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Forum Post: Workers’ Self-Management and Anarcho-Syndicalism (Alperovitz / Chomsky)

Posted 2 years ago on April 5, 2012, 5:18 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6213)
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Gar Alperovitz on workers’ self management (Democracy Now):


Gar Alperovitz "America Beyond Capitalism" lecture:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Noam Chomsky on workers’ self management:



Noam Chomsky: ”The Relevance of Anarcho-Syndicalism” (1976)

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,

(This interview can also be read here )

Noam Chomsky on Anarcho-Syndicalism in the Chomsky/Foucault debate(1971):

Fons Elders (moderator): ”Mr. Chomsky, we are all very interested to know your political objectives, especially in relation to your well-known anarcho-syndicalism or, as you formulated it, libertarian socialism. What are the most important goals of your libertarian socialism?”

Noam Chomsky: ”Let me begin by referring to something that we have already discussed, that is, if it is correct, as I believe it is, that a fundamental element of human nature is the need for creative work, for creative inquiry, for free creation without the arbitrary limiting effect of coercive institutions, then, of course, it will follow that a decent society should maximise the possibilities for this fundamental human characteristic to be realised. That means trying to overcome the elements of repression and oppression and destruction and coercion that exist in any existing society, ours for example, as a historical residue.

Now any form of coercion or repression, any form of autocratic control of some domain of existence, let's say, private ownership of capital or state control of some aspects of human life, any such autocratic restriction on some area of human endeavour, can be justified, if at all, only in terms of the need for subsistence, or the need for survival, or the need for defence against some horrible fate or something of that sort. It cannot be justified intrinsically. Rather it must be overcome and eliminated.

And I think that, at least in the technologically advanced societies of the West we are now certainly in a position where meaningless drudgery can very largely be eliminated, and to the marginal extent that it's necessary, can be shared among the population; where centralised autocratic control of, in the first place, economic institutions, by which I mean either private capitalism or state totalitarianism or the various mixed forms of state capitalism that exist here and there, has become a destructive vestige of history.

They are all vestiges that have to be overthrown, eliminated in favour of direct participation in the form of workers' councils or other free associations that individuals will constitute themselves for the purpose of their social existence and their productive labour.

Now a federated, decentralised system of free associations, incorporating economic as well as other social institutions, would be what I refer to as anarcho-syndicalism; and it seems to me that this is the appropriate form of social organisation for an advanced technological society, in which human beings do not have to be forced into the position of tools, of cogs in the machine. There is no longer any social necessity for human beings to be treated as mechanical elements in the productive process; that can be overcome and we must overcome it by a society of freedom and free association, in which the creative urge that I consider intrinsic to human nature, will in fact be able to realise itself in whatever way it will”

( video excerpt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y8_2BBlar4 )



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[-] 1 points by PeterKropotkin (1050) from Oakland, CA 1 year ago

Good post

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6213) 1 year ago

Thanks. For more libertarian left-stuff, please come visit my youtube channel :)