Argentina

This Lathe Is Mine

|

We all know the standard syndicalist scenario, beloved by the revolutionary left, in which the proletariat pries the means of production from the capitalists' cold, dead fingers. In Argentina, apparently, events have taken a different course: When a number of businesses went bankrupt, the bosses simply left and the workers stayed on the job, organizing themselves as cooperatives and laying claim to the abandoned factories. I'm not sure what to call this—revolution by adverse possession?

[Via Kevin Carson.]

NEXT: "Withdraw This Nominee"

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. One interesting aspect: the factories were taken over legally, frequently after long legal battles. That Argentina has the legal system in place to help accomplish this is fantastic. (Maybe some properties were expropriated illegally or w/o the owners’ or creditors’ consent or something, but that’s not suggested in the article.)

    That’s progress, anyway.

    Good find, Jesse, Kevin.

  2. This story illustrates what I, an anarchist, often say: What the world needs is not more/better leaders; rather fewer followers.

    Workers of the world: Rise up! Cast off your bosses!

  3. Ruthless D., you want a world w/o leaders or followers? Just individuals? Isn’t that, like, totally 60’s?

  4. I’ll be interested in seeing if the smartest, luckiest and most aggressive guys in the co-ops resist the urge to take over and become the new boss.

    Somebody quote the Who.

  5. I tip my hat to the new Constitution, take a bow for the new revolution, smile and grin at the change all around, pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, then I’ll get on my knees and pray, we don’t get fooled again!

    Good enough for you, Herman?

  6. I was kinda hoping for a verse of “Happy Jack.”

  7. And the smartest, luckiest & most aggressive guy in the Co Op will take any money he can get his hands on & wire-transfer it to his Cayman Islands bank account.

    What kind of moron would keep money in or invest in Argentina?

  8. Shouldn’t we applaud their efforts to avoid letting these abandoned factories continue to deteriorate when they could easily just stood around waiting for either the government or some benevolent foreign investment looking for a cheap source of labor to bail them out?

    I thought this type of initiative should be applauded. Instead, we have people here mocking them. I guess I’ll never truly understand the libertarian interpretation of these stories.

  9. Tim-
    That’ll do.

    Jesse-
    How about “It’s a boy Mrs. Walker, it’s a boy”? That family enough for you?

    John (from CA version) –
    I’m hope that won’t happen, but I’m afraid that’s what will happen.

    Comments loaded to the Vic-20 at 12:42PM.

  10. SPD-
    I think this is great and I’m not mocking them. I just wanted to get a stupid Who joke in and acknowledge my fear of human tendencies.

    Good to see the editors got some firewood and coal for the server.

    Comments loaded to the Atari 400 at 12:45PM.

  11. isn’t this, like, the reverse of what happened in Altas Shrugged, with the copper mines? Libertarians should be furious…

  12. I’d guess that the new “owners” have a different relationship with the government,like no taxes/fees and no rules/regulations to deal with.

  13. This sounds like the missing last chapter of Atlas Shrugged. What happens after they all traipse off with John Galt. “Meanwhile, back at the factory . . . “

  14. I thought this type of initiative should be applauded. Instead, we have people here mocking them.

    Huh? I think it’s great. Far as I can tell, so do most of the commenters.

  15. Why should libertarians be furious? There is no stealing by the government, no protectionism, no nationalization of the factories, nothing. Should libertarians have something against private co-ops? Should libertarians have something against a system that pays better wages than the previous one?

    I don’t get it.

  16. I, for one, miss Kevin Carson’s posts here, though I doubt I agreed with more than 1 in 20 of them.

  17. It’s the return of the libertarians-in-their-heads.

  18. “And the smartest, luckiest & most aggressive guy in the Co Op will take any money he can get his hands on & wire-transfer it to his Cayman Islands bank account.

    What kind of moron would keep money in or invest in Argentina?”

    Who’s head is John in?

  19. “What kind of moron would keep money in or invest in Argentina?”

    i’m going to guess that argentinians make up a fair slice of this group you’re maligning.

    just a guess.

  20. This sounds like the missing last chapter of Atlas Shrugged. What happens after they all traipse off with John Galt. “Meanwhile, back at the factory…”

    I’d love to see that. Reminds me of the Objectivist movie reviews where everyone wonders why the outside world hasn’t collapsed and come crawling back begging for help.

  21. A similar thing happened with the sheetrock division of my dads company. One of their suppliers dissolved, but rather than the employees forming a syndicate, non-wanted to participate in running it. So they called my dads company and said, “if you buy a lathe you can have a sheetrock company for free.” They’re all very happy with the new arrangement.

  22. I guess I’ll never truly understand the libertarian interpretation of these stories.

    Around here, somebody will mock anything. See, watch.

    Should libertarians have something against private co-ops?

    “Private co-op”, “public corporation”, the difference is trivial. You still have an entity (The Company) that belongs to no one, because it belongs to everyone.

    Repeat after me: there are no contradictions in a capitalist system.

    See, I told you. I just mocked the sacred cow.

    Nonetheless, the private coop and public corporation — not to mention the privately held company — are necessarily superior to government ownership.

    Because, you see, the government is the one entity that cannot go out of business, so it has no market force sensors.

  23. It just hit me, that at this site, “We all know the standard syndicalist scenario” is an accurate depiction of the commentariat.

    That’s pretty impressive.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.