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Saturday 2:15pm

How can workers run the economy: participation or power?

Left debates

Introduced by Sydney socialist activist Emma Norton.

Workers’ control of the means of production” is said to be the essence of socialism. But what does that actually mean? From Bernie Sanders to the right-wing officials of the Australian Workers Union, more and more are proposing that workers and unions be given seats on management boards, or ownership of investment funds. What’s the difference between that and workers’ control? Is workers’ control the same as workers’ power? Is revolutionary socialism compatible with workers’ participation in management?


Dave Lyddon, British Leyland: The Shop Stewards and Participation, International Socialism, October 1977.


Ernest Mandel, Workers’ Control and Workers’ Councils, Spring 1973.


Holly Otterbein, How Bernie Sanders would give power to workers in their companies, Politico 14 October 2019


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