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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Is A Non-Exploitive Economy Based on Worker-Own Cooperatives Possible (150 comments)

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  •  Quick first response (6+ / 0-)

    The older I get the more I think coops are the best immediate way forward.  There's a lot of great detail in the diary and much information was new to me.  A couple things pop into mind:

    1.  The Anarchist/Marxist argument gets really old.  I don't blame the diarist: she's merely reporting what is out there.  That said, I want to keep my side of the street clean and say that Marxists need to go back and read Marx, who, while he had a personal beef with Bakunin (and who wouldn't? who didn't?), didn't make any fundamental arguments that were incompatible with anarchism.

    2.  I find it helpful, when trying to use a Marxian lens to understand things, to go back to the bit on Estranged Labor, and ask, what are the fundamental relationships of people to themselves, socially, in any particular moment?  Are they socially self-actualizing?  If so, keep on it.  If not, change course.  If x moves us closer to social self-actualization, let's do it.  Coops certainly fit that bill.

    I don't think there's anything Marxist in a meaningful sense in pooh-poohing coops because they are not a final solution to capitalism.  It was Hitler who saw final solutions, not to make a pun.  Marx proposed no final solutions to anything nor did he seem to think such things were possible.  I'd be interested to read some of the "dogmatic" Marxists on the subject.  I have a feeling I've been stuck in conversations with some of them.

    •  I agree with almost all of your comments. I am all (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, TPau, MKSinSA

      for looking at the cooperative model as a transition form.
      Marxists also support cooperatives as part of the solution.  For many Marxists, it was just a point of tactics and emphasis whether the change would come thru the cooperative model or traditional trade unions and we still have that fight today.  Which I think prevents many people from seeing the critical role coops are beginning to play.

      The one other point I felt comes out of a discussion of the two points of view is that many of my friends in the cooperative movement do not seem to understand the degree to which capitalism will go to prevent the development of coops that are truly progressive because it threatens capitalism's existence.  And since they have the power of the state, military, etc. it is something we should be aware of.

    •  I am finally answering this post (a day late (0+ / 0-)

      cause I didn't want to get into a long discussion about various Marxists and their contributions and frailties), but I have to tell you I read Bukharin and thoroughly enjoyed it and many parts of his perspective.  What I find is that a revolution isn't made by one person but the ideas of many interacting, conflicting, etc.  And out of that we get the real dynamics. If we could have kept the original leadership of the Russian Revolution (all five) plus a couple of women.....
      P.S. I also enjoy reading Mao -- find it a very different take in a very different situation.  

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