I live and work in Sweden for the largest car company in the country. I am under the assumption that the workers unions are stronger and larger in Sweden than in the US because of their strong presence and because most of my colleagues are members, including myself. Do you think it is possible to transform a large corporation from a capitalist to a communist enterprise, or a workers coop? What would you say is the best way to achieve this goal? Our company is owned by a larger, foreign company; how can this affect the situation?
I have no doubt that it is possible to transform a large capitalist corporation into a large worker coop. Moreover, the chief means to do that is an organized and mobilized workforce allied to a working class social movement. The issue of enterprise size - whether coops can manage to be big as well as small and medium sized enterprises - has been settled by the effective transition from small to huge achieved over the last 50 years by the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation in Spain. It now has 100,000 employees while it started in 1956 with 6. Being owned by a foreign company can actually be helpful to a program of transition to worker coop. That is because such a transition can be intertwined with an assertion of independence from foreign control, a blending of nationalistic aspirations with democratic workplace aspirations.