Posted 8 months ago on Jan. 29, 2014, 2:31 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Capitalism is a system in which there is private ownership of the means of production. If there is no private ownership of the means of production, it is not capitalism. So what would a society without this private ownership look like? How could a society without capitalism be organized?
Some believe -- or want to trick us into believing -- that the only alternative to capitalism is some kind of authoritarian society with a powerful state owning all the means of production (cf. the Soviet Union etc). This is of course completely false.
Leninism, Stalinism and all other similar tyrannical systems are awful. They should not be introduced, they should be rejected.
So what other alternatives are there to capitalism?
There is another proposal. It's about creating a society where the means of production are controlled not by powerful capitalists, nor by a powerful state, but instead by the workers and communities. In other words, a decentralized federated society with a more participatory and direct democracy in which the communities and the workplaces are controlled democratically by the people who work and live there.
This way of organizing society is often called libertarian socialism. It is the anti-authoritarian socialism that opposes all forms of authoritarian systems and illegitimate hierarchies, and instead wants a free, non-hierarchical society with collective ownership of the means of production.
This has also worked very well in real life. We’ve seen many examples of societies and businesses based on libertarian socialist, or at least libertarian socialist-like principles that have worked very well. The Spanish Revolution is obviously worth mentioning here, as well as Mondragon and the Evergreen Cooperatives, but there have also been interesting developments in other countries as well, like Argentina, for example.
In other words, it’s not a question of whether we can achieve a free and just society based on workers’ self-management & workplace democracy, but how we most effectively can get there (I mentioned some of the things I think we should focus on in the struggle for such a society here ).
A libertarian socialist society will lead to human liberation. By creating a participatory democracy where people have control over their own workplaces and communities, people will be free from authority and dominance, and no longer treated like cogs in a machine. They will have control over their own lives; they'll be free.