Experiments with associated labour in former Yugoslavia

Hello, I worked my whole working life under capitalism and I only needed my first(out of many) days of unpaid overtime to figure out it may not be the best system in the world, but since I was born in a former communist country and spent my early childhood years under communism you can imagine I have a natural suspicion of alternatives to this system. Since you seem to talk a lot about worker cooperatives on your program as a kind of alternative to both systems I wondered what your thoughts were on experiments with cooperatives and so-called associated labour bodies in former Yugoslavia. http://sdonline.org/57/workers-councils-in-yugoslavia-successes-and-failures/ http://www.slobodaiprosperitet.tv/en/node/870

Official response from submitted

The Yugoslav experiments under Tito are among the many efforts at a cooperative economy (others are Mondragon today, Emilia-Romana in Italy today,  kibbutzim in Israel's past, communes in China's past, and so on). We have much to learn from them all. One of the big problems, which played an important role in Yugoslavia too was the tension between the collective/cooperative workplace and the needs of a powerful central state that was so strategically important in the transition from capitalism to socialism as that transition was understood and pursued from 1880 through the end of the 20th century. When state demands were too strong, the worker coop could keep its form but its content became a kind of state capitalism with the role of capitalist being played not be boards of directors (private capitalism) but rather by state officials (state capitalism) dictating to rank and file workers. This argument about the state capitalism's of eastern Europe can be found in detail in the following book: Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff, Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR. New York and London: Routledge Publishers, 2002.

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  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2016-11-13 15:54:02 -0500
  • Andrei Paraschiv
    tagged this with Important 2016-11-07 06:23:32 -0500
  • Andrei Paraschiv
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2016-11-07 06:23:09 -0500