Marx claims that unselfishness is a child of (workplace) culture, whereas the gene is selfish. If Marx is right then the prerequisite for overthrowing capitalism is a system which both leverages selfishness and creates solidarity between workers. This book illustrates and discusses the major points of the economic theory of producer cooperatives, its evolution since the 1950s, and links with Marxian theory.
Labour Managed Firms and Post-Capitalism, most importantly, demonstrates that a system of producer cooperatives offers a wealth of advantages compared to capitalism. There is general agreement that the main benefit of this form of economic democracy is that people who are allowed to freely pursue their interests are happier than those acting on somebody else’s instruction. The author argues that a system of democratic firms would eradicate classical (high-wage) unemployment and scale down both Keynesian and structural unemployment levels. He also shows that a system of producer cooperatives literally reverses the capital-labour relationship typical of capitalism and that its establishment can consequently be looked upon as a revolution.
This volume is of great interest to academics, lecturers and researchers with an interest in Marxism, political economy and industrial economics, as well as economic theory and philosophy.
1 Historical materialism and democratic firm management
2 A system of producer cooperatives
3 Democratic firm management and socialism
4 More advantages of a system of democratic firms
5 Unemployment in a system of producer cooperatives
6 Democratic socialism and income distribution
7 Cooperative firms as a new mode of production
8 An in-depth analysis of the links between producer cooperativesn and socialism
9 Self-driven economic growth and Darwinism
10 The democratic firm and the transition to socialism
11 Corporate limited liability as a springboard for socialism
12 The democratic firm and ‘passive revolution’
13 A few reflections on the reasons why cooperative firms have failed to gain a firm foothold
14 Democratic firm management and the role of the State in capitalism versus socialism