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WORKERS' COUNCILS AND THE ECONOMICS OF SELF-MANAGED SOCIETY


1957

CORNELIUS CASTORIADIS
[ also known by his pseudonyms: Paul Cardan (English), Pierre Chaulieu (French)

1! "n#roduc#ion
$he de%elopmen# o& modern socie#y and wha# has happened #o #he working class mo%emen# o%er #he las# 1'' years (and, in par#icular, since 1917) ha%e compelled us radically #o re%ise mos# o& #he ideas on which #ha# mo%emen# had been based! (e%eral decades ha%e gone by since #he )ussian )e%olu#ion! From #ha# re%olu#ion i# is no# socialism #ha# emerged, bu# a new and mons#rous &orm o& e*ploi#ing socie#y in which #he bureaucracy replaced #he pri%a#e owners o& capi#al and +#he plan+ #ook #he place o& #he +&ree marke#+! $here are se%eral basic ingredien#s &or #he re%ision we propose! $he &irs# is #o assimila#e #he %as# e*perience o& #he )ussian re%olu#ion and o& wha# happened #o i#! $he ne*# is #o grasp #he real signi&icance o& #he ,ungarian -orkers+ .ouncils and o#her uprisings agains# #he bureaucracy! /u# #here are o#her ingredien#s #o #he

proposed re%ision! 0 look a# modern capi#alism, and a# #he #ype o& con&lic# i# breeds, shows #ha# #hroughou# #he world working people are &aced wi#h #he same &undamen#al problems, o&#en posed in surprisingly similar #erms! $hese problems call &or #he same answer! $his answer is socialism, a social sys#em which is #he %ery opposi#e bo#h o& #he bureaucra#ic capi#alism now ins#alled in )ussia, .hina and elsewhere 11 and o& #he #ype o& capi#alism now pre%ailing in #he -es#! $he e*perience o& bureaucra#ic capi#alism allows us clearly #o percei%e wha# socialism is no# and canno# be! 0 close look bo#h a# pas# prole#arian uprisings and a# #he e%eryday li&e and s#ruggles o& #he working class 11 bo#h Eas# and -es# 11 enables us #o posi# wha# socialism could be and should be! /asing oursel%es on #he e*perience o& a cen#ury we can and mus# now de&ine #he posi#i%e con#en# o& socialism in a much &uller and more accura#e way #han could pre%ious re%olu#ionaries! "n #oday+s %as# ideological morass, people who call #hemsel%es socialis#s may be heard #o asser# #ha# +#hey are no longer 2ui#e sure wha# #he word means+! -e hope #o show #ha# #he %ery opposi#e is #he case! $oday, &or #he &irs# #ime, one can begin #o spell ou# in concre#e and speci&ic #erms wha# socialism could really be like! $he #ask we are abou# #o under#ake does no# only lead us #o challenge many widely held ideas abou# socialism, many o& which go back #o 3enin and some #o 4ar*! "# also leads us #o 2ues#ion widely held ideas abou# capi#alism, abou# #he way i# works and abou# #he real na#ure o& i#s crises, ideas many o& which ha%e reached us (wi#h or wi#hou# dis#or#ion) &rom 4ar* himsel&! $he #wo analyses are complemen#ary and, in &ac#, #he one necessi#a#es #he o#her! 5ne canno# unders#and #he deepes# essence o& capi#alism and i#s crises wi#hou# a #o#al concep#ion o& socialism! For socialism implies human au#onomy, #he conscious managemen# by people o& #heir own li%es! .api#alism 11 bo#h pri%a#e and bureaucra#ic [p1 11 is #he ul#ima#e nega#ion o& #his au#onomy, and i#s crises s#em &rom #he &ac# #ha# #he sys#em! necessarily crea#es #his dri%e #o au#onomy, while simul#aneously being compelled #o suppress i#! $he re%ision we propose did no# o& course s#ar# #oday! 6arious s#rands o& #he re%olu#ionary

mo%emen# 11 and a number o& indi%idual re%olu#ionaries 11 ha%e con#ribu#ed #o i# o%er a period! "n #he %ery &irs# issue o& Socialisme ou Barbarie [a5 we claimed #ha# #he &undamen#al di%ision in con#emporary socie#ies was #he di%ision in#o order1 gi%ers (dirigeants) and order1#akers (excutants)! -e a##emp#ed #o show how #he working class+s own de%elopmen# would lead i# #o a socialis# consciousness! -e s#a#ed #ha# socialism could only be #he produc# o& #he au#onomous ac#ion o& #he working class! -e s#ressed #ha# a socialis# socie#y implied #he aboli#ion o& any separa#e s#ra#um o& order1gi%ers and #ha# i# #here&ore implied power a# #he base and workers+ managemen# o& produc#ion! /u#, in a sense, we oursel%es ha%e &ailed #o de%elop our own ideas #o #he &ull! "# would hardly be wor#h men#ioning #his &ac# were i# no# #ha# i# re&lec#ed 11 a# i#s own le%el 11 #he in&luence o& &ac#ors which ha%e domina#ed #he e%olu#ion o& re%olu#ionary #heory &or a cen#ury, namely #he enormous dead1weigh# o& #he ideology o& e*ploi#ing socie#y, #he paraly7ing legacy o& #radi#ional concep#s and #he di&&icul#y o& &reeing onesel& &rom inheri#ed me#hods o& #hough#! "n one sense, our re%ision consis#s o& making more e*plici# and precise wha# has always been #he deepes# con#en# o& working class s#ruggles 11 whe#her a# #heir drama#ic and culmina#ing momen#s (re%olu#ion) or in #he anonymi#y o& working class li&e in #he &ac#ory! "n ano#her sense, our re%ision consis#s in &reeing re%olu#ionary #hough# &rom #he accumula#ed clinker o& a cen#ury! -e wan# #o break #he de&orming prisms #hrough which so many re%olu#ionaries ha%e become used #o looking a# #he socie#y around #hem! (ocialism aims a# gi%ing a meaning #o #he li&e and work o& people8 a# enabling #heir &reedom, #heir crea#i%i#y and #he mos# posi#i%e aspec#s o& #heir personali#y #o &lourish8 a# crea#ing organic links be#ween #he indi%idual and #hose around him, and be#ween #he group and socie#y8 a# o%ercoming #he barriers be#ween manual and men#al work8 a# reconciling people wi#h #hemsel%es and wi#h na#ure! "# #hereby re9oins #he mos# deeply &el# aspira#ions o& #he working class in i#s daily s#ruggles agains# capi#alis# aliena#ion! $hese are no# longings rela#ing #o some ha7y and dis#an# &u#ure! $hey are &eelings and #endencies

e*is#ing and mani&es#ing #hemsel%es #oday, bo#h in re%olu#ionary s#ruggles and in e%eryday li&e! $o unders#and #his is #o unders#and #ha#, &or #he worker, #he &inal problem o& his#ory is an e%eryday problem! $o grasp #his is also #o percei%e #ha# socialism is no# +na#ionali7a#ion+ or +planning+ or e%en an +increase in li%ing s#andards+! "# is #o unders#and #ha# #he real crisis o& capi#alism is no# due #o +#he anarchy o& #he marke#+, or #o +o%erproduc#ion+ or #o +#he &alling ra#e o& pro&i#+! $aken #o #heir logical conclusion, and grasped in all #heir implica#ions, #hese ideas al#er one+s concep#s o& re%olu#ionary #heory, ac#ion and organi7a#ion! $hey #rans&orm one+s %ision o& socie#y and o& #he world!

:! $he .risis o& .api#alism


$he capi#alis# organi7a#ion o& social li&e (bo#h Eas# and -es#) crea#es a cons#an#ly renewed crisis in e%ery aspec# o& human ac#i%i#y! $his crisis appears mos# in#ensely in #he realm o& produc#ion, [n1 al#hough in i#s essence, #he problem is #he same in o#her &ields, i!e!, whe#her one is dealing wi#h #he &amily, wi#h educa#ion, wi#h cul#ure, wi#h poli#ics or wi#h in#erna#ional rela#ions! E%erywhere, #he capi#alis# s#ruc#ure o& socie#y imposes on people an organi7a#ion o& #heir li%es #ha# is e*#ernal #o #hem! "# organi7es #hings in #he absence o& #hose mos# direc#ly concerned and o&#en agains# #heir aspira#ions and in#eres#s! $his is bu# ano#her way o& saying #ha# capi#alism di%ides socie#y in#o a narrow s#ra#um o& order1gi%ers (whose &unc#ion is #o decide and organi7e e%ery#hing) and #he %as# ma9ori#y o& #he popula#ion who are reduced #o carrying ou# (e*ecu#ing) #he decisions o& #hose in power! 0s a resul# o& #his %ery &ac#, mos# people e*perience #heir own li%es as some#hing alien #o #hem! $his pa##ern o& organi7a#ion is pro&oundly irra#ional and &ull o& con#radic#ions! ;nder i#, repea#ed crises o&

one kind or ano#her are absolu#ely ine%i#able! "# is nonsensical #o seek #o organi7e people, ei#her in produc#ion or in poli#ics, as i& #hey were mere ob9ec#s, ignoring sys#ema#ically wha# #hey #hemsel%es wish or how #hey #hemsel%es #hink #hings should be done! "n real li&e, capi#alism is obliged #o base i#sel& on people+s capaci#y &or sel& organi7a#ion, on #he indi%idual and collec#i%e crea#i%i#y o& #he producers! -i#hou# #hese i# could no# sur%i%e &or a day! /u# #he whole +o&&icial+ organi7a#ion o& modern socie#y bo#h ignores and seeks #o suppress #hese abili#ies #o #he u#mos#! $he resul# is no# only an enormous was#e due #o un#apped capaci#y! $he sys#em does more: i# necessarily engenders opposi#ion, a s#ruggle agains# i# by #hose upon whom i# seeks #o impose i#sel&! 3ong be&ore one can speak o& re%olu#ion or o& poli#ical consciousness, people re&use in #heir e%eryday working li&e #o be #rea#ed as ob9ec#s! $he capi#alis# organi7a#ion o& socie#y is #hereby compelled no# only #o s#ruc#ure i#sel& in #he absence o& #hose mos# direc#ly concerned, bu# #o #ake shape agains# #hem! $he ne# resul# is no# only was#e bu# perpe#ual con&lic#! "& a #housand indi%iduals ha%e amongs# #hem a gi%en capaci#y &or sel&1organi7a#ion, capi#alism consis#s in more or less arbi#rarily choosing &i&#y o& #hese indi%iduals, o& %es#ing #hem wi#h managerial au#hori#y and o& deciding #ha# #he o#hers should 9us# be cogs! 4e#aphorically speaking, #his is already a 95< loss o& social ini#ia#i%e and dri%e! /u# #here is more #o i#! 0s #he 95' ignored indi%iduals are no# cogs, and as capi#alism is obliged up #o a poin# #o base i#sel& on #heir human capaci#ies and in &ac# #o de%elop #hem, #hese indi%iduals will reac# and s#ruggle agains# wha# #he sys#em imposes upon #hem! $he crea#i%e &acul#ies which #hey are no# allowed #o e*ercise on behal& o& a social order which re9ec#s #hem (and which #hey re9ec#) are now u#ili7ed agains# #ha# social order! 0 permanen# s#ruggle de%elops a# #he %ery kernel o& social li&e! "# soon becomes #he source o& &ur#her was#e! $he narrow s#ra#um o& order1gi%ers has hence&or#h #o di%ide i#s #ime be#ween organi7ing #he work o& #hose +below+ and seeking #o coun#erac#, neu#rali7e, de&lec# or manipula#e #heir resis#ance! $he &unc#ion o& #he managerial appara#us ceases #o be merely organi7a#ion and soon assumes

all sor#s o& coerci%e aspec#s! $hose in au#hori#y in a large modern &ac#ory in &ac# spend less o& #heir #ime in organi7a#ion o& produc#ion #han in coping, direc#ly or indirec#ly, wi#h #he resis#ance o& #he e*ploi#ed 11 whe#her i# be a 2ues#ion o& super%ision, o& 2uali#y con#rol, o& de#ermining piece ra#es, o& +human rela#ions+, o& discussions wi#h shop s#ewards or union represen#a#i%es! 5n #op o& all #his #here is o& course #he permanen# preoccupa#ion o& #hose in power wi#h making sure #ha# e%ery#hing is measurable, 2uan#i&iable, %eri&iable, con#rollable, so as #o deal in ad%ance wi#h any coun#erac#ion #he workers migh# launch agains# new me#hods o& e*ploi#a#ion! $he same applies, wi#h all due correc#ions, #o #he #o#al organi7a#ion o& social li&e and #o all #he essen#ial ac#i%i#ies o& any modern s#a#e! $he irra#ionali#y and con#radic#ions o& capi#alism do no# only show up in #he way social li&e is organi7ed! $hey appear e%en more clearly when one looks a# #he real con#en# o& #he li&e which #he sys#em proposes! 4ore #han any o#her social order, capi#alism has made o& work #he cen#er o& human ac#i%i#y and more #han any o#her social order capi#alism makes o& work some#hing #ha# is absurd (absurd no# &rom #he %iewpoin# o& #he philosopher or o& #he moralis#, bu# &rom #he poin# o& %iew o& #hose who ha%e #o per&orm i#)! -ha# is challenged #oday is no# only #he +human organi7a#ion+ o& work, bu# i#s na#ure, i#s me#hods, i#s ob9ec#i%es, #he %ery ins#rumen#s and purpose o& capi#alis# produc#ion! $he #wo aspec#s are o& course inseparable, bu# i# is #he second #ha# needs s#ressing! 0s a resul# o& #he na#ure o& work in a capi#alis# en#erprise, and howe%er i# may be organi7ed, #he ac#i%i#y o& #he worker ins#ead o& being #he organic e*pression o& his human &acul#ies becomes some#hing which domina#es him as an alien and hos#ile &orce! "n #heory, #he worker is only #ied #o #his ac#i%i#y by a #hin (bu# unbreakable) #hread: #he need #o earn a li%ing! /u# #his ensures #ha# e%en #he day #ha# is abou# #o s#ar# dawns be&ore him as some#hing hos#ile! -ork under capi#alism #here&ore implies a permanen# mu#ila#ion, a perpe#ual was#e o& crea#i%e capaci#y, and a cons#an# s#ruggle be#ween #he worker and his own ac#i%i#y, be#ween wha# s=he would like #o do and

wha# s=he has #o do! From #his angle #oo, capi#alism can only sur%i%e #o #he e*#en# #ha# i# canno# &ashion reali#y #o i#s moulds! $he sys#em only &unc#ions #o #he e*#en# #ha# #he +o&&icial+ organi7a#ion o& produc#ion and o& socie#y are cons#an#ly resis#ed, #hwar#ed, correc#ed and comple#ed by #he e&&ec#i%e sel&1organi7a#ion o& people! -ork processes can only be e&&icien# under capi#alism #o #he e*#en# #ha# #he real a##i#udes o& workers #owards #heir work di&&er &rom wha# is prescribed! -orking people succeed in appropria#ing #he general principles rela#ing #o #heir work 11 #o which, according #o #he spiri# o& #he sys#em, #hey should ha%e no access and concerning which #he sys#em seeks #o keep #hem in #he dark! $hey #hen apply #hese principles #o #he speci&ic condi#ions in which #hey &ind #hemsel%es whereas in #heory #his prac#ical applica#ion can only be spelled ou# by #he managerial appara#us! E*ploi#ing socie#ies persis# because #hose whom #hey e*ploi# help #hem #o sur%i%e! /u# capi#alism di&&ers &rom all pre%ious e*ploi#ing socie#ies! (la%e1owning and &eudal socie#ies perpe#ua#ed #hemsel%es because ancien# sla%es and medie%al ser&s worked according #o #he norms o& #hose socie#ies! $he working class enables capi#alism #o con#inue by ac#ing agains# #he sys#em! /u# capi#alism can only &unc#ion #o #he e*#en# #ha# #hose i# e*ploi#s ac#i%ely oppose e%ery#hing #he sys#em seeks #o impose upon #hem! [a> $he &inal ou#come o& #his s#ruggle is socialism namely #he elimina#ion o& all e*#ernally1imposed norms, me#hods and pa##erns o& organi7a#ion and #he #o#al libera#ion o& #he crea#i%e and sel&1organi7ing capaci#ies o& #he masses!

?! /asic @rinciples o& (ocialis# (ocie#y


(ocialis# socie#y implies #he organi7a#ion by people #hemsel%es o& e%ery aspec# o& #heir social li&e! $he es#ablishmen# o& socialism #here&ore en#ails #he immedia#e aboli#ion o& #he

&undamen#al di%ision o& socie#y in#o a s#ra#um o& order1gi%ers and a mass o& order1#akers! $he con#en# o& #he socialis# reorgani7a#ion o& socie#y is &irs# o& all workers+ managemen# o& produc#ion! $he working class has repea#edly s#aked i#s claim #o such managemen# and s#ruggled #o achie%e i# a# #he high poin#s o& i#s his#oric ac#ions: in )ussia in 191711A, in "#aly in 19:', in (pain in 19?>, in ,ungary in 195>! -orkers+ .ouncils, based on #he place o& work, are #he &orm workers+ sel&1 managemen# will probably #ake and #he ins#i#u#ion mos# likely #o &os#er i#s grow#h! -orkers+ managemen# means #he power o& #he local -orkers+ .ouncils and ul#ima#ely, a# #he le%el o& socie#y as a whole, #he power o& #he .en#ral 0ssembly o& -orkers .ouncil Belega#es! [a7 Fac#ory .ouncils (or .ouncils based on any o#her place o& work such as a plan#, building si#e, mine, railway yard, o&&ice, e#c!) will be composed o& delega#es elec#ed by #he workers and re%ocable by #hem, a# any #ime, and will uni#e #he &unc#ions o& delibera#ion, decision and e*ecu#ion! (uch .ouncils are his#oric crea#ions o& #he working class! $hey ha%e come #o #he &ore&ron# e%ery #ime #he 2ues#ion o& power has been posed in modern socie#y! $he )ussian Fac#ory .ommi##ees o& 1917, #he Cerman -orkers+ .ouncils o& 1919, #he ,ungarian .ouncils o& 195> all sough# #o e*press (wha#e%er #heir name) #he same original, organic and charac#eris#ic working class pa##ern o& sel&1organi7a#ion! [aA .oncre#ely #o de&ine #he socialis# organi7a#ion o& socie#y is amongs# o#her #hings #o draw all #he possible conclusions &rom #wo basic ideas: workers+ managemen# o& produc#ion and #he rule o& #he .ouncils! /u# such a de&ini#ion can only come #o li&e and be gi%en &lesh and blood i& combined wi#h an accoun# o& how #he ins#i#u#ions o& a &ree, socialis# socie#y migh# &unc#ion in prac#ice! $here is no 2ues#ion o& us here #rying #o draw up +s#a#u#es+, +rules+, or an +ideal cons#i#u#ion+ &or socialis# socie#y! (#a#u#es, as such, mean no#hing! $he bes# o& s#a#u#es can only ha%e meaning #o #he e*#en# #ha# people are permanen#ly prepared #o de&end wha# is bes# in #hem, #o make up wha# #hey lack, and #o change wha#e%er #hey may con#ain #ha# has become inade2ua#e or ou#da#ed! From #his poin# o& %iew we mus#

ob%iously a%oid any &e#ishism o& #he +.ouncil+ #ype o& organi7a#ion $he +cons#an# eligibili#y and re%ocabili#y o& represen#a#i%es+ are o& #hemsel%es 2ui#e insu&&icien# #o +guaran#ee+ #ha# a .ouncil will remain #he e*pression o& working class in#eres#s! $he .ouncil will remain such an e*pression &or as long as people are prepared #o do wha#e%er may be necessary &or i# #o remain so! $he achie%emen# o& socialism is no# a 2ues#ion o& be##er legisla#ion! "# depends on #he cons#an# sel&1ac#i%i#y o& people and on #heir capaci#y #o &ind wi#hin #hemsel%es #he necessary awareness o& ends and means, #he necessary solidari#y and de#ermina#ion! /u# #o be socially e&&ec#i%e1 #his au#onomous mass ac#ion canno# remain amorphous, &ragmen#ed and dispersed! "# will &ind e*pression in pa##erns o& ac#ion and &orms o& organi7a#ion, in ways o& doing #hings and ul#ima#ely in ins#i#u#ions which embody and re&lec# i#s purpose! Dus# as we mus# a%oid #he &e#ishism o& +s#a#u#es+ we should also see #he shor#comings o& %arious #ypes o& +anarchis#+ or +spon#aneis#+ &e#ishism, which in #he belie& #ha# in #he las# resor# working class consciousness will de#ermine e%ery#hing, #akes li##le or no in#eres# in #he &orms such consciousness should #ake, i& i# is really #o change reali#y! $he .ouncil is no# a gi&# bes#owed by some liber#arian Cod! "# is no# a miraculous ins#i#u#ion! "# canno# be a popular mou#hpiece i& #he people do no# wish #o e*press #hemsel%es #hrough i#s medium! /u# #he .ouncil is an ade2ua#e &orm o& organi7a#ion: i#s whole s#ruc#ure is such #ha# i# enables working class aspira#ions #o come #o ligh# and &ind e*pression! @arliamen#ary1#ype ins#i#u#ions, on #he o#her hand, whe#her called +,ouse o& .ommons+, or +(upreme (o%ie# o& #he ;(()+, are by de&ini#ion #ypes o& ins#i#u#ions #ha# canno# be socialis#! $hey are &ounded on a radical separa#ion be#ween #he people, +consul#ed+ &rom #ime #o #ime, and #hose who are deemed #o +represen#+ #hem, bu# who are in &ac# beyond meaning&ul popular con#rol! 0 -orkers+ .ouncil is designed so as #o represen# working people, bu# may cease #o &ul&ill #his &unc#ion! @arliamen# is designed so as no# #o represen# #he people and ne%er ceases #o &ul&ill #his &unc#ion! [n: $he 2ues#ion o& ade2ua#e and meaning&ul ins#i#u#ions is cen#ral #o socialis#

socie#y! "# is par#icularly impor#an# as socialism can only come abou# #hrough a re%olu#ion, #ha# is #o say as #he resul# o& a social crisis in #he course o& which #he consciousness and ac#i%i#y o& #he masses reach e*#remely high le%els! ;nder #hese condi#ions #he masses become capable o& breaking #he power o& #he ruling class and o& i#s armed &orces, o& bypassing #he poli#ical and economic ins#i#u#ions o& es#ablished socie#y, and o& #ranscending wi#hin #hemsel%es #he hea%y legacy o& cen#uries o& oppression! $his s#a#e o& a&&airs should no# be #hough# o& as some kind o& paro*ysm, bu# on #he con#rary as #he pre&igura#ion o& #he le%el o& bo#h ac#i%i#y and awareness demanded o& men in a &ree socie#y! $he +ebbing+ o& re%olu#ionary ac#i%i#y has no#hing ine%i#able abou# i#! "# will always remain a #hrea# howe%er, gi%en #he sheer enormi#y o& #he #asks #o be #ackled! E%ery#hing which adds #o #he innumerable problems &acing popular mass ac#ion will enhance #he #endency #o such a re&lu*! "# is, #here&ore, crucial &or #he re%olu#ion #o pro%ide i#sel&, &rom i#s %ery &irs# days, wi#h a ne#work o& ade2ua#e s#ruc#ures #o e*press i#s will and &or re%olu#ionaries #o ha%e some idea as #o how #hese s#ruc#ures migh# &unc#ion and in#errela#e! $here can be no organi7a#ional or ideological %acuum in #his respec# and i& liber#arian re%olu#ionaries remain bliss&ully unaware o& #hese problems and ha%e no# discussed or e%en en%isaged #hem #hey can res# assured #ha# o#hers ha%e! "# is essen#ial #ha# re%olu#ionary socie#y should crea#e &or i#sel&, a# each s#age, #hose s#ruc#ures #ha# can mos# readily become e&&ec#i%e +normal+ mechanisms &or #he e*pression o& popular will, bo#h in +impor#an# a&&airs+ and in e%eryday li&e (which is o& course #he &irs# and &oremos# o& all +impor#an# a&&airs+)! $he de&ini#ion o& socialis# socie#y #ha# we are a##emp#ing #here&ore re2uires o& us some descrip#ion o& how we %isuali7e i#s ins#i#u#ions, and #he way #hey will &unc#ion! $his endea%or is no# +u#opian+, &or i# is bu# #he elabora#ion and e*#rapola#ion o& his#orical crea#ions o& #he working class, and in par#icular o& #he concep# o& workers+ managemen#! $he ideas we propose #o de%elop are only #he #heore#ical &ormula#ion o& #he e*perience o& a cen#ury o& working class s#ruggles! $hey embody real e*periences (bo#h posi#i%e and nega#i%e),

conclusions (bo#h direc# and indirec#) #ha# ha%e already been drawn, answers gi%en #o problems ac#ually posed or answers which would ha%e had #o be gi%en i& such and such a re%olu#ion had de%eloped a li##le &ur#her! E%ery sen#ence in #his #e*# is linked #o 2ues#ions which implici#ly or e*plici#ly ha%e already been me# in #he course o& working class s#ruggles! $his should pu# a s#op once and &or all #o allega#ions o& +u#opianism+! [n? a! "ns#i#u#ions #ha# @eople can ;nders#and and .on#rol (el&1managemen# will only be possible i& people+s a##i#udes #o social organi7a#ion al#er radically! $his in #urn, will only #ake place i& social ins#i#u#ions become a meaning&ul par# o& #heir real daily li&e! Dus# as work will only ha%e a meaning when people unders#and and domina#e i#, so will #he ins#i#u#ions o& socialis# socie#y only become meaning&ul when people bo#h unders#and and con#rol #hem! [nE 4odern socie#y is a dark and incomprehensible 9ungle, a con&usion o& appara#uses, s#ruc#ures and ins#i#u#ions whose workings almos# no one unders#ands or #akes any in#eres# in socialis# socie#y will only be possible i& i# brings abou# a radical change in #his s#a#e o& a&&airs and massi%ely simpli&ies social organi7a#ion! (ocialism implies #ha# #he organi7a#ion o& a socie#y will ha%e become #ransparen# &or #hose who make up #ha# socie#y! $o say #ha# #he workings and ins#i#u#ions o& socialis# socie#y mus# be easy #o unders#and implies #ha# people mus# ha%e a ma*imum o& in&orma#ion! $his +ma*imum o& in&orma#ion+ is some#hing 2ui#e di&&eren# &rom an enormous mass o& da#a! $he problem isn+# #o e2uip e%erybody wi#h por#able micro&ilms o& e%ery#hing #ha#+s in #he /ri#ish 4useum! 5n #he con#rary, #he ma*imum o& in&orma#ion depends &irs# and &oremos# in a reduc#ion o& da#a #o #heir essen#ials, so #ha# #hey can readily be handled by all! $his will be possible because socialism will resul# in an immedia#e and enormous simpli&ica#ion o& problems and #he disappearance, pure and simple, o& mos# curren# rules and regula#ions which will ha%e become 2ui#e meaningless! $o #his will be added a sys#ema#ic e&&or# #o ga#her and dissemina#e in&orma#ion abou# social reali#y, and #o presen# &ac#s bo#h ade2ua#ely and simply! Fur#her on, when discussing #he &unc#ioning o& socialis#

economy, we will gi%e e*amples o& #he enormous possibili#ies #ha# already e*is# in #his &ield! ;nder socialism people will domina#e #he working and ins#i#u#ions o& socie#y! (ocialism will #here&ore ha%e, &or #he &irs# #ime in human his#ory, #o ins#i#u#e democracy! E#ymologically, #he word democracy means domina#ion by #he masses! -e are no# here concerned wi#h #he &ormal aspec#s o& #his domina#ion! )eal domina#ion mus# no# be con&used wi#h %o#ing! 0 %o#e, e%en a +&ree+ %o#e, may only be 11 and o&#en only is 11 a parody o& democracy! )eal democracy is no# #he righ# #o %o#e on secondary issues! "# is no# #he righ# #o appoin# rulers who will #hen decide, wi#hou# con#rol &rom below, on all #he essen#ial 2ues#ions! For does democracy consis# in calling upon people elec#orally #o commen# upon incomprehensible 2ues#ions or upon 2ues#ions which ha%e no meaning &or #hem! )eal domina#ion consis#s in being able #o decide &or onesel&, on all essen#ial 2ues#ions, in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s! "n #hese &ew words +in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s+ lies #he whole problem o& democracy! [n5 $here is li##le poin# in asking people #o pronounce #hemsel%es i& #hey are no# aware o& #he rele%an# &ac#s! $his has long been s#ressed by #he reac#ionary or &ascis# cri#ics o& bourgeois +democracy+, and e%en by #he more cynical (#alinis#s [n> or Fabians! [a9 "# is ob%ious #ha# bourgeois +democracy+ is a &arce, i& only because li#erally nobody in con#emporary socie#y can e*press an opinion in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s, leas# o& all #he mass o& #he people &rom whom poli#ical and economic reali#ies and #he real meaning o& #he 2ues#ions asked are sys#ema#ically hidden! /u# #he answer is no# #o %es# power in #he hands o& an incompe#en# and uncon#rollable bureaucracy! $he answer is so #o #rans&orm social reali#y #ha# essen#ial da#a and &undamen#al problems are unders#ood by all, enabling all #o e*press opinions +in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s+! b! Birec# Bemocracy and .en#rali7a#ion $o decide means #o decide &or onesel&! $o decide who is #o decide is already no# 2ui#e deciding &or onesel&! $he only #o#al &orm o& democracy is #here&ore direc# democracy! $o achie%e #he wides# and mos# meaning&ul direc# democracy will re2uire

#ha# all #he economic and poli#ical s#ruc#ures o& socie#y be based on local groups #ha# are real, organic social uni#s! Birec# democracy cer#ainly re2uires #he physical presence o& ci#i7ens in a gi%en place, when decisions ha%e #o be #aken! /u# #his is no# enough! "# also re2uires #ha# #hese ci#i7ens &orm an organic communi#y, #ha# #hey li%e i& possible in #he same milieu, #ha# #hey be &amiliar #hrough #heir daily e*perience wi#h #he sub9ec#s #o be discussed and wi#h #he problems #o be #ackled! "# is only in such uni#s #ha# #he poli#ical par#icipa#ion o& indi%iduals can become #o#al, #ha# people can know and &eel #ha# #heir in%ol%emen# is meaning&ul and #ha# #he real li&e o& #he communi#y is being de#ermined by i#s own members and no# by some e*#ernal agency, ac#ing +on behal& o&+ #he communi#y! $here mus# #here&ore be #he ma*imum au#onomy and sel&1managemen# &or #he local uni#s! 4odern social li&e has already crea#ed #hese collec#i%i#ies and con#inues #o crea#e #hem! $hey are uni#s based on medium1si7ed or larger en#erprises and are #o be &ound in indus#ry, #ranspor#, building, commerce, #he banks, public adminis#ra#ion, e#c!, where people in hundreds, #housands or #ens1o&1#housands spend #he main par# o& #heir li&e harnessed #o common work, coming up agains# socie#y in i#s mos# concre#e &orm! 0 place o& work is no# only a uni# o& produc#ion: i# has become #he primary uni# o& social li&e &or #he %as# ma9ori#y o& people! "ns#ead o& basing i#sel& on geographical uni#s, which economic de%elopmen# has o&#en rendered highly ar#i&icial, #he poli#ical s#ruc#ure o& socialism will be largely based on collec#i%i#ies in%ol%ed in similar work! (uch collec#i%i#ies will pro%e #he &er#ile soil on which direc# democracy can nourish as #hey did (&or similar reasons) in #he ancien# ci#y or in #he democra#ic communi#ies o& &ree &armers in #he ;ni#ed (#a#es in #he 19#h cen#ury! Birec# democracy gi%es an idea o& #he decen#rali7a#ion [p: which socialis# socie#y will be able #o achie%e! /u# an indus#rially ad%anced &ree socie#y will also ha%e #o &ind a means o& democra#ically in#egra#ing #hese basic uni#s in#o #he social &abric as a whole! "# will ha%e #o sol%e #he di&&icul# problem o& #he necessary cen#rali7a#ion, wi#hou# which #he li&e o& a modern communi#y would collapse!

"# is no# cen#rali7a#ion as such which has made o& modern socie#ies such ou#s#anding e*amples o& poli#ical aliena#ion or which has led #o minori#ies poli#ically e*propria#ing #he ma9ori#y! $his has been brough# abou# by #he de%elopmen# o& bodies separa#e &rom and +abo%e+ #he general popula#ion, bodies e*clusi%ely and speci&ically concerned wi#h #he &unc#ion o& cen#rali7a#ion! 0s long as cen#rali7a#ion is concei%ed o& as #he speci&ic &unc#ion o& a separa#e, independen# appara#us, bureaucracy is indeed inseparable &rom cen#rali7a#ion! /u# in a socialis# socie#y #here will be no con&lic# be#ween cen#rali7a#ion and #he au#onomy o& local organi7a#ions, &or bo#h &unc#ions will be e*ercised by #he same ins#i#u#ions! $here will be no separa#e appara#us whose &unc#ion i# will be #o reuni#e wha#! i# has i#sel& smashed up, which absurd #ask (need we recall i#) is precisely #he &unc#ion o& a modern bureaucracy! [a1' /ureaucra#ic cen#rali7a#ion is a &ea#ure o& all modern e*ploi#ing socie#ies! $he in#ima#e links be#ween cen#rali7a#ion and #o#ali#arian bureaucra#ic rule, in such class socie#ies, pro%okes a heal#hy and unders#andable a%ersion #o cen#rali7a#ion among many con#emporary re%olu#ionaries! /u# #his response is o&#en con&used and a# #imes i# rein&orces #he %ery #hings i# seeks #o correc#! +.en#rali7a#ion, #here+s #he roo# o& all e%il+ [p? proclaim many hones# mili#an#s as #hey break wi#h (#alinism or 3eninism in ei#her Eas# or -es#! /u# #his &ormula#ion, a# bes# ambiguous, becomes posi#i%ely harm&ul when i# leads as i# o&#en does 11 ei#her #o &ormal demands &or #he +&ragmen#a#ion o& power+ or #o demands &or a limi#less e*#ension o& #he powers o& base groupings, neglec#ing wha# is #o happen a# o#her le%els! -hen @olish mili#an#s, &or ins#ance, imagine #hey ha%e &ound a solu#ion #o #he problem o& bureaucracy when #hey ad%oca#e a social li&e organi7ed and led by +se%eral cen#ers+ (#he (#a#e 0dminis#ra#ion, a @arliamen#ary 0ssembly, #he $rade ;nions, -orkers+ .ouncils and @oli#ical @ar#ies) #hey are arguing beside #he poin#! $hey &ail #o see #ha# #his +polycen#rism+ is e2ui%alen# #o #he absence o& any real and iden#i&iable cen#er, con#rolled &rom below! 0nd as modern socie#y has #o #ake cer#ain cen#ral decisions #he +cons#i#u#ion+ #hey propose will only e*is# on paper! "# will only ser%e #o hide #he re1emergence o& a real, bu#

#his #ime masked (and #here&ore, uncon#rollable) +cen#er+, &rom amid #he ranks o& #he poli#ical bureaucracy! $he reason is ob%ious: i& one &ragmen#s any ins#i#u#ion accomplishing a signi&ican# or %i#al &unc#ion one only crea#es an enhanced need &or some o#her ins#i#u#ion #o reassemble #he &ragmen#s! (imilarly, i& one merely ad%oca#es an e*#ension o& #he powers o& local .ouncils, one is #hereby handing #hem o%er #o domina#ion by a cen#ral bureaucracy which alone would +know+ or +unders#and+ how #o make #he economy &unc#ion as a whole (and modern economies, whe#her one likes i# or no#, do &unc#ion as a whole)! For liber#arian re%olu#ionaries #o duck #hese di&&icul#ies and #o re&use #o &ace up #o #he 2ues#ion o& cen#ral power is #an#amoun# #o lea%ing #he solu#ion o& #hese problems #o some bureaucracy or o#her! 3iber#arian socie#y will #here&ore ha%e #o pro%ide a liber#arian solu#ion #o #he problem o& cen#rali7a#ion! $his answer could be #he assump#ion o& care&ully de&ined and circumscribed au#hori#y by a Federa#ion o& -orkers+ .ouncils and #he crea#ion o& a .en#ral 0ssembly o& .ouncils and o& a .ouncil 0dminis#ra#ion! -e will see &ur#her on #ha# such an 0ssembly and such an 0dminis#ra#ion do no# cons#i#u#e a delega#ion o& popular power bu# are, on #he con#rary, an ins#rumen# o& #ha# power! 0# #his s#age we only wan# #o discuss #he principles #ha# migh# go%ern #he rela#ionship o& such bodies #o #he local .ouncils and o#her base groups! $hese principles are impor#an#, &or #hey would a&&ec# #he &unc#ioning o& nearly all ins#i#u#ions in a liber#arian socie#y! c! $he Flow o& "n&orma#ion and Becisions "n a socie#y where #he people ha%e been robbed o& poli#ical power, and where #his power is in #he hands o& a cen#rali7ing au#hori#y #he essen#ial rela#ionship be#ween #he cen#er and #he periphery can be summed up as &ollows: channels &rom #he periphery #o #he cen#er only #ransmi# in&orma#ion, whereas channels &rom #he cen#er #o #he periphery #ransmi# decisions (plus, perhaps, #ha# minimum o& in&orma#ion deemed necessary &or #he unders#anding and e*ecu#ion o& #he decisions #aken a# #he cen#er)! $he whole se#1up re&lec#s no# only a monopoly o& decisional au#hori#y, bu# also a monopoly o& #he condi#ions necessary &or #he e*ercise o& power, $he cen#er

alone has #he +sum #o#al+ o& in&orma#ion needed #o e%alua#e and decide! "n modern socie#y, i# can only be by acciden# #ha# any indi%idual or body gains access #o in&orma#ion o#her #han #ha# rela#ing #o his immedia#e milieu! $he sys#em seeks #o a%oid, or a# any ra#e, i# doesn+# encourage such +acciden#s+! -hen we say #ha# in a socialis# socie#y #he cen#ral bodies will no# cons#i#u#e a delega#ion o& power bu# will be #he e*pression o& #he power o& #he people we are implying a radical change in all #his! 5ne o& #he main &unc#ions o& cen#ral bodies will be #o collec#, #ransmi# and dissemina#e in&orma#ion collec#ed and con%eyed #o #hem by local groups! "n all essen#ial &ields, decisions will be #aken a# grassroo#s le%el and will be no#i&ied #o #he +cen#er+, whose responsibili#y i# will be #o help or &ollow #heir progress! 0 #wo1way &low o& in&orma#ion and recommenda#ions will be ins#i#u#ed and #his will no# only apply #o rela#ions be#ween #he 0dminis#ra#ion and #he .ouncils, bu# will be a model &or rela#ions be#ween all ins#i#u#ions and #hose who comprise #hem! -e mus# s#ress once again #ha# we are no# #rying #o draw up per&ec# blueprin#s! "# is ob%ious &or ins#ance #ha# #o collec# and dissemina#e in&orma#ion is no# a socially neu#ral &unc#ion, 0ll in&orma#ion canno# be dissemina#ed 11 i# would be #he sures# way o& smo#hering wha# is rele%an# and rendering i# incomprehensible and #here&ore uncon#rollable! $he role o& any cen#ral bodies is #here&ore poli#ical, e%en in #his respec#!

E! (ocialism and #he $rans&orma#ion o& -ork


(ocialism will only be brough# abou# by #he au#onomous ac#ion o& #he ma9ori#y o& #he popula#ion! (ocialis# socie#y is no#hing o#her #han #he sel&1organi7a#ion o& #his au#onomy! (ocialism bo#h presupposes #his au#onomy, and helps #o de%elop i#! /u# i& #his au#onomy is people+s conscious domina#ion o%er all #heir

ac#i%i#ies, i# is clear #ha# we can+# 9us# concern oursel%es wi#h poli#ical au#onomy! @oli#ical au#onomy is bu# a deri%a#i%e aspec# o& wha# is #he cen#ral con#en# and problem o& socialism: #o ins#i#u#e #he domina#ion o& mankind o%er #he work process! [n7 0 purely poli#ical au#onomy would be meaningless! 5ne can+# imagine a socie#y where people would be sla%es in produc#ion e%ery day o& #he week, and #hen en9oy (undays o& poli#ical &reedom! [nA $he idea #ha# socialis# produc#ion or a socialis# economy could be run, a# any par#icular le%el, by managers (#hemsel%es super%ised by .ouncils, or (o%ie#s, or by any o#her body +incarna#ing #he poli#ical power o& #he working class+) is 2ui#e nonsensical! )eal power in any such socie#y would rapidly &all in#o #he hands o& #hose who managed produc#ion! $he .ouncils or (o%ie#s would rapidly wi#her amid #he general indi&&erence o& #he popula#ion! @eople would s#op de%o#ing #ime, in#eres#, or ac#i%i#y #o ins#i#u#ions which no longer really in&luenced #he pa##ern o& #heir li%es! 0u#onomy is #here&ore meaningless unless i# implies workers+ managemen# o& produc#ion, and #his a# #he le%els o& #he shop, o& #he plan#, o& whole indus#ries, and o& #he economy as a whole! /u#, workers+ managemen# is no# 9us# a new adminis#ra#i%e #echni2ue! "# canno# remain e*#ernal #o #he s#ruc#ure o& work i#sel&! "# doesn+# mean keeping work as i# is, and 9us# replacing #he bureaucra#ic appara#us which curren#ly manages produc#ion by a -orkers+ .ouncil 11 howe%er democra#ic or re%ocable such a .ouncil migh# be! "# means #ha# &or #he mass o& people, new rela#ions will ha%e #o de%elop wi#h #heir work, and abou# #heir work! $he %ery con#en# o& work will immedia#ely ha%e #o al#er! $oday, #he purpose, means, me#hods, and rhy#hms o& work are de#ermined, &rom #he ou#side, by #he bureaucra#ic managerial appara#us! $his appara#us can only manage #hrough resor# #o uni%ersal, abs#rac# rules, de#ermined +once and &or all+! $hese rules co%er such ma##ers as norms o& produc#ion, #echnical speci&ica#ions, ra#es o& pay, bonus, and how produc#ion areas will be organi7ed! $he periodic re%ision o& #hese rules regularly resul#s in +crises+ in #he organi7a#ion o& produc#ion! 5nce #he bureaucra#ic managerial appara#us has been elimina#ed, #his sor# o& s#ruc#ure o& produc#ion will ha%e #o disappear, bo#h in

&orm and con#en#! "n accord wi#h #he deepes# o& working1class aspira#ions, already #en#a#i%ely e*pressed a# #he heigh#s o& working1class s#ruggle, produc#ion norms will be abolished al#oge#her, and comple#e e2uali#y in wages will be ins#i#u#ed! [a11 $hese measures, #aken #oge#her as a &irs# s#ep, will pu# an end #o e*ploi#a#ion and #o all #he e*#ernally imposed cons#rain#s and coercions in produc#ion! $o #he e*#en# #ha# work will s#ill be necessary (and #his i#sel& will be a ma##er &or cons#an# re%iew by socie#y as a whole), work discipline will be a ma##er o& rela#ions be#ween #he indi%idual work and #he group wi#h which s=he works, o& rela#ions be#ween groups o& workers and #he shop as a whole, and o& rela#ions be#ween %arious shops, and #he Ceneral 0ssembly o& #he Fac#ory or En#erprise! -orkers+ managemen# is #here&ore no# #he +super%ision+ o& a bureaucra#ic managerial appara#us by represen#a#i%es o& #he workers! For is i# #he replacemen# o& #his appara#us by ano#her, &ormed o& indi%iduals o& working1class origin! "# is #he aboli#ion o& any separa#e managerial appara#us and #he res#i#u#ion o& #he &unc#ions o& such an appara#us #o #he communi#y o& workers! $he Fac#ory .ouncil isn+# a new managerial appara#us! "# is bu# one o& #he places in which coordina#ion #akes place, a +local head2uar#ers+ &rom which con#ac#s be#ween #he &ac#ory and #he ou#side world are regula#ed! "& #his is achie%ed, i# will imply #ha# #he na#ure and con#en# o& work are already beginning #o al#er! $oday, work consis#s essen#ially in obeying ins#ruc#ions ini#ia#ed elsewhere! -orkers+ managemen# will mean #he reuni#ing o& #he &unc#ions o& decision and e*ecu#ion! /u#, e%en #his will be insu&&icien# 11 or ra#her, i# will immedia#ely lead on #o some#hing else! $he res#i#u#ion o& managerial &unc#ions #o #he workers will ine%i#ably lead #hem #o #ackle wha# is, #oday, #he kernel o& aliena#ion, namely #he #echnological s#ruc#ure o& work, which resul#s in work domina#ing #he workers ins#ead o& being domina#ed by #hem! $his problem will no# be sol%ed o%ernigh#, bu# i#s solu#ion will be #he #ask o& #ha# his#orical period which we call socialism! (ocialism is, &irs# and &oremos#, #he solu#ion o& #his par#icular problem!

/e#ween capi#alism and communism #here aren+# ?> #ypes o& +#ransi#ional socie#y+, as some ha%e sough# #o make us belie%e! $here is bu# one: socialism! 0nd, #he main charac#eris#ic o& socialism isn+# +#he de%elopmen# o& #he produc#i%e &orces+, or +#he increasing sa#is&ac#ion o& consumer needs+, or +an increase o& poli#ical &reedom+! $he hallmark o& socialism is #he change i# will bring abou# in #he na#ure and con#en# o& work, #hrough #he conscious and delibera#e #rans&orma#ion o& an inheri#ed #echnology! For #he &irs# #ime in human his#ory, #echnology will be subordina#ed #o human needs (no# only #o #he people+s needs as consumers bu# also #o #heir needs as producers)! $he socialis# re%olu#ion will allow #his process #o begin! "#s comple#ion will mark #he en#ry o& humani#y in#o #he communis# era! E%ery#hing else 11 poli#ics, consump#ion, e#c! 11 are conse2uences or implica#ions, which one mus# cer#ainly look a# in #heir organic uni#y, bu# which can only ac2uire such a uni#y or meaning #hrough #heir rela#ion #o #he key problem: #he #rans&orma#ion o& work i#sel&! ,uman &reedom will remain an illusion and a mys#i&ica#ion i& i# doesn+# mean &reedom in people+s &undamen#al ac#i%i#y: #he ac#i%i#y which produces! 0nd, #his &reedom will no# be a gi&# bes#owed by na#ure! "# will no# au#oma#ically arise, ou# o& o#her de%elopmen#s! "# will ha%e #o be consciously crea#ed! "n #he las# analysis, #his is #he con#en# o& socialism! "mpor#an# prac#ical conse2uences &low &rom all #his! .hanging #he na#ure o& work will be #ackled &rom bo#h ends! 5n #he one hand, condi#ions will be crea#ed which will allow #he &ulles# possible de%elopmen# o& people+s human capaci#ies and &acul#ies! $his will imply #he sys#ema#ic disman#ling, s#one by s#one, o& #he whole edi&ice o& #he di%ision o& labor! 5n #he o#her hand, people will ha%e #o gi%e a whole new orien#a#ion #o #echnical de%elopmen#s, and #o how #hey may apply #o produc#ion! $hese are bu# #wo aspec#s o& #he same #hing: man+s rela#ion #o #echni2ue! 3e# us s#ar# by looking a# #he second, more #angible, poin#: #echnical de%elopmen# as such! 0s a &irs# appro*ima#ion, one could say #ha# capi#alis# #echnology (#he curren# applica#ion o& #echni2ue #o produc#ion) is ro##en a# #he core because i# doesn+# help people domina#e #heir work, i#s aim being #he %ery opposi#e! (ocialis#s o&#en say

#ha# wha# is basically wrong wi#h capi#alis# #echnology is #ha# i# seeks #o de%elop produc#ion &or purposes o& pro&i#, or #ha# i# de%elops produc#ion &or produc#ion+s sake, independen#ly o& human needs (people being concei%ed o&, in #hese argumen#s, only as po#en#ial consumers o& produc#s)! $he same socialis#s #hen #ell us #ha# #he purpose o& socialism is #o adap# produc#ion #o #he real consumer needs o& socie#y, bo#h in rela#ion #o %olume and #o #he na#ure o& #he goods produced! 5& course, all #his is #rue, and any socie#y lies condemned in which a single child or adul# goes hungry! /u# #he more &undamen#al problem lies elsewhere! .api#alism does no# u#ili7e a socially neu#ral #echnology &or capi#alis# ends! .api#alism has crea#ed a capi#alis# #echnology, &or i#s own ends, which are by no means neu#ral! $he real essence o& capi#alis# #echnology is no# #o de%elop produc#ion &or produc#ion+s sake: i# is #o subordina#e and domina#e #he producers! .api#alis# #echnology is primarily charac#eri7ed by i#s dri%e #o elimina#e #he human elemen# in produc#i%e labor and, in #he long run, #o elimina#e man al#oge#her &rom #he produc#i%e process! $ha# here, as elsewhere, capi#alism &ails #o &ul&ill i#s deepes# #endency 11 and #ha# i# would &all #o pieces i& i# achie%ed i#s purpose 11 does no# a&&ec# #he argumen#! 5n #he con#rary, i# only highligh#s ano#her aspec# o& #he crisis o& #he sys#em! .api#alism canno# coun# on #he %olun#ary coopera#ion o& #he producers! 5n #he con#rary, i# has cons#an#ly #o &ace #heir hos#ili#y (or, a# bes#, indi&&erence)! $his is why i# is essen#ial &or #he machine #o impose i#s rhy#hm on #he work process! -here #his isn+# possible capi#alism seeks a# leas# #o measure #he work per&ormed! "n e%ery produc#i%e process, work mus# #here&ore be de&inable, 2uan#i&iable, con#rollable &rom #he ou#side! 0s long as capi#alism can+# dispense wi#h workers al#oge#her, i# has #o make #hem as in#erchangeable as possible and #o reduce #heir work #o i#s simples# e*pression, #ha# o& unskilled labor! $here is no conscious conspiracy or plo# behind all #his! $here is only a process o& +na#ural selec#ion+, a&&ec#ing #echnical in%en#ions as #hey are applied #o indus#ry! (ome are pre&erred #o o#hers and are, on #he whole, more widely u#ili7ed!

$hese are #he ones which slo# in wi#h capi#alism+s basic need #o deal wi#h labor1power as a measurable, con#rollable and in#erchangeable commodi#y! $here is no capi#alis# chemis#ry or capi#alis# physics as such 11 bu#, #here is cer#ainly a capi#alis# #echnology, i& by #his, one means #ha# o& #he +spec#rum+ o& #echni2ues a%ailable a# a gi%en poin# in #ime (which is de#ermined by #he de%elopmen# o& science) a gi%en group (or +band+) will be selec#ed! From #he momen# #he de%elopmen# o& science permi#s a choice o& se%eral possible #echni2ues, a socie#y will regularly choose #hose me#hods which ha%e a meaning &or i#, which are +ra#ional+ in #he ligh# o& i#s own class ra#ionali#y! /u# #he +ra#ionali#y+ o& an e*ploi#ing socie#y is no# #he ra#ionali#y o& socialism! [n9 $he conscious #rans&orma#ion o& #echnology will, #here&ore, be a cen#ral #ask o& a socie#y o& &ree workers! 4ar*, as is well known, was #he &irs# #o go beyond #he sur&ace o& #he economic phenomena o& capi#alism (such as #he marke#, compe#i#ion, dis#ribu#ion, e#c!) and #o #ackle #he analysis o& #he key area o& capi#alis# social rela#ions: #he concre#e rela#ions o& produc#ion in #he capi#alis# &ac#ory! /u# G6olume "G o& .api#al is s#ill awai#ing comple#ion! $he mos# s#riking &ea#ure o& #he degenera#ion o& #he 4ar*is# mo%emen# is #ha# #his par#icular concern o& 4ar*+s, #he mos# &undamen#al o& all, was soon abandoned, e%en by #he bes# o& 4ar*is#s, in &a%our o& #he analysis o& #he +impor#an#+ phenomena! $hrough #his %ery &ac#, #hese analyses were ei#her #o#ally dis#or#ed, or &ound #hemsel%es dealing wi#h %ery par#ial aspec#s o& reali#y, #hereby leading #o 9udgmen#s #ha# pro%ed ca#as#rophically wrong! $hus, i# is s#riking #o see )osa 3u*embourg de%o#e #wo impor#an# %olumes #o #he 0ccumula#ion o& .api#al, in which she #o#ally ignores wha# #his process o& accumula#ion really means as #o #he rela#ions o& produc#ion! ,er concern in #hese %olumes was solely abou# #he possibili#y o& a global e2uilibrium be#ween produc#ion and consump#ion and she was &inally led #o belie%e she had disco%ered a process o& au#oma#ic collapse o& capi#alism (an idea, needless #o say, concre#ely &alse and a priori absurd)! "# is 9us# as s#riking #o see 3enin, in his "mperialism, s#ar# &rom #he correc# and &undamen#al

obser%a#ion #ha# #he concen#ra#ion o& capi#al has reached #he s#age o& #he domina#ion o& #he monopolies 11 and ye#, neglec# #he #rans&orma#ion o& #he rela#ions o& produc#ion in #he capi#alis# &ac#ory, which resul#s precisely &rom such a concen#ra#ion, and ignore #he crucial phenomenon o& #he cons#i#u#ion o& an enormous appara#us managing produc#ion, which was, hence&or#h, #o incarna#e e*ploi#a#ion! ,e pre&erred #o see #he main conse2uences o& #he concen#ra#ion o& capi#al in #he #rans&orma#ion o& capi#alis#s in#o +coupon1clipping+ ren#iers! $he working class mo%emen# is s#ill paying #he price o& #he conse2uences o& #his way o& looking a# #hings! "n so &ar as ideas play a role in his#ory, Hhrushche% is in power in )ussia as a by1produc# o& #he concep#ion #ha# e*ploi#a#ion can only #ake #he &orm o& coupon1clipping! /u#, we mus# go &ur#her back s#ill! -e mus# go back #o 4ar* himsel&! 4ar* #hrew a grea# deal o& ligh# on #he aliena#ion o& #he producer in #he course o& capi#alis# produc#ion and on #he ensla%emen# o& man by #he mechanical uni%erse he had crea#ed! /u# 4ar*+s analysis is a# #imes incomple#e, in #ha# he sees bu# aliena#ion in all #his! "n .api#al 11 as opposed #o 4ar*+s early wri#ings i# is no# brough# ou# #ha# #he worker is (and can only be) #he posi#i%e %ehicle o& capi#alis# produc#ion, which is obliged #o base i#sel& on him as such, and #o de%elop him as such, while simul#aneously seeking #o reduce him #o an au#oma#on and, a# #he limi#, #o dri%e him ou# o& produc#ion al#oge#her! /ecause o& #his, #he analysis &ails #o percei%e #ha# #he prime crisis o& capi#alism is #he crisis in produc#ion, due #o #he simul#aneous e*is#ence o& #wo con#radic#ory #endencies, nei#her o& which could disappear wi#hou# #he whole sys#em collapsing! 4ar* shows in capi#alism +despo#ism in #he workshop and anarchy in socie#y+ 11 ins#ead o& seeing i# as bo#h despo#ism and anarchy in bo#h workshop and socie#y! $his leads him #o look &or #he crisis o& capi#alism no# in produc#ion i#sel& (e*cep# inso&ar as capi#alis# produc#ion de%elops +oppression, misery, degenera#ion, bu# also re%ol#+, and #he numerical s#reng#h and discipline o& #he prole#aria#) 11 bu# in such &ac#ors as o%erproduc#ion and #he &all in #he ra#e o& pro&i#! 4ar* &ails #o see #ha# as long as #his #ype o& work

persis#s, #his crisis will persis# wi#h all i# en#ails, and #his wha#e%er #he sys#em no# only o& proper#y, bu# wha#e%er #he na#ure o& #he s#a#e, and &inally wha#e%er e%en #he sys#em o& managemen# o& produc#ion! "n cer#ain passages o& .api#al, 4ar* is #hus led #o see in modern produc#ion only #he &ac# #ha# #he producer is mu#ila#ed and reduced #o a +&ragmen# o& a man+ 11 which is #rue, as much as #he con#rary [n1' 11 and, wha# is more serious, #o link #his aspec# #o modern produc#ion and &inally #o produc#ion as such, ins#ead o& linking i# #o capi#alis# #echnology! 4ar* implies #ha# #he basis o& #his s#a#e o& a&&airs is modern produc#ion as such, a s#age in #he de%elopmen# o& #echni2ue abou# which no#hing can be done, #he &amous +realm o& necessi#y+! $hus, #he #aking o%er o& socie#y by #he producers 11 socialism 11 a# #imes comes #o mean, &or 4ar*, only an e*#ernal change in poli#ical and economic managemen#, a change #ha# would lea%e in#ac# #he s#ruc#ure o& work and simply re&orm i#s more +inhuman+ aspec#s! $his idea is clearly e*pressed in #he &amous passage o& G6olume """G o& .api#al, where speaking o& socialis# socie#y, 4ar* says: +"n &ac#, #he realm o& &reedom ac#ually begins only where labor which is de#ermined by necessi#y and mundane considera#ions ceases8 #hus, in #he %ery na#ure o& #hings, i# lies beyond #he sphere o& ac#ual ma#erial produc#ion! !!! Freedom in #his &ield can only consis# in sociali7ed man, #he associa#ed producers, ra#ionally regula#ing #heir in#erchange wi#h Fa#ure, bringing i# under #heir common con#rol, ins#ead o& being ruled by i#!!! and, achie%ing #his wi#h #he leas# e*pendi#ure o& energy and under condi#ions mos# &a%orable #o, and wor#hy o& #heir human na#ure! /u#, i# none#heless s#ill remains a realm o& necessi#y! /eyond i# begins !!! #he #rue realm o& &reedom, which howe%er can blossom &or#h only wi#h #his realm o& necessi#y as i#s basis! $he shor#ening o& #he working day is i#s basic prere2uisi#e!+ [a1: "& i# is #rue #ha# #he+ realm o& &reedom ac#ually begins only where labor which is de#ermined by necessi#y and mundane considera#ions ceases+ i# is s#range #o read &rom #he pen o& #he man who wro#e #ha# +indus#ry was #he open book o& human &acul#ies+ #ha# &reedom could +#hus+ only be &ound ou#side o&

work! $he proper conclusion 11 which 4ar* himsel& draws in cer#ain o#her places 11 is #ha# #he realm o& &reedom s#ar#s when work becomes &ree ac#i%i#y, bo#h in wha# mo#i%a#es i# and in i#s con#en#! "n #he dominan# concep#, howe%er, &reedom is wha# isn+# work, i# is wha# surrounds work, i# is ei#her +&ree #ime+ (reduc#ion o& #he working day) or +ra#ional regula#ion+ and +common con#rol+ o& e*changes wi#h Fa#ure, which minimi7e human e&&or# and preser%e human digni#y! "n #his perspec#i%e, #he reduc#ion o& #he working day cer#ainly becomes a +basic prere2uisi#e+, as mankind would &inally only be &ree in i#s leisure! $he reduc#ion o& #he working day is, in &ac#, impor#an#, no# &or #his reason howe%er, bu# #o allow people #o achie%e a balance be#ween #heir %arious #ypes o& ac#i%i#y! 0nd, a# #he limi#, #he +ideal+ (communism) isn+# #he reduc#ion o& #he working day #o 7ero, bu# #he &ree de#ermina#ion by all o& #he na#ure and e*#en# o& #heir work! (ocialis# socie#y will be able #o reduce #he leng#h o& #he working day, and will ha%e #o do so, bu# #his will no# be i#s &undamen#al preoccupa#ion! "#s &irs# #ask will be #o #ackle +#he realm o& necessi#y+, as such, #o #rans&orm #he %ery na#ure o& work! $he problem is no# #o lea%e more and more +&ree+ #ime #o indi%iduals 11 which migh# well only be emp#y #ime 11 so #ha# #hey may &ill i# a# will wi#h +poe#ry+ or #he car%ing o& wood! $he problem is #o make o& all #ime a #ime o& liber#y and #o allow concre#e &reedom #o &ind e*pression in crea#i%e ac#i%i#y! $he problem is #o pu# poe#ry in#o work! [n11 @roduc#ion isn+# some#hing nega#i%e, #ha# has #o be limi#ed as much as possible &or mankind #o &ul&ill i#sel& in i#s leisure! $he ins#i#u#ion o& au#onomy is also 11 and, in #he &irs# place 11 #he ins#i#u#ion o& au#onomy in work! ;nderlying #he idea #ha# &reedom is #o be &ound +ou#side #he realm o& ma#erial produc#ion proper+ #here lies a double error! Firs#ly, #ha# #he %ery na#ure o& #echni2ue and o& modern produc#ion renders ine%i#able #he domina#ion o& #he produc#i%e process o%er #he producer, in #he course o& his work! (econdly, #ha# #echnology and in par#icular modern #echnology &ollows an au#onomous de%elopmen#, be&ore which one can only bow! $his modern #echnology would, moreo%er, possess #he double a##ribu#e o&, on #he one hand, cons#an#ly

reducing #he human role in produc#ion and, on #he o#her hand, o& cons#an#ly increasing #he produc#i%i#y o& labor! From #hese #wo ine*plicably combined a##ribu#es would resul# a miraculous dialec#ic o& #echnological progress: more and more a sla%e in #he course o& work, man would be in a posi#ion enormously #o reduce #he leng#h o& work, i& only s=he could organi7e socie#y ra#ionally! -e ha%e already shown howe%er #ha# #here is no au#onomous de%elopmen# o& #echnology! 5& #he sum #o#al o& #echnologies which scien#i&ic de%elopmen# makes possible a# any gi%en poin# in #ime, capi#alis# socie#y brings #o &ul&illmen# #hose which correspond mos# closely #o i#s class s#ruc#ure, which permi# capi#al bes# #o s#ruggle agains# labor! "# is generally belie%ed #ha# #he applica#ion o& #his or #ha# in%en#ion #o produc#ion depends on i#s economic +pro&i#abili#y+! /u# #here is no such #hing as a neu#ral +pro&i#abili#y+: #he class s#ruggle in #he &ac#ory is #he main &ac#or de#ermining +pro&i#abili#y+! 0 gi%en in%en#ion will be pre&erred #o ano#her by a &ac#ory managemen# i&, o#her #hings being e2ual, i# enhances #he +independen#+ progress o& produc#ion, &reeing i# &rom in#er&erence by #he producers! $he increasing ensla%emen# o& people in produc#ion &lows essen#ially &rom #his process, and no# &rom some mys#erious curse, inheren# in a gi%en phase o& #echnological de%elopmen#! $here is, moreo%er, no magic dialec#ic o& sla%ery and produc#i%i#y: produc#i%i#y increases in rela#ion #o #he enormous scien#i&ic and #echnical de%elopmen# which is a# #he basis o& modern produc#ion 11 and i# increases despi#e #he sla%ery, and no# because o& i#! (la%ery implies an enormous was#e, due #o #he &ac# #ha# people only con#ribu#e an in&ini#esimal &rac#ion o& #heir capaci#ies #o produc#ion! (-e are passing no a priori 9udgmen# on wha# #hese capaci#ies migh# be! ,owe%er low #hey may es#ima#e i#, #he manager o& Fords and #he (ecre#ary o& #he )ussian .ommunis# @ar#y would ha%e #o admi# #ha# #heir own par#icular ways o& organi7ing produc#ion only #apped an in&ini#esimal &rac#ion o& i#)! (ocialis# socie#y will #here&ore no# be a&&lic#ed wi#h any kind o& #echnological curse! ,a%ing abolished bureaucra#ic capi#alis# rela#ionships i# will #ackle a# #he same #ime #he #echnological

s#ruc#ure o& produc#ion, which is bo#h #he basis o& #hese rela#ionships and #heir e%er1renewed produc#! 1! $,E F0.$5)I .5;F."3 @ossible .omposi#ion and @rocedures J Belega#es &rom %arious shops, depar#men#s, and o&&ices o& a gi%en en#erprise (say 1 delega#e per 1'' or :'' workers)! J 0ll delega#es elec#ed and immedia#ely re%ocable by body #hey represen#! J 45($ BE3EC0$E( )E40"F 0$ $,E") D5/(8 a ro#a#ing minori#y would ensure con#inui#y! J Fac#ory .ouncil mee#s, say, 1 or : hal&1days each week! (ugges#ed Func#ions J .oordina#ion be#ween shops, depar#men#s, and o&&ices o& a gi%en en#erprise! J 4ain#enance o& rela#ions wi#h o#her economic organi7a#ions, whe#her in same indus#ry (%er#ical coopera#ion) or same locali#y (hori7on#al coopera#ion)! J 4ain#enance o& rela#ions wi#h ou#side world, in general! J Be#ermina#ion o& how #o achie%e gi%en produc#ion #arge#, gi%en #he general means alloca#ed by #he plan! J 5rgani7a#ion o& work in each shop or depar#men#! J E%en#ually, changes in #he s#ruc#ure o& #he means o& produc#ion! :! $,E CEFE)03 0((E4/3I J 0ll #hose who work in a gi%en en#erprise (manual workers, o&&ice workers, #echnicians, e#c!)! J ,ighes# decision1making body &or all problems rela#ing #o #he &ac#ory [pE as a whole! J 4ee#s regularly (say, : days a mon#h) or more o&#en i& mee#ing wan#ed by speci&ied number o& workers, delega#es, or shops! J Becides on 2ues#ions #o be submi##ed #o Fac#ory .ouncil &or &ur#her elabora#ion, discussion, e#c! J 0mends, re9ec#s, re&ers back, or endorses all bu# rou#ine decisions o& #he Fac#ory .ouncil! J Elec#s delega#es (-,5 )E40"F 0$ -5)H) #o #he cen#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es! [p5

5! -orkers+ 4anagemen#: $he Fac#ory


a! Func#ions "# is well known #ha# workers can organi7e #heir own work a# #he le%el o& a workshop or o& par# o& a &ac#ory! /ourgeois indus#rial sociologis#s no# only recogni7e #his &ac#, bu# poin# ou# #ha# +primary groups+ o& workers o&#en ge# on wi#h #heir 9ob be##er i& managemen# lea%es #hem alone, and doesn+# cons#an#ly #ry #o inser# i#sel& in#o #he produc#ion process! ,ow can #he work o& #hese %arious +primary groups+ 11 or o& %arious shops and sec#ions 11 be coordina#edK /ourgeois #heore#icians s#ress #ha# #he presen# managerial appara#us 11 whose &ormal 9ob i# is #o ensure such a coordina#ion 11 is no# really up #o #he #ask: i# has no real grip on #he workers, and is, i#sel&, #orn by in#ernal s#resses! /u# ha%ing +demolished+ #he presen# se#1up by #heir cri#icisms, modern indus#rial sociologis#s ha%e no#hing #o pu# in i#s place! 0nd, as beyond #he +primary+ organi7a#ion o& produc#ion, #here has #o be a +secondary+ organi7a#ion, #hey &inally &all back on #he e*is#ing bureaucra#ic appara#us, e*hor#ing i# +#o unders#and+, +#o impro%e i#sel&+, +#o #rus# people more+, e#c!, e#c! [n1: $he same can be said o& +re&ormed+ or +de1(#alini7ed+ leaders in #he Eas#ern /loc! -ha# no one seems prepared #o recogni7e (or e%en #o admi#) is #he capaci#y o& working people #o manage #heir own a&&airs ou#side o& a %ery narrow radius! $he bureaucra#ic mind canno# see in #he mass o& people employed in a &ac#ory or o&&ice an ac#i%e sub9ec#, capable o& managing and organi7ing! "n #he eyes o& #hose in au#hori#y, bo#h Eas# and -es#, as soon as one ge#s beyond a group o& #en, &i&#een or #wen#y indi%iduals, #he crowd begins 11 #he mob, #he #housand1headed ,ydra #ha# can+#

ac# collec#i%ely, or #ha# could only ac# collec#i%ely in #he display o& collec#i%e delirium or hys#eria! $hey belie%e #ha# only a specially e%ol%ed managerial appara#us, endowed, o& course, wi#h coerci%e &unc#ions, can domina#e and con#rol #his mass! /u# such are #he muddles and shor#comings o& #he presen# managerial appara#us #ha# e%en1#oday workers (or +primary groups+) are obliged #o #ake on 2ui#e a number o& coordina#ing #asks! 4oreo%er, his#orical e*perience shows #ha# #he working class is 2ui#e capable o& managing whole en#erprises! "n (pain, in 19?> and 19?7, workers ran #he &ac#ories! "n /udapes#, in 195>, big bakeries employing hundreds o& workers carried on during and immedia#ely a&#er #he insurrec#ion! $hey worked be##er #han e%er be&ore, under workers+ sel&1managemen#! 4any such e*amples could be 2uo#ed! $he mos# use&ul way o& discussing #his problem is no# #o weigh up, in #he abs#rac#, #he +managerial capaci#ies+ o& #he working class! "# is #o disen#angle #he speci&ic &unc#ions o& #he presen# managerial appara#us and #o see which o& #hem, under socialism, could be discarded, and which would need #o be al#ered, and in wha# direc#ion! @resen# managerial &unc#ions are o& &our main #ypes and we will discuss #hem in #urn: 1! .oerci%e &unc#ions $hese &unc#ions, and #he 9obs which go wi#h #hem (super%isors, &oremen, par# o& #he +personnel+ depar#men#), would be done away wi#h, purely and simply! Each group o& workers would be 2ui#e capable o& disciplining i#sel&! "# would also be capable o& gran#ing momen#ary au#hori#y &rom #ime1#o1#ime #o people, drawn &rom i#s own ranks, should i# &eel #his #o be needed &or #he carrying ou# o& a par#icular 9ob! :! 0dminis#ra#i%e &unc#ions $hese rela#e #o 9obs, mos# o& which are now carried ou# in #he o&&ices! 0mong #hem are accoun#ancy and #he +commercial+ and +general+ ser%ices o& #he en#erprise! $he de%elopmen# o& modern produc#ion has &ragmen#ed and sociali7ed #his work, 9us# as i# has done #o produc#ion i#sel&! Fine1#en#hs o& people working in o&&ices a##ached #o &ac#ories carry ou# #asks o& e*ecu#ion! $hroughou# #heir li&e, #hey will do li##le else! "mpor#an# changes will ha%e #o be brough# abou# here! $he

capi#alis# s#ruc#ure o& #he &ac#ory generally resul#s in considerable o%er1s#a&&ing o& #hese areas and a socialis# reorgani7a#ion would probably resul# in a big economy o& labor in #hese &ields! (ome o& #hese depar#men#s would no# only diminish in si7e, bu# would wi#ness a radical #rans&orma#ion o& #heir &unc#ions! "n #he las# &ew years +commercial sec#ions+ ha%e e%erywhere grown enormously! "n a planned socialis# economy, #hey would be mainly concerned wi#h, on #he one hand, ob#aining supplies, and on #he o#her, wi#h deli%eries! $hey would be in con#ac# wi#h similar depar#men#s in supply1 &ac#ories and wi#h s#ores, dis#ribu#ing #o consumers! 5nce #he necessary #rans&orma#ions had been brough# abou#, o&&ices would be considered +workshops+ like any o#hers! $hey could organi7e #heir own work and would rela#e, &or purposes o& coordina#ion, wi#h #he o#her shops o& #he &ac#ory! $hey would en9oy no par#icular righ#s by %ir#ue o& #he na#ure o& #heir work! $hey ha%e, in &ac#, no such righ#s #oday, and i# is as a resul# o& o#her &ac#ors (#he di%ision be#ween manual and +in#ellec#ual+ work, #he more pronounced hierarchy in o&&ices, e#c!), #ha# persons &rom among #he o&&ice s#a&&, may &ind #heir way in#o #he ranks o& managemen#! ?! +$echnical+ &unc#ions $hese are, a# presen#, carried ou# be people ranging &rom consul#an# engineers #o dra&#smen! ,ere, #oo, modern indus#ry has crea#ed +collec#i%es+ in which work is di%ided up and sociali7ed, and in which 9'< o& #hose in%ol%ed do 9us# as #hey+re #old! /u#, while poin#ing #his ou# in rela#ion #o wha# goes on wi#hin #hese par#icular depar#men#s, we mus# recogni7e #ha# #hese depar#men#s carry ou# managerial &unc#ions in rela#ion #o #he produc#ion areas! 5nce produc#ion #arge#s ha%e been de&ined, i# is #his collec#i%e #echnical appara#us which selec#s ways and means, looks in#o #he necessary changes in #he #ooling, de#ermines #he se2uence and #he de#ails o& %arious opera#ions, e#c! "n #heory, #he produc#ion areas merely carry ou# #he ins#ruc#ions issued &rom #he #echnical depar#men#s! ;nder #he condi#ions o& modern mass produc#ion a comple#e separa#ion cer#ainly e*is#s be#ween #hose who draw up #he plans and #hose who ha%e #o carry #hem ou#!

;p #o a poin#, all #his is based on some #hing real! $oday, bo#h speciali7a#ion and #echnical and scien#i&ic compe#ence are #he pri%ilege o& a minori#y! /u# i# doesn+# &ollow in #he leas# #ha# #he bes# way o& using #his e*per#ise would be #o lea%e #o +e*per#s+ #he righ# #o decide #he whole o& produc#ion! .ompe#ence is, almos# by de&ini#ion, res#ric#ed in i#s scope! 5u#side o& his=her par#icular sec#or, or o& #he par#icular process which s=he knows, #he #echnician is no be##er e2uipped #o #ake a responsible decision #han anyone else! E%en wi#hin his=her own &ield, his=her %iewpoin# is o&#en limi#ed! ,e=she will o&#en know li##le o& #he o#her sec#ors and may #end #o minimi7e #heir impor#ance al#hough #hese sec#ors ha%e a de&ini#e bearing on his own! 4oreo%er 11 and #his is more impor#an# 11 #he #echnician is separa#ed &rom #he real process o& produc#ion! $his separa#ion is a source o& was#e and con&lic# in capi#alis# &ac#ories! "# will only be abolished when +#echnical+ and +produc#i%e+ s#a&& begin #o coopera#e in a #horough way! $his coopera#ion will be based on 9oin# decisions #aken by #he #echnicians and by #hose who will be working on a gi%en #ask! $oge#her, #hey will decide on #he me#hods #o be used! -ill such coopera#ion work smoo#hlyK $here is no in#rinsic reason why unsurmoun#able obs#acles should arise! $he workers will ha%e no in#eres# in challenging #he answers which #he #echnician, in his capaci#y as #echnician, may gi%e #o purely #echnical problems! 0nd, i& #here are disagreemen#s, #hese will rapidly be resol%ed in prac#ice! $he &ield o& produc#ion allows o& almos# immedia#e %eri&ica#ion o& wha# #his or #ha# person proposes! $ha#, &or #his or #ha# 9ob or #ool, #his or #ha# #ype o& me#al would be pre&erable (gi%en a cer#ain s#a#e o& knowledge and cer#ain condi#ions o& produc#ion) will seldom be a ma##er &or con#ro%ersy! /u#, #he answers pro%ided by #echni2ue only es#ablish a general &ramework! $hey only sugges# some o& #he elemen#s which will, in prac#ice, in&luence produc#ion! -i#hin #his gi%en &ramework, #here will probably be a number o& ways o& organi7ing a par#icular 9ob! $he choice will ha%e #o #ake in#o accoun# on #he one hand cer#ain general considera#ions o& +economy+ (economy o& labor, o& energy, o& raw ma#erials, o& plan#) and on #he o#her hand 11 and #his is much more

impor#an# considera#ions rela#ing #o #he &a#e o& man in produc#ion! 0nd on #hese 2ues#ions, by de&ini#ion, #he only people who can decide are #hose direc#ly in%ol%ed! "n #his area, #he speci&ic compe#ence o& #he #echnician, as a #echnician, is nil! [n1? $he ul#ima#e organi7a#ion o& produc#ion can, #here&ore, only be %es#ed in #he hands o& #he producers #hemsel%es! $he producers will ob%iously #ake in#o accoun# %arious #echnical poin#s sugges#ed by compe#en# #echnicians! "n &ac#, #here will probably be a cons#an# #o1and1&ro, i& only because #he producers #hemsel%es will en%isage new ways o& organi7ing #he manu&ac#ure o& produc#s! $hese sugges#ions will pose new #echnical problems, abou# which #he #echnicians will, in #urn, ha%e #o pu# &orward #heir commen#s and e%alua#ions be&ore a 9oin# decision could be #aken +in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s+! /u# #he decision 11 in #his case as in o#hers 11 will be in #he hands o& #he producers (including #he #echnicians) o& a gi%en shop (i& i# only a&&ec#s a shop) 11 or o& #he &ac#ory as a whole (i& i# a&&ec#s #he whole &ac#ory)! $he roo#s o& possible con&lic# be#ween workers and #echnicians would #here&ore no# be #echnical! "& such a con&lic# emerged i# would be a social con&lic#, arising &rom a possible #endency o& #he #echnicians #o assume a domina#ing role, #hereby cons#i#u#ing anew a bureaucra#ic managerial appara#us! -ha# would be #he s#reng#h and possible e%olu#ion o& such a #endencyK -e can+# here discuss #his problem in any dep#h! -e can only re1emphasi7e #ha# #echnicians don+# cons#i#u#e a ma9ori#y 11 or e%en an essen#ial par# 11 o& #he upper s#ra#a o& modern economic or poli#ical managemen#! "nciden#ally, #o become aware o& #his ob%ious &ac# helps one see #hrough #he mys#i&ying charac#er o& argumen#s which seek #o pro%e #ha# ordinary people canno# manage produc#ion because #hey lack #he +necessary #echnical capaci#y+! $he %as# ma9ori#y o& #echnicians only occupy subordina#e posi#ions! $hey only carry ou# a di%ided work, on ins#ruc#ions &rom abo%e! $hose #echnicians who ha%e +reached #he #op+ are no# #here as #echnicians, bu# as managers or organi7ers! 4odern capi#alism is bureaucra#ic capi#alism! "# isn+# 11 and ne%er will be 11 a #echnocra#ic capi#alism! $he concep# o& a #echnocracy is an

emp#y generali7a#ion o& super&icial sociologis#s, or a day dream o& #echnicians con&ron#ed wi#h #heir own impo#ence and wi#h #he absurdi#y o& #he presen# sys#em! $echnicians don+# cons#i#u#e a class! From #he &ormal poin# o& %iew, #hey are 9us# a ca#egory o& wage1earners! $he e%olu#ion o& modern capi#alism, by increasing #heir numbers and by #rans&orming #hem in#o people who carry ou# &ragmen#ed and in#erchangeable work, #ends #o dri%e #hem closer #o #he working class! .oun#erac#ing #hese #endencies, i# is #rue, are #heir posi#ion in #he wages and s#a#us hierarchies 11 and, also #he scan#y chances s#ill open #o #hem o& +mo%ing up+! [a1? /u# #hese channels are gradually being closed as #he numbers o& #echnicians increases and as bureaucra#i7a#ion spreads wi#hin #heir own ranks! "n parallel wi#h all #his, a re%ol# de%elops among #hem, as #hey con&ron# #he irra#ionali#ies o& bureaucra#ic capi#alism and e*perience increasing di&&icul#ies in gi%ing &ree rein #o #heir capaci#ies &or crea#i%e or meaning&ul work! (ome #echnicians already a# #he #op, or on #heir way #here, will side s2uarely wi#h e*ploi#ing socie#y! $hey will, howe%er, be opposed by a growing minori#y o& disa&&ec#ed colleagues, ready #o work wi#h o#hers in o%er#hrowing #he sys#em! "n #he middle, o& course, #here will be #he grea# ma9ori#y o& #echnicians, #oday apa#he#ically accep#ing #heir s#a#us o& sligh#ly pri%ileged employees! $heir presen# conser%a#ism sugges#s #ha# #hey would no# risk a con&lic# wi#h real power, wha#e%er i#s na#ure! $he e%olu#ion o& e%en#s may e%en radicali7e #hem! "# is #here&ore mos# probable #ha# workers+ power in #he &ac#ory, a&#er ha%ing swep# aside a small number o& #echnical bureaucra#s, will &ind suppor# in a subs#an#ial number o& o#her #echnicians! "# should succeed, wi#hou# ma9or con&lic#, in in#egra#ing #he remainder in#o #he coopera#i%e ne#work o& #he &ac#ory! E! $ruly managerial &unc#ions $he people +consul#ed+ by a .ompany .hairman or 4anaging Birec#or, be&ore s=he #akes an impor#an# decision, usually number less #han a do7en, e%en in #he mos# impor#an# &irms! $his %ery narrow s#ra#um o& managemen# has #wo main #asks! 5n #he one hand, i# has #o make decisions concerning

in%es#men#, s#ocks, ou#pu#, e#c!, in rela#ion #o marke# &luc#ua#ions and #o long1#erm prospec#s! 5n #he o#her hand, i# has #o +coordina#e+ #he %arious depar#men#s o& #he &irm, seeking #o iron ou# di&&erences be#ween %arious segmen#s o& #he bureaucra#ic appara#us! (ome o& #hese &unc#ions would disappear al#oge#her in a planned economy, in par#icular, all #hose rela#ed #o &luc#ua#ion o& #he marke#! 5#hers would be considerably reduced: coordina#ing #he di&&eren# shops o& a &ac#ory would be much easier i& #he producers organi7ed #heir own work, and i& di&&eren# groups, shops, or depar#men#s could direc#ly con#ac# each o#her! (#ill o#her &unc#ions migh# be enhanced, such as genuine discussions o& wha# migh# be possible in #he &u#ure, or o& how #o do #hings, or abou# #he presen# or &u#ure role o& #he en#erprise in #he o%erall de%elopmen# o& #he economy! b! "ns#i#u#ions ;nder socialism +managerial+ #asks a# &ac#ory le%el could be carried ou# by #wo bodies: a! $he Fac#ory .ouncil, composed o& delega#es &rom #he %arious shops and o&&ices, all o& #hem elec#ed and ins#an#ly re%ocable! "n an en#erprise o& say 5,''' #o 1',''' workers such a .ouncil migh# number ?'15' people! $he delega#es would remain a# #heir 9obs! $hey would mee# in &ull session as o&#en as e*perience pro%ed i# necessary (probably on one or #wo hal&1days a week $hey would repor# back con#inuously #o #heir workma#es in shop or o&&ice 11 and would anyway probably ha%e discussed all impor#an# ma##ers wi#h #hem pre%iously! )o#a#ing groups o& delega#es would ensure con#inui#y! 5ne o& #he main #asks o& a Fac#ory .ouncil would be #o ensure liaison and #o ac# as a con#inuous regula#ing locus be#ween #he &ac#ory and #he +ou#side world+! b! $he Ceneral 0ssembly o& all #hose who work in #he plan#, whe#her manual workers, o&&ice workers or #echnicians! $his would be #he highes# decision1making body &or all problems concerning #he &ac#ory as a whole! Bi&&erences be#ween di&&eren# sec#ors would be #hrashed ou# a# #his le%el! $his Ceneral 0ssembly would embody #he res#ora#ion o& direc# democracy in#o wha# should, in modern socie#y, be i#s basic

uni#: #he place o& work! $he 0ssembly would ha%e #o ra#i&y all bu# rou#ine decisions o& #he Fac#ory .ouncil! "# would be empowered #o 2ues#ion, challenge, amend, re9ec# or endorse any decision #aken by #he .ouncil! $he Ceneral 0ssembly will, i#sel&, decide on all sor#s o& 2ues#ions #o be submi##ed #o #he .ouncil! $he 0ssembly would mee# regularly 11 say, on one or #wo days each mon#h! $here would, in addi#ion, e*is# procedures &or calling such Ceneral 0ssemblies, i& #his was wan#ed by a gi%en number o& workers, or o& shops, or o& delega#es! For summaries o& #he composi#ion and &unc#ions o&+ #hese bodies, and o& #heir rela#ions wi#h o#her basic uni#s, see /asic ;ni#s 1, /asic ;ni#s :, $he Fac#ory .ouncil and Ceneral 0ssembly, and .ouncil: .en#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es!

>! $he .on#en# o& -orkers+ 4anagemen# a# Fac#ory 3e%el


"# will help us #o discuss #his problem i& we, ra#her schema#ically, di&&eren#ia#e be#ween #he s#a#ic and #he dynamic aspec#s o& workers+ managemen#, be#ween wha# will be immedia#ely possible, a# #he %ery onse# o& socialis# produc#ion, and wha# will become possible a&#er a rela#i%ely shor# in#er%al, as socialis# produc#ion de%elops and as human domina#ion o%er all s#ages o& #he produc#i%e process rapidly increases! For #he sake o& clari#y, we will &irs# describe workers+ managemen# a# &ac#ory le%el in a s#a#ic way! -e will #hen consider how i# will de%elop, and how #his de%elopmen#, i#sel&, will cons#an#ly e*pand #he areas o& local &reedom! a! "mmedia#e .on#en# 3ooked a# in a s#a#ic way, #he o%erall plan migh# alloca#e #o a

gi%en en#erprise a #arge# #o be achie%ed wi#hin a gi%en #ime (we will e*amine &ur#her on how such #arge#s migh# be de#ermined under condi#ions o& genuinely democra#ic planning)! $he general means #o be alloca#ed #o #he en#erprise (#o achie%e i#s #arge#) would also be broadly ou#lined by #he plan! For e*ample, #he plan migh# decide #ha# #he annual produc#ion o& a gi%en &ac#ory should be so many &ridges, and #ha# &or #his purpose such1and1such a 2uan#i#y o& raw ma#erials, power, machinery, e#c!, should be made a%ailable! (een &rom #his angle, workers+ managemen# implies #ha# #he workers+ collec#i%e will i#sel& be responsible &or deciding how a proposed #arge# could bes# be achie%ed, gi%en #he general means a%ailable! $he #ask corresponds #o #he +posi#i%e+ &unc#ions o& #he presen# narrowly1based managerial appara#us, which will ha%e been superseded! $he workers will de#ermine #he organi7a#ion o& #heir work in each shop or depar#men#! $hey will ensure coordina#ion be#ween shops! $his will #ake place #hrough direc# con#ac#s whene%er i# is a 2ues#ion o& rou#ine problems or o& shops engaged in closely rela#ed aspec#s o& #he produc#i%e process! "& more impor#an# ma##ers arose, #hey would be discussed and sol%ed by mee#ings o& delega#es (or by 9oin# ga#herings o& workers) o& #wo or more shops or sec#ions! $he o%erall coordina#ion o& #he work would be under#aken by #he Fac#ory .ouncil and by #he Ceneral 0ssembly o& #he Fac#ory! )ela#ions wi#h #he res# o& #he economy, as already s#a#ed, would be in #he hands o& #he Fac#ory .ouncil! 0s #he whole #hing becomes real in #he hands o& #he workers o& a gi%en plan#, a cer#ain +gi%e and #ake+ will undoub#edly occur be#ween +#arge#s se#+ and +means #o be used+! "# mus# be remembered, howe%er, #ha# #hese +means+ are usually #he produc# o& some o#her &ac#ory! +$arge#s se#+ and +means o& produc#ion a%ailable &or achie%ing #hem+ do no#, howe%er, be#ween #hem rigidly or e*haus#i%ely de&ine all #he possible me#hods #ha# could be used! (pelling #hese me#hods ou# in de#ail, and deciding e*ac#ly how an ob9ec#i%e will be achie%ed, gi%en cer#ain ma#erial condi#ions, will be #he area in which! workers+ managemen# will &irs# opera#e! "# is an impor#an# &ield, bu# a limi#ed one, and i# is essen#ial #o be &ully

aware o& i#s limi#a#ions! $hese limi#a#ions s#em &rom (and de&ine) #he &ramework in which #he new #ype o& produc#ion will ha%e #o s#ar#! "# will be #he #ask o& socialis# produc#ion cons#an#ly #o e*pand #his &ramework and cons#an#ly #o push back #hese limi#a#ions on au#onomy! 0u#onomy, en%isaged in #his s#a#ic way, is limi#ed, &irs# o& all, in rela#ion #o #he &i*ing o& #arge#s! $rue, #he workers o& a gi%en en#erprise will par#icipa#e in de#ermining #he #arge# o& #heir &ac#ory inso&ar as #hey par#icipa#e in #he elabora#ion o& #he o%erall plan! /u#, #hey are no# in #o#al or sole con#rol o& #he ob9ec#i%es! "n a modern economy, where #he produc#ion o& mos# en#erprises bo#h condi#ions and is condi#ioned by #ha# o& o#hers, #he de#ermina#ion o& coheren# #arge#s canno# as a rule be %es#ed in indi%idual en#erprises, ac#ing in isola#ion! "# mus# be under#aken by (and &or) a number o& en#erprises, general %iewpoin#s pre%ailing o%er par#icular ones! -e will re#urn #o #his poin# la#er! "ni#ial au#onomy will also be limi#ed in rela#ion #o a%ailable ma#erial means! $he workers o& a gi%en en#erprise canno# au#onomously de#ermine #he means o& produc#ion #hey would pre&er #o use, &or #hese are bu# #he produc#s o& o#her en#erprises or &ac#ories! $o#al au#onomy &or e%ery &ac#ory, in rela#ion #o means, would imply #ha# each &ac#ory could de#ermine #he ou#pu# o& all #he o#hers! $hese %arious au#onomies would immedia#ely neu#rali7e one ano#her! $his limi#a#ion is, howe%er, a less rigid one #han #he &irs# (#he limi#a#ion in rela#ion #o #arge#s)! 0l#era#ions o& i#s own e2uipmen#, proposed by #he user1&ac#ory, migh# o&#en be accommoda#ed by #he producer1&ac#ory, wi#hou# #he la##er saddling i#sel& wi#h a hea%y e*#ra load! 5n a small scale, #his happens e%en #oday, in in#egra#ed engineering &ac#ories (car &ac#ories, &or ins#ance) where a subs#an#ial par# o& #he #ooling u#ili7ed in one shop may be made in ano#her shop o& #he same &ac#ory! .lose coopera#ion be#ween plan#s making machine #ools and plan#s using #hem, could 2uickly lead #o considerable changes in #he means o& produc#ion ac#ually used! b! (ubse2uen# @ossibili#ies 3e# us now look a# workers+ managemen# a# &ac#ory le%el as i# migh# de%elop, i!e!, in i#s dynamic aspec#! ,ow would i#

con#ribu#e #o #rans&orming socialis# produc#ion, i!e!, #o i#s primary ob9ec#i%eK E%ery#hing we ha%e sugges#ed so &ar, will now ha%e #o be looked a# again! $he limi#s o& au#onomy will be &ound #o ha%e widened %ery considerably! $he change will be mos# ob%ious in rela#ion! #o #he means o& produc#ion! (ocialis# socie#y will immedia#ely ge# #o grips wi#h #he problem o& a conscious a##ack on #he #echnology inheri#ed &rom capi#alism! ;nder capi#alism, #he means o& produc#ion are planned and made independen#ly o& #he user and o& his=her pre&erences (manu&ac#urers, o& course, pre#end #o #ake #he user+s %iewpoin# in#o accoun#, bu# #his has li##le #o do wi#h #he real user: #he worker on #he shop &loor)! /u#, e2uipmen# is made #o be produc#i%ely used! $he %iewpoin# o& #he +produc#i%e consumers+ (i!e!, o& #hose who will use #he e2uipmen# #o produce #he goods) is o& primary impor#ance! 0s #he %iews o& #hose who make #he e2uipmen# are also impor#an#, #he problem o& #he s#ruc#ure o& #he means o& produc#ion will only be sol%ed by #he li%ing coopera#ion o& #hese #wo ca#egories o& workers! "n an in#egra#ed &ac#ory, #his would mean permanen# liaison be#ween #he corresponding shops! 0# #he le%el o& #he economy, as a whole, i# would #ake place #hrough normal permanen# con#ac#s be#ween &ac#ories and be#ween sec#ors o& produc#ion! [n1E $his coopera#ion will #ake #wo &orms! .hoosing and populari7ing #he bes# me#hods, and ra#ionali7ing and e*#ending #heir use, will be achie%ed #hrough #he hori7on#al coopera#ion o& .ouncils, organi7ed according #o branch or sec#or o& indus#ry (&or ins#ance, #e*#iles, #he chemical indus#ry, building, engineering, elec#rical supply, e#c!)! 5n #he o#her hand, #he in#egra#ion o& #he %iewpoin#s o& #hose who make, and o& #hose who u#ili7e, e2uipmen# (or, more generally, o& #hose who make and #hose who u#ili7e in#ermedia#e produc#s) will re2uire #he %er#ical coopera#ion o& .ouncils represen#ing #he di&&eren# s#ages o& a produc#i%e process (s#eel indus#ry, machine #ool indus#ry and engineering indus#ry, &or ins#ance)! "n bo#h cases, #he coopera#ion will need #o &ind embodimen# in s#able &orms, such as .ommi##ees o& Fac#ory .ouncil represen#a#i%es (or wider con&erences o& producers) organi7ed bo#h hori7on#ally

and %er#ically! $here would be room &or e*#reme &le*ibili#y and many new &orms will almos# cer#ainly e%ol%e! .onsidering #he problem &rom #his dynamic angle 11 which, in #he las# resor#, is #he really &undamen#al one 11 one can see, a# once, #ha# #he areas o& au#onomy ha%e considerably e*panded! 0lready a# #he le%el o& indi%idual &ac#ories (bu# more signi&ican#ly a# #he le%el o& coopera#ion be#ween &ac#ories), #he producers are beginning #o in&luence #he s#ruc#ure o& #he means o& produc#ion! $hey are, #hereby, reaching a posi#ion where #hey are beginning #o domina#e #he work process: #hey are no# only de#ermining i#s me#hods, bu# are now also modi&ying i#s #echnological s#ruc#ure! $his &ac# now begins #o al#er wha# we ha%e 9us# said abou# #arge#s! $hree12uar#ers o& modern produc#ion consis#s o& in#ermedia#e produc#s, o& +means o& produc#ion+ in #he wides# sense! -hen producers decide abou# #he means o& produc#ion, #hey are par#icipa#ing, in a %ery direc# and immedia#e way, in decisions abou# #he #arge#s o& produc#ion! $he remaining limi#a#ion, and i# is an impor#an# one, &lows &rom #he &ac# #ha# #hese means o& produc#ion (wha#e%er #heir e*ac# na#ure) are des#ined, in #he las# analysis, #o produce consumer goods! 0nd #he o%erall %olume o& #hese can only be de#ermined, in general #erms, by #he plan! /u#, e%en here, looking a# #hings dynamically, radically al#ers one+s %ision! 4odern consump#ion is charac#eri7ed by #he cons#an# appearance o& new produc#s! Fac#ories producing consumer goods will concei%e o&, recei%e sugges#ions abou#, s#udy, and &inally produce such produc#s! $his raises #he wider problem o& con#ac# be#ween producers and consumers! .api#alis# socie#y res#s on a comple#e separa#ion o& #hese #wo aspec#s o& human ac#i%i#y, and on #he e*ploi#a#ion o& #he consumer! $his isn+# 9us# mone#ary e*ploi#a#ion (#hrough o%ercharging)! .api#alism claims #ha# i# can sa#is&y people+s needs be##er #han any o#her sys#em in his#ory! /u#, in &ac#, capi#alism in&luences bo#h #hese needs #hemsel%es, and #he me#hod o& sa#is&ying #hem! .onsumer pre&erence can be manipula#ed by modern sales #echni2ues! $he di%ision be#ween producers and consumers appears mos# glaringly in rela#ion #o #he 2uali#y o& goods! $his problem is

insoluble in any e*ploi#ing socie#y! $hose who only look a# #he sur&ace o& #hings only see a commodi#y as a commodi#y! $hey don+# see in i# a crys#alli7ed momen# o& #he class s#ruggle! $hey see &aul#s or de&ec#s as 9us# &aul#s or de&ec#s, ins#ead o& seeing in #hem #he resul#an# o& a cons#an# s#ruggle be#ween #he worker and himsel& (+.ould " do i# be##erK -hy should "K "+m 9us# paid #o ge# on wi#h #he 9ob+)! Faul#s or de&ec#s embody s#ruggles be#ween #he worker and e*ploi#a#ion! $hey also embody s2uabbles be#ween di&&eren# sec#ions o& #he bureaucracy managing #he plan#! $he elimina#ion o& e*ploi#a#ion will o& i#sel& bring abou# a change in all #his! 0# work, people will begin #o asser# #heir claims as &u#ure consumers o& wha# #hey are producing! "n i#s early phases socialis# socie#y will, howe%er, probably ha%e #o ins#i#u#e &orms o& con#ac# (o#her #han +#he marke#+ ) be#ween producers and consumers! -e ha%e assumed, as a s#ar#ing poin# &or all #his, #he di%ision o& labor inheri#ed &rom capi#alism! /u#, we ha%e also said #ha# socialis# socie#y would, &rom #he %ery beginning, ha%e #o #ackle #his di%ision! $his is an enormous sub9ec# #ha# we can+# e%en begin #o deal wi#h in #his #e*#! $he basis o& #his #ask can, howe%er, be seen e%en #oday! 4odern produc#ion has des#royed many #radi#ional pro&essional 2uali&ica#ions! "# has crea#ed many au#oma#ic or semi1au#oma#ic machines! "# has, #hereby i#sel&, sub%er#ed #he #radi#ional &ramework o& #he indus#rial di%ision o& labor! "# is #ending #o produce a uni%ersal worker, capable a&#er a rela#i%ely shor# appren#iceship, o& using mos# o& #he e*is#ing machines! 5nce one ge#s beyond i#s class aspec#s, #he +pos#ing+ o& workers #o par#icular 9obs in a big modern &ac#ory corresponds less and less #o a genuine di%ision o& labor and more and more #o a simple di%ision o& #asks! -orkers are no# alloca#ed #o gi%en areas o& #he produc#i%e process because #heir +pro&essional skills+ in%ariably correspond #o +skills re2uired+ by managemen#! $hey are o&#en placed here ra#her #han #here because pu##ing a par#icular worker in a par#icular place a# a par#icular #ime happens #o sui# #he personnel o&&icer 11 or #he &oreman 11 or, more prosaically, 9us# because a par#icular %acancy happened #o be going! ;nder socialism, &ac#ories would ha%e no reason #o accep# #he rigid

di%ision o& labor now pre%ailing! $here will be e%ery reason #o encourage a ro#a#ion o& workers be#ween shops and depar#men#s 11 and, be#ween produc#ion and o&&ice areas! (uch a ro#a#ion will grea#ly help workers #o manage produc#ion +in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s+! [4ore and more workers will ha%e become &amiliar a# &irs# hand wi#h wha# goes on where #hey work! $he same applies #o ro#a#ion o& work be#ween %arious en#erprises, and in par#icular, be#ween +producing+ and +u#ili7ing+ uni#s! $he residues o& capi#alism+s di%ision o& labor will ha%e gradually #o be elimina#ed! $his o%erlaps wi#h #he general problem o& educa#ion, educa#ion no# only o& #he new genera#ions, bu# o& #hose adul#s brough# up under #he pre%ious sys#em! -e can+# go in#o #his problem here!

7! Ceneral @roblems o& (ocialis# Economy


a! (impli&ica#ion and )a#ionali7a#ion o& Ba#a (ocialis# economy implies #ha# #he producers #hemsel%es will consciously manage all economic ac#i%i#y! $his managemen# will be e*ercised a# all le%els, and, in par#icular, a# #he o%erall or cen#ral le%el! "# is illusory #o belie%e #ha# bureaucracies (e%en +con#rolled+ bureaucracies) le&# #o #hemsel%es could guide #he economy #owards socialism! (uch bureaucracies could only lead socie#y #owards new &orms o& e*ploi#a#ion! "# is also wrong #o #hink #ha# +au#oma#ic+ ob9ec#i%e mechanisms could be es#ablished, which, like #he au#oma#ic pilo#s o& a modern 9e# aircra&#, could a# each momen# direc# #he economy in #he! desired direc#ion! $he same impossibili#ies arise whe#her one considers an +enligh#ened+ bureaucracy or some elec#ronic super1compu#er, namely #ha# #he key problems are human ones! 0ny plan pre1supposes a &undamen#al decision on #he ra#e o& grow#h o& #he economy, and #his, in #urn, depends

essen#ially on human decisions concerning #he dis#ribu#ion o& #he social produc# be#ween in%es#men# and consump#ion! [n15 Fo +ob9ec#i%e+ ra#ionali#y can de#ermine such a dis#ribu#ion! 0 decision #o in%es# 1'< o& #he social produc# is nei#her more nor less ra#ional #han a decision #o in%es# 9'< o& i#! $he only ra#ionali#y in #he ma##er is #he choice people make abou# #heir own &a#e, in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s! $he &i*ing o& plan #arge#s by #hose who will ha%e #o &ul&ill #hem is, in #he las# analysis, #he only guaran#ee o& #heir willing and spon#aneous par#icipa#ion! /u# #his doesn+# mean #ha# #he plan and #he managemen# o& #he economy are +9us# poli#ical ma##ers+! (ocialis# planning will base i#sel& on cer#ain ra#ional #echnical &ac#ors! "# is, in &ac#, #he only #ype o& planning which could in#egra#e such &ac#ors in#o a conscious managemen# o& #he economy! $hese &ac#ors consis# o& a number o& e*#remely use&ul and e&&ec#i%e +labor1sa%ing+ and +#hough#1sa%ing+ de%ices, which can be used #o simpli&y #he represen#a#ion o& #he economy and o& i#s in#errela#ions, #hereby allowing #he problems o& cen#ral economic managemen# #o be made accessible #o all! -orkers+ managemen# o& produc#ion (#his #ime a# #he le%el o& #he economy as a whole, and no# 9us# a# #he le%el o& a par#icular &ac#ory) will only be possible i& #he &undamen#al decisions ha%e been enormously simpli&ied, so #ha# #he producers and #heir collec#i%e ins#i#u#ions are in a posi#ion #o 9udge #he key issues in an in&ormed way! -ha# is needed in o#her words, is &or #he %as# curren# chaos o& economic &ac#s and rela#ions #o be boiled down #o cer#ain proposi#ions, which ade2ua#ely sum up #he real problems and choices! $hese proposi#ions should be &ew in number! $hey should be easy #o grasp! $hey should summari7e reali#y wi#hou# dis#or#ion or mys#i&ica#ion! "& #hey can do #his, #hey will &orm an ade2ua#e basis &or meaning&ul 9udgmen#s! 0 condensa#ion o& such a #ype is possible, &irs#ly, because #here are ra#ional ingredien#s #o #he economy, and secondly, because #here e*is# already #oday, cer#ain #echni2ues allowing one #o grasp #he comple*i#ies o& economic reali#y, and &inally because i# is now possible #o mechani7e and #o au#oma#e all #ha# does

no# per#ain #o human decisions in #he s#ric# sense! 0 discussion o& #he rele%an# de%ices, #echni2ues, and possibili#ies is #here&ore essen#ial as &rom now! $hey enable us #o carry ou# a %as# clearing o& #he ground, wi#hou# which workers+ managemen# would collapse under #he weigh# o& #he %ery sub9ec# ma##er i# sough# #o deal wi#h! (uch a discussion is in no sense a +purely #echnical+ discussion and a# each s#age o& i# we will be guided by #he general principles already ou#lined! b! $he +@lan Fac#ory+ 0 plan o& produc#ion, whe#her i# deals wi#h one &ac#ory or wi#h #he economy as a whole, resembles a reasoning! "# can be boiled down #o #wo premises and #o one conclusion! $he #wo premises are #he ma#erial means one disposes o& a# #he onse# (e2uipmen#, s#ocks, labor, e#c!), and #he #arge# one is aiming a# (produc#ion o& so many speci&ied ob9ec#s, #o be brough# abou# wi#hin #his or #ha# period o& #ime), -e will re&er #o #hese premises as #he +ini#ial condi#ions+ and #he +ul#ima#e #arge#s+! $he +conclusion+ is #he pa#h #o be &ollowed #o pass &rom ini#ial condi#ions #o ul#ima#e #arge#! "n prac#ice, #his means a cer#ain number o& in#ermedia#e produc#s #o be made wi#hin a gi%en period! -e will call #hese conclusions #he +in#ermedia#e #arge#s+! -hen passing &rom simple ini#ial condi#ions #o a simple ul#ima#e #arge#, #he in#ermedia#e #arge#s can be de#ermined 2uickly! 0s #he ini#ial condi#ions or #he ul#ima#e #arge# (or bo#h) become more comple*, or are more spread ou# in #ime, #he es#ablishmen# o& in#ermedia#e #arge#s becomes more di&&icul#! "n #he case o& #he economy as a whole (where #here are #housands o& di&&eren# produc#s, se%eral o& which can be made by di&&eren# processes, and where #he manu&ac#ure o& any gi%en ca#egory o& produc#s o&#en direc#ly or indirec#ly in%ol%es many o#hers), one migh# imagine #he comple*i#y #o be such #ha# ra#ional planning (in #he sense o& an a priori de#ermina#ion o& #he in#ermedia#e #arge#s, gi%en #he ini#ial condi#ions and ul#ima#e #arge#), would be impossible! $he apologis#s o& +pri%a#e en#erprise+ ha%e been proclaiming #his doc#rine &or ages! /u#, i# isn+# #rue! [n1> $he problem can be sol%ed, and a%ailable ma#hema#ical #echni2ues in &ac# allow i# #o be sol%ed remarkably simply! 5nce #he +ini#ial condi#ions+ are

known and #he +ul#ima#e #arge#s+ ha%e been consciously and democra#ically de#ermined, #he whole con#en# o& planning (#he de#ermina#ion o& #he in#ermedia#e #arge#s) can be reduced #o a purely #echnical #ask o& e*ecu#ion, capable o& being mechani7ed and au#oma#ed #o a %ery high degree! $he basis o& #he new me#hods is #he concep# o& #he #o#al in#erdependence o& all sec#ors o& #he economy (#he &ac# #ha# e%ery#hing #ha# one sec#or u#ili7es in produc#ion is i#sel& #he produc# o& one or more o#her sec#ors8 and #he con%erse &ac#, #ha# e%ery produc# o& a gi%en sec#or will ul#ima#ely be u#ili7ed or consumed by one or more o#her sec#ors)! $he idea, which goes back #o Luesnay and which &ormed #he basis o& 4ar*+s theory of accumulation, has been %as#ly de%eloped in #he las# &ew years by a group o& 0merican economis#s around -assily -! 3eon#ie&, who ha%e succeeded in gi%ing i# a s#a#is#ical &ormula#ion! [n17 $he in#erdependence is such #ha#, a# any gi%en momen# (&or a gi%en le%el o& #echni2ue and a gi%en s#ruc#ure o& a%ailable e2uipmen#), #he produc#ion o& each sec#or is rela#ed, in a rela#i%ely s#able manner, #o #he produc#s o& o#her sec#ors which #he &irs# sec#or u#ili7es (+consumes produc#i%ely+)! "# is easy #o grasp #ha# a gi%en 2uan#i#y o& coal is needed #o produce a #on o& s#eel o& a gi%en #ype! 4oreo%er, one will need so much scrap me#al or so much iron ore, so many hours o& labor, such1and1 such an e*pendi#ure on upkeep and repairs! $he ra#io +coal used : s#eel produced+, e*pressed in #erms o& %alue, is known as #he +curren# #echnical coe&&icien#+ de#ermining #he produc#i%e consump#ion o& coal per uni# o& s#eel #urned ou#! "& one wan#s #o increase s#eel produc#ion beyond a cer#ain poin#, i# won+# help 9us# #o go on deli%ering more coal or more scrap me#al #o #he e*is#ing s#eel mills! Few mills will ha%e #o be buil#! 5r, one will ha%e #o increase #he produc#i%e capaci#y o& e*is#ing mills! $o increase s#eel ou#pu# by a gi%en amoun#, one will ha%e #o produce a gi%en amoun# o& speci&ied e2uipmen#! $he ra#io +gi%en amoun# o& speci&ied e2uipmen# : s#eel1producing capaci#y per gi%en period+, again e*pressed in #erms o& %alue, is known as #he +#echnical coe&&icien# o& capi#al+! "# de#ermines #he 2uan#i#y o& capi#al u#ili7ed per uni# o& s#eel produced in a gi%en period! 5ne could s#op a# #his poin#, i& one were only

dealing wi#h a single en#erprise! E%ery &irm bases i#sel& on calcula#ions o& #his kind (in &ac#, on much more de#ailed ones) when, ha%ing decided #o produce so much, or #o increase i#s produc#ion by so much, i# buys raw ma#erials, orders machinery or recrui#s labor! /u# when one looks a# #he economy as a whole #hings change! $he in#erdependence o& #he %arious sec#ors has de&ini#e conse2uences! $he increase o& produc#ion o& a gi%en sec#or has repercussions (o& %arying in#ensi#y) on all o#her sec#ors and &inally on #he ini#ial sec#or i#sel&! For e*ample, an increase in #he produc#ion o& s#eel immedia#ely re2uires an increase in #he produc#ion o& coal! /u# #his re2uires bo#h an increase in cer#ain #ypes o& mining e2uipmen# and #he recrui#men# o& more labor in#o mining! $he increased demand &or mining e2uipmen#, in #urn, re2uires more s#eel, and more labor in #he s#eel mills! $his, in #urn, leads #o a demand &or s#ill more coal, e#c!, e#c! $he use o& -assily -! 3eon#ie&+s [p> ma#rices, combined wi#h o#her modern me#hods such as Hoopmans+ +ac#i%i#y analysis+ [n1A (o& which +opera#ional research+ is a speci&ic ins#ance) would, in #he case o& a socialis# planned economy, allow #heore#ically e*ac# answers #o be gi%en #o 2ues#ions o& #his #ype! 0 ma#ri* is a #able on which are sys#ema#ically disposed #he #echnical co e&&icien#s (bo#h +curren# #echnical coe&&icien#s+ and +#echnical coe&&icien#s o& capi#al+) e*pressing #he dependence o& each sec#or on each o& #he o#hers! E%ery ul#ima#e #arge# #ha# migh# be chosen is presen#ed as a lis# o& ma#erial means #o be u#ili7ed (and #here&ore, manu&ac#ured) in speci&ied amoun#s, wi#hin #he period in 2ues#ion! 0s soon as #he ul#ima#e #arge# is chosen, #he solu#ion o& a sys#em o& simul#aneous e2ua#ions enables one #o de&ine immedia#ely all #he in#ermedia#e #arge#s, and #here&ore, #he #asks #o be &ul&illed by each sec#or o& #he economy! $he working1ou# o& #hese rela#ionships will be #he #ask o& a highly mechani7ed and au#oma#ed speci&ic en#erprise, whose main work would consis# in #he mass produc#ion o& %arious plans (#arge#s) and o& #heir %arious componen#s (implica#ions)! $his en#erprise is #he plan &ac#ory! "#s cen#ral workshop would, #o s#ar# wi#h, probably consis# o& a compu#er whose +memory+ would s#ore #he #echnical

coe&&icien#s and #he ini#ial produc#i%e capaci#y o& each sec#or! "& +&ed+ a number o& hypo#he#ical #arge#s, #he compu#er could spell ou# #he produc#i%e implica#ion o& each #arge# &or each sec#or (including #he amoun# o& work #o be pro%ided, in each ins#ance, by #he +man1power+ sec#or)! [n19 0round #his cen#ral workshop, #here would be o#hers whose #asks would be #o s#udy #he dis#ribu#ion and %aria#ions o& regional produc#ion and in%es#men# and possible #echnical op#ima (gi%en #he general in#erdependence o& #he %arious sec#ors)! $hey would also de#ermine #he uni#1%alues (e2ui%alences) o& di&&eren# ca#egories o& produc#! $wo depar#men#s o& #he plan &ac#ory warran# special men#ion: #ha# dealing wi#h s#ock1#aking and #ha# dealing wi#h #he #echnical coe&&icien#s! $he 2uali#y o& planning, concei%ed in #his way, depends on how well people are in&ormed o& #he real s#a#e o& #he economy which &orms i#s basis! $he accuracy o& #he solu#ion, in o#her words, depends on ade2ua#e in&orma#ion abou# bo#h +ini#ial condi#ions+ and #he +#echnical coe&&icien#s+! "ndus#rial and agricul#ural censuses are carried ou# a# regular in#er%als e%en #oday, by a number o& ad%anced capi#alis# coun#ries: #hey o&&er a %ery crude basis, because #hey are e*#remely inaccura#e and &ragmen#ed! $he drawing up o& an up1#o1da#e and comple#e in%en#ory will be one o& #he &irs# #asks o& a sel&1managed socie#y! $he collec#i%e prepara#ion o& such an in%en#ory is a serious #ask! "# can+# be achie%ed +&rom abo%e+, &rom one day #o #he ne*#! Fo#, once drawn up, would such an in%en#ory be considered &inal! @er&ec#ing i# and keeping i# up1#o1 da#e would be a permanen# #ask o& #he plan &ac#ory, working in close coopera#ion wi#h #hose sec#ions o& #he local .ouncils responsible &or indus#rial s#ock#aking in #heir own areas! $he resul#s o& #his coopera#ion would cons#an#ly modi&y and +enrich+ #he +memory+ o& #he cen#ral compu#er! Es#ablishing #he +#echnical coe&&icien#s+ will pose similar problems! $o s#ar# wi#h, i# could be done %ery roughly, using cer#ain generally a%ailable s#a#is#ical in&orma#ion (+on a%erage, #he #e*#ile indus#ry uses so much co##on #o produce so much clo#h+)! /u#, such knowledge will ha%e #o be made &ar more precise #hrough #echnical in&orma#ion pro%ided by #he .ouncils

o& par#icular indus#ries! $he da#a +s#ores+ in #he compu#er will ha%e #o be periodically re%ised as more accura#e knowledge abou# #he #echnical coe&&icien#s 11 and in par#icular, abou# #he real changes in #hese coe&&icien#s brough# abou# by new #echnological de%elopmen#s is brough# #o ligh#! Hnowledge o& #he real s#a#e o& a&&airs, combined wi#h #he cons#an# re%ision o& basic da#a and wi#h #he possibili#y o& drawing ins#an# conclusions &rom #hem, will resul# in %ery considerable, possibly enormous, gains! $he po#en#iali#ies o& #hese new #echni2ues remain un#apped, in #he %ery &ield where #hey could be mos# use&ully applied: #ha# o& #he economy #aken as a whole! 0ny #echnical modi&ica#ion, in any sec#or, could in #heory a&&ec# #he work load and #he condi#ions o& a ra#ional choice o& me#hods in all o#her sec#ors! 0 socialis# economy would be able #o#ally and ins#an#aneously #o #ake ad%an#age o& such &ac#s! .api#alis# economies only #ake #hem in#o accoun# bela#edly and in a %ery par#ial way! $he se##ing1up o& such a plan &ac#ory should be immedia#ely possible, in any coun#ry which is e%en modera#ely indus#riali7ed! $he e2uipmen# necessary e*is#s already! (o do #he people capable o& working i#! /anks and insurance companies (which will be unnecessary under socialism) already use some o& #hese me#hods in work o& #his general #ype! 3inking up wi#h ma#hema#icians, s#a#is#icians, econome#ricians, #hose who work in such o&&ices could pro%ide #he ini#ial personnel o& #he plan &ac#ory! -orkers+ managemen# o& produc#ion and #he re2uiremen#s o& a ra#ional economy will pro%ide a #remendous impe#us #o #he de%elopmen#, bo#h +spon#aneous+ and +conscious+ o& ra#ional #echni2ues o& planning! 3e# us no# be misunders#ood8 #he role o& #he +plan &ac#ory+ won+# be #o decide on #he plan! "# won+# impose any#hing on o#hers! $he #arge#s o& #he plan will be de#ermined by socie#y as a whole, in a manner shor#ly #o be described! /e&ore any proposals are %o#ed upon, howe%er, #he plan &ac#ory will work ou# and presen# #o socie#y as a whole #he implica#ions and conse2uences (&or %arious groups o& #he popula#ion) o& #he plan (or plans) sugges#ed! $his will resul# in a %as# increase in #he area o& real democracy (i!e!, o& deciding in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s)! 0&#er a plan has been

adop#ed, #he #ask o& #he plan &ac#ory will be #o cons#an#ly bring up1#o1da#e #he &ac#s on which #he plan was based, #o draw #he necessary conclusions &rom possibili#ies o& change and #o in&orm bo#h #he .en#ral 0ssembly o& .ouncils and #he rele%an# sec#ors o& any al#era#ions in in#ermedia#e #arge#s (and #here&ore, o& produc#ion #asks) #ha# migh# be wor#h considering! "n none o& #hese ins#ances would #hose ac#ually working in #he plan &ac#ory decide or impose any#hing 11 e*cep# #he organi7a#ion o& #heir own work! c! .onsumer Coods /u# wha# abou# consump#ionK "n a socialis# socie#y, how could people de#ermine wha# is producedK "# is ob%ious #ha# #his canno# be based on direc# democracy! $he plan can+# propose, as an ul#ima#e #arge#, a comple#e lis# o& consumer goods or sugges# in wha# propor#ions #hey should be produced! (uch a proposal would no# be democra#ic, &or #wo reasons! Firs#ly, i# could ne%er be based on +&ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s+, namely on a &ull knowledge o& e%erybody+s pre&erences! (econdly, i# would be #an#amoun# #o a poin#less #yranny o& #he ma9ori#y o%er #he minori#y! "& E'< o& #he popula#ion wish #o consume a cer#ain ar#icle, #here is no reason why #hey should be depri%ed o& i# under pre#e*# #ha# #he o#her >'< pre&er some#hing else! Fo pre&erence or #as#e is more logical #han any o#her! 4oreo%er, consumer wishes are seldom incompa#ible wi#h one ano#her! 4a9ori#y %o#es in #his ma##er would amoun# #o ra#ioning, an absurd way o& se##ling #his kind o& problem anywhere bu# in a besieged &or#ress! @lanning decisions won+# #here&ore rela#e #o par#icular i#ems, bu# #o #he general s#andard o& li%ing (#he o%erall %olume o& consump#ion)! $hey will no# del%e in#o #he de#ailed composi#ion o& #his consump#ion! "n rela#ion #o human consump#ion, deciding on li%ing s#andards doesn+# re2uire #he same kind o& considera#ions #ha# go in#o de#ermining how many #ons o& coal are needed #o produce so many #ons o& s#eel! $here are no +#echnical coe&&icien#s o& #he consumer+! ;nder capi#alism, #here is, o& course, some s#a#is#ical correla#ion be#ween income and #he s#ruc#ure o& demand (wi#hou# such a correla#ion pri%a#e capi#alism couldn+# &unc#ion)! /u#, #his is

only a %ery rela#i%e a&&air! "# would be #urned upside down under socialism! 0 massi%e redis#ribu#ion o& incomes will ha%e #aken place8 pro&ound changes will ha%e occurred in e%ery realm o& social li&e8 #he permanen# rape o& #he consumers #hrough ad%er#ising and capi#alis# sales+ #echni2ues will ha%e been abolished8 new #as#es will ha%e emerged as #he resul# o& increased leisure! Finally, #he s#a#is#ical regulari#y o& consumer demand can+# sol%e #he problem o& %aria#ions #ha# migh# occur wi#hin a gi%en period, be#ween real demand and #ha# en%isaged in #he plan! Cenuine planning doesn+# mean saying +li%ing s#andards will go up by 5< ne*# year, and e*perience #ells us #ha# #his will resul# in a :'< increase in #he demand &or cars, #here&ore le#+s make :o< more cars+, and s#opping a# #ha#! 5ne may ha%e #o s#ar# in #his way, where o#her cri#eria are missing, bu# #here will ha%e #o be power&ul correc#ing mechanisms capable o& responding #o dispari#ies be#ween an#icipa#ed and real demand! (ocialis# socie#y will ha%e #o regula#e #he pa##ern o& i#s consump#ion according #o #he principle o& consumer so%ereign#y! $his implies #he e*is#ence o& some mechanism whereby consumer demand can genuinely make i#sel& &el#! $he +general decision+ embodied in #he plan will de&ine: a! wha# propor#ion o& i#s o%erall produc# socie#y wishes #o de%o#e #o #he sa#is&ac#ion o& indi%idual consumer needs, b! wha# propor#ion i# would like #o alloca#e #o collec#i%e needs (" public consump#ion+) and c! wha# propor#ion i# wan#s #o de%o#e #o +de%eloping #he produc#i%e &orces+ (i!e!, #o in%es#)! /u# #he s#ruc#ure o& consump#ion will ha%e #o be de#ermined by #he indi%idual consumers #hemsel%es! ,ow could a mu#ual adap#a#ion o& supply and demand come abou#K ,ow migh# consumer demand really mani&es# i#sel&K Firs# #here would ha%e #o be an o%erall e2uilibrium! $he sum #o#al dis#ribu#ed in any gi%en period (as +wages+ and o#her bene&i#s) would ha%e #o be e2ual #o #he %alue o& consumer goods (2uan#i#ies * prices) made a%ailable in #ha# period! 0n +empirical+ ini#ial decision would #hen ha%e #o be #aken, #o pro%ide, a# leas#, a skele#on &or #he s#ruc#ure o& consump#ion! $his ini#ial decision would base i#sel& on #radi#ionally +known+

s#a#is#ical da#a, bu# in &ull knowledge o& #he &ac# #ha# #hese will ha%e #o be e*#ensi%ely modi&ied by #aking in#o accoun# a whole series o& new &ac#ors (such as #he e2uali7a#ion o& wages, &or ins#ance)! (#ocks o& %arious commodi#ies, in e*cess o& wha# i# is e*pec#ed migh# be consumed in a gi%en period will, ini#ially, ha%e #o be scheduled &or! $hree +correc#i%e+ processes would #hen come in#o play, #he ne# resul# o& which would be #o immedia#ely demons#ra#e any gap be#ween an#icipa#ed and real demand, and #o bridge i#: a! 0%ailable s#ocks would ei#her rise or &all! b! 0ccording #o whe#her #he reser%e s#ocks decreased or increased (i!e!, according #o whe#her demand had been ini#ially underes#ima#ed or o%eres#ima#ed), #here would be an ini#ial rise or &all in #he price o& #he %arious commodi#ies! $he reason &or #hese #emporary price &luc#ua#ions would ha%e #o be &ully e*plained #o #he people! c! $here would simul#aneously #ake place an immedia#e read9us#men# in #he ou#pu# o& consumer goods, #o #he le%el where (#he s#ocks ha%ing been recons#i#u#ed) #he produc#ion o& goods e2uals #he demand! 0# #ha# momen#, #he sale price would again become e2ual #o #he +normal price+ (labor %alue) o& #he produc#! Ci%en #he principle o& consumer so%ereign#y+ any di&&erences be#ween #he ac#ual demand and produc#ion scheduled will ha%e #o be correc#ed by a modi&ica#ion in #he s#ruc#ure o& produc#ion and no# by resor#ing #o permanen# di&&erences be#ween selling prices and %alue! "& such di&&erences were #o appear, #hey would au#oma#ically imply #ha# #he original planning decision was wrong, in #his par#icular &ield! d! +4oney+, +-ages+, 6alue 4any absurdi#ies ha%e been said abou# money and i#s immedia#e aboli#ion in a socialis# socie#y, and #here is a grea# deal o& loose #hinking abou# #he sub9ec#! [a1E "# should be clear #ha# #he role o& money is radically al#ered &rom #he momen# where i# can no longer be a means o& accumula#ion (#he means o& produc#ion being owned in common) or as a means o& e*er#ing social pressure (wages being e2ual)! -ha# residual &unc#ion would money #hen ha%eK @eople will probably recei%e a #oken in re#urn &or wha# #hey pu#

in#o socie#y! [a15 $hese +#okens+ migh# #ake #he &orm o& uni#s, allowing people #o organi7e wha# #hey #ake ou# o& socie#y, spreading i# ou# (a) in #ime, and (b) be#ween di&&eren# ob9ec#s and ser%ices, e*ac#ly as #hey wish! 0s we are seeking here #o ge# #o grips wi#h reali#ies and are no# &igh#ing agains# words, we see no ob9ec#ion #o calling #hese #okens +wages+ and #hese uni#s +money+, [a1> 9us# as a li##le earlier we used #he words +normal prices+ #o describe #he mone#ary e*pression o& labor %alue! [n:' ;nder socialism labor %alue would be #he only ra#ional basis &or any kind o& social accoun#ancy and #he only yards#ick ha%ing any real meaning &or people! $he &irs# aim o& socialis# produc#ion will be #o reduce bo#h #he direc# and indirec# e*pendi#ure o& human labor power! Fi*ing #he prices o& consumer goods on #he basis o& #heir labor %alue, would mean #ha# &or e%eryone #he cos# o& ob9ec#s would clearly appear as #he e2ui%alen# o& #he labor (in hours) s=he himsel& would ha%e had #o e*pend #o produce #hem (assuming s=he had access #o #he a%erage pre%ailing e2uipmen# and #ha# s=he had an a%erage social capaci#y)! "# would bo#h simpli&y and clari&y #hings i& #he mone#ary uni# was considered #he +ne# produc# o& an hour o& labor+ and i& #his were made #he uni# o& %alue! "# would also assis# #o#al demys#i&ica#ion i& #he hourly wage, e2ual &or all, were a gi%en &rac#ion o& #his uni#, e*pressing #he ra#io pri%a#e +consump#ion : #o#al ne# produc#ion+! "& #hese s#eps were #aken and #horoughly e*plained, #hey would enable #he &undamen#al planning decisions (namely #he dis#ribu#ion o& #he social produc# be#ween consump#ion and in%es#men#) #o be immedia#ely ob%ious #o e%eryone, and repea#edly drawn #o #heir a##en#ion, e%ery #ime s=he bough# any#hing! E2ually ob%ious would be #he social cos# o& e%ery ob9ec# ac2uired! e! -age E2uali#y -orking class aspira#ions, whene%er #hey succeed in e*pressing #hemsel%es independen#ly o& #he #rade union bureaucracy, are o&#en direc#ed agains# hierarchy and wage di&&eren#ials! /asing i#sel& on #his &ac#, socialis# socie#y will in#roduce absolu#e wage e2uali#y! $here is no 9us#i&ica#ion &or

wage di&&eren#ials, whe#her #hese re&lec# di&&ering pro&essional 2uali&ica#ions or di&&erences in produc#i%i#y! "& an indi%idual himsel&=hersel& ad%anced #he cos#s o& his=her pro&essional #raining, and i& socie#y considered him=her +an en#erprise+, #he recupera#ion o& #hose cos#s, spread ou# o%er a working li&e#ime would a# mos# +9us#i&y+, a# #he e*#remes o& #he wages spec#rum a di&&eren#ial o& ::1 (be#ween a sweeper and a neurosurgeon)! ;nder socialism, #raining cos#s would be ad%anced by socie#y (#hey o&#en are, e%en #oday), and #he 2ues#ion o& #heir +reco%ery+ would no# arise! 0s &or produc#i%i#y, i# depends (already #oday) much less on bonus and much more on #he coercions e*ercised on #he one hand by #he machines and by #he &oreman (#ending #o push i# up), and on #he o#her hand by #he disciplined resis#ance #o produc#ion, imposed by primary working groups in #he workshop (#ending #o keep i# down)! (ocialis# socie#y could no# increase produc#i%i#y by economic cons#rain#s wi#hou# resor#ing again #o all #he capi#alis# paraphernalia o& norms, super%ision, e#c! .oopera#ion would &low (as i# already does, in par#, #oday) &rom #he sel&1 organi7a#ion o& primary groups in #he workshops, &rom #he na#ural rela#ionships be#ween di&&eren# shops, and &rom ga#herings o& producers in di&&eren# &ac#ories or di&&eren# sec#ors o& #he economy! $he primary group in a workshop, can, in general, secure #ha# any par#icular indi%idual does his=her share! "&, &or any par#icular reason, #hey couldn+# work wi#h a par#icular person 11 #hey could ask him=her #o lea%e #he par#icular shop! "# would #hen be up #o #he indi%idual in 2ues#ion #o seek en#ry in#o one o& many o#her primary groups o& workers and #o ge# himsel&=hersel& accep#ed by #hem! -age e2uali#y will gi%e a real meaning #o consump#ion, e%ery indi%idual a# las# being assured o& an e2ual %o#e! "# will abolish a large number o& con&lic#s bo#h in e%eryday li&e and in produc#ion, and will enable an e*#raordinary cohesion o& working people #o de%elop! "# will des#roy a# #he %ery roo#s #he whole mercan#ile mons#rosi#y o& capi#alism (bo#h pri%a#e and bureaucra#ic), #he commerciali7a#ion o& indi%iduals, #ha# whole uni%erse where one doesn+# earn wha# one is wor#h, bu# where one is wor#h wha# one earns! 0 &ew years o& wage e2uali#y and

li##le will be le&# o& #he whole dis#or#ed men#ali#y o& presen# day indi%iduals! &! $he Fundamen#al Becision $he &undamen#al decision, in a socialis# economy, is #he one whereby socie#y as a whole de#ermines wha# i# wan#s (i!e!, #he ul#ima#e #arge#s o& i#s plan)! $his decision is abou# #wo basic proposi#ions! Ci%en cer#ain +ini#ial condi#ions+, how much #ime does socie#y wan# #o de%o#e #o produc#ionK 0nd how much o& #he #o#al produc# does i# wan# #o see respec#i%ely alloca#ed #o pri%a#e consump#ion, #o public consump#ion, and #o in%es#men#K "n bo#h pri%a#e and bureaucra#ic capi#alis# socie#ies, #he amoun# o& #ime one has #o work is de#ermined by #he ruling class by means o& economic or direc# physical cons#rain#s! Fo one is consul#ed abou# #he ma##er! (ocialis# socie#y, #aken as a whole, will no# escape #he impac# o& cer#ain economic &ac#s (in #he sense #ha# any decision #o modi&y labor #ime will 11 o#her #hings being e2ual 11 ha%e a bearing on produc#ion)! /u#, i# will di&&er &rom all pre%ious socie#ies, in #ha# &or #he &irs# #ime in his#ory, people will be able #o decide abou# work in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s, wi#h #he basic elemen#s o& #he problem clearly presen#ed #o #hem! (ocialism will also be #he &irs# social sys#em enabling people #o decide in a ra#ional way abou# how socie#y+s produc# should be di%ided be#ween consump#ion and in%es#men#! ;nder pri%a#e capi#alism, #his dis#ribu#ion #akes place in an absolu#ely arbi#rary manner and one would seek in %ain any +ra#ionali#y+ underlying wha# de#ermines in%es#men#! [n:1 "n bureaucra#ic capi#alis# socie#ies, #he %olume o& in%es#men# is also decided upon 2ui#e arbi#rarily! $he cen#ral bureaucracy, in #hese socie#ies, ha%e ne%er been able #o 9us#i&y #heir choices e*cep# #hrough recourse #o incan#a#ions abou# #he +priori#y o& hea%y indus#ry+! [n:: /u#, e%en i& #here were a ra#ional, +ob9ec#i%e+ basis &or a cen#ral decision, such a decision would au#oma#ically be irra#ional, i& i# was reached in #he absence o& #hose primarily concerned, namely #he members o& socie#y! 0ny decision #aken in #his way would reproduce #he basic con#radic#ion o& all e*ploi#ing regimes! "# would #rea# people, in #he plan, as componen#s o& predic#able beha%ior, as #heore#ical

+ob9ec#s+! "# would soon lead #o #rea#ing #hem as ob9ec#s in real li&e, #oo! (uch a policy would con#ain #he seeds o& i#s own &ailure: ins#ead o& encouraging #he par#icipa#ion o& #he producers in carrying ou# #he plan, i# would irre%ocably aliena#e #hem &rom a plan #ha# was no# o& #heir choosing! $here is no ob9ec#i%e +ra#ionali#y+ allowing one #o decide, by means o& ma#hema#ical &ormulae, abou# #he &u#ure o& socie#y, abou# work, abou# consump#ion, and abou# accumula#ion! $he only ra#ionali#y in #hese realms is #he li%ing reason o& mankind, #he decisions o& ordinary men and women concerning #heir own &a#e! /u#, #hese decisions won+# &low &rom a #oss o& #he dice! $hey will be based on a comple#e clari&ica#ion o& #he problem and on &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s! $his will be possible because #here e*is#s, &or any gi%en le%el o& #echni2ue, a de&ini#e rela#ion be#ween a gi%en in%es#men# and #he resul#ing increase in produc#ion! $his rela#ion is no#hing o#her #han #he applica#ion #o #he economy as a whole o& #he +#echnical coe&&icien#s o& capi#al+ o& which we spoke earlier! (uch1and1 such an in%es#men# in s#eelworks will resul# in such1and1such an increase in wha# #he s#eelworks #urn ou# 11 and such1and1 such a global in%es#men# in produc#ion will resul# in such1and1 such a ne# increase in #he global social produc#! [n:? $here&ore, such1and1such a ra#e o& accumula#ion will allow such1and1such a ra#e o& increase o& #he social produc# (and #here&ore, o& #he s#andard o& li%ing or amoun# o& leisure)! Finally, such1and1such a &rac#ion o& #he produc# de%o#ed #o accumula#ion will also resul# in such and such a ra#e o& increase o& li%ing s#andards! $he o%erall problem can #here&ore be posed in #he &ollowing #erms! (uch1and1such an immedia#e increase in consump#ion is possible 11 bu# i# would imply a signi&ican# cu#1down on &ur#her increases in #he years #o come! 5n #he o#her hand, people migh# pre&er #o choose a more limi#ed immedia#e increase in li%ing s#andards, which would allow #he social produc# (and hence, li%ing s#andards) #o increase a# #he ra#e o& *< per annum in #he years #o come! 0nd, so on! +$he con&lic# be#ween #he presen# and #he &u#ure+, #o which #he

apologis#s o& pri%a#e capi#alism and o& #he bureaucracy are cons#an#ly re&erring, would s#ill be wi#h us! /u#, i# would be clearly seen! 0nd, socie#y i#sel& would se##le #he ma##er, &ully aware o& #he se##ing and o& #he implica#ions o& wha# i# was doing! "n conclusion, and #o sum up, one could say #ha# any o%erall plan submi##ed #o #he people &or discussion would ha%e #o speci&y: a! #he produc#i%e implica#ions &or each sec#or o& indus#ry, and as &ar as possible &or each en#erprise8 b! #he amoun# o& work &or e%eryone #ha# #hese implied8 c! #he le%el o& consump#ion during #he ini#ial period8 d! #he amoun#s #o be de%o#ed #o public consump#ion and #o in%es#men#8 e! #he ra#e o& increase o& &u#ure consump#ion! $o simpli&y #hings, we ha%e a# #imes presen#ed #he decisions abou# ul#ima#e and in#ermedia#e #arge#s (i!e!, #he implica#ions o& #he plan concerning speci&ic areas o& produc#ion) as #wo separa#e and consecu#i%e ac#s! "n prac#ice, #here would be a con#inuous gi%e1and1#ake be#ween #hese #wo phases, and a mul#iplici#y o& proposals! $he producers will be in no posi#ion #o decide on ul#ima#e #arge#s, unless #hey know wha# #he implica#ions o& par#icular #arge#s are &or #hemsel%es, no# only as consumers bu# as producers, working in a speci&ic &ac#ory! 4oreo%er #here is no such #hing as a decision +#aken in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s+, i& #ha# decision is no# &ounded on a number o& choices, each wi#h i#s par#icular implica#ions! $he &undamen#al decisional process migh#, #here&ore, #ake #he &ollowing &orm! (#ar#ing &rom below, #here would, a# &irs#, be discussions in #he Ceneral 0ssemblies! "ni#ial proposals would emana#e &rom #he -orkers+ .ouncils o& %arious en#erprises and would deal wi#h #heir own produc#i%e possibili#ies in #he period #o come! $he plan &ac#ory would #hen regroup #hese %arious proposals, poin#ing ou# which ones were mu#ually incompa#ible or en#ailed unin#ended e&&ec#s on o#her sec#ors! "# would elabora#e a series o& achie%able #arge#s, grouping #hem as &ar as possible in #erms o& #heir concre#e implica#ions! [@roposal 0 implies #ha# &ac#ory M will ne*# year increase i#s produc#ion by I < wi#h #he help o& addi#ional e2uipmen# N! @roposal /, on #he o#her hand, implies!!!, e#c! $here would #hen be a &ull

discussion o& #he %arious o%erall proposals, #hroughou# #he Ceneral 0ssemblies and by all #he -orkers+ .ouncils, possibly wi#h coun#er1proposals and a repe#i#ion o& #he procedure described! 0 &inal discussion would #hen lead #o a simple ma9ori#y %o#e in #he Ceneral 0ssemblies!

A! $he 4anagemen# o& #he Economy


-e ha%e spelled ou# #he implica#ions o& workers+ managemen# a# #he le%el o& a par#icular en#erprise! $hese consis# o& #he aboli#ion o& any separa#e managerial appara#us and o& #he assump#ion o& managerial au#hori#y by #he workers #hemsel%es, organi7ed in -orkers+ .ouncils and in Ceneral 0ssemblies o& one or more shops or o&&ices, or o& a whole en#erprise! -orkers+ managemen# o& #he economy as a whole also implies #ha# #he managemen# o& #he economy is no# %es#ed in #he hands o& a speci&ic managerial s#ra#um, bu# #ha# i# belongs #o organi7ed collec#i%i#ies o& producers! -ha# we ha%e ou#lined in #he pre%ious sec#ions shows #ha# democra#ic managemen# is per&ec#ly &easible! "#s basic assump#ion is #he clari&ica#ion o& da#a and #he mass u#ili7a#ion o& wha# modern #echni2ues ha%e now made possible! "# implies #he conscious use o& a series o& de%ices and mechanisms (such as #he genuine consumer +marke#+, wage e2uali#y, #he new rela#ions be#ween price and %alue 11 and o& course, #he plan &ac#ory) combined wi#h real knowledge concerning economic reali#y! $oge#her, #hese will help clear #he ground! $he ma9or par# o& planning is 9us# made up o& #asks o& e*ecu#ion and could sa&ely be le&# #o highly mechani7ed or au#oma#ed o&&ices, which would ha%e no poli#ical or decisional role wha#soe%er, and would con&ine #hemsel%es #o placing be&ore socie#y a %arie#y o& &easible plans and #heir &ull respec#i%e implica#ions &or e%eryone!

$his general clearing o& #he ground ha%ing been achie%ed, and coheren# possibili#ies ha%ing been presen#ed #o #he people, #he &inal choice will lie in #heir hands! E%eryone will par#icipa#e in deciding #he ul#ima#e #arge#s +in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s+, i!e!, knowing #he implica#ions o& his=her choice &or himsel&=hersel& (bo#h as producer and as consumer)! 5nce adop#ed, a gi%en plan would pro%ide #he &ramework o& economic ac#i%i#ies &or a gi%en period! "# would es#ablish a s#ar#ing poin# &or economic li&e! /u#, in a &ree socie#y, #he plan will no# domina#eeconomic li&e! "# is only a s#ar#ing poin#, cons#an#ly #o be #aken up again and modi&ied as necessary! Fei#her #he economic li&e o& socie#y 11 nor i#s #o#al li&e 11 can be based on a dead #echnological ra#ionali#y, es#ablished once and &or all! (ocie#y canno# aliena#e i#sel& &rom i#s own decisions! "# is no# only #ha# real li&e will almos# o& necessi#y di%erge, in many aspec#s, &rom #he +mos# per&ec#+ plan in #he world! "# is also #ha# workers+ managemen# will cons#an#ly #end #o al#er, bo#h direc#ly and indirec#ly, #he basic da#a and! #arge#s o& #he plan! Few produc#s, new me#hods, new ideas, new problems, new di&&icul#ies and new solu#ions will cons#an#ly be emerging! -orking #imes will be reduced! @rices will &all, en#ailing reac#ions o& #he consumers and displacemen#s o& demand! (ome o& #hese modi&ica#ions will only a&&ec# a single &ac#ory, o#hers se%eral &ac#ories and ye# o#hers, no doub#, #he economy as a whole! [n:E $he +plan &ac#ory+ would, #here&ore, no# only be called upon #o work once e%ery &i%e years8 i# would daily ha%e #o #ackle some problem or ano#her! 0ll #his deals mainly wi#h #he &orm o& workers+ managemen# o& #he economy, and wi#h #he mechanisms and ins#i#u#ions #ha# migh# ensure #ha# i# &unc#ions in a democra#ic manner! $hese &orms would allow socie#y #o gi%e #o #he managemen# o& #he economy #he con#en# i# chose! "n a narrower sense, #hey would enable socie#y #o orien# #he economy in any par#icular direc#ion! "# is almos# cer#ain #ha# #he direc#ion chosen would be radically di&&eren# &rom #ha# proposed by #he bes# in#en#ioned ideologis#s or philan#hropis#s o& modern socie#y! 0ll such ideologis#s (whe#her +4ar*is#+ or bourgeois) accep# as sel&1 e%iden# #ha# #he ideal economy is one which allows #he mos#

rapid possible e*pansion o& #he produc#i%e &orces and, as a corollary, #he grea#es# possible reduc#ion o& #he working day! $his idea, considered in absolu#e #erms, is absolu#ely absurd! "# epi#omi7es #he whole men#ali#y, psychology, logic and me#aphysic o& capi#alism, i#s reali#y as well as i#s schi7ophrenia! +-ork is hell! "# mus# be reduced!+ $he rulers o& modern socie#y (Eas# and -es#) belie%e #ha# people will only be happy i& #hey are pro%ided wi#h cars and bu##er! $he popula#ion mus# #here&ore be made #o &eel #ha# i# can only be happy i& #he roads are choked wi#h cars or i& i# can +ca#ch up wi#h 0merican bu##er produc#ion wi#hin #he ne*# #hree years+! 0nd, when people ac2uire #he said cars and #he said bu##er, all #ha# will be le&# &or #hem #o do will be #o commi# suicide, which is 9us# wha# #hey do in #ha# +ideal+ coun#ry called (weden! $his +ac2uisi#i%e+ men#ali#y which capi#alism engenders, which helps capi#alism li%e, wi#hou# which capi#alism could no# e*is#, and which capi#alism e*acerba#es #o &rene#ic propor#ions, migh# 9us# concei%ably ha%e been a use&ul aberra#ion during a phase o& human de%elopmen#! (ocialis# socie#y will no# be #his absurd race a&#er percen#age incremen#s in produc#ion! $his will no# be i#s basic concern! "n i#s ini#ial phase, #o be sure, socialis# socie#y will concern i#sel& wi#h sa#is&ying consumer needs, and wi#h a more balanced dis#ribu#ion o& people+s #ime be#ween produc#i%e work and o#her ac#i%i#ies! /u#, #he real de%elopmen# o& people and o& social communi#ies, will be socialism+s cen#ral preoccupa#ion! 0 %ery impor#an# par# o& social in%es#men# will, #here&ore, be geared #o #rans&orming machinery, #o a uni%ersal and genuine educa#ion, #o abolishing di%isions be#ween #own and coun#ry, and be#ween men#al and manual labor! $he grow#h o& &reedom wi#hin work, #he de%elopmen# o& #he crea#i%e &acul#ies o& #he producers, #he crea#ion o& in#egra#ed and comple#e human communi#ies, will be #he pa#hs along which socialis# humani#y will seek #o &ind #he meaning o& i#s e*is#ence! $hese will, in addi#ion, enable socialism #o secure #he ma#erial basis which i# needs!

9! $he 4anagemen# o& (ocie#y


-e ha%e already discussed #he #ype o& change #ha# would be brough# abou# by #he +%er#ical+ and +hori7on#al+ coopera#ion o& -orkers+ .ouncils, a coopera#ion secured #hrough indus#rial councils composed o& delega#es &rom %arious places o& work! 0 similar regional coopera#ion would be es#ablished #hrough .ouncils represen#ing all #he uni#s o& a region! .oopera#ion will &inally be necessary on a na#ional le%el, &or all #he ac#i%i#ies o& socie#y, whe#her economic or no#! 0 cen#ral body, which would be #he e*pression and #he emana#ion o& #he producers #hemsel%es, would ensure #he general #asks o& economic coordina#ion, inasmuch as #hey were no# deal# wi#h by #he plan i#sel& 11 or more precisely, inasmuch as #he plan will ha%e #o be &re2uen#ly or cons#an#ly amended (#he %ery decision #o sugges# #ha# i# should be amended would ha%e #o be ini#ia#ed somewhere)! (uch a body would also coordina#e ac#i%i#ies in o#her areas o& social li&e, which ha%e li##le or no#hing #o do wi#h general economic planning! $his cen#ral body would be #he direc# emana#ion o& #he -orkers+ .ouncils and o& #he local Ceneral 0ssemblies #hemsel%es! "# would consis# o& a .en#ral 0ssembly o& .ouncil Belega#es, which 0ssembly would i#sel& elec#, &rom wi#hin i#s own ranks, a .en#ral .ouncil! $his ne#work o& Ceneral 0ssemblies and .ouncils is all #ha# is le&# o& +#he (#a#e+ or +power+ in a socialis# socie#y! "# is #he whole +s#a#e+ and #he only embodimen# o& +power+! $here are no o#her ins#i#u#ions &rom which proposals or decisions migh# emana#e #o in&luence people+s li%es! $o con%ince people #ha# #here would be no o#her +s#a#e+ lurking in #he background we mus# show: a! #ha# such a pa##ern o& organi7a#ion could deal wi#h all #he problems #ha# migh# arise in a &ree socie#y 11 and no# only wi#h

indus#rial problems8 b! #ha# ins#i#u#ions o& #he #ype described could coordina#e all #hose social ac#i%i#ies which #he popula#ion &el# needed coordina#ion (in par#icular, non1economic ac#i%i#ies) 11 in o#her words, #ha# #hey could &ul&ill all #he &unc#ions needed o& a socialis# adminis#ra#ion (which are radically di&&eren# &rom #he &unc#ions o& a modern (#a#e)! -e will &inally ha%e #o discuss wha# would be #he signi&icance o& +par#ies+ and o& +poli#ics+ in such a socie#y! a! $he .ouncils: 0n 0de2ua#e 5rgani7a#ion &or #he -hole @opula#ion $he se##ing1up o& -orkers+ .ouncils will crea#e no par#icular problems in rela#ion #o indus#ry (#aking #he #erm in i#s wides# sense #o include manu&ac#ure, #ranspor#, building, mining, energy produc#ion, public ser%ices, e#c!)! $he re%olu#ionary #rans&orma#ion o& socie#y will, in &ac#, be based on #he es#ablishmen# o& such .ouncils and would be impossible wi#hou# i#! "n #he pos#1re%olu#ionary period, howe%er, when #he new social rela#ions become #he norm, a problem will arise &rom #he need #o regroup people working in smaller en#erprises! $his regrouping will be necessary i& only #o ensure #hem #heir &ull democra#ic and represen#a#ional righ#s! "ni#ially, i# would probably be based on some compromise be#ween considera#ions o& geographical pro*imi#y and considera#ions o& indus#rial in#egra#ion! $his par#icular problem isn+# %ery impor#an#, &or e%en i& #here are many such small en#erprises, #he number o& #hose working in #hem only represen#s a small propor#ion o& #he #o#al working popula#ion! @arado*ical as i# may seem, #he sel&1organi7a#ion o& #he popula#ion in#o .ouncils, could proceed as na#urally in agricul#ure as in indus#ry! "# is #radi#ional on #he le&# #o see #he peasan#ry as a source o& cons#an# problems &or working class power, because o& i#s dispersion, i#s a##achmen# #o pri%a#e proper#y and i#s poli#ical and ideological backwardness! $hese &ac#ors cer#ainly e*is#, bu# i# is doub#&ul i& #he peasan#ry would ac#i%ely oppose a working class power e*hibi#ing #owards i# an in#elligen# and socialis# a##i#ude! $he +peasan# nigh#mare+, curren#ly obsessing so many re%olu#ionaries, resul#s &rom #he #elescoping o& #wo

2ui#e di&&eren# problems8 on #he one hand, #he rela#ions o& #he peasan#ry wi#h a socialis# adminis#ra#ion, in #he con#e*# o& a modern socie#y8 on #he o#her hand, #he rela#ions be#ween peasan#ry and (#a#e in #he )ussia o& 19:1 (or o& 19?:), or in #he sa#elli#e coun#ries be#ween 19E5 and #he presen# #ime! $he si#ua#ion which led )ussia #o #he Few Economic @olicy o& 19:1 is o& no e*emplary %alue #o any, e%en modera#ely, indus#riali7ed coun#ry! $here is no chance o& i#s repea#ing i#sel& in a modern se##ing! "n 19:1, i# was a 2ues#ion o& an agricul#ure which did no# depend on #he res# o& #he na#ional economy &or i#s essen#ial means o& produc#ion, and which se%en years o& war and ci%il war had compelled #o &all back on i#sel& en#irely! $he @ar#y was asking o& #his agricul#ure #o supply i#s produce #o #he #owns, wi#hou# o&&ering i# any#hing in e*change! "n 19?:, in )ussia (and a&#er 19E5 in #he sa#elli#e coun#ries), wha# happened was an absolu#ely heal#hy resis#ance o& #he peasan#ry #o #he mons#rous e*ploi#a#ion imposed on i# by a bureaucra#ic s#a#e, #hrough &orcible collec#i%i7a#ion! "n a coun#ry such as France 11 classically considered +backward+ in rela#ion #o #he numerical impor#ance o& i#s peasan#ry 11 workers+ power would no# ha%e #o &ear a +whea# s#rike+! "# would no# ha%e #o organi7e puni#i%e e*pedi#ions in#o #he coun#ryside! @recisely, because #he peasan# is concerned wi#h his=her own in#eres#s, s=he would ha%e no cause #o 2uarrel wi#h an adminis#ra#ion which supplies him=her wi#h pe#rol, elec#rici#y, &er#ili7ers, #hreshing machines and spare par#s! @easan#s would only ac#i%ely oppose such an adminis#ra#ion i& pushed #o #he limi#, ei#her by e*ploi#a#ion or by an absurd policy o& &orced collec#i%i7a#ion! $he socialis# organi7a#ion o& #he economy would mean an immedia#e impro%emen# in #he economic s#a#us o& mos# peasan#s, i& only #hrough #he aboli#ion o& #ha# speci&ic e*ploi#a#ion #hey are sub9ec#ed #o #hrough middlemen! 0s &or &orced collec#i%i7a#ion, i# would be #he %ery an#i#hesis o& socialis# policy in #he realm o& agricul#ure! $he collec#i%i7a#ion o& agricul#ure could only come abou# as #he resul# o& an organic de%elopmen# wi#hin #he peasan#ry i#sel&! ;nder no circums#ances, could i# be imposed #hrough direc# or indirec# (economic) coercion! 0 socialis# socie#y would s#ar# by

recogni7ing #he righ#s o& #he peasan#s #o #he wides# au#onomy in #he managemen# o& #heir own a&&airs! "# would in%i#e #hem #o organi7e #hemsel%es in#o )ural .ommunes, based on geographical or cul#ural uni#s, and comprising appro*ima#ely e2ual popula#ions! Each such .ommune would ha%e, bo#h in rela#ion #o #he res# o& socie#y and in rela#ion #o i#s own organi7a#ional s#ruc#ure, #he s#a#us o& an en#erprise! "#s so%ereign organism would, #here&ore, be #he Ceneral 0ssembly o& peasan#s and i#s represen#a#ional uni# #he @easan# .ouncil! )ural .ommunes and #heir .ouncils would be in charge o& local sel&1adminis#ra#ion! $hey, alone, would decide when or i& #hey wan#ed #o &orm producers+ coopera#i%es, and under wha# condi#ions! "n rela#ion #o #he o%erall plan, i# would be #he )ural .ommunes and #heir .ouncils #ha# would argue wi#h #he .en#ral adminis#ra#ion, and no# indi%idual peasan#s! .ommunes would under#ake #o deli%er such1and1such a &rac#ion o& #heir produce (or a gi%en amoun# o& a speci&ic produc#) in e*change &or gi%en credi#s [n:5 or gi%en amoun#s o& #he means o& produc#ion! $he )ural .ommunes #hemsel%es would decide how #hese would be dis#ribu#ed among #heir own members! -ha# abou# groups o& workers in%ol%ed in ser%ices o& %arious kinds (&rom pos#men #o workers in en#er#ainmen#)! $here is no reason why #he pa##ern o& #heir sel&1organi7a#ion should no# resemble #ha# per#aining in indus#ry as a whole! 0nd, wha# abou# #he #housand1and1one pe##y #rades e*is#ing in #owns (shop1keepers, cobblers, hairdressers, doc#ors, #ailors, e#c!)K ,ere, #he pa##ern o& organi7a#ion could resemble wha# we ha%e ou#lined &or an +a#omi7ed+ occupa#ion such as agricul#ure! -orking class power would ne%er seek &orcibly #o collec#i%i7e #hese occupa#ions! "# would only ask o& #hese ca#egories #o group #hemsel%es in#o associa#ions or coopera#i%es, which would a# one1and1#he1same #ime cons#i#u#e #heir represen#a#i%e poli#ical organs and #heir responsible uni#s in rela#ion #o #he managemen# o& #he economy as a whole! $here would be no 2ues#ion, &or ins#ance, o& sociali7ed indus#ry indi%idually supplying each par#icular shop or ar#isan! "# would supply #he coopera#i%es o& which #hese shopkeepers or ar#isans would be members, and would en#rus# #o #hese

coopera#i%es #hemsel%es #o dis#ribu#e wi#hin #heir own ranks! 0 # #he poli#ical le%el, people in #hese occupa#ions would seek represen#a#ion #hrough .ouncils, &or i# is di&&icul# #o see how else #hey could be genuinely represen#ed! $here would be no &raudulen# elec#ions o& ei#her #he wes#ern or )ussian #ypes! $hese solu#ions admi##edly presen# serious shor#comings when compared wi#h indus#rially based -orkers+ .ouncils 11 or e%en when compared wi#h #he )ural .ommunes! -orkers+ .ouncils or )ural .ommunes aren+# primarily based on an occupa#ion (when #hey are s#ill so based, #his would re&lec# #heir weakness ra#her #han #heir s#reng#h)! $hey are based on a working uni#y and on a shared li&e! "n o#her words, -orkers+ .ouncils and )ural .ommunes are organic social uni#s! 0 .oopera#i%e o& ar#isans or o& pe##y #raders, geographically sca##ered and li%ing and working separa#ely &rom one ano#her, will only be based on a ra#her narrow communi#y o& in#eres#s! $his &ragmen#a#ion is a legacy o& capi#alism, which socialis# socie#y would sooner or la#er seek #o #ranscend! $here are possibly #oo many people in #hese occupa#ions #oday! ;nder socialism, par# o& #hem would probably be absorbed in#o o#her occupa#ions! (ocie#y would gran# &unds #o #he remainder #o enable #hem, i& #hey so wished, #o organi7e #hemsel%es in#o larger, sel&1managed uni#s! -hen discussing people in #hese %arious occupa#ions, we mus# repea# wha# we said abou# #he peasan#ry 11 namely #ha# we ha%e no e*perience o& wha# #heir a##i#udes migh# be #o a socialis# socie#y! $o s#ar# wi#h, and up #o a poin#, #hey will doub#less remain +a##ached #o proper#y+! /u# up #o wha# poin#K 0ll #ha# we know is how #hey reac#ed when (#alinism sough# &orcibly #o dri%e #hem in#o a concen#ra#ion camp! 0 socie#y which would gran# #hem au#onomy in #heir own a&&airs, which would peace&ully and ra#ionally seek #o in#egra#e #hem in#o #he o%erall pa##ern o& social li&e, which would gi%e #hem a li%ing e*ample o& democra#ic sel&1managemen#, and which would gi%e #hem posi#i%e help i& #hey wan#ed #o proceed #owards sociali7a#ion, [p7 would cer#ainly en9oy a di&&eren# pres#ige in #heir eyes (and would ha%e a di&&eren# kind o& in&luence on #heir de%elopmen#) #han did an e*ploi#ing and #o#ali#arian bureaucracy, which by e%eryone o& i#s ac#s rein&orced #heir

+a##achmen# #o proper#y+ and dro%e #hem cen#uries backward! b! $he .ouncils and (ocial 3i&e $he basic uni#s o& social organi7a#ion en%isaged so &ar would no# only manage produc#ion! $hey would, a# #he same #ime and primarily, be organs &or popular sel&1managemen# in all i#s aspec#s! $hey would be bo#h organs o& local sel&1adminis#ra#ion and #he only bases o& #he cen#ral power, which would only e*is# as a Federa#ion or regrouping o& all #he .ouncils! $o say #ha# a -orkers+ .ouncil will be an organ o& popular sel&1managemen# (and no# 9us# an organ o& workers+ managemen# o& produc#ion), is #o recogni7e #ha# a &ac#ory or o&&ice isn+# 9us# a produc#i%e uni#, bu# is also a social cell and locus o& indi%idual +sociali7a#ion+! 0l#hough #his %aries &rom coun#ry #o coun#ry, and &rom workplace #o workplace, a mass o& ac#i%i#ies, o#her #han 9us# earning a li%ing, #ake place #here (can#eens, coopera#i%es, spor#s clubs, libraries, res# houses, collec#i%e ou#ings, dances), ac#i%i#ies which allow human #ies bo#h pri%a#e and +public+ #o become es#ablished! $o #he e*#en#+ #ha# #he a%erage person is #oday ac#i%e in +public+ a&&airs, i# is more likely #o be #hrough some ac#i%i#y rela#ed #o work #han in his capaci#y as an abs#rac# +ci#i7en+, %o#ing once e%ery 5 years! ;nder socialism, #he #rans&orma#ion o& #he rela#ions o& produc#ion, and o& #he %ery na#ure o& work, would enormously rein&orce #he posi#i%e signi&icance, &or each worker, o& #he working collec#i%e #o which s=he belonged! -orkers+ .ouncils and )ural .ommunes would probably #ake o%er all +municipal+ &unc#ions! $hey could also #ake o%er many o#hers, which #he mons#rous cen#rali7a#ion o& #he modern capi#alis# s#a#e has remo%ed &rom #he hands o& local groups, wi#h #he sole aim o& consolida#ing #he dominion o& #he ruling class and o& i#s bureaucracy o%er #he whole popula#ion! 3ocal .ouncils, &or ins#ance, migh# #ake o%er #he local adminis#ra#ion o& 9us#ice and #he local con#rol o& educa#ion! $he #wo &orms o& regroupmen# 11 produc#i%e and geographical 11 #oday seldom coincide! @eoples+ homes are a# %ariable dis#ances &rom where #hey work! -here #he sca##er is small, as in a number o& indus#rial #owns or indus#rial suburbs (or in many )ural .ommunes), #he managemen# o& produc#ion and local sel&1adminis#ra#ion migh# be under#aken by #he same

Ceneral 0ssemblies and by #he same -orkers+ .ouncils! -here home and work place don+# o%erlap, geographically1 based local .ouncils ((o%ie#s) would ha%e #o be ins#i#u#ed, direc#ly represen#ing bo#h #he inhabi#an#s o& a gi%en area and #he en#erprises in #he area! "ni#ially, such geographically 1based local .ouncils may be necessary in many places! 5ne migh# en%isage #hem as +colla#eral+ ins#i#u#ions, also in charge o& local a&&airs! $hey would collabora#e a# local and a# na#ional le%el wi#h #he .ouncils o& producers (-orkers+ .ouncils) which alone howe%er would embody #he new power in produc#ion! [n:> $he problems crea#ed by #he parallel e*is#ence o& #he #wo kinds o& .ouncils could soon be o%ercome, i& changes #ook place in where people chose #o li%e! [a17 $his is bu# a small aspec# o& an impor#an# problem #ha# will hang o%er #he general orien#a#ion o& socialis# socie#y &or decades #o come! ;nderlying #hese 2ues#ions are all #he economic, social and human problems o& #own planning in #he deepes# sense o& #he #erm! 0# #he limi#, #here e%en lies #he problem o& #own and coun#ry! "# is no# &or us here #o %en#ure in#o #hese &ields! 0ll we can say is #ha# a socialis# socie#y will ha%e #o #ackle #hese problems as #o#al problems, &rom #he %ery s#ar#, &or #hey impinge on e%ery aspec# o& peoples+ li%es and on socie#y+s own economic, poli#ical and cul#ural purpose! -ha# we ha%e said abou# local sel&1adminis#ra#ion also applies #o regional sel&1adminis#ra#ion! )egional Federa#ions o& -orkers+ .ouncils or o& )ural .ommunes will be in charge o& coordina#ing #hese bodies a# a regional le%el and o& organi7ing ac#i%i#ies bes# #ackled a# such a le%el! c! "ndus#rial 5rgani7a#ion o& +(#a#e+ Func#ions -e ha%e seen #ha# a large number o& &unc#ions o& #he modern (#a#e (and no# merely +#erri#orial+ &unc#ions), will be #aken o%er by local or regional organs o& popular sel&1adminis#ra#ion! /u#, wha# abou# #he #ruly +cen#ral+ &unc#ions, #hose which a&&ec# #he #o#ali#y o& #he popula#ion, in an indi%isible mannerK "n class socie#ies, and in par#icular under classical 19#h1cen#ury +liberal+ capi#alism, #he ul#ima#e &unc#ion o& #he (#a#e was #o guaran#ee #he main#enance o& #he e*is#ing social rela#ions #hrough #he

e*ercise o& a legal monopoly o& %iolence! 0ccording #o classical re%olu#ionary #heory, #he s#a#e consis#ed o& +speciali7ed bodies o& armed men, and prisons+! "n #he course o& a socialis# re%olu#ion, #his s#a#e appara#us would be smashed, #he +speciali7ed de#achmen#s o& armed men+ dissol%ed and replaced by #he arming o& #he people, #he permanen# bureaucracy abolished, and replaced by elec#ed and re%ocable o&&icials! ;nder modern capi#alism, increasing economic concen#ra#ion and #he increasing concen#ra#ion o& all aspec#s o& social li&e (wi#h #he corresponding need &or #he ruling class #o submi# e%ery#hing #o i#s con#rol), ha%e led #o an enormous grow#h o& #he s#a#e appara#us, o& i#s &unc#ions, and o& i#s bureaucracy! $he (#a#e is no longer 9us# a coerci%e appara#us which has ele%a#ed i#sel& +abo%e+ socie#y! "# is #he hub o& a whole series o& mechanisms whereby modern socie#y &unc#ions &rom day #o day! 0# #he limi#, #he modern (#a#e sub#ends all social ac#i%i#y, as in #he &ully de%eloped s#a#e capi#alis# regimes o& )ussia and #he sa#elli#e coun#ries! E%en in #he -es#, #he modern s#a#e does no# only e*ercise +power+ in #he narrow sense, bu# #akes on an e%er1increasing role in managemen# and con#rol no# only o& #he economy, bu# o& a whole mass o& social ac#i%i#ies! "n parallel wi#h all #his, #he (#a#e #akes on a whole lo# o& &unc#ions which in #hemsel%es could per&ec#ly well be carried ou# by o#her bodies, bu# which ha%e ei#her become use&ul ins#rumen#s o& con#rol, or which imply #he mobili7a#ion o& considerable resources which #he (#a#e alone possesses! "n many people+s minds, #he my#h o& #he +(#a#e, as #he incarna#ion o& #he 0bsolu#e "dea+ (which Engels mocked a cen#ury ago), has been replaced by ano#her my#h, #he my#h o& #he (#a#e as #he ine%i#able incarna#ion o& cen#rali7a#ion and o& #he +#echnical ra#ionali7a#ion+ re2uired by modern social li&e! $his has had #wo main e&&ec#s! 5n #he one hand, i# has led #o people considering ou#moded, u#opian or inapplicable some o& #he more re%olu#ionary insigh#s o& 4ar* or 3enin (in rela#ion #o #he e%en#s o& 1AEA, 1A71, or 19'5)! 5n #he o#her hand, i# has led #o people swallowing #he reali#y o& #he modern )ussian (#a#e, which simul#aneously epi#omi7es [n:7 #he mos# #o#al nega#ion o& pre%ious re%olu#ionary concep#ions o& wha#

socialis# socie#y migh# be like, and e*hibi#s a mons#rous increase o& #hose %ery &ea#ures cri#ici7ed, in capi#alis# socie#y, by pre%ious re%olu#ionaries (#he #o#al separa#ion o& rulers and ruled, permanen# o&&icialdom, grea# pri%ileges &or #he &ew, e#c!)! /u#, #his %ery e%olu#ion o& #he modern s#a#e con#ains #he seed o& a solu#ion! $he modern s#a#e has become a gigan#ic en#erprise 11 by &ar #he mos# impor#an# en#erprise in modern socie#y! "# can only e*ercise i#s managerial &unc#ions #o #he e*#en# #ha# i# has crea#ed a whole ne#work o& organs o& e*ecu#ion, in which work has become collec#i%e, &ragmen#ed and speciali7ed! -ha# has happened here is #he same as wha# has happened #o #he managemen# o& produc#ion in par#icular en#erprises! /u#, i# has happened on a much %as#er scale! "n #heir o%erwhelming ma9ori#y, #oday+s go%ernmen# depar#men#s only carry ou# speci&ic and limi#ed #asks! $hey are +en#erprises+, speciali7ing in cer#ain #ypes o& work! (ome (such as @ublic ,eal#h) are socially necessary! 5#hers (such as .us#oms) are 2ui#e useless, or are only necessary in order #o main#ain #he class s#ruc#ure o& socie#y (such as #he @olice)! 4odern go%ernmen#s o&#en ha%e li##le more real links wi#h #he work o& +#heir+ depar#men#s #han #hey ha%e, say, wi#h #he produc#ion o& mo#or cars! $he no#ion o& +adminis#ra#i%e righ#s+, which remains appended #o wha# are, in &ac#, a series o& +public ser%ices+, is a 9uridical legacy, wi#hou# real con#en#! "#s only purpose is #o rein&orce #he arbi#rariness and irresponsibili#y o& #hose a# #he #op o& %arious bureaucra#ic pyramids! Ci%en #hese &ac#s, #he solu#ion would no# lie in #he +eligibili#y and re%ocabili#y+ o& all public ser%an#s! $his would be nei#her necessary (#hese o&&icials e*ercise no real power) nor possible (#hey are speciali7ed workers, whom one could no more +elec#+ #han one would elec# elec#ricians or doc#ors)! $he solu#ion would lie in #he indus#rial organi7a#ion, pure and simple, o& mos# o& #oday+s go%ernmen# depar#men#s! "n many cases, #his would only be gi%ing &ormal recogni#ion #o an already e*is#ing s#a#e o& a&&airs! .oncre#ely, such indus#rial organi7a#ion would mean: a! #he e*plici# #rans&orma#ion o& #hese go%ernmen# depar#men#s in#o +en#erprises+ ha%ing #he same s#a#us as any o#her en#erprise! "n many o& #hese new en#erprises, #he

mechani7a#ion and au#oma#ion o& work could be sys#ema#ically de%eloped #o a considerable degree8 b! #he &unc#ion o& #hese en#erprises would be con&ined #o #he carrying ou# o& #he #asks allo##ed #o #hem by #he represen#a#i%e ins#i#u#ions o& socie#y8 c! #he managemen# o& #hese en#erprises would be #hrough -orkers+ .ouncils, represen#ing #hose who work #here! $hese o&&ice workers, like all o#hers, would de#ermine #he organi7a#ion o& #heir own work! [n:A -e ha%e seen #ha# #he +plan &ac#ory+ would be organi7ed in #his way! 0 similar pa##ern migh# apply #o wha#e%er persis#s or could be used o& any curren# s#ruc#ure rela#ing #o #he economy (&oreign #rade, agricul#ure, &inance, indus#ry)! .urren# (#a#e &unc#ions, which are already +indus#rial+ (public works, public #ranspor#, communica#ions) would be similarly organi7ed! (o, probably, would educa#ion, al#hough here #here would be la#i#ude &or a %ery wide %arie#y o& #echni2ues and e*perimen#s! d! $he +.en#ral 0ssembly+ and "#s +.ouncil+ -ha# remains o& #he &unc#ions o& a modern s#a#e will be discussed under #hree headings: (a) #he ma#erial basis o& au#hori#y and coercion +#he speciali7ed bands o& armed men and prisons+ (in o#her words #he army and #he law)8 (b) in#ernal and e*#ernal +poli#ics+, in #he narrow sense (in o#her words #he problems #ha# migh# be posed #o a sel&1 managed socie#y i& con&ron#ed wi#h in#ernal opposi#ion or wi#h #he persis#ence o& hos#ile e*ploi#ing regimes in neighboring coun#ries)8 (c) real poli#ics: #he o%erall %ision, coordina#ion and general purpose o& social li&e! .oncerning #he 0rmy, i# is ob%ious #ha# +#he speciali7ed bands o& armed men+ would be dissol%ed! $he people would be armed! "& war or ci%il war de%eloped, workers in &ac#ories, o&&ices and )ural .ommunes would cons#i#u#e #he uni#s o& a non1permanen#, #erri#orially1based mili#ia, each .ouncil being in charge o& i#s own area! )egional regroupings would enable local uni#s #o become in#egra#ed, and i& necessary, would allow #he ra#ional use o& hea%ier armamen#! [n:9 "& i# pro%ed necessary, each .ouncil would probably con#ribu#e a con#ingen# #o #he &orma#ion o& cer#ain cen#ral uni#s, which would be under #he con#rol o& #he .en#ral 0ssembly o&

Belega#es! [a1A 0s &or #he adminis#ra#ion o& 9us#ice, i# would be in #he hands o& rank1and1&ile bodies! Each .ouncil migh# ac# as a +lower cour#+ in rela#ion #o +o&&enses+ commi##ed in i#s area! "ndi%idual righ#s would be guaran#eed by procedural rules es#ablished by #he .en#ral 0ssembly, and migh# include #he righ# o& appeal #o #he )egional .ouncils or #o #he .en#ral 0ssembly i#sel&! $here would be no 2ues#ion o& a +penal code+ or o& prisons, #he %ery no#ion o& punishmen# being absurd &rom a socialis# poin# o& %iew! +Dudgmen#s+ could only aim a# #he re1educa#ion o& #he social +delin2uen#+ and a# his=her rein#egra#ion in#o #he new li&e! Bepri%a#ion o& &reedom only has a meaning i& one considers #ha# a par#icular indi%idual cons#i#u#es a permanen# #hrea# #o o#hers (and in #ha# case, wha# is needed is no# a peni#en#iary bu# #he medical 11 and much more o&#en social 11 help o& &ellow human beings)! [a19 @oli#ical problems 11 in #he narrow, as well as in #he broader sense 11 are problems concerning #he whole popula#ion, and which #he popula#ion as a whole is, #here&ore alone, in a posi#ion #o sol%e! /u#, people can only sol%e #hem i& #hey are organi7ed #o #his end! 0# #he momen#, e%ery#hing is de%ised so as #o pre%en# people &rom dealing wi#h such problems! @eople are conned in#o belie%ing #ha# poli#ical problems can only be sol%ed by #he poli#icians+ #hose specialis#s o& #he uni%ersal, whose mos# uni%ersal a##ribu#e is precisely #heir ignorance o& any par#icular reali#y! $he necessary organi7a#ions will comprise, &irs# o& all, #he -orkers+ .ouncils and #he Ceneral 0ssemblies o& each par#icular en#erprise! $hese will pro%ide li%ing milieux &or #he con&ron#a#ion o& %iews and &or #he elabora#ion o& in&ormed poli#ical opinions! $hey will be #he ul#ima#e so%ereign au#hori#ies &or all poli#ical decisions! /u#, #here will also be a cen#ral ins#i#u#ion, direc#ly emana#ing &rom #hese grass1roo#s organi7a#ions, namely #he .en#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es! $he e*is#ence o& such a body is necessary, no# only because some problems re2uire an immedia#e decision (e%en i& such a decision is subse2uen#ly re%ersed by #he popula#ion) 11 bu# more par#icularly because preliminary checking, clari&ica#ion, and elabora#ion o& #he &ac#s is nearly always necessary 11

be&ore any meaning&ul decision can be #aken! $o ask #he people as a whole #o pronounce #hemsel%es wi#hou# any such prepara#ion, would o&#en be a mys#i&ica#ion and a nega#ion o& democracy (because i# would imply people ha%ing #o decide wi#hou# &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s)! $here mus# be a &ramework &or discussing problems and &or submi##ing #hem #o popular decision, or e%en &or sugges#ing #ha# #hey should be discussed! $hese are no# 9us# +#echnical+ &unc#ions! $hey are deeply poli#ical, and #he body #ha# would ini#ia#e #hem would be, whe#her one liked i# or no#, an indispensable cen#ral ins#i#u#ion 11 al#hough en#irely di&&eren# in i#s s#ruc#ure and role &rom any con#emporary cen#ral body! $he real problem 11 which in our opinion should be discussed ra#ionally and wi#hou# e*ci#emen# 11 isn+# whe#her such a body should e*is# or no#! "# is how #o ensure #ha# i# is organi7ed in such a manner #ha# i# no longer incarna#es #he aliena#ion o& poli#ical power in socie#y and #he %es#ing o& au#hori#y in #he hands o& speciali7ed ins#i#u#ions, separa#e &rom #he popula#ion as a whole! $he problem is #o ensure #ha# any cen#ral body is #he genuine e*pression and embodimen# o& popular will! -e #hink #his is per&ec#ly possible under modern condi#ions! $he .en#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es would be composed o& men and women elec#ed direc#ly by #he local Ceneral 0ssemblies o& %arious &ac#ories and o&&ices! $hese people would be re%ocable a# all #imes by #he bodies #ha# elec#ed #hem! $hey would remain a# work, 9us# as would #he delega#es #o #he local -orkers+ .ouncils! Belega#es #o #he .en#ral 0ssembly would mee# in plenary session as o&#en as necessary! "n mee#ing #wice a week, or during one week o& each mon#h, #hey would almos# cer#ainly ge# #hrough more work #han any presen# parliamen# (which hardly ge#s #hrough any)! 0# &re2uen# in#er%als (perhaps once a mon#h), #hey would ha%e #o gi%e an accoun# o& #heir manda#e #o #hose who had elec#ed #hem! [n?' $hose elec#ed #o #he .en#ral 0ssembly would elec# &rom wi#hin #heir own ranks 11 or would appoin# #o ac# in ro#a#ion 11 a .ouncil, perhaps composed o& a &ew do7en members! $he #asks o& #his body would be res#ric#ed #o preparing #he work o& #he .en#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es, #o depu#i7ing &or i# when i#

was no# in session, and #o con%ening #he 0ssembly urgen#ly, i& necessary! "& #his +.en#ral .ouncil+ e*ceeded i#s 9urisdic#ion and #ook a decision which could or should ha%e been #aken by #he .en#ral 0ssembly, or i& i# #ook any unaccep#able decisions, #hese could immedia#ely be rescinded by #he ne*# mee#ing o& #he .en#ral 0ssembly, which could also #ake any measures necessary, up #o and including #he +dissolu#ion+ o& i#s own .ouncil! "&, on #he o#her hand, #he .en#ral 0ssembly #ook any decision which e*ceeded i#s 9urisdic#ion, or which properly belonged #o #he local -orkers+ .ouncils or #o #he local Ceneral 0ssemblies, i# would be up #o #hese bodies #o #ake any s#eps necessary, up #o and including #he re%oca#ion o& #heir delega#es #o #he .en#ral 0ssembly! Fei#her #he .en#ral .ouncil nor #he .en#ral 0ssembly could perse%ere in unaccep#able prac#ices (#hey would ha%e no power o& #heir own, #hey would be re%ocable, and in #he las# analysis, #he popula#ion would be armed)! /u#, i& #he .en#ral 0ssembly allowed i#s .ouncil #o e*ceed i#s righ#s 11 or, i& members o& local 0ssemblies allowed #heir delega#es #o #he .en#ral 0ssembly #o e*ceed #heir au#hori#y 11 no#hing could be done! $he popula#ion can only e*ercise poli#ical power i& i# wan#s #o! $he organi7a#ion proposed would ensure #ha# #he popula#ion could e*ercise such power, i& i# wan#ed #o! /u#, #his %ery will #o #ake a&&airs in#o one+s own hands isn+# some blind &orce, appearing and disappearing in some mys#erious way! @oli#ical aliena#ion in capi#alis# socie#y isn+# 9us# #he produc# o& e*is#ing ins#i#u#ions which, by #heir %ery s#ruc#ure, make i# #echnically impossible &or #he popular will #o e*press or &ul&ill i#sel&! .on#emporary poli#ical aliena#ion s#ems &rom #he &ac# #ha# #his will is des#royed a# i#s roo#s, #ha# i#s %ery grow#h is #hwar#ed, and #ha# &inally all in#eres# in public a&&airs is #o#ally suppressed! $here is no#hing more sinis#er #han #he u##erances o& sundry liberals, bemoaning #he +poli#ical apa#hy o& #he people+, an apa#hy which #he poli#ical and social sys#em #o which #hey subscribe would recrea#e daily, i& i# didn+# e*is# already! $his suppression o& poli#ical will in modern socie#ies s#ems as much &rom #he con#en# o& modern +poli#ics+ as &rom #he means a%ailable &or poli#ical e*pression! "# is based on #he unbridgeable gul& #ha#

#oday separa#es +poli#ics+ &rom real li&e! $he con#en# o& modern poli#ics is #he +be##er+ organi7a#ion o& e*ploi#ing socie#y: #he be##er #o e*ploi# socie#y i#sel&! "#s me#hods are necessarily mys#i&ying: #hey resor# ei#her #o direc# lies or #o meaningless abs#rac#ions! $he world in which all #his #akes place is a world o& +specialis#s+, o& underhand deals and o& spurious +#echnicism+! 0ll #his will be radically changed in a socialis# socie#y! E*ploi#a#ion ha%ing been elimina#ed, #he con#en# o& poli#ics will be #he be##er organi7a#ion o& our common li&e! 0n immedia#e resul# will be a di&&eren# a##i#ude o& ordinary people #owards public a&&airs! @oli#ical problems will be e%eryone+s problems, whe#her #hey rela#e #o where one works or deal wi#h much wider issues! @eople will begin #o &eel #ha# #heir concerns ha%e a real impac#, and percep#ible resul#s should soon be ob%ious #o all! $he me#hod o& #he new poli#ics will be #o make real problems accessible #o all! $he gul& separa#ing +poli#ical a&&airs+ &rom e%eryday li&e will narrow and e%en#ually disappear! 0ll #his warran#s some commen#! 4odern sociologis#s o&#en claim #ha# #he con#en# and me#hods o& modern poli#ics are ine%i#able! $hey belie%e #ha# #he separa#ion o& poli#ics &rom li&e is due #o an irre%ersible #echnological e%olu#ion, which makes impossible any real democracy! "# is alleged #ha# #he con#en# o& poli#ics 11 namely #he managemen# o& socie#y 11 has become highly comple*, embracing an e*#raordinary mass o& da#a and problems, each o& which can only be unders#ood as a resul# o& ad%anced speciali7a#ion! 0ll #his allegedly being so, i# is proclaimed as sel&1e%iden# #ha# #hese problems could ne%er be pu# #o #he public in any in#elligible way 11 or only by simpli&ying #hem #o a degree #ha# would dis#or# #hem al#oge#her! -hy be surprised #hen, #ha# ordinary people #ake no more in#eres# in poli#ics #han #hey do in di&&eren#ial calculusK "& #hese +argumen#s+ 11 presen#ed as #he %ery la#es# in poli#ical sociology, bu# in &ac#, as old as #he world [n?1 11 pro%e any#hing, i# is no# #ha# democracy is a u#opian illusion bu# #ha# #he %ery managemen# o& socie#y, by wha#e%er means, has become impossible! $he poli#ician, according #o #hese premises, would ha%e #o be #he +"ncarna#ion o& 0bsolu#e and $o#al Hnowledge+! Fo #echnical speciali7a#ion, howe%er ad%anced, en#i#les i#s

possessor #o in&luence areas o#her #han his=her own! 0n assembly o& #echnicians, each #he highes# au#hori#y in his=her par#icular &ield 11 would ha%e no compe#ence (as an assembly o& #echnicians) #o sol%e any#hing! 5nly one indi%idual could commen# on any speci&ic poin#, and no one would be in a posi#ion #o commen# on any general problem! "n &ac#, modern socie#y is no# managed by #echnicians as such (and ne%er could be)! $hose who manage i# don+# incarna#e +0bsolu#e Hnowledge+ 11 bu# ra#her generali7ed incompe#ence! "n &ac#, modern socie#y is hardly managed a# all 11 i# 9us# dri&#s! Dus# like #he bureaucra#ic appara#us a# #he head o& some big &ac#ory, a modern poli#ical +leadership+ only renders %erdic#s 11 and, usually 2ui#e arbi#rary ones! "# decides be#ween #he opinions o& #he %arious #echnical depar#men#s designed #o +assis#+ i#, and o%er which i# has %ery li##le con#rol! "n #his, our rulers are #hemsel%es caugh# up in #heir own social sys#em, and e*perience #he same poli#ical aliena#ion which #hey impose on #he res# o& socie#y! $he chaos o& #heir own social organi7a#ion renders impossible a ra#ional e*ercise o& #heir own power e%en in #heir own #erms! [n?: -e discuss all #his because i# enables us once again #o s#ress an impor#an# #ru#h! "n #he case o& poli#ics as in #he case o& produc#ion, people #end #o blame modern #echnology or modern +#echnicism+, in general, ins#ead o& seeing #ha# #he problems s#em &rom a speci&ically capi#alis# #echnology! "n poli#ics, as in produc#ion, capi#alism doesn+# only mean #he use o& #echnically +neu#ral+ means &or capi#alis# ends! "# also means #he crea#ion and de%elopmen# o& speci&ic #echni2ues, aimed a# ensuring #he e*ploi#a#ion o& #he producers 11 or #he oppression, mys#i&ica#ion and poli#ical manipula#ion o& ci#i7ens, in general! 0# #he le%el o& produc#ion, socialism will mean #he conscious #rans&orma#ion o& #echnology! $echni2ue will be made #o help #he people! 0# #he le%el o& poli#ics, socialism will imply a similar #rans&orma#ion: #echni2ue will be made #o help democracy! @oli#ical #echni2ue is based essen#ially on #he #echni2ues o& in&orma#ion and o& communica#ion! -e are here using #he #erm +#echni2ue+ in #he wides# sense (#he ma#erial means o& in&orma#ion and o& communica#ion only comprise a par# o& #he corresponding

#echni2ues)! $o place #he #echni2ue o& in&orma#ion a# #he ser%ice o& democracy, doesn+# only mean #o pu# ma#erial means o& e*pression in #he hands o& #he people (essen#ial as #his may be)! For does i# mean #he dissemina#ion o& all in&orma#ion, or o& any in&orma#ion, in wha#e%er &orm! "# means, &irs# and &oremos#, #o pu# a# #he disposal o& mankind #he necessary elemen#s enabling people #o decide in &ull knowledge o& #he rele%an# &ac#s! "n rela#ion #o #he plan &ac#ory, we ha%e gi%en a speci&ic e*ample o& how in&orma#ion could be used so as %as#ly #o increase people+s areas o& &reedom! Cenuine in&orma#ion would no# consis# in burying e%eryone under whole libraries o& #e*#books on economics, #echnology and s#a#is#ics: #he in&orma#ion #ha# would resul# &rom #his would be s#ric#ly nil! $he in&orma#ion pro%ided by #he plan &ac#ory would be compac#, signi&ican#, su&&icien# and #ru#h&ul! E%eryone will know wha# s=he will ha%e #o con#ribu#e and #he le%el o& consump#ion s=he will en9oy i& #his or #ha# %arian# o& #he plan is adop#ed! $his is how #echni2ue (in #his ins#ance economic analysis, s#a#is#ics, and compu#ers) could be pu# a# #he ser%ice o& democracy in a decisi%e &ield! $he same applies #o #he #echni2ue o& communica#ion! "# is claimed #ha# #he %ery si7e o& modern socie#ies precludes #he e*ercise o& any genuine democracy! Bis#ances and numbers allegedly render direc# democracy impossible! $he only &easible democracy i# is claimed is represen#a#i%e democracy, which +ine%i#ably+ con#ains a kernel o& poli#ical aliena#ion, namely, #he separa#ion o& #he represen#a#i%es &rom #hose #hey represen#! "n &ac#, #here are se%eral ways o& en%isaging and o& achie%ing represen#a#i%e democracy! @arliamen# is one! .ouncils are ano#her, and i# is di&&icul# #o see how poli#ical aliena#ion could arise in a properly &unc#ioning .ouncil sys#em! "& modern #echni2ues o& communica#ion were pu# a# #he ser%ice o& democracy, #he areas where represen#a#i%e democracy would remain necessary would narrow down considerably! 4a#erial dis#ances are smaller in #he modern world #han #hey were in 0##ica, in #he 5#h cen#ury /!.!! 0# #ha# #ime #he %oice range o& #he ora#or 11 and hence, #he number o& people s=he could reach 11 was limi#ed by #he &unc#ional capaci#y o& his=her %ocal cords! $oday,

i# is unlimi#ed! "n #he realm o& communica#ing ideas, dis#ances ha%en+# only narrowed 11 #hey ha%e disappeared! "& socie#y &el# i# #o be necessary, one could, as &rom #oday, es#ablish a Ceneral 0ssembly o& #he whole popula#ion o& any modern coun#ry! )adio1#ele%ision [pA could easily link up a %as# number o& Ceneral 0ssemblies, in %arious &ac#ories, o&&ices, or rural .ommunes! (imilar, bu# more limi#ed, link1ups could be es#ablished in a %as# number o& cases! [n?? $he sessions o& #he .en#ral 0ssembly or o& i#s .ouncil could easily be #ele%ised! $his, combined wi#h #he re%ocabili#y o& all delega#es, would readily ensure #ha# any cen#ral ins#i#u#ion remained under #he permanen# con#rol o& #he popula#ion! "# would pro&oundly al#er #he %ery no#ion o& +represen#a#ion+! [n?E @eople bemoan #he &ac# #ha# #he si7e o& #he modern +ci#y+, compared wi#h #hose o& yes#erday (#ens o& millions ra#her #han #ens o& #housands), renders direc# democracy impossible! $hey are doubly blind! $hey don+# see, &irs#ly, #ha# modern socie#y has recrea#ed #he %ery milieu, #he work place, where such democracy could be reins#i#u#ed! For do #hey see #ha# modern socie#y has crea#ed and will con#inue #o crea#e #he #echnical means &or a genuine democracy on a massi%e scale! $hey en%isage #he only solu#ion #o #he problems o& #he supersonic age in #he coach1and1&our #erms o& parliamen#ary poli#ical machinery! 0nd, #hey #hen conclude #ha# democracy has become +impossible+! $hey claim #o ha%e made a +new+ analysis 11 and, #hey ha%e ignored wha# is really new in our epoch: #he ma#erial possibili#ies o& a# las# #rans&orming #he world #hrough #echni2ue, and #hrough #he mass o& ordinary people who are i#s li%ing %ehicle! e! $he +(#a#e+, +@ar#ies+, and +@oli#ics+ -ha# would +#he s#a#e+, +poli#ics+, and +par#ies+ consis# o& in such a socie#yK $here would be residues o& a +s#a#e+ #o #he e*#en# #ha# #here would no# immedia#ely be a pure and simple +adminis#ra#ion o& #hings+, #ha# ma9ori#y decisions would s#ill pre%ail, and #ha# #here, #here&ore, s#ill remained some limi#a#ions #o indi%idual &reedom! $here would no longer be a +s#a#e+ #o #he e*#en# #ha# #he bodies e*ercising power would be none o#her #han #he produc#i%e uni#s or local organi7a#ions o& #he whole popula#ion, #ha# #he ins#i#u#ions organi7ing social li&e

would be bu# one aspec# o& #ha# li&e i#sel&, and #ha# wha# remained o& cen#ral bodies would be under #he direc# and permanen# con#rol o& #he base organi7a#ions! $his would be #he s#ar#ing poin#! (ocial de%elopmen# could no# bu# bring abou# a rapid reduc#ion o& #he cen#ral aspec#s o& social organi7a#ion: #he reasons &or e*ercising cons#rain#s would gradually disappear, and #he &ields o& indi%idual &reedom would enlarge! [Feedless #o say, we are no# #alking here abou# &ormal +democra#ic &reedoms+, which a socialis# socie#y would immedia#ely and %as#ly e*pand, bu# abou# #he +essen#ial+ &reedoms: no# only #he righ# #o li%e, bu# #he righ# #o do wha# one wan#s wi#h one+s li&e! Freed &rom all #he paraphernalia and mys#i&ica#ions which curren#ly surround i#, poli#ics in such a socie#y would be no#hing bu# #he collec#i%e discussing and sol%ing o& problems concerning #he &u#ure o& socie#y 11 whe#her #hese be economic, educa#ion, se*ual 11 or whe#her #hey deal# wi#h #he res# o& #he world, or wi#h in#ernal rela#ions be#ween social groups! 0ll #hese ma##ers which concern #he whole o& #he popula#ion would belong #o #hem! "# is probable, e%en cer#ain, #ha# #here would be di&&eren# %iews abou# such problems! Each approach would seek #o be as coheren# and sys#ema#ic as possible! @eople, dispersed geographically or pro&essionally, migh# share par#icular %iewpoin#s! $hese people would come #oge#her #o de&end #heir %iews, "n o#her words would &orm poli#ical groups! $here would be no poin# in pre#ending #ha# a con#radic#ion wouldn+# e*is# be#ween #he e*is#ence o& such groups and #he role o& #he .ouncils! /o#h could no# de%elop simul#aneously! "& #he .ouncils &ul&ill #heir &unc#ion, #hey will pro%ide #he main li%ing milieu no# only &or poli#ical con&ron#a#ions, bu# also &or #he &orma#ion o& poli#ical opinions! @oli#ical groups, on #he o#her hand, are more e*clusi%e milieux &or #he schooling o& #heir members, as well as being more e*clusi%e poles &or #heir loyal#y! $he parallel e*is#ence o& bo#h .ouncils and poli#ical groups would imply #ha# a par# o& real poli#ical li&e would be #aking place elsewhere #han in #he .ouncils! @eople would #hen #end #o ac# in #he .ouncils according #o decisions already #aken ou#side o& #hem! (hould #his #endency predomina#e, i# would bring abou# #he rapid

a#rophy and &inally #he disappearance o& #he .ouncils! .on%ersely, real socialis# de%elopmen# would be charac#eri7ed by #he progressi%e a#rophy o& es#ablished poli#ical groups! $his con#radic#ion could no# be abolished by a s#roke o& #he pen or by any +s#a#u#ory+ decree! $he persis#ence o& poli#ical groups would re&lec# #he con#inua#ion o& charac#eris#ics inheri#ed &rom capi#alis# socie#y, in par#icular, #he persis#ence o& di%erging in#eres#s (and #heir corresponding ideologies), e%en a&#er #heir ma#erial basis had shrunk! @eople will no# &orm par#ies &or or agains# #he Luan#um $heory, nor in rela#ion #o simple di&&erences o& opinion abou# #his or #ha#! $he &lowering or &inal a#rophy o& poli#ical groups will depend on #he abili#y o& workers+ power #o uni#e socie#y! [n?5 "& organi7a#ions e*pressing #he sur%i%al o& di&&eren# in#eres#s and ideologies persis#, a liber#arian socialis# organi7a#ion, %oicing i#s own par#icular ou#look, will also ha%e #o e*is#! "# will be open #o all who &a%or #he #o#al power o& #he .ouncils, and will di&&er &rom all o#hers, bo#h in i#s programme and in i#s prac#ice, precisely on #his poin#: i#s &undamen#al ac#i%i#y will be direc#ed #owards #he concen#ra#ion o& power in #he .ouncils and #o #heir becoming #he only cen#ers o& poli#ical li&e! $his implies #ha# #he liber#arian organi7a#ion would ha%e #o s#ruggle agains# power being held by any par#icular par#y, wha#e%er i# may be! "# is ob%ious #ha# #he democra#ic power s#ruc#ure o& a socialis# socie#y e*cludes #he possibili#y o& a @ar#y +holding power+! $he %ery words would be meaningless wi#hin #he &ramework we ha%e described! "nso&ar as ma9or #rends o& opinion migh# arise or di%erge on impor#an# issues, #he holders o& ma9ori#y %iewpoin#s migh# be elec#ed delega#es #o #he .ouncils more o&#en #han o#hers, e#c! [$his doesn+# necessarily &ollow, howe%er, &or delega#es would be elec#ed mainly on #he basis o& a #o#al #rus#, and no# always according #o #heir opinion on #his or #ha# 2ues#ion! $he par#ies would no# be organi7a#ions seeking power8 and #he .en#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es would no# be a +-orkers+ @arliamen#+8 people would no# be elec#ed #o i# as members o& a par#y! $he same goes &or any .ouncil chosen by #his .en#ral Ceneral 0ssembly! $he role o& a liber#arian socialis# organi7a#ion would ini#ially be impor#an#! "# would ha%e sys#ema#ically and

coheren#ly #o de&end #hese concep#ions! "# would ha%e #o conduc# an impor#an# s#ruggle #o unmask and denounce bureaucra#ic #endencies, no# in general, bu# where #hey concre#ely show #hemsel%es8 and abo%e all, i# migh# ini#ially be #he only group capable o& showing #he ways and means whereby working class democracy migh# &lower! $he work o& #he group could, &or ins#ance, considerably has#en #he se##ing1 up o& #he democra#ic planning mechanisms we ha%e analy7ed earlier! 0 liber#arian organi7a#ion is, in &ac#, #he only place where, in e*ploi#ing socie#y, a ge#1#oge#her o& workers and in#ellec#uals can already be achie%ed! $his &usion would enable #he rapid use o& #echnology by #he organs o& working class power! /u#, i& some years a&#er #he re%olu#ion, #he liber#arian group con#inued #o grow, i# would be #he sures# sign #ha# i# was dead 11 as a liber#arian re%olu#ionary organi7a#ion! &! Freedom and -orkers+ @ower $he problem o& poli#ical &reedom arises in #wo &orms: &reedom &or poli#ical organi7a#ions and #he righ#s o& %arious social s#ra#a o& #he popula#ion! Fa#ionally, #he .ouncils alone would be in a posi#ion #o 9udge #o wha# e*#en# #he ac#i%i#ies o& any gi%en poli#ical organi7a#ion could be #olera#ed! $he basic cri#erion which would guide #heir 9udgmen# would be whe#her #he organi7a#ion in 2ues#ion was seeking #o re1es#ablish an e*ploi#ing regime! "n o#her words, was i# #rying #o abolish #he power o& #he .ouncilsK "& #hey 9udged #his #o be #he case, #he .ouncils would ha%e #he righ# and #he du#y #o de&end #hemsel%es, a# #he ul#ima#e limi# by cur#ailing such ac#i%i#ies! /u# #his yards#ick won+# pro%ide an au#oma#ic answer in e%ery speci&ic ins#ance, &or #he %ery good reason #ha# no such uni%ersal answer can e%er e*is#! $he .ouncils will each #ime ha%e #o carry #he poli#ical responsibili#y &or #heir answers, s#eering a course be#ween #wo e2ual and %ery serious dangers: ei#her #o allow &reedom o& ac#ion #o enemies o& socialism who seek #o des#roy i# 11 or, #o kill sel&1managemen# #hemsel%es #hrough #he res#ric#ion o& poli#ical &reedom! $here is no absolu#e or abs#rac# answer #o #his dilemma! For is i# any use #rying #o minimi7e #he e*#en# o& #he problem by saying #ha# any impor#an# poli#ical #endency would be represen#ed inside #he

.ouncils: i# is per&ec#ly possible and e%en 2ui#e probable #ha# #here migh# e*is# wi#hin #he .ouncils #endencies opposed #o #heir #o#al power! [a:' $he +legali#y o& (o%ie# @ar#ies+, a &ormula #hrough which $ro#sky belie%ed, in 19?>, #ha# he could answer #his problem, in &ac#, answers no#hing! "& #he only dangers con&ron#ing socialis# socie#y were #hose due #o +res#ora#ionis#+ #endencies, #here would be li##le #o &ear &or such par#ies wouldn+# &ind much suppor# in #he workers+ assemblies! $hey would au#oma#ically e*clude #hemsel%es &rom meaning&ul poli#ical li&e! /u#, #he main danger #hrea#ening #he socialis# re%olu#ion, a&#er #he li2uida#ion o& pri%a#e capi#alism [p9 , doesn+# arise &rom res#ora#ionis# #endencies! "# s#ems &rom bureaucra#ic #endencies! (uch #endencies may &ind suppor# in some sec#ions o& #he working class, #he more so as #heir programmes do no# and would no# aim a# res#oring #radi#ional and known &orms o& e*ploi#a#ion, bu# would be presen#ed as +%arian#s+ o& socialism! "n #he beginning, when i# is mos# dangerous, bureaucra#ism is nei#her a social sys#em nor a de&ini#e programme: i# is only an a##i#ude in prac#ice! $he .ouncils will be able #o &igh# bureaucracy only as a resul# o& #heir own concre#e e*perience! /u#, #he re%olu#ionary #endency inside #he .ouncils will always denounce +one1man managemen#+ 11 as prac#iced in )ussia 11 or #he cen#rali7ed managemen# o& #he whole economy by a separa#e appara#us 11 as prac#iced in )ussia, @oland or Iugosla%ia! "# will denounce #hem as %arian#s, no# o& socialism, bu# o& e*ploi#a#ion, and i# will s#ruggle &or all ligh# #o be shed on #he organi7a#ions propaga#ing such aims! "# is hardly necessary #o add, #ha# al#hough i# migh# concei%ably become necessary #o limi# #he poli#ical ac#i%i#y o& #his or #ha# organi7a#ion, no limi#a#ion is concei%able in #he domains o& ideology or o& cul#ure! 0no#her problem migh# arise: should all sec#ions o& #he popula#ion, &rom #he beginning, ha%e #he same righ#sK 0re #hey e2ually able #o par#icipa#e in #he poli#ical managemen# o& socie#yK [p1' -ha# does working class power mean in such circums#ancesK -orking class power means #he incon#ro%er#ible &ac# #ha# #he ini#ia#i%e &or and #he direc#ion o&

#he socialis# re%olu#ion and #he subse2uen# #rans&orma#ion o& socie#y can only belong #o #he working class! $here&ore, i# means #ha# #he origin and #he cen#er o& socialis# power will 2ui#e li#erally be #he -orkers+ .ouncils! /u#, working people do no# aim a# ins#i#u#ing a dic#a#orship o%er socie#y and o%er #he o#her s#ra#a o& #he popula#ion! $heir aim is #o ins#all socialism, a socie#y in which di&&erences be#ween s#ra#a or classes mus# diminish rapidly and soon disappear! $he working class will only be able #o #ake socie#y in #he direc#ion o& socialism #o #he e*#en# #ha# i# associa#es o#her sec#ions o& #he popula#ion wi#h i#s aims! 5r, #o #he e*#en# #ha# i# gran#s #hem #he &ulles# au#onomy compa#ible wi#h #he general orien#a#ion o& socie#y! 5r, #ha# i# raises #hem #o #he rank o& ac#i%e sub9ec#s o& social managemen#, and does no# see #hem as ob9ec#s o& i#s own con#rol 11 which would be in con&lic# wi#h i#s whole ou#look! 0ll #his is e*pressed in #he general organi7a#ion o& #he popula#ion in#o .ouncils, in #he e*#ensi%e au#onomy o& #he .ouncils in #heir own &ield, and in #he par#icipa#ion o& all #hese .ouncils in #he cen#ral adminis#ra#ion! -ha# happens i& #he working class does no# %as#ly ou#number #he res# o& #he popula#ionK 5r, i& #he re%olu#ion is &rom #he s#ar# in a di&&icul# posi#ion, o#her s#ra#a being ac#i%ely hos#ile #o #he power o& #he -orkers+ .ouncilsK+ -orking class power migh# #hen &ind concre#e +e*pression in an une2ual par#icipa#ion o& #he %arious s#ra#a o& socie#y in #he cen#ral adminis#ra#ion! "n #he beginning, &or e*ample, #he prole#aria# migh# ha%e #o allow a smaller %oice #o #he @easan#s .ouncils #han #o o#her .ouncils, e%en i& i# allows #his %oice #o grow as class #ensions diminish! /u#, #he real implica#ions o& #hese 2ues#ions are limi#ed! $he working class could only keep [p11 power i& i# gained #he suppor# o& #he ma9ori#y o& #hose who work &or a li%ing, e%en i& #hey are no# indus#rial workers! "n modern socie#ies, wage and salary earners cons#i#u#e #he o%erwhelming ma9ori#y o& #he popula#ion, and each day increases #heir numerical impor#ance! "& #he large ma9ori#y o& indus#rial workers and o#her wage earners suppor#ed re%olu#ionary power, #he regime could no# be endangered by #he poli#ical opposi#ion o& #he peasan#s! "& #he &oremen#ioned sec#ions did no# suppor# re%olu#ionary power, i# is di&&icul# #o

see how #he re%olu#ion could #riumph, and e%en more how i# could las# &or any leng#h o& #ime!

1'! @roblems o& #he $ransi#ion


$he socie#y we are #alking abou# is no# communism, which supposes #o#al &reedom, #he comple#e con#rol by people o%er all #heir own ac#i%i#ies, #he absence o& any cons#rain#, #o#al abundance 11 and human beings o& a #o#ally di&&eren# kind! $he socie#y we are #alking abou# is socialism, and socialism is #he only #ransi#ional socie#y be#ween a regime o& e*ploi#a#ion and communism! -ha# is no# socialism (as here de&ined) isn+# a #ransi#ional socie#y, bu# an e*ploi#ing socie#y! -e migh# say #ha# any e*ploi#ing socie#y is a socie#y o& #ransi#ion, bu# o& #ransi#ion #o ano#her &orm o& e*ploi#a#ion! $he #ransi#ion #o communism is only possible i& e*ploi#a#ion is immedia#ely abolished, &or o#herwise, e*ploi#a#ion con#inues and &eeds on i#sel&! $he aboli#ion o& e*ploi#a#ion is only possible when e%ery separa#e s#ra#um o& order1gi%ers ceases #o e*is#, &or in modern socie#ies i# is #he di%ision in#o order1gi%ers and order1#akers which is a# #he roo# o& e*ploi#a#ion! $he aboli#ion o& a separa#e managerial appara#us means workers+ managemen# in all sec#ors o& social ac#i%i#y! -orkers+ managemen# is only possible #hrough new ins#i#u#ions embodying #he direc# democracy o& #he producers (#he .ouncils)! -orkers+ managemen# can only be consolida#ed and enlarged inso&ar as i# a##acks #he deepes# roo#s o& aliena#ion in all &ields and primarily in #he realm o& work! "n #heir essence, #hese %iews closely coincide wi#h 4ar*+s ideas on #he sub9ec#! 4ar* only considered one kind o& #ransi#ional socie#y be#ween capi#alism and communism, which he called indi&&eren#ly +dic#a#orship o& #he prole#aria#+ or +lower s#age o& communism+! For him, #his socie#y implied an end #o e*ploi#a#ion and +#o a separa#e s#a#e

appara#us! $hese elemen#ary #ru#hs ha%e been sys#ema#ically hidden or dis#or#ed! 3e# us lea%e aside #he (#alinis#s, whose his#oric 9ob i# has been #o presen# concen#ra#ion camps, #he absolu#e power o& &ac#ory managers, piece1ra#es and Stakhanovism as #he &inished produc#s o& socialism! $he same mys#i&ica#ion, in a more sub#le bu# 9us# as dangerous &orm, has been propaga#ed by #he $ro#skyis#s and by $ro#sky himsel&! $hey ha%e managed #o in%en# an increasing number o& #ransi#ional socie#ies, slo##ing more or less happily in#o one ano#her! /e#ween communism and capi#alism, #here was socialism! /u# be#ween socialism and capi#alism #here was #he -orkers+ (#a#e! 0nd be#ween #he -orkers+ (#a#e and capi#alism #here was #he +degenera#ed -orkers+ (#a#e+ (degenera#ion being a process, #here were grada#ions: degenera#ed, %ery degenera#ed, mons#rously degenera#ed, e#c!)! 0&#er #he -ar, according #o #he $ro#skyis#s, we wi#nessed #he bir#h o& a whole series o& +degenera#ed -orkers+ (#a#es+ (#he sa#elli#e coun#ries o& Eas#ern Europe), which were degenera#ed wi#hou# e%er ha%ing been -orkers+ (#a#es! 0ll #hese gymnas#ics were per&ormed so as #o a%oid ha%ing #o admi# #ha# )ussia was an e*ploi#ing socie#y wi#hou# a shred o& socialism abou# i#, and so as #o a%oid drawing #he conclusion #ha# #he &a#e o& #he )ussian )e%olu#ion made i# impera#i%e #o re1e*amine all #he problems rela#ing #o #he programme and con#en# o& socialism, #o #he role o& #he prole#aria#, #o #he role o& #he @ar#y, e#c! $he idea o& a +#ransi#ional socie#y+ o#her #han a socialis# socie#y is a mys#i&ica#ion! $his is no# #o say, &ar &rom i#, #ha# problems o& #ransi#ion do no# e*is#! "n a sense, #he whole o& socialis# socie#y is de#ermined by #he e*is#ence o& #hese problems, and by #he a##emp# o& people a# sol%ing #hem! /u#, problems o& #ransi#ion will also e*is# in a narrower sense! $hey will &low &rom #he concre#e condi#ions which will con&ron# #he re%olu#ion a# #he s#ar#! For ins#ance, #he )e%olu#ion migh# only s#ar# in one coun#ry, or in one group o& coun#ries! 0s a resul#, i# would ha%e #o sus#ain pressures o& a %ery di&&eren# kind and dura#ion! 5n #he o#her hand, howe%er swi&# #he in#erna#ional spread o& #he re%olu#ion, a coun#ry+s in#ernal de%elopmen# will play an

impor#an# role in allowing #he principles o& socialism #o be applied! For e*ample, agricul#ure migh# crea#e impor#an# problems in France, bu# no# in #he ;(0 or Crea# /ri#ain (where #he main problem would be #ha# o& #he e*#reme dependence o& #he coun#ry on &ood impor#s), "n #he course o& our analysis, we ha%e considered se%eral problems o& #his kind and hope #o ha%e shown #ha# solu#ions #ending in a socialis# direc#ion e*is#ed in each case! -e ha%e no# been able #o consider #he special problems which would arise i& #he re%olu#ion remained isola#ed in one coun#ry &or a long #ime 11 and we can hardly do i# here! /u#, we hope #o ha%e shown #ha# i# is wrong #o #hink #ha# #he problems arising &rom such an isola#ion are insoluble, #ha# an isola#ed workers+ power mus# die heroically or degenera#e, or #ha# i# can a# #he mos# +hold on+ while wai#ing! $he only way #o +hold on+ is #o s#ar# building socialism, o#herwise degenera#ion has already se# in, and #he reason &or +holding on+ is no#hing! For workers+ power, #he building o& socialism &rom #he %ery &irs# day is no# only possible, i# is impera#i%e! "& i# doesn+# #ake place, #he power held has already ceased #o be workers+ power! [n?> $he programme we ha%e ou#lined is a programme &or #he presen#, capable o& being reali7ed in any reasonably indus#riali7ed coun#ry! "# describes #he s#eps 11 or #he spiri# guiding #he s#eps 11 which #he .ouncils will ha%e #o #ake &rom #he %ery &irs# weeks o& #heir power, and #his, whe#her #his power has spread #o se%eral coun#ries or is con&ined #o one! @erhaps, i& we were #alking abou# 0lbania, #here would be li##le we could do! /u#, i& #omorrow in France, or in /ri#ain, or e%en in @oland (as yes#erday in ,ungary), -orkers+ .ouncils emerged wi#hou# ha%ing #o &ace a &oreign mili#ary in%asion, #hey could only: J &edera#e in#o a .en#ral 0ssembly and declare #hemsel%es #he only power in #he land8 J proceed #o arm #he working class and order #he dissolu#ion o& #he police and o& #he s#anding army8 J proclaim #he e*propria#ion o& #he capi#alis#s, #he dismissal o& all managers, and #he #aking o%er o& #he managemen# o& all &ac#ories by #he workers #hemsel%es organi7ed in#o -orkers+ .ouncils8

J proclaim #he aboli#ion o& work norms and ins#i#u#e &ull e2uali#y o& wages and salaries8 J encourage o#her ca#egories o& workers #o &orm .ouncils and #o #ake in#o #heir own hands #he managemen# o& #heir respec#i%e en#erprises8 J ask, in par#icular, #he workers in go%ernmen# depar#men#s #o &orm .ouncils #o proclaim #he #rans&orma#ion o& #hese s#a#e bodies in#o en#erprises managed by #hose who work in #hem8 J encourage #he peasan#s and o#her sel&1employed sec#ions o& #he popula#ion #o group #hemsel%es in#o .ouncils and #o send #heir represen#a#i%es #o a .en#ral 0ssembly8 J proceed #o organi7e a +plan &ac#ory+ and promp#ly submi# a pro%isional economic plan &or discussion by #he local .ouncils8 J call on #he workers o& o#her coun#ries and e*plain #o #hem #he con#en# and meaning o& #hese measures! 0ll #his would be immedia#ely necessary! 0nd, i# would con#ain all #ha# is essen#ial #o #he building o& socialism!

Fo#es
n1 +@roduc#ion+ here meaning #he shop1&loor, no# +#he economy+ or +#he marke#+! n: $he belie& #ha# socialism can be achie%ed #hrough @arliamen# is, #here&ore, nai%e in #he e*#reme! 4oreo%er, i# perpe#ua#es illusions in #he signi&icance o& #his kind o& popular +represen#a#ion+! n? "n #he &irs# chap#er o& his book, $he -orkers+ .ouncils (4elbourne: 195'), 0n#on @annekoek de%elops a similar analysis o& #he problems con&ron#ing socialis# socie#y! 5n #he &undamen#al issues our poin#s o& %iew are %ery close! nE /akunin once described #he problem o& socialism as being +#o in#egra#e indi%iduals in#o s#ruc#ures which #hey could

unders#and and con#rol+! n5 $he words are #o be &ound in G@ar# """G o& Engels+ 0n#i1 Buhring! n> 0 &ew years ago a cer#ain +philosopher+ could seriously ask how one could e%en discuss (#alin+s decisions, as one didn+# know #he real &ac#s upon which he alone could base #hem! (D! @! (ar#re, GLes Communistes et la PaixG, in Les Temps Modernes, Duly and 5c#ober1Fo%ember o& 195:)! n7 -e delibera#ely say +#o ins#i#u#e+ and no# +#o res#ore+, &or ne%er in his#ory has #his domina#ion really e*is#ed! 0ll comparisons wi#h his#orical an#eceden#s 11 &or ins#ance, wi#h #he si#ua#ions o& #he ar#isan or o& #he &ree peasan#, howe%er &rui#&ul #hey may be in some respec#s, ha%e only a limi#ed scope and risk leading one one in#o u#opian #hinking! nA Ie# #his is almos# e*ac#ly wha# 3enin+s de&ini#ion o& socialism as +elec#ri&ica#ion plus (#he poli#ical power o& #he) (o%ie#s+ boiled down #o! n9 0cademic economis#s ha%e analy7ed #he &ac# #ha# o& se%eral #echnically &easible possibili#ies, cer#ain ones are chosen, and #ha# #hese choices lead #o a par#icular pa##ern o& #echnology applied in real li&e, which seems #o concre#i7e #he #echni2ue o& a gi%en period! [(ee, &or ins#ance, Doan )obinson+s $he 0ccumula#ion o& .api#al (3ondon8 195>8 pages 1'1117A ! /u# in #hese analyses, #he choice is always presen#ed as &lowing &rom considera#ions o& +pro&i#abili#y+ and, in par#icular, &rom #he +rela#i%e cos#s o& capi#al and labor+! $his abs#rac# %iewpoin# has li##le e&&ec# on #he reali#y o& indus#rial e%olu#ion! 4ar*, on #he o#her hand, underlines #he social con#en# o& machine1domina#ed indus#ry, i#s ensla%ing &unc#ion! n1' "n o#her words, abili#ies, know1how, and awareness, are de%eloped in produc#ion! n11 (#ric#ly speaking, poe#ry means crea#ion! n1: "n D! 0! .! /rown+s $he (ocial @sychology o& "ndus#ry (@enguin /ooks, 195E), #here is a s#riking con#ras# be#ween #he de%as#a#ing analysis #he au#hor makes o& presen# capi#alis# produc#ion and #he only +conclusions+ he can draw which are pious e*hor#a#ions #o managemen# #o +do be##er+, #o +democra#i7e i#sel&+, e#c!

n1? "n o#her words, wha# we are challenging is #he whole concep# o& a #echni2ue capable o& organi7ing people &rom #he ou#side! (uch an idea is as absurd as #he idea o& a psychoanalysis in which #he pa#ien# would no# appear, and which would be 9us# a +#echni2ue+ in #he hands o& #he analys#! n1E $his problem is dis#inc# &rom #ha# o& o%erall planning! Ceneral planning is concerned wi#h de#ermining a 2uan#i#a#i%e &ramework so much s#eel and so many hours o& labor a# one end, so many consumer goods a# #he o#her! "# does no# ha%e #o in#er%ene in #he &orm or #ype o& #he in#ermedia#e produc#s! n15 5ne migh# add #ha# #he ra#e o& economic grow#h also depends: (a) on #echnical progress! /u#, such #echnical progress is i#sel& cri#ically dependen# on #he amoun#s in%es#ed, direc#ly or indirec#ly, in research8 (b) on #he e%olu#ion o& #he produc#i%i#y o& labor! /u#, #his hinges on #he amoun# o& capi#al in%es#ed per worker and on #he le%el o& #echni2ue (which #wo &ac#ors again bring us back #o in%es#men#)! 4ore signi&ican#ly, #he produc#i%i#y o& labor depends on #he producers+ a##i#ude #o #he economy! $his, in #urn, would cen#er on people+s a##i#ude #o #he plan, on how i#s #arge#s were es#ablished, on #heir own in%ol%emen# and sense o& iden#i&ica#ion wi#h #he decisions reached, and, in general, on &ac#ors discussed in #his #e*#! n1> /ureaucra#ic +planning+ as carried ou# in )ussia and #he Eas#ern European coun#ries pro%es no#hing, one way or #he o#her! "# is 9us# as irra#ional and 9us# as was#e&ul! $he was#e is bo#h +e*#ernal+ (#he wrong decisions being #aken) and +in#ernal+ (brough# abou# by #he resis#ance o& #he workers #o produc#ion)! For &ur#her de#ails, see G La revolution proletarienne contre la bureaucratieG in Socialisme ou Barbarie (Fumber :')! n17 $he &ield is in cons#an# e*pansion! ,owe%er, #he s#ar#ing poin#s remain #he &ollowing: J -assily -! 3eon#ie&8 $he (#ruc#ure o& 0merican Economy, 1919119?9: 0n Empirical 0pplica#ion o& E2uilibrium 0nalysis8 5*&ord ;ni%ersi#y @ress (19E1, 1951, 195?, 1957, 19>>)! J -assily -! 3eon#ie&, e#! al!8 (#udies in #he (#ruc#ure o& 0merican Economy: $heore#ical and Empirical E*plora#ions in "npu#15u#pu# 0nalysis8 ,ar%ard ;ni%ersi#y @ress (Few Iork:

195?)! n1A $! .! Hoopmans8 0c#i%i#y 0nalysis o& @roduc#ion and 0lloca#ion proceedings o& a .on&erence8 Dohn -iley O (ons, "nc! (Few Iork: 1951)! n19 $he di%ision o& #he economy in#o some 1'' sec#ors, which roughly corresponds #o presen# compu#er capaci#y, is abou# +hal&way+ be#ween i#s di%ision (by 4ar*) in#o #wo sec#ors (consumer goods and means o& produc#ion) and #he #housand sec#ors #ha# would be re2uired #o ensure a per&ec#ly e*ac# represen#a#ion! @resen# compu#er capabili#ies would probably be su&&icien# in prac#ice, and could be made more precise, e%en now, by #ackling #he problem in s#ages! n:' 3abor %alue includes, o& course, #he ac#ual cos# o& #he e2uipmen# u#ili7ed in #he period considered! [For #he working ou# o& labor %alues by #he ma#ri* me#hod see #he ar#icle G Sur la dynami ue du capitalismeG in Socialisme ou Barbarie, Fumber 1:! $he adop#ion o& labor %alue as a yards#ick is e2ui%alen# #o wha# academic economis#s call +normal long1#erm cos#s+! $he %iewpoin# e*pressed in #his #e*# corresponds #o 4ar*+s, which is in general a##acked by academic economis#s, e%en +socialis#+ ones! For #hem, +marginal cos#s+ should de#ermine prices! [(ee &or ins#ance: Doan )obinson8 0n Essay on 4ar*ian Economics8 4acmillan O .o 3#d (3ondon, 19E9)8 pages :? 1:A! -e can+# here go in#o #his discussion! 0ll #ha# we can say is #ha# #he applica#ion o& #he principle o& marginal cos#s would mean #ha# #he price o& an air #icke# be#ween 3ondon and Few Iork would a# #imes be 7ero, (when #he plane was already &ull) and a# #imes be e2ui%alen# #o #ha# o& #he whole aircra&# (when #he plane was emp#y)! n:1 "n his ma9or work on #his #heme 11 and a&#er a modera#e use o& di&&eren#ial e2ua#ions 11 Heynes comes up wi#h #he conclusion #ha# #he main de#erminan#s o& in%es#men# are #he +animal spiri#s+ o& #he en#repreneurs ($he Ceneral $heory, pages 1>111>:)! $he idea #ha# #he %olume o& in%es#men# is primarily de#ermined by #he ra#e o& in#eres# (and #ha# #he la##er resul#s &rom #he in#erplay o& #he +real &orces o& produc#i%i#y and #hri&#+ was long ago demolished by academic economis#s #hemsel%es (see Doan )obinson+s $he )a#e o& "n#eres# and

5#her Essays, 1951)! n:: 5ne would look in %ain #hrough #he %oluminous wri#ings o& 4r! /e##elheim &or any a##emp# a# 9us#i&ica#ion o& #he ra#e o& accumula#ion +chosen+ by #he )ussian bureaucracy! $he +socialism+ o& such +#heore#icians+ doesn+# only imply #ha# (#alin (or Hhrushche%) alone can know! "# also implies #ha# such knowledge, by i#s %ery na#ure, canno# be communica#ed #o #he res# o& humani#y! "n ano#her coun#ry, and in o#her #imes, #his was known as #he !"hrer#prin$ip! n:? $his ne# increase is ob%iously no# 9us# #he sum o& #he increases in each sec#or! (e%eral elemen#s add up or ha%e #o be sub#rac#ed be&ore one can pass &rom #he one #o #he o#her! 5n #he one hand, &or ins#ance, #here would be #he +in#ermedia#e u#ili7a#ions+ o& #he produc#s o& each sec#or 11 on #he o#her hand, #he +e*#ernal economies+ (in%es#men# in a gi%en sec#or, by abolishing a bo##leneck, could allow #he be##er use o& #he produc#i%e capaci#ies o& o#her sec#ors, which al#hough already es#ablished were being was#ed hi#her#o)! -orking ou# #hese ne# increases presen#s no par#icular di&&icul#ies! $hey are calcula#ed au#oma#ically, a# #he same #ime as one works ou# #he +in#ermedia#e ob9ec#i%es+ (ma#hema#ically, #he solu#ion o& one problem immedia#ely pro%ides #he solu#ion o& #he o#her)! -e ha%e discussed #he problem o& #he global de#ermina#ion o& #he %olume o& in%es#men#s! -e can only #ouch on #he problem o& #he choice o& par#icular in%es#men#s! $he dis#ribu#ion o& in%es#men#s by sec#ors is au#oma#ic once #he &inal in%es#men# is de#ermined (such1and1such a le%el o& &inal consump#ion direc#ly or indirec#ly implies such1and1such a produc#i%e capaci#y in each sec#or)! $he choice o& a gi%en #ype o& in%es#men# &rom amongs# se%eral producing #he same resul# could only depend on such considera#ions as #he e&&ec# #ha# a gi%en #ype o& e2uipmen# would ha%e on #hose who would ha%e #o use i# 11 and here, &rom all we ha%e said, #heir own %iewpoin# would be decisi%e! n:E From #his angle (and, i& #hey weren+# &alse in #he &irs# place), )ussian &igures which show #ha# year1a&#er1year #he #arge#s o& #he plan ha%e been &ul&illed #o 1''< would pro%ide #he se%eres# possible indic#men# o& )ussian economy and o&

)ussian socie#y! $hey would imply, in e&&ec#, #ha# during a gi%en 51year period no#hing happened in #he coun#ry, #ha# no# a single new idea arose in anyone+s mind (or else, #ha# (#alin, in his wisdom, had &oreseen all such ideas and incorpora#ed #hem in ad%ance in #he plan, allowing 11 in his kindness 11 in%en#ors #o sa%or #he pleasures o& illusory disco%ery)! n:5 .omple*, bu# by no means insoluble economic, problems will probably arise in #his respec#! $hey boil down #o #he 2ues#ion o& how agricul#ural prices will be de#ermined in a socialis# economy! $he applica#ion o& uni&orm prices would main#ain impor#an# ine2uali#ies o& re%enue (+di&&eren#ial incomes+) be#ween di&&eren# )ural .ommunes or e%en be#ween di&&eren# indi%iduals in a gi%en .ommune (because o& di&&erences in #he produc#i%i#y o& holdings, di&&eren#ial soil &er#ili#y, e#c!)! $he &inal solu#ion #o #he problem would re2uire, o& course, #he comple#e sociali7a#ion o& agricul#ure! "n #he mean#ime, compromises will be necessary! $here migh# perhaps be some &orm o& #a*a#ion o& #he weal#hier .ommunes #o subsidi7e #he poorer ones un#il #he gap be#ween #hem had been subs#an#ially narrowed (comple#ely #o suppress ine2uali#ies by #his means would howe%er amoun# #o &orcible sociali7a#ion)! 5ne should no#e in passing #ha# di&&eren#ial yields #oday s#em in par# &rom #he 2ui#e ar#i&icial working o& poor yield soils #hrough subsidies paid by #he capi#alis# s#a#e &or poli#ical purposes! (ocialis# socie#y could rapidly lessen #hese gaps by 2ues#ioning cer#ain subsidies, while a# #he same #ime massi%ely helping #o e2uip poor, bu# po#en#ially %iable .ommunes! n:> 0l#hough #he )ussian word %soviet% means +council+, one should no# con&use #he -orkers+ .ouncils we ha%e been describing in #his #e*# wi#h e%en #he earlies# o& )ussian (o%ie#s! $he -orkers+ .ouncils are based on #he place o& work! $hey can play bo#h a poli#ical role, and a role in indus#rial managemen# o& produc#ion! "n i#s essence, a -orkers+ .ouncil is a uni%ersal organism! $he 19'5 @e#rograd (o%ie# o& -orkers+ Bepu#ies, al#hough #he produc# o& a general s#rike and al#hough e*clusi%ely prole#arian in composi#ion, remained a purely poli#ical ins#i#u#ion! $he (o%ie#s o& 1917 were, as a rule,

geographically1based! $hey, #oo, were purely poli#ical ins#i#u#ions, in which all social layers opposed #o #he old regime would ge# #oge#her (see $ro#sky+s 19'5 and his ,is#ory o& #he )ussian )e%olu#ion)! $heir role corresponded #o #he +backwardness+ o& #he )ussian economy and o& )ussian socie#y a# #he #ime! "n #his sense, #hey belong #o #he pas#! $he +normal+ &orm o& working class represen#a#ion in #he )e%olu#ion #o come will undoub#edly be #he -orkers+ .ouncils! n:7 Fo# in wha# i# hides (#he police #error and #he concen#ra#ion camps), bu# in wha# i# o&&icially proclaims, in i#s .ons#i#u#ion! n:A $he &orma#ion o& -orkers+ .ouncils o& (#a#e Employees was one o& #he demands o& #he ,ungarian -orkers+ .ouncils! n:9 Fei#her #he means nor #he o%erall concep#ion o& war could be copied &rom #hose o& an imperialis# coun#ry! -ha# we ha%e said abou# capi#alis# #echnology is %alid &or mili#ary #echni2ue: #here is no neu#ral mili#ary #echni2ue, #here is no +,1bomb &or socialism+! @! Cuillaume has clearly shown (in his ar#icle, G La &uerre et notre po ueG, Fumbers ?, 5, and > o& Socialisme ou Barbarie) #ha# a prole#arian re%olu#ion mus# necessarily draw up i#s own s#ra#egy and me#hods (mainly propaganda) sui#able #o i#s social and human ob9ec#i%es! $he need &or +s#ra#egic weapons+ does no# arise &or a re%olu#ionary power! n?' "n a coun#ry like France, such a .en#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es migh# consis# o& 1,''' #o :,''' delega#es (one delega#e per 1',''' or :',''' workers)! 0 compromise would ha%e #o be reached be#ween #wo re2uiremen#s: as a working body, #he .en#ral 0ssembly o& Belega#es should no# be #oo large, on #he o#her hand, i# mus# ensure #he mos# direc# and mos# widely1based represen#a#ion o& #he organisms &rom which i# emana#es! n?1 @la#o discusses #hem a# leng#h, and his @ro#agoras is, in par#, de%o#ed #o #hem! n?: (ee .! -righ# 4ills+ -hi#e .ollar (pages ?E71?EA) and $he @ower Eli#e (Few Iork8 195>8 pages 1?E s2, 1E5s2, e#c!) &or an illus#ra#ion o& #he #o#al lack o& any rela#ionship be#ween +#echnical+ capaci#ies o& any kind and curren# indus#rial managemen# or poli#ical leaderships!

n?? "# migh# be claimed #ha# #he problem o& numbers remains, and #ha# all would ne%er be able #o e*press #hemsel%es in #he #ime a%ailable! $his isn+# a %alid argumen#! $here would rarely be an 0ssembly o& o%er :' people where e%eryone wan#ed #o speak, &or #he %ery good reason #ha# when #here is some#hing #o be decided #here aren+# an in&ini#e number o& op#ions or an in&ini#e number o& argumen#s! "n rank1and1&ile workers+ ga#herings, con%ened, &or ins#ance, #o decide on a s#rike, #here are hardly e%er +#oo many+ in#er%en#ions! $he #wo or #hree &undamen#al opinions ha%ing been %oiced, and %arious argumen#s ha%ing been e*changed, a decision is soon reached! $he leng#h o& speeches, moreo%er, o&#en %aries in%ersely wi#h #he weigh# o& #heir con#en#! )ussian leaders may speak &or &our hours a# @ar#y .ongresses and say no#hing! $he speech o& #he 'phore which persuaded #he (par#ans #o launch #he @eloponesian -ar occupies :1 lines in Thucydides (", A>)! For an accoun# o& #he laconicism o& re%olu#ionary assemblies see $ro#sky+s accoun# o& #he @e#rograd (o%ie# o& 19'5 11 or accoun#s o& #he mee#ings o& &ac#ory represen#a#i%es in /udapes# in 195> (Socialisme ou Barbarie, Fumber :1, pages 9119:)! n?E $ele%ising presen# parliamen#ary procedures, on #he o#her hand, could be a sure way o& dri%ing e%en &ur#her nails in#o #he co&&in o& #his ins#i#u#ion! n?5 $he basis o& par#ies is no# a di&&erence o& opinion, as such, bu# di&&erences on &undamen#als and #he more or less sys#ema#ic uni#y o& each +ne*us o& %iews+! "n o#her words par#ies e*press a general orien#a#ion corresponding #o a more or less clear ideology, in i#s #urn &lowing &rom #he e*is#ence o& social posi#ions leading #o con&lic#ing aspira#ions! 0s long as such posi#ions e*is# and lead #o a poli#ical +pro9ec#ion+ o& e*pec#a#ions, one canno# elimina#e poli#ical groups 11 bu# as #hese par#icular di&&erences disappear, i# is unlikely #ha# groups will be &ormed abou# +di&&erences+ in general! n?> 0ll #he discussion abou# +socialism in one coun#ry+ be#ween #he (#alinis#s and #he 3e&# 5pposi#ion (19:E1:7) shows #o a &righ#ening degree how men make his#ory #hinking

#hey know wha# #hey are doing, ye# unders#and no#hing abou# i#! (#alin insis#ed i# was possible #o build socialism in )ussia alone, meaning by socialism, indus#riali7a#ion, plus #he power o& #he bureaucracy! $ro#sky %owed #ha# #his was impossible, meaning by socialism, a classless socie#y! /o#h were righ# in wha# #hey said, and wrong in denying #he #ru#h o& #he o#her+s allega#ion! /u#, nei#her was #alking abou# socialism! 0nd no one, during #he whole discussion, men#ioned #he regime inside )ussian &ac#ories, #he rela#ion o& #he prole#aria# #o #he managemen# o& produc#ion, nor #he rela#ion o& #he /olshe%ik @ar#y, where #he discussion was #aking place, #o #he broad masses, who were in #he long run, #he main in#eres#ed par#y in #he whole business!

Solidarity Group (London); March 1972 libcom.org