Between Self-management & Precariousness

Monday, December 19, 2022 - 1:00pm
Andrés Ruggeri

The Workers' Economy between the Pandemic & the Crisis of Neoliberal Hegemony

The crisis of neo-liberal globalization that expanded the labor relations of precariousness and hyper-exploitation was aggravated by the covid 19 pandemic and by the war in Ukraine, which brought into play mechanisms of punishment and economic sanctions that, in themselves, contradict the principles of globalization. The working class was, once again, the most affected by these violent crises: world inflation, energy and food supply crisis, concentration, loss of jobs, migratory crisis, etc. All these trends already existed but have accelerated in recent years, and there is nothing to suggest that the trend will be reversed. The hegemonic power of the United States as the head of world capitalism is at stake, and it is increasingly clear that the emergence of "multipolarity" will not be peaceful.

In this framework, the experiences of self-management appear to be reduced to a few specific cases: recuperated enterprises in Argentina, cooperatives of different types in several Latin American and European countries, community expressions generally associated with native peoples, cooperatives or networks of agri-food production in Brazil (MST) and in some other countries, multiple experiences of "social economy" or "popular economy" in diverse movements. Even the strength of example of these movements seems more diminished than ever in the face of a devastating crisis and the advance of far-right forces. However, they are possibly the only valid responses that can offer an alternative of social and economic organization to a world economy in crisis. The other possibilities (progressive governments, the recovery of Keynesianism, the expansion of public assistance policies, etc.) fail to consolidate more than survival. Self-management, we think, is still an alternative, provided that we analyze what concrete, existing experiences can teach, and not only abstract lessons.

In this presentation we will review the situation of self-management in some Latin American countries and briefly analyze its problems and potentialities within the framework of this planetary crisis.