I think a major failure of Unions and past left initiative for Change has been a missed opportunity in History to change the economic state of affairs of average people.
Over 100 years ago The Unions missed that opportunity and now are faced with the crisis of depleted membership.
As a teen I had a Vision. When I stopped reading Marx and experienced some real world slave labor adventures, I knew that we needed something other than a revolution. Economic empowerment.
Unions should have empowered the employees and invested in competition with the “Bosses.” Union Organizing became dangerous, and Unions became plant managers acting as modern slavers and management.
In Argentina, we would like to Invest in the people and have them run businesses as Co-operatives in a Workers Democracy. We wish to give the people something to grown on, Responsibility, Empowerment, Achievement, and Freedom. Everyone thinks their jobs sucks and they are right. Fulfillment of a workers democracy goal of giving labor what it needs.
How do I know I am right? Well recently my prophecy was fulfilled. In Argentina the workers have taken over the factories and have developed them into Co-operatives.
Socialist are leading a general Co-operative Revolution in Brazil. The Chevez Government has instituted a profit sharing revenue to invest in Public Self help in the way of Co-operatives.
Although they are out of Print Gronlund’s two books, “The Co-operative Common Wealth.” And “The New Economics.” Tells about how the world of economics could actually be. Gronlund was an original member of the Socialist Labor Party, and his writings where revered by Eugene V Debs.
The Co-operative Commonwealth states many points of the misery of Capitalism.
He spoke about Bonanza Farms. These farms exist today. One in North Carolina.
The illogic of corporate farming brought about ecological disaster to that community.
The Pig farm over run its waste into the nearby rivers and toxified an entire community.
All for the sake of profits these corporate farm where too big and created to much waste and lack of care.
He also spoke about franchises. And the over propagation. In some towns there are a Walgreens, Eckard, Thift-Way and CVS all near the same location. Eventually there would be an economic collapse and people will loose their jobs. Eckard has already been bought out by CVS and Treasury Pharmacies no longer exists.
Let’s look at privatization. In Montana an electric company that has been around for over a century is now destroyed. This public owned company was privatized and bought out by PICO. PICO destroyed this community by trying to start and Internet Company, then providing electricity from out jacking up prices beyond belief. Then the economic collapse happened and there is left in the wake a Ghost town. How ever, in Montana’s economic devastation one community prospers. And that community fosters two Co-operatives and a few independent stores. The Co-operatives help to bring economic stability to the region.
But Does Socialist economic work? Socialist economics work. Because Socialism creates a fair and equitable system. The Kerala state in India fosters democracy.
Kerala’s democratization program is one variety of a larger structural change taking place in India. In 1992 the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments to the Indian constitution required states to delegate 29 general administrative functions to lower level bodies, along with some taxation powers to finance them. The precise nature of the devolution of central powers was left to the states to determine, creating a wide range of plans, some of which may be more state or district bureaucracy-empowering than people-empowering. Kerala’s left activists decided the amendments were a perfect device for trying to create genuine local democracy.
No new layer of bureaucracy is being created to implement the 9th plan. Only one new group has been set up, the “High Level Guidance Council,” an advice-giving and public relations body, headed by E. M. S. Namboodiripad, the venerable 88-year-old leader of the Kerala branch of the Communist Party—Marxist (CPM), and including all living former Chief Ministers of Kerala from all political parties. As State Planning Board member and 9th plan activist T. M. Thomas Isaac says, “we’re getting the bureaucrats out of their offices, getting them to work with the people.”
The Kerala State probably hosts this world first co-operative common wealth using a combination of Marxist and Keynesian principals.
Some Marxists are against Co-operative believing they are an arm of Capitalism. Even a Socialist realizes that the world works on a principal of Commerce. But Commerce doesn’t have to be Capitalist as it cane easily be Socialist.
Even in Korea there is a notion of Cooperatives, in one text in a Won Buddhist Magazine it covered an issue of Moral Socialism. In former years the Won Buddhist Founders intent was:
Human beings become enslaved to materialism and degenerate due to the influence of advanced science and technology. Development of a Worldwide Market” purposes to promote international cooperation without confinement to national or racial interests, so the all human beings are equally provided with affluent material conditions in clothing, food, and shelter for their physical needs.
A machinery and mechanism is need to take us there. The Co-operative Commonwealth even tops a green way of life and green answer of artificiality. It encompasses a wide range of goals with more sincerity.
It is easy to see why Eugene V Debs liked Gronlund so much. Gronlunds principals are right on target even to day. The answer to one avenues of the revolution is economic emancipation. There was an old notion back in the 1970’s, that we can only fight Capitalism with Capitalism. Even radical Hippy Jerry Reuben thought that we had to bring the system own from the inside. I disagree slightly with the latter, but we do need to set paradigms of possibilities. America is a different country and needs a cooperative commonwealth approach as a solution.