Workers' control


Workers' control

Workers' control is participation in the management of factories and other enterprises by the people who work there.

The idea of workers' control is an old one. The Guild system could be seen as a form of workers' control. It has been variously advocated by anarchists, socialists, Communists and Christian Democrats. It has been combined with various socialist and mixed economy systems. Workers' councils are a form of workers' control. Council communism advocates workers' control through workers councils. Syndicalism advocates workers' control through trade unions. Guild socialism advocates workers' control through a revival of the Guild system. Participatory economics represents a recent variation on the idea of workers' control. Workers' control can be contrasted to indirect forms of social control of the economy via the state, such as nationalisation and central planning (see state socialism) and private control of the means of production as found in capitalism.

In the early Soviet Union, worker's control was accomplished via factory committees.

A form of workers' participation was applied in West Germany after World War II.Fact|date=August 2007

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia practiced direct social ownership of businesses and the economy as a whole during the 1960's. The country's economy prospered formidably during that time period. Unemployment was low and the education level of the work force steadily increased.

Britain in the 1970s considered a version of it: the Bullock Report of 1977 had a definite schema, but there was considerable opposition, much of it from the Hard Left. The Institute for Workers' Control was part of the left-wing opposition. Arthur Scargill was strongly opposed to the idea of giving coal workers control of the coal industry.Fact|date=August 2007

ee also

* Anarcho-syndicalism
* Co-operatives
* Commune (socialism)
* Direct democracy
* Inclusive Democracy
* Industrial democracy
* Paris Commune of 1871
* Participatory democracy
* Participatory economics
* Worker cooperative
* Worker self-management
* Workplace democracy

External links

* [http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1930-ger/310820.htm Trotsky on workers control]
* [http://www.sp-usa.org Socialist Party USA - an example of a socialist party that advocates Workers' control and social ownership of the economy over both state-controlled socialism and capitalism.]
* [http://www.iww.org IWW - proponents of workers control]

Further reading

*Maurice Brinton, "The Bolsheviks and Workers' Control". Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1978


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