Interesting critique of worker coops. Main argument seems to be that they remove people from union organising and class struggle.

"cooperatives retreat from the direct struggle between workers and owners to instead build worker-owners."

Not sure I get it... thoughts?

@neil This article deserves time because it summarizes, and updates, most of the standard revolutionary left critiques of worker cooperatives and cooperativism more broadly. But the attempt to pit unions against worker co-ops fails, and runs counter to history and current practice. (Have the authors read Collective Courage? Did they see La Toma?) Still it would be a good article for educational discussion.

The Mondragon bit is weak -- better critiques are made within Mondragon itself.

@Matt_Noyes @neil I don't buy the argument that organizing a co-op signals a failure in a labor dispute. But, there is nothing inherently anti-capitalist about the co-op movement, any more then the free software movement is anti capitalist. They are both fields of struggle. I think the article really pits anti capitalists against co-op organizers rather then developing strategies for bringing more cooperators on board with an anti capitalist agenda - something I would find really useful.

@jamiem @neil Interesting. I made the same argument to someone the other day, but I do think, in the case of worker cooperatives, the subordination of capital to labor is by definition non-capitalist and the spread of such relations would constitute something anti-capitalist in the political economic sense.


@Matt_Noyes @neil @mike_hales I think the same could be said about free software. Both coops and free software are non capitalist, but in and of themselves aren't a strategy to end capitalism or even a real threat to the capitalist system. In the worst vein, they provide a strategy for a privileged few to avoid some exploitative aspects of capitalism. There is enormous potential to organize within these movements to actively struggle against capitalism. But I'm not sure how to do this.

@jamiem @neil @mike_hales
Right, but the specificity of worker co-ops as structures of production in which capital is not able to accumulate based on exploitation of labor power is profoundly important. We are in a period of fledgling efforts at "originary accumulation" of solidarity, disenclosure of the commons, expropriation of the expropriators, decolonization. Unions, cooperatives, collectives, commoning, are all part of that process.

@Matt_Noyes @jamiem @neil @mike_hales really liked reading your comments, even though i don't share your frame of analysis. coming from the revleft, this article irritated me for the strawman that someone somewhere would be defending that coops are *the* way to overcome capitalism. also worries me that you get the fallacies in each of those sections presented as arguments against coops, there is no merit to any of that. #cooperatives #coop

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!