whose power and vitality for socialism can only be guaranteed by a multiplicity of total cooperatives that work together and, with their operational composition, exert a mediating and unifying influence.

Therefore, it is necessary, in place of all the isolated experiments (which the nature of things condemned to isolation) that have occurred in more than one hundred years of struggle, to develop a network of colonies, based on a territorial territory and will be federally built, without dogmatic rigidity, which will enable the most diverse social forms to coexist side by side and always aim at the new organic whole. {...}

* This text is the seventh chapter of the book "Trails in Utopia" by Martin Bubber, from the "Nisides" Publications. The title was given by us.

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