What is your response to criticism of building co-ops from the bottom-up?

I think your criticisms of capitalism are conveyed well and I think you (and those supporting you) are doing crucially fantastic work.

Having said that, my initial reaction to your proposed solution (worker co-ops) was to dismiss it as too simplistic/naive.

After doing some more research on your views, I changed my mind and realised that you had the "winning ticket" all along.

Just when I was about to ride a wave of newly found optimism and help get your message across (in my own localised way), I came across some criticisms of worker co-ops.

The first from Noam Chomsky[1] and the second from the International Socialist Review[2].
Both of the criticisms focus on the issue of trying to bring about radical change (via the worker co-ops) from the bottom-up (rather than the top-down) and how it doesn't appear to work because of pressures from the incumbent system.

I agree that the incumbent needs to be changed/replaced/phased-out/etc., but I (and surely many others) don't know with what.

What is your response to these criticisms of trying to grow worker co-ops from the ground-up?

I'm not an economist, but in terms of the general concept of replacing an existing system with a new (and hopefully better) system, I wish to provide my thoughts on.

If you want to replace existing system X, you need a replacement Y.
Yet you also need a strategy/plan for transitioning from X to Y.

Are worker co-ops the "Y" we need and is growing them from the bottom-up (within a resistant incumbent system), an effective strategy/plan for transitioning from X to Y?

My questions are related to Corey Butler's[3] and 's[4].

[1]: https://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/30/talking-with-chomsky/
[2]: https://isreview.org/issue/93/are-workers-cooperatives-alternative-capitalism
[3]: http://www.rdwolff.com/cbtlr/how_do_worker_co_ops_scale_into_larger_non_capitalist_systems
[4]: http://www.rdwolff.com/82913/the_feasibility_of_worker_co_ops_nation_to_nation

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  • John
    tagged this with upvote 2017-11-22 17:28:37 -0500
  • John
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-11-22 17:11:45 -0500