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Thread: Marxist capitalism?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Marxist capitalism?

    I am generally curious about entrepreneurial triggers and social evolution. This story is absolutely fascinating on both fronts.
    If Willy Wonka and Karl Marx went into business together the result might resemble Ghelco.

    From the outside it is a nondescript industrial site in a drab suburb of Buenos Aires, the firm's logo barely visible. Inside, the first thing you notice is the smell of chocolate, honey, caramel, ice cream, cakes and jam. Machines hum while cheerful men in green overalls pack crates of confectionary.

    The second thing you notice is the absence of bosses. There are no people in suits giving orders. They do not exist. Nor is there an official owner. Ghelco is run as a cooperative along democratic lines, with an equal say and equal pay.

    "In the beginning no one thought we could do it, they thought we were brutes, ignorant. But we're still here, stronger than ever," said Daniel López (37) who operates machinery and is a member of the sales team.

    Welcome to the workers' revolution, Argentina-style. Ghelco is part of a movement where employees "recuperate" firms that have gone bust.

    Marx urged workers to break their metaphorical chains but here they do it literally, breaking the chains and locks of their former workplaces, turning on the lights and restarting machines. About 200 enterprises, from hotels to car parts factories, have started in this way, and now employ more than 15 000 people.

    For some, the movement is proof of a viable alternative to neo-liberal capitalism. For critics it is an attempt to rewrite economic principles. For the workers it is a way to put food on the table. "This is not about ideology. It is about what works," said Luis Caro, a leader of the National Movement for Recovered Factories, an umbrella group representing 10 000 people at 80 factories.
    full story from M&G here
    Serious food for thought.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Absolutely fascinating! I loved this line/concept, "This is not about ideology. It is about what works" (if only our unions could start thinking like that).

    People have empowered themselves and are creating a better life — amazing, given the circumstances.
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    Well, my personal opinion is that greedy capitalists, corporations and governments are going to force our hand (the little guys) continue to legislate us to death and continue to extract blood money as long as we allow them. If we never fight back the whole system will eventually implode.

    Then we all start again...........

    In a good world, we should be able to halt the process and turn it around before 90% of the human race is wiped out by poverty and hunger.

    Wouldn't it be great if Ghelco would be a glimpse of our good world to come?

    "This is not about ideology. It is about what works"
    Every individual needs to think like this Duncan, everyone everywhere. It means we would vote differently, we will all be accountable to each other, and our children, our heritage and our planet, heck it would mean that there can be no more bullying! YAY!
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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    Brilliant... the fact that workers are owning up to their own responsibilities and still making the things work, is absolutely brilliant .

    Do you think that it would work in SA though?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanfx View Post
    Do you think that it would work in SA though?
    Maybe. You gonna donate your factory to your workers to find out?

    When you read the full article, you see that it isn't working out in all instances. But even if you consistently manage to get the "equal share" co-operative concept in place, there is a fundamental problem in getting to this workers eutopia.

    Where did the factory come from in the first place? It takes capital. If you're going to build new enterprises on this structure, then everyone is going to have to chip in equally in raising the upfront funds.

    Coming back to the chocolate factory, are the workers buying it, renting it, borrowing it... As for viability, take away the cost of capital and finance and you probably reduce the overheads of a factory by as much as 30%. Sooner or later replacement costs are going to kick in, let alone the unpaid creditors of the bankrupt company.

    What impresses me is that those workers did not just sit back and bemoan their fate. They got productive. I hope they get it together to buy the factory. I hope everyone gets a fair share deal. But then todays workers are tomorrows shareholders and owners.

    And at that point aren't we back to capitalism?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    I can give you a definitive answer on whether or not it would work in SA... Whether or not you're going to like it is a different question...

    ---- Have written 4 paragraphs - not going to post it ---

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    And at that point aren't we back to capitalism?
    Did we ever leave?
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    Email problem stephanfx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    Did we ever leave?
    Good question. Dave, when you ask: "aren't we back to capitalism?", where were we? I know this is maybe a stupid but this is rather a new thing for me. before this thread, I did not even have a clear understanding of what capitalism was (still not too clear though). Were we in another system?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think there is a fair degree of departure from capitalism towards socialism here.

    Nice link, Stephan.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    Socialism/Capitalism

    Simple test - when State revenues exceed 25% of GDP, we are on the road to Socialism. Next stop Near-Communism, then the real thing. South Africa is on 26%.

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