Autonomism is a set of anti-authoritarian left-wing political and social movements and theories. As a theoretical system, it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerist communism. Post-Marxist and anarchist tendencies became significant after influence from the Situationists, the failure of Italian far-left movements in the 1970s, the emergence of a number of important theorists including Antonio Negri, who had contributed to the 1969 founding of Potere Operaio, as well as Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno and Franco "Bifo" Berardi. Georgy Katsiaficas summarizes the forms of autonomous movements saying that "In contrast to the centralized decisions and hierarchical authority structures of modern institutions, autonomous social movements involve people directly in decisions affecting their everyday lives, they seek to expand democracy and to help individuals break free of political structures and behavior patterns imposed from the outside." As such this has involved a call for the independence of social movements from political parties in a revolutionary perspective which seeks to create a practical political alternative to both authoritarian socialism and contemporary representative democracy.
Autonomism influenced the German and Dutch Autonomen, the worldwide social centre movement, today is influential in Italy, to a lesser extent the English-speaking countries. Those who describe themselves as autonomists now vary from Marxists to anarchists; the term autonomia/Autonome is composed out of two Greek words: αὐτο- auto- "self" and νόμος nomos, "law", hence when combined understood to mean "one who gives oneself one's own law". Autonomy, in this sense, is not independence. While independence refers to an autarchic kind of life, separated from the community, autonomy refers to life in society but by one's own rule. Though the notion of autonomism was alien to the ancient Greeks, the concept is indirectly endorsed by Aristotle, who stated that only beasts or gods could be independent and live apart from the polis, while Kant defined the Enlightenment by autonomy of thought and the famous "Sapere aude". Unlike other forms of Marxism, autonomist Marxism emphasises the ability of the working class to force changes to the organization of the capitalist system independent of the state, trade unions or political parties.
Autonomists are less concerned with party political organization than are other Marxists, focusing instead on self-organized action outside of traditional organizational structures. Autonomist Marxism is thus a "bottom-up" theory: it draws attention to activities that autonomists see as everyday working-class resistance to capitalism, such as absenteeism, slow working, socialization in the workplace and other subversive activities. Like other Marxists, autonomists see class struggle as being of central importance. However, autonomists have a broader definition of the working class than do other Marxists: as well as wage-earning workers, autonomists include in this category the unwaged, who are traditionally deprived of any form of union representation. Early theorists developed notions of "immaterial" and "social labour" that extended the Marxist concept of labour to all society, they suggested that modern society's wealth was produced by unaccountable collective work, that only a little of this was redistributed to the workers in the form of wages.
Other Italian autonomists—particularly feminists, such as Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Silvia Federici—emphasised the importance of feminism and the value of unpaid female labour to capitalist society. A scholar of the movement, Michael Ryan, writes that Autonomy, as a movement and as a theory, opposes the notion that capitalism is an irrational system which can be made rational through planning. Instead, it assumes the workers' viewpoint, privileging their activity as the lever of revolutionary passage as that which alone can construct a communist society. Economics is seen as being political, and it is in the economic category of the social worker, not in an alienated political form like the party, that the initiative for political change resides. Autonomist Marxism—referred to in Italy as operaismo, which translates as "workerism"—first appeared in Italy in the early 1960s. Arguably, the emergence of early autonomism can be traced to the dissatisfaction of automotive workers in Turin with their union, which reached an agreement with FIAT.
The disillusionment of these workers with their organised representation, along with the resultant riots, were critical factors in the development of a theory of self-organised labour representation outside the scope of traditional representatives such as trade unions. In 1969, the operaismo approach was active in two different groups: Lotta Continua, led by Adriano Sofri, Potere Operaio, led by Antonio Negri, Franco Piperno, Oreste Scalzone, Valerio Morucci. Mario Capanna was the charismatic leader of the Milan student movement, which had a more classical Marxist-Leninist approach. Through translations made available by Danilo Montaldi and others, the Italian autonomists drew upon previous activist research in the United States by the Johnson–Forest Tendency and in France by the group Socialisme ou Barbarie; the Johnson-Forest Tendency had studied working-class life and struggles within the US auto industry, publishing pamphlets such as "The American Worker"
In political science, a communist party is a political party that seeks to realize the social and economic goals of Communism through revolution and state policy. The term communist party was popularized by the title of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; as a vanguard party, the communist party guides the political education and development of the working class. Lenin developed the role of the communist party as the revolutionary vanguard, when social democracy in Imperial Russia was divided into ideologically opposed factions, the Bolshevik faction and the Menshevik faction. To be politically effective, Lenin proposed a small vanguard party managed with democratic centralism, which allowed centralized command of a disciplined cadre of professional revolutionaries. In contrast, the Menshevik faction included Trotsky, who said that the party should not neglect the importance of the mas populations in realizing a communist revolution. In the course of revolution, the Bolshevik party became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, assumed government power in Russia after the October Revolution in 1917.
With the creation of the Communist International in 1919, the concept of "communist party leadership" was adopted by many revolutionary parties, worldwide. In effort to ideologically standardize the international Communist movement and maintain central control of the member parties, the Comintern required that parties identify as a Communist party. In the CPSU, the interpretations of Orthodox Marxism to Russia produced Leninist and Marxist-Leninist political parties. After the death of Lenin, the official interpretation of Leninism in the USSR was the book Foundations of Leninism, by Joseph Stalin. Communist parties are illegal in Estonia and Iran, Latvia and Myanmar, Poland and South Korea, Ukraine and Hungary. In the U. S. the Communist Party USA is banned under authority of the Communist Control Act of 1954, never enforced. As the membership of a Communist party was to be limited to active cadres in Lenin's theory, there was a need for networks of separate organizations to mobilize mass support for the party.
Communist parties have built up various front organizations whose membership is open to non-Communists. In many countries the single most important front organization of the Communist parties has been its youth wing. During the time of the Communist International, the youth leagues were explicit Communist organizations, using the name'Young Communist League'; the youth league concept was broadened in many countries, names like'Democratic Youth League' were adopted. Some trade unions and students', women's, grifters', peasants', cultural organizations have been connected to communist parties. Traditionally, these mass organizations were politically subordinated to the political leadership of the party. However, in many contemporary cases mass organizations founded by communists have acquired a certain degree of independence. In some cases mass organizations have outlived the Communist parties in question. At the international level, the Communist International organized various international front organizations, such as the Young Communist International, Krestintern, International Red Aid, etc.
These organizations were dissolved in the process of deconstruction of the Communist International. After the Second World War new international coordination bodies were created, such as the World Federation of Democratic Youth, International Union of Students, World Federation of Trade Unions, Women's International Democratic Federation and the World Peace Council. In countries where Communist Parties were struggling to attain state power, the formation of wartime alliances with non-Communist parties and wartime groups was enacted. Upon attaining state power these Fronts were transformed into nominal "National" or "Fatherland" Fronts in which non-communist parties and organizations were given token representation, the most popular examples of these being the National Front of East Germany and the United Front of the People's Republic of China. Other times the formation of such Fronts were undertaken without the participation of other parties, such as the Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia and the National Front of Afghanistan, though the purpose was the same: to promote the Communist Party line to non-communist audiences and to mobilize them to carry out tasks within the country under the aegis of the Front.
Recent scholarship has developed the comparative political study of global communist parties by examining similarities and differences across historical geographies. In particular, the rise of revolutionary parties, their spread internationally, the appearance of charismatic revolutionary leaders and their ultimate demise during the decline and fall of communist parties worldwide have all been the subject of investigation. A uniform naming scheme for Communist parties was adopted by the Communist International. All parties were required to use the name'Communist Party of', resulting in separate communist parties in some countries operating using homonymous party names. Today, there are a few cases where the original section
Anarcho-communism is a political philosophy and anarchist school of thought which advocates the abolition of the state, wage labour and private property in favor of common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy, equal distribution of valuables, a horizontal network of workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". Some forms of anarchist communism, such as insurrectionary anarchism, are influenced by egoism and radical individualism, believing anarcho-communism is the best social system for the realization of individual freedom. Most anarcho-communists view anarcho-communism as a way of reconciling the opposition between the individual and society. Anarcho-communism developed out of radical socialist currents after the French Revolution, but was first formulated as such in the Italian section of the First International; the theoretical work of Peter Kropotkin took importance as it expanded and developed pro-organizationalist and insurrectionary anti-organizationalist sections.
To date, the best-known examples of an anarchist communist society are the anarchist territories during the Spanish Revolution and the Free Territory during the Russian Revolution. Through the efforts and influence of the Spanish anarchists during the Spanish Revolution within the Spanish Civil War, starting in 1936 anarchist communism existed in most of Aragon, parts of the Levante and Andalusia as well as in the stronghold of anarchist Catalonia before being crushed by the combined forces of the regime that won the war, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Spanish Communist Party repression as well as economic and armaments blockades from the capitalist countries and the Spanish Republic itself. During the Russian Revolution, anarchists such as Nestor Makhno worked to create and defend—through the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine—anarchist communism in the Free Territory of the Ukraine from 1919 before being conquered by the Bolsheviks in 1921. Anarchist communist currents appeared during the English Civil War and the French Revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries, respectively.
Gerrard Winstanley, part of the radical Diggers movement in England, wrote in his 1649 pamphlet, The New Law of Righteousness, that there "shall be no buying or selling, no fairs nor markets, but the whole earth shall be a common treasury for every man," and "there shall be none Lord over others, but every one shall be a Lord of himself". The Diggers themselves resisted tyranny of the ruling class and of kings, instead operating in a cooperative fashion in order to get work done, manage supplies, increase economic productivity. Due to the communes established by the Diggers being free from private property, along with economic exchange, their communes could be called early, functioning communist societies, spread out across the rural lands of England. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, common ownership of land and property was much more prevalent across the European continent, but the Diggers were set apart by their struggle against monarchical rule, they sprung up by means of workers' self-management after the fall of Charles I.
In 1703, Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan wrote the novel New Voyages to North America where he outlined how indigenous communities of the North American continent cooperated and organised. The author found the agrarian societies and communities of pre-colonial North America to be nothing like the monarchical, unequal states of Europe, both in their economic structure and lack of any state, he wrote that the life natives lived was "anarchy", this being the first usage of the term to mean something other than chaos. He wrote that there were no priests, laws, ministers of state, no distinction of property, no way to differentiate rich from poor, as they were all equal and thriving cooperatively. During the French Revolution, Sylvain Maréchal, in his Manifesto of the Equals, demanded "the communal enjoyment of the fruits of the earth" and looked forward to the disappearance of "the revolting distinction of rich and poor, of great and small, of masters and valets, of governors and governed". Maréchal was critical not only of the unequal distribution of property, but how religion would be used to justify evangelical immorality.
He viewed the link between religion and what came to be known as capitalism as two sides of the same corrupted coin. He had once "Do not be afraid of your God - be afraid of yourself. You are the creator of your own joys. Heaven and hell are in your own soul". Sylvain Maréchal was involved with the Conspiracy of the Equals, a failed attempt at overthrowing the monarchy of France and establishing a stateless, agrarian socialist utopia, he worked with Gracchus Babeuf in not only writing about what an anarchist country might look like, but how it will be achieved. The two of them were friends, though didn't always see eye to eye with Maréchal's statement on equality being more important than the arts. An early anarchist communist was Joseph Déjacque, the first person to describe himself as "libertarian". Unlike Proudhon, he argued that, "it is not the product of his or her labor that the worker has a right to, but to the satisfaction of
A commune is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests having common values and beliefs, as well as shared property, resources, and, in some communes, income or assets. In addition to the communal economy, consensus decision-making, non-hierarchical structures and ecological living have become important core principles for many communes. There are many contemporary intentional communities all over the world, a list of which can be found at the Fellowship for Intentional Community. Benjamin Zablocki categorized communities this way: Alternative-family communities Coliving communities Cooperative communities Countercultural communities Egalitarian communities Political communities Psychological communities Rehabilitational communities Religious communities Spiritual communities Experimental communitiesMany communal ventures encompass more than one of these categorizations; some communes, such as the ashrams of the Vedanta Society or the Theosophical commune Lomaland, formed around spiritual leaders, while others formed around political ideologies.
For others, the "glue" is the desire for a more shared, sociable lifestyle. The central characteristics of communes, or core principles that define communes, have been expressed in various forms over the years. Before 1840 such communities were known as "communist and socialist settlements"; the term "communitarian" was invented by the Suffolk-born radical John Goodwyn Barmby, subsequently a Unitarian minister. At the start of the 1970s, The New Communes author Ron E. Roberts classified communes as a subclass of a larger category of Utopias, he listed three main characteristics. Communes of this period tended to develop their own characteristics of theory though, so while many strived for variously expressed forms of egalitarianism, Roberts' list should never be read as typical. Roberts' three listed items were: first, egalitarianism – that communes rejected hierarchy or graduations of social status as being necessary to social order. Second, human scale – that members of some communes saw the scale of society as it was organized as being too industrialized and therefore unsympathetic to human dimensions.
And third, that communes were consciously anti-bureaucratic. Twenty five years Dr. Bill Metcalf, in his edited book Shared Visions, Shared Lives defined communes as having the following core principles: the importance of the group as opposed to the nuclear family unit, a "common purse", a collective household, group decision making in general and intimate affairs. Sharing everyday life and facilities, a commune is an idealized form of family, being a new sort of "primary group". Commune members have emotional bonds to the whole group rather than to any sub-group, the commune is experienced with emotions which go beyond just social collectivity. With the simple definition of a commune as an intentional community with 100% income sharing, the online directory of the Fellowship for Intentional Community lists 222 communes worldwide; some of these are religious institutions such as monasteries. Others are based in anthroposophic philosophy, including Camphill villages that provide support for the education and daily lives of adults and children with developmental disabilities, mental health problems or other special needs.
Many communes are part of the New Age movement. Many cultures practice communal or tribal living, would not designate their way of life as a planned'commune' per se, though their living situation may have many characteristics of a commune. In Germany, a large number of the intentional communities define themselves as communes and there is a network of political communes called "Kommuja" with about 30 member groups. Germany has a long tradition of intentional communities going back to the groups inspired by the principles of Lebensreform in the 19th century. About 100 intentional communities were started in the Weimar Republic after World War I. In the 1960s, there was a resurgence of communities calling themselves communes, starting with the Kommune 1 in Berlin, followed by Kommune 2 and Kommune 3 in Wolfsburg. In the German commune book, Das KommuneBuch, communes are defined by Elisabeth Voß as communities which: Live and work together, Have a communal economy, i.e. common finances and common property, Have communal decision making – consensus decision making, Try to reduce hierarchy and hierarchical structures, Have communalization of housework and other communal tasks, Have equality between women and men, Have low ecological footprints through sharing and saving resources.
Kibbutzim in Israel, are examples of organized communes, the first of which were based on agriculture. Today, there are dozens of urban communes growing in the cities of Israel called urban kibbutzim; the urban kibbutzim are more anarchist. Most of the urban communes in Israel emphasize social change and local involvement in the cities where they live; some of the urban communes have members who are graduates of zionist-socialist youth movements, like Ha
Clara Zetkin was a German Marxist theorist and advocate for women's rights. Until 1917, she was active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany she joined the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany and its far-left wing, the Spartacist League; the eldest of three children, Clara Zetkin was born Clara Josephine Eissner in Wiederau, a peasant village in Saxony, now part of the municipality Königshain-Wiederau. Her father, Gottfried Eissner, was a schoolmaster and church organist, a devout Protestant, while her mother, Josephine Vitale, had French roots, came from a middle-class family from Leipzig, was educated. In 1872 her family moved to Leipzig where she was educated at the Leipzig Teachers’ College for Women. While in school she established contacts with the infant Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands; because of the ban placed on socialist activity in Germany by Bismarck in 1878, Zetkin left for Zurich in 1882 went into exile in Paris, where she studied to be a journalist and a translator.
During her time in Paris she played an important role in the foundation of the Socialist International group. She adopted the name of her lover, the Russian-Jewish Ossip Zetkin, a devoted Marxist, with whom she had two sons and following two years Konstantin. Ossip Zetkin became ill in the early period of 1889, passing away only a few months in June. Following the loss of her husband, she moved to Stuttgart with her children. Zetkin was married to the artist Georg Friedrich Zundel, eighteen years her junior, from 1899 to 1928. Clara Zetkin's political career began after being introduced to Ossip Zetkin, who she married. Within a few months of attending and taking part in socialist meetings, Zetkin became committed to the party, offering a Marxist approach and for the demand of women's liberation. Around the time of 1880, due to the political climate in Germany, Zetkin went into exile in Switzerland and in France. Upon her return to Germany, nearly a decade she became the editor of the Social Democratic Party newspaper for women, Die Gleichheit, a post she occupied for twenty-five years.
Having studied to become a teacher, Zetkin developed connections with the women's movement and the labour movement in Germany from 1874. In 1878 she joined the Socialist Workers' Party; this party had been founded in 1875 by merging two previous parties: the ADAV formed by Ferdinand Lassalle and the SDAP of August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht. In 1890 its name was changed to its modern version Social Democratic Party of Germany. In the SPD, along with Rosa Luxemburg, her close friend and confidante, was one of the main figures of the far-left wing of the party. In the debate on Revisionism at the turn of the 20th century they jointly attacked the reformist theses of Eduard Bernstein, who had rejected the ideology of a revolutionary change, towards "revolutionary socialism". Zetkin was interested in women's politics, including the fight for equal opportunities and women's suffrage, she helped to develop the social-democratic women's movement in Germany. In 1907 she became the leader of the newly founded "Women's Office" at the SPD.
She contributed to International Women's Day. In August 1910, an International Women's Conference was organized to precede the general meeting of the Socialist Second International in Copenhagen, Denmark. Inspired in part by American socialists' actions, Luise Zietz proposed the establishment of an annual International Woman's Day and was seconded by Zetkin, although no date was specified at that conference. Delegates agreed with the idea as a strategy to promote equal rights including suffrage for women; the following year on 19 March 1911, IWD was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark and Switzerland. However, Zetkin was opposed to the concept of "bourgeois feminism," which she claimed was a tool to divide the unity of the working classes. In a speech she delivered to the Second International in 1899 she stated: The working women, who aspire to social equality, expect nothing for their emancipation from the bourgeois women’s movement, which fights for the rights of women.
That edifice is built on sand and has no real basis. Working women are convinced that the question of the emancipation of women is not an isolated question which exists in itself, but part of the great social question, they realize clear that this question can never be solved in contemporary society, but only after a complete social transformation. She viewed the feminist movement as being composed of upper-class and middle-class women who had their own class interests in mind, which were incompatible with the interests of working-class women, thus and the socialist fight for women's rights were incompatible. In her mind, socialism was the only way to end the oppression of women. One of her primary goals was to get women out of the house and into work so that they could participate in trade unions and other workers rights organizations in order to improve conditions for themselves. While she argued that the socialist movement should fight to achieve reforms that would lessen female oppression, she was convinced that such reforms could only prevail if they were embedded into a general move towards socialism, otherwise, they could ea
Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was a Russian activist, scientist and philosopher who advocated anarcho-communism. Born into an aristocratic land-owning family, he attended a military school and served as an officer in Siberia, where he participated in several geological expeditions, he was managed to escape two years later. He spent the next 41 years in exile in England, he returned to Russia after the Russian Revolution in 1917 but was disappointed by the Bolshevik form of state socialism. Kropotkin was a proponent of a decentralised communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations of self-governing communities and worker-run enterprises, he wrote many books and articles, the most prominent being The Conquest of Bread and Fields and Workshops. He contributed the article on anarchism to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition and left unfinished a work on anarchist ethical philosophy. Pyotr Kropotkin was born into an ancient Russian princely family, his father, major general Prince Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin, was a descendant of the Smolensk branch, of the Rurik dynasty which had ruled Russia before the rise of the Romanovs.
Kropotkin's father owned nearly 1,200 male serfs in three provinces. His mother was the daughter of a Cossack general."Under the influence of republican teachings", Kropotkin dropped his princely title at age 12, "even rebuked his friends, when they so referred to him."In 1857, at age 14, Kropotkin enrolled in the Corps of Pages at St. Petersburg. Only 150 boys – children of nobility belonging to the court – were educated in this privileged corps, which combined the character of a military school endowed with exclusive rights and of a court institution attached to the Imperial Household. Kropotkin's memoirs detail the hazing and other abuse of pages for which the Corps had become notorious. In Moscow, Kropotkin developed what would become a lifelong interest in the condition of the peasantry. Although his work as a page for Tsar Alexander II made Kropotkin skeptical about the tsar's "liberal" reputation, Kropotkin was pleased by the tsar's decision to emancipate the serfs in 1861. In St. Petersburg, he read on his own account and gave special attention to the works of the French encyclopædists and French history.
The years 1857–1861 witnessed a growth in the intellectual forces of Russia, Kropotkin came under the influence of the new liberal-revolutionary literature, which expressed his own aspirations. In 1862, Kropotkin graduated first in his class from the Corps of Pages and entered the Tsarist army; the members of the corps had the prescriptive right to choose the regiment to which they would be attached. Following a desire to "be someone useful", Kropotkin chose the difficult route of serving in a Cossack regiment in eastern Siberia. For some time, he was aide de camp to the governor of Transbaikalia at Chita, he was appointed attaché for Cossack affairs to the governor-general of East Siberia at Irkutsk. The administrator under whom Kropotkin served, General Boleslar Kazimirovich Kukel, was a liberal and a democrat who maintained personal connections to various Russian radical political figures exiled to Siberia; these included the writer M. I. Mikhailov, to whom Kukel sent Kropotkin to warn the exiled intellectual that Moscow police agents were on the scene to examine his ongoing political activities in confinement.
As a result of this assignment, Kropotkin made the acquaintance of Mikhailov, who provided the young Tsarist functionary with a copy of a book by the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon — Kropotkin's first introduction to anarchist ideas. Kukel was subsequently dismissed from his administrative position, Kropotkin moved from administration to state-sponsored scientific endeavors. In 1864 Kropotkin accepted a position in a geographical survey expedition, crossing North Manchuria from Transbaikalia to the Amur, soon was attached to another expedition up the Sungari River into the heart of Manchuria; the expeditions yielded valuable geographical results. The impossibility of obtaining any real administrative reforms in Siberia now induced Kropotkin to devote himself entirely to scientific exploration, in which he continued to be successful. Kropotkin continued his political reading, including works by such prominent liberal thinkers as John Stuart Mill and Alexander Herzen; these readings, along with his experiences among peasants in Siberia, led him to declare himself an anarchist by 1872.
In 1867, Kropotkin resigned his commission in the army and returned to St. Petersburg, where he entered the Saint Petersburg Imperial University to study mathematics, becoming at the same time secretary to the geography section of the Russian Geographical Society, his departure from a family tradition of military service prompted his father to disinherit him, "leaving him a'prince' with no visible means of support". In 1871, Kropotkin explored the glacial deposits of Sweden for the Society. In 1873, he published an important contribution to science, a map and paper in which he showed that the existing maps misrepresented the physical features of Asia. During this work, he was offered the secretaryship of the Society, but he had decided that it was his duty not to work at fresh discoveries but to aid in diffusing existin
Workers' self-management referred to as self-management, labor management and autogestión, is a form of organizational management based on self-directed work processes on the part of an organization's workforce. Self-management is a characteristic of many forms of socialism, with proposals for self-management having appeared many times throughout the history of the socialist movement, advocated variously by libertarian and market socialists and anarchists. There are many variations of self-management. In some variants, all the worker-members manage the enterprise directly through assemblies while in other forms workers exercise management functions indirectly through the election of specialist managers. Self-management may include worker supervision and oversight of an organization by elected bodies, the election of specialized managers, or self-directed management without any specialized managers as such; the goals of self-management are to improve performance by granting workers greater autonomy in their day-to-day operations, boosting morale, reducing alienation and eliminating exploitation when paired with employee ownership.
An enterprise, self-managed is referred to as a labour-managed firm. Self-management refers to control rights within a productive organization, being distinct from the questions of ownership and what economic system the organization operates under. Self-management of an organization may coincide with employee ownership of that organization, but self-management can exist in the context of organizations under public ownership and to a limited extent within private companies in the form of co-determination and worker representation on the board of directors. An economic system consisting of self-managed enterprises is sometimes referred to as a participatory economy, self-managed economy, or cooperative economy; this economic model is a major version of market socialism and decentralized planned economy, stemming from the notion that people should be able to participate in making the decisions that affect their well-being. The major proponents of self-managed market socialism in the 20th century include the economists Benjamin Ward, Jaroslav Vanek and Branko Horvat.
The Ward–Vanek model of self-management involves the diffusion of entrepreneurial roles amongst all the partners of the enterprise. Branko Horvat notes that participation is not more desirable, but more economically viable than traditional hierarchical and authoritarian management as demonstrated by econometric measurements which indicate an increase in efficiency with greater participation in decision-making. According to Horvat, these developments are moving the world toward a self-governing socialistic mode of organization. In the economic theory of self-management, workers are no longer employees but partners in the administration of their enterprise. Management theories in favor of greater self-management and self-directed activity cite the importance of autonomy for productivity in the firm and economists in favor of self-management argue that cooperatives are more efficient than centrally-managed firms because every worker receives a portion of the profit, thereby directly tying their productivity to their level of compensation.
Historical economic figures who supported cooperatives and self-management of some kind include the anarchist Pierre Joseph Proudhon, classical economist John Stuart Mill and the neoclassical economist Alfred Marshall. Contemporary proponents of self-management include the American Marxist economist Richard D. Wolff and anarchist philosopher Noam Chomsky; the theory of the labor manager firm explains the behavior and nature of self-managed organizational forms. Although self-managed firms can coincide with worker ownership, the two are distinct concepts and one need not imply the other. According to traditional neoclassical economic theory, in a competitive market economy ownership of capital assets by labor should have no significant impact on firm performance; the classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill believed that worker-run and owned cooperatives would displace traditional capitalist firms in the competitive market economy due to their superior efficiency and stronger incentive structure.
While both Mill and Karl Marx thought that democratic worker management would be more efficient in the long run compared with hierarchical management, Marx was not hopeful about the prospects of labor-managed and owned firms as a means to displace traditional capitalist firms in the market economy. Despite their advantages in efficiency, in Western market economies the labor-managed firm is comparatively rare. Benjamin Ward critiqued. According to Ward, the labor-managed firm strives to maximize net income for all its members as contrasted with the traditional capitalist firms' objective function of maximizing profit for external owners; the objective function of the labor managed firm creates an incentive to limit employment in order to boost the net income of the firm's existing members. Thus, an economy consisting of labor-managed firms would have a tendency to underutilize labor and tend toward high rates of unemployment. In the 19th century, the idea of a self-managed economy was first articulated by the anarchist philosopher and economist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.
This economic model was called mutualism to highlight the mutual relationship among individuals in this system and involved cooperatives operating in a free-market economy. The classical liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill argued worker-run cooperatives would eventu