Sunday, March 27, 2016

Chasing Utopia

Worker ownership and cooperatives will not succeed by competing on capitalism’s terms.

by Sam Gindin

This year marks the five-hundredth anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia — the book that introduced the term “utopia” into radical thought during the early days of capitalism. In More’s story, a fictional character matter-of-factly declares, “wherever you have private property and money is the measure of all things, it is hardly ever possible for a commonwealth to be governed justly or happily.”

Half a millennium later, this idea — that private ownership of the means of production is the central barrier to a better world — has much purchase on the Left, with many calling for an economy based on direct worker and community control.

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