What does Holla Forums think of worker owned companies? are they effective means...

Jason Taylor
Jason Taylor

What does Holla Forums think of worker owned companies?

are they effective means of securing workers rights?

nceo.org/articles/employee-ownership-100
billmoyers.com/2013/03/22/how-worker-owned-companies-work/

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All urls found in this thread:

nceo.org/articles/employee-ownership-100
billmoyers.com/2013/03/22/how-worker-owned-companies-work/

John Walker
John Walker

Co-ops have certain advantages but they are essentially self-managed capitalism.

Lucas Robinson
Lucas Robinson

Capitalism is not the same as markets. It's the relationship between employer and employee, whereby the employer extracts surplus value from the employee.

If there's no employer, it's not goddamn capitalism.

Lincoln Cooper
Lincoln Cooper

Marx would beg to differ: “Let us suppose the workers are themselves in possession of their respective means of production and exchange their commodities with one another. These commodities would not be products of capital.” (Capital, Volume III)

Isaiah Ramirez
Isaiah Ramirez

No because they devolve into de-facto private companies like Mondragon.

John Kelly
John Kelly

In a society where co-ops were the norm, it's likely that the reduction in alienation would make it clear to workers that they should turn from production for exchange to production for use. The practical problem of this approach is getting a large enougn portion of the economy to be co-ops since co-ops will always be at a massive disadvantage to class-based companies in a marketplace (since with class-based relations of productions the workers' wellbeing and earnings can be sacrificed for the sake of profit).

Justin King
Justin King

Lenin, as usual, was right. Within a capitalist economy, they're a step up from regular companies, as it distributes wealth more fairly, reduces alienation, empowers work etc. But unfortunately, they simply cannot act as the backbone of a future socialist uprising or anything of the sort, because they still operate under the profit motive, to say nothing of the ever-present law of value. The co-op is great for the people who belong to it, but to the rest of the world, the co-op is undistinguishable form a regular company. They're as much of a black box to an outside observer, and have no actual impact beyond the company's doors. They can't act as a revolutionary institution.

After a revolution and within a socialist economy, however, they actually can act as one of the pillars of the workers' State, alongside unions, councils and what-have-you.

Samuel Thompson
Samuel Thompson

Capitalism isn't solely defined by the employer-employee relationship, fam. It doesn't matter who owns the firm if that firm exists in a market environment where it has to compete with other firms, since it either has to do the exact same things as a privately owned firm in order to survive, or it is outcompeted and dies. Worker management would be an integral part of any socialist society, but worker management on its own, in a capitalist society, would simply mean that the workers have to exploit themselves.

Tyler Cruz
Tyler Cruz

If there's no employer, it's not goddamn capitalism.
Co-ops don't do away with the employer; they merely fuse that role with that of employee. The same capitalist laws of motion are in effect.

David Nelson
David Nelson

theres no hope

Andrew Sanchez
Andrew Sanchez

These commodities would not be products of capital.
Indeed: "The means of production and subsistence, while they remain the property of the immediate producer, are not capital". However, "they become capital under circumstances in which they serve at the same time as means of exploitation of, and domination over, the worker". These circumstances need not translate to direct domination by a distinct, separate class (though that is very often the case) — they can also be (and I would argue they fundamentally are) an abstract system of impersonal market imperatives. The quote you cited (which by the way refers to pre-capitalist production, if I'm not mistaken) does not contradict the possibility of self-exploitation.

Benjamin Hall
Benjamin Hall

At the same time the experience of the period from 1848 to 1864 has proved beyond doubt that, however, excellent in principle and however useful in practice, co-operative labor, if kept within the narrow circle of the casual efforts of private workmen, will never be able to arrest the growth in geometrical progression of monopoly, to free the masses, nor even to perceptibly lighten the burden of their miseries.
It is perhaps for this very reason that plausible noblemen, philanthropic middle-class spouters, and even keen political economists have all at once turned nauseously complimentary to the very co-operative labor system they had vainly tried to nip in the bud by deriding it as the utopia of the dreamer, or stigmatizing it as the sacrilege of the socialist.
t. Marx

Luke Watson
Luke Watson

I’m pretty sure that economic planning (i. e. a system in which workers are dictated what to produce by a certain authority) is more oppressive than a market system in which workers voluntarily decide what to produce and consume.

Easton Thompson
Easton Thompson

Market mechanisms have existed for thousands of years before capitalism

Leo Foster
Leo Foster

This is probably the most compelling argument against the worker cooperative. Without oversight, as a cooperative grows larger it must adapt to the capitalist system. Mondragon is the perfect example of this. Still, the grand majority of worker cooperatives are far less exploitative then Mondragon and private corporations. Perhaps if additional conditions had to be applied and the worker cooperative existed in a market of other cooperatives, this inevitability could be circumvented.

Nathaniel Moore
Nathaniel Moore

Wow, holy shit fam I hadn't noticed that at all. What a stunning revelation. It's almost as if capitalism has been thousands of years in the making.
Making such an utterly banal point does nothing to counter what I said. Coops alone do nothing to change the system. The firm will still have to compete in a market, which means it has to do all the same things a regular firm does in order to compete: drive down prices, drive down wages, make more for less. All you've done is make it so that the workers make this decision, not the boss. Furthermore worker management on its own doesn't tackle the issue of property, middlemen, the state, imperialism, anything besides the ownership of a single (single!) firm.
If you have a system that still has a state, that still has private property, that still has imperialism, then it's not socialism.

Jace Garcia
Jace Garcia

The firm will still have to compete in a market, which means it has to do all the same things a regular firm does in order to compete: drive down prices, drive down wages, make more for less.

And? There’s nothing wrong with that as long as market competition forces firms to be responsive to demands of consumers, indirectly leading to production for use.

If you have a system that still has a state

You can’t have any single economic or political system without a state that would enforce it. You can’t be an anarcho-socialist, just like you can’t be an anarcho-capitalist or an anarcho-*insert any other politcal ideology*.

that still has private property

Even Marx believed that some forms of private property must be maintained under socialism: “the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant…there is no need to abolish that".

that still has imperialism, then it's not socialism.

As Jaroslav Vanek and James Meade have demonstrated, labour-managed firms have less insensitives to expand, and therefore it is unlikely that they will try to force their governments to assist them in expansion into foreign markets.

Jaxson Walker
Jaxson Walker

i worked for a cooperative, 'worker owned' and "profit sharing" national company. It felt like any other company because decisions came from the top to the bottom and we were expected to comply or face consequences, and this makes sense. Why would bottom tier employees make high level decisions?
We had some profit sharing incentives which made us care about the trajectory of the company and its strategies but we had no input on the trajectory or the strategies because #1 they were above our paygrade (meaning beyond our skill and expertise) and #2 we didn't have time to ponder such things, it wasn't our job, we had other work to do.

are they effective means of securing workers rights?
workers should have rights that are conducive to the work they do and the value they add. My job was to create very specific insurance policies for certain clients and that's what I knew how to do. It wasn't up to us to determine our rights, benefits or privileges. THat was for management and the CEOs big boys to figure out, and they made their decisions with profit and long-term survival in mind.

If your company is profitable you can afford to give your workers good benefits, we were very well taken care of financially and in terms of extra benefits. But it really wasn't any different than a regular capitalistic business, except they kept telling us we're "cooperative" and our bonuses and stocks were linked to company performance and that we gave to charity and did all sorts of "good deeds"…blablabla. I'm sure Goldmansachs does similar shit, probably for tax purposes.

Oliver Ortiz
Oliver Ortiz

Market competition forces firm to compete, which means driving down prices. In order to drive down prices and still make a profit, you have to drive down wages. Market competition forces coops to make the exact same measures that a privately owned firm. Sure, you're not likely to see workplaces getting exported, but the workers are still at the mercy of the market, and if some other firm starts flooding the market with cheap goods (perhaps because it is willing to move their production to countries with a cheaper workforce) then the coop will simply die. Any coop will still have to exist in an economy dominated by firms that aren't coops.
you can't be anarcho-socialist
I'm not even sure what the fuck you're on about here. My point is that coops do nothing to change anything besides the ownership of single firm, replacing a single employer or a board of directors with workers (and that's not even mentioning the fact that many worker-owned firms don't have worker management). What that means is that all the other parts of the system, including the existence of privately owned firms, are unchanged. And because the coops exist in the same unchanged system, they are subject to the same pressures that drive any other firm and which ultimately undermine their sole purpose. In order to make them viable on a large scale, you will need a state that supports them and suppresses capitalists, and the logical conclusion to that is socialised production and the elimination of markets.

Dylan Williams
Dylan Williams

As Jaroslav Vanek and James Meade have demonstrated, labour-managed firms have less insensitives to expand
As for this, why wouldn't they expand? A worker-managed firm is still a firm, they're still driven by profit (after all, more profit means more money for the owners- i mean workers). If they can profit by expanding, they will. The reason most coops aren't particularly expansionist is because they're small, it's like saying small businesses have less incentive to expand. If the economy is dominated by large coops, then they will obviously expand and will merge with each other, just like any any other business. Furthermore, as mentions, it's not like every worker will have equal say. If the 'worker-managed' firm is run by a CEO and some senior workers, then there's little stopping them from making decisions that benefit them and the business at the expense of the other workers, and at that point what is even the difference between a coop and any other firm? None. It is still a firm. Firms don't care about any other firm, they don't care about any other country. If they can profit by fucking over other people in other countries, what's stopping them?

Jason Ramirez
Jason Ramirez

GOOGLE COCKSHOTT

David Perry
David Perry

And? There’s nothing wrong with that as long as market competition forces firms to be responsive to demands of consumers, indirectly leading to production for use.
"Competition benefits the consumer" is bourgeois shibboleth. Market imperatives don't "indirectly lead to production for use", it ensures exchange-value ultimately remains the only factor of importance.

Even Marx believed that some forms of private property must be maintained under socialism: “the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant…there is no need to abolish that".
You didn't quote Marx in full. Marx added: "There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily." He saw self-employed artisans or farmers as a relic of pre-capitalist social relations doomed to vanish.

As Jaroslav Vanek and James Meade have demonstrated, labour-managed firms have less insensitives to expand, and therefore it is unlikely that they will try to force their governments to assist them in expansion into foreign markets.
Co-ops require cheap labor as much as gigantic multinational conglomerates to compete on the market. If you're a co-op manufacturing consumer electronics, you'll still need that sweet Foxconn slave-driving.

Luis Hall
Luis Hall

In order to drive down prices and still make a profit, you have to drive down wages

You are omitting the fact that firms have incentives to attract better workers, and if they want to do that they have to offer them higher wages.

why wouldn't they expand?

Read “The Theory of Labour-Managed Firms and of Profit Sharing” by James Meade.

Market imperatives don't "indirectly lead to production for use"

They do in a Walrasian equilibrium.

Co-ops require cheap labor as much as gigantic multinational conglomerates to compete on the market.

Since worker cooperatives have less incentives to expand, there is going to be more competition for employees in an economy based on labour-managed firms.

Jacob Reed
Jacob Reed

They do in a Walrasian equilibrium.
What does it have to do with exchange-value and accumulation?

Since worker cooperatives have less incentives to expand, there is going to be more competition for employees in an economy based on labour-managed firms.
That doesn't address my point. If competing top-down companies use cheap labor that allow them to drastically drive prices down, co-ops will need to tap into that same well if they want to say afloat.

Joseph Barnes
Joseph Barnes

sieze the means of production
<nah

maximum Holla Forums

Nolan Powell
Nolan Powell

Do you even fucking read what you write, ever?
Producing anything is exploitation…

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Landon Johnson
Landon Johnson

Where the fuck did I even imply workers shouldn't seize the means of production? It's a necessary step towards building socialism but it is hardly sufficient by itself. Seizing the means of production while leaving the whole structure of capitalism unchanged will not result in socialism but in more democratically-managed capitalism.

Benjamin Anderson
Benjamin Anderson

>Producing anything is exploitation…
Not this guy but you'd need to be either arguing in bad faith or seriously illiterate to read that into his post. Capitalism is bourgeois class rule but not just that — that's not controversial or contrarian.

One of the greatest misconceptions about capitalism is the notion that these tendencies flow from the motivations of a class of private owners of the means of production. Yet the reality is quite different: the drive to accumulate by means of exploitation is inherent in the generalization of the commodity form. An economy based on that form, in which economic reproduction occurs by means of exchange according to market criteria (socially necessary labor-time), will inevitably produce all of its basic relations, irrespective of the precise form of ownership.
t. David McNally

Jack Watson
Jack Watson

What this guy said, fam In fact, that pretty much sums up everything I've been trying to say.

Benjamin Collins
Benjamin Collins

History teaches us that planned economy leads to starvation and death of millions and the only logical solution to this is to introduce market elements in a socialist economy. The next best thing to a state owned planned economy is worker owned means of production who exchange commodities on the market.

Eli Morris
Eli Morris

History teaches us that planned economy leads to starvation and death of millions and the only logical solution to this is to introduce market elements in a socialist economy.
Wut? Daily reminder that the only socialist country to ever implode due to economic contradictions (and not revisionism and/or imperialism) was a "market socialist" one.

Benjamin Davis
Benjamin Davis

It's the relationship between employer and employee

My gott, read a fucking book

Hudson Gonzalez
Hudson Gonzalez

Muh gorillions

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Kevin Robinson
Kevin Robinson

History teaches us that planned economy leads to starvation and death of millions
You forgot about the cannibalism and the black magick rituals

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Tyler Gray
Tyler Gray

marxism is about planned economy and not class struggle

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Kevin Perry
Kevin Perry

turning workers into bourgs is class struggle

Blake Gray
Blake Gray

workers own the means of production
literally those who do the work get full value of their labour and this somehow makes them bourgs

Daniel Gutierrez
Daniel Gutierrez

Maybe some potential for possible progressive transition to socialism but I wouldn't put my money on it. They're highly preferable to regular companies, no doubt, but operating under a capitalist mode of production severely limits them. Under socialism however they could run the consumer goods and services markets alongside the economic planning sector.

Josiah Morgan
Josiah Morgan

this

Connor Long
Connor Long

All the contradictions of capitalism defined by Marx apply 100% in a market socialist economy. They are on the same level of social democracy and are arguably counter to the goals of communism.

Colton Ortiz
Colton Ortiz

worker controlled state owning the means of production is not class struggle

Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen

Just keep gulping down that anti-communist propaganda m8

Luke Nguyen
Luke Nguyen

You are omitting the fact that firms have incentives to attract better workers, and if they want to do that they have to offer them higher wages.
This is the same argument capitalists use.

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