Resist-Occupy-Produce: What can we Learn from Factory Take-Overs and Worker Cooperatives in Argentina?
The remarkable “recovered factories” (fábricas recuperadas) movement saw hundreds of closed factories reopened by the workers, run democratically, creating jobs and helping working class and poor communities. It showed that there is only so much protesting can accomplish – at some point you have to create something new.
It also shows it is essential that such alternative sites of production form alliances with, and become embedded, in other movements of the working class, poor and peasantry, including unions and unemployed movements. This assists them in building larger struggles, and provides them with some protection from the capitalist market and the state. It is meanwhile important for unions and social movements to start to systematically develop alternatives to capitalist- and state- run social services and media.
However, it is simply impossible to escape capitalism by creating cooperatives, social centres or alternative spaces –almost all means of production remain in ruling class hands, secured by force and backed by huge bureaucracies. It is essential to build a mass revolutionary front of unions and other movements, embracing popularly-run social services, media and production, and aiming at complete socialisation of the economy and of decision-making through a revolutionary rupture.