To celebrate the centenary of the most radical union in North America - The Industrial Workers of the World - this collection examines radical economics and the labor movement in the 20th Century. The union advocates direct action to raise wages and increase job control, and it envisions the eventual abolition of capitalism and the wage system through the general strike.
The contributors to this volume speak both to economists and to those in the labor movement, and point to fruitful ways in which these radical heterodox traditions have engaged and continue to engage each other and with the labor movement. In view of the current crisis of organized labor and the beleaguered state of the working class—phenomena which are global in scope—the book is both timely and important. Representing a significant contribution to the non-mainstream literature on labor economics, the book reactivates a marginalized analytical tradition which can shed a great deal of light on the origins and evolution of the difficulties confronting workers throughout the world.
This volume will be of most interest to students and scholars of heterodox economics, those involved with or researching The Industrial Workers of the World, as well as anyone interested in the more radical side of unions, anarchism and labor organizations in an economic context.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Radical Economics and the Labor Movement Frederic S. Lee and Jon Bekken 1. Senex’s Letters on Associated Labour and the Pioneer, 1834: A Syndicalist Political Economy in the Making, Noel Thompson 2. Peter Kropotkin’s Anarchist Economics for a New Society, Jon Bekken 3. Some Notes on Anarchist Economic Thought Mathew Forstater 4. The Economics of the Industrial Workers of the World: Job Control and Revolution Frederic S. Lee 5. Economic Science and the Left: Thoughts on Sraffa’s Equations and the Efficacy of Organized Labor, Tony Aspromourgos 6. John Kenneth Galbraith’s New Industrial State 40 Years Later: A Radical Perspective, Spencer Pack 7. A Radical Critique and Alternative to U.S. Industrial Relations Theory and Practice, Richard McIntyre and Michael Hillard 8. Labor during Transition: A Radical Institutional Approach by John Marangos 9. Offshore Production and Global Labor Arbitrage: A New Era of Capitalism? Claude Pottier 10. Financialization, Employability and their Impacts on the Bank Workers’ Union Movement in Brazil (1994-2004), Maria Alejandra Caporale Madi, José Ricardo Barbosa Gonçalves and José Dari Krein
Frederic S. Lee is Professor of Economics at University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA and Jon Bekken is an Associate Professor of Communications at Albright College, USA and former General Secretary-Treasurer of the Industrial Workers of the World.
"Some articles are excellent and will be read by activists and academics with great interest and benefit (Bekken on Kropotkin and Aspromourgos on Sraffa spring to mind), while others are useful introductions for further reading/research (Thompson on Senex and Pack on Galbraith) […] The essays […] are about relevant subjects for the IWW in its second century and do their inspiration justice"
Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, Winter 2012