Monday, February 23, 2009

Corporatization, you can't go back. Or can you?

The selection from Lenin below says among other things that large trusts and essentially multinational or semi-multinational corporations are the inevitable precursor of a socialist society and that socialism would involve taking these concerns over instead of going backwards to a free market, smaller business, economy. While history shows that Lenin and company did in fact transform the functioning of existing corporations in Russia instead of just taking them over, creating a revolution in their organization, the idea of whether or not returning to a previous state is a good question to ask.

I think that it's illuminating to look at what people are seeking when they advocate a return to a smaller economy. Mostly, it seems to be wanting to get rid of oppressive, large, unaccountable entities that run their lives or have a very large impact on them. Instead of big, smallness that's manageable, that can act to mutually keep the businesses in check so that they don't overpower society is what's proposed. Though it's hard to imagine large corporations suddenly not existing any more in any form, the intent here is a good one and one that points to a more anarchistic reorganization of corporations and of the economy in the event of revolutionary, socialist, change. A transition to socialism that has anarchistic concerns could in fact implement some of the smallness through direct democratic control of the corporations by workers and by consumers on both a local scale and on a larger scale.

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