By Catherine P. Mulder
Given the state of affairs in the global economy and the high levels of unemployment caused by firms' closing or moving to other countries to seek higher profits, capitalist enterprises are failing to provide jobs and economic security for workers. It is therefore imperative that alternative work structures be assessed to discern their viability in our turbulent economy.
Transcending Capitalism through Cooperative Practices identifies and analyzes sustainable alternatives to capitalism by examining six diverse enterprises, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Green Bay Packers, and the Lusty Lady sex club.
Each case illustrates an attempt to provide a more democratic structure to the specific institution through community involvement, worker initiatives, or union-facilitated transformation. Using the framework of New Marxian Class Analysis, each case is analyzed to determine its possible democratic nature, which may serve as an alternative model to the capitalist class structure that dominates today's economy.
Table of Contents of Transcending Capitalism Through Cooperative Practices
- Transcending Capitalism through Cooperatives
- The London Symphony Orchestra: Still Afloat
- Capitalism's Triumph: The Case of the Lusty Lady
- New Era Windows Cooperative: From a Sit-Down Strike to A Worker Cooperative
- A Worker Self-Directed State Enterprise in State Capitalist Cuba! The Case of Organopónico Vivero Alamar
- The Green Bay Packers: "A Love Story between a Community and a Team"
- What's Next for Capitalism? Can We Transcend It?
"In Transforming Capitalism Through Cooperative Practices, Catherine Mulder employs what she calls New Marxian Class Analysis (NMCA) to six case studies that represent different aspects of worker cooperatives or Worker Self-Directed Enterprises (WSDEs). NMCA gets to the root of worker exploitation by focusing centrally on the surplus; who produces it, how it is distributed, and who controls its distribution. NMCA offers a corrective to standard Marxist analysis that focuses only on ownership and profit. Mulder’s case studies reveal in-depth knowledge on the intricacies of each cooperative. She adds fascinating anecdotes [...] Her writing is remarkably clear and she makes complex histories and theory accessible, without sacrificing the sophistication of her analysis [...] Mulder’s book offers us one of the few in-depth studies of worker cooperatives existing around the world. She does not just analyze the case studies, she offers a list of changes that would aid the creation of more cooperatives and help sustain the ones already in operation. Her book offers a new approach to analyzing worker exploitation and raises a number of fascinating questions. [...] this is a remarkable work that makes contributions to our understanding of Marxist theory, its application to capitalism, and alternatives to capitalism. This book would work wonderfully across many disciplines in undergraduate and graduate classes to teach students about the complexities of Marxist thought."
About Catherine P. Mulder
Catherine P. Mulder is Associate Professor of Economics at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, USA, and also teaches in the Masters of Labor Studies program at CUNY's Murphy Institute. A former cable splicer for the telephone company, Mulder has been a worker advocate and labor activist for over 30 years. Because of her roots, she now dedicates her research, teaching, and service to improving workers' rights and their conditions of employment.