The Wage-Earner Funds in Sweden is one of the few serious attempts in an advanced capitalist society to socialize the means of production. While it is commonly believed that the plan failed due to intransigent and well-coordinated capitalist opposition, its failure was primarily due to the high degree of centralization of the labor unions pushing it.
Workplace occupations – sometimes also known as workplace sits-ins – often take on an iconic status within the annals of the international labour movement. Many on the left simply conclude that direct action works. But this shows a deficiency in understanding the interaction of processes and outcomes at work and the specificity of the conditions under which they operate. The successful occupation and work-in at Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) in Scotland in 2017 can be used as a lens by which to reconsider the contemporary utility of the tactic and the frequency of its usage. With BiFab, there was manifest group cohesion, generation of a usable bargaining asset, ability to create political pressure, buoyant product demand, and the strategic importance of energy infrastructure.
“Liberal democracy is crumbling.” The daily headlines certainly seem to confirm this assessment. Yet, the nature of the crisis remains murky.
Race is best explained as an unintended consequence of the reproduction of capitalist social relations
It is only the left who talk about neoliberalism. Our opponents don’t use the concept so we are not engaging with them when we speak a different language. At best, because the term has been used in so many different ways, we almost always need to re-trace our steps to establish what exactly we mean by neoliberalism. Worse, the term lends itself to mirror-image inversions of the facile libertarian mantra that the market is good and the state bad. Ultimately, the term neoliberalism is misleading – not a tool but an obstacle to working out how the world works and how it changes. Nor does it help us identify what we should do.