Thursday, May 19, 2005

Recommended book review: John at C&S on Maurice Brinton

I know Darren has passed on comments on the collection For Worker's Power. Apologies. No offence or significant preference is intended. In fact, without that piece and its links, I might not have read John's in as much depth.

Whilst John and I have debated elsewhere that reviews can be misleading, in think in this instance the review can act as a good incentive. Or maybe reviews just work better for books? Either way, I heartily agree with John's final comments about ownership of the means of production:
In conclusion, then: There is ONE major change in my thinking that I can attribute unreservedly to Solidarity. The, at heart, very simple observation that ownership of the means of production is meaningless if ownership is just legalese; if, in practice, it does not mean control and management of the means of the production, it means the formation of a new class system. For what does it mean for me to own something if I can’t do with it what I want? If I don’t have control over it, how can I be said to own it? And this is where we came in: They showed all too clearly that the Marxist theory that, because there were no differences in property relations between the Party and the proletariat, there could be no conflict of interest, was disproved by Marxism in practice.

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