“Listen, Marxist!”: On the Forgotten Past of Self-Management and the Contemporary Orgasms of History – World Political Science – article

“Listen, Marxist!”: On the Forgotten Past of Self-Management and the Contemporary Orgasms of History

Žiga Vodovnik | World Political Science

2019-11-19

In this article, we argue that self-management should not be understood only as an economic project, but rather as a political form based on the transformation of the core principles of modern capitalist societies. We start from the supposition that self-management does not imply an economic, but primarily a political recomposition of society, which is why it is necessary to draw attention to the economic reductionism in the discussions on self-management. The purpose of this article is three-fold: first, we recover the original meaning of self-management, its forgotten, anarchist (pre)history, and elaborate on the anarchist theory of organisation that has dynamised the idea/practice of self-management throughout history. Second, we analyse Yugoslav self-management through the categories and concepts of Praxis philosophy, which leads us to the conclusion that the Yugoslav model of self-management was above all a non-political form that remained in the framework of liberal democratic theory. Finally, we explore the global mass assembly movement Occupy, building on the recent academic attention devoted to the notion of non-state spaces. We analyse the encampments and occupied squares as self-managed exilic spaces in which protesters (in)voluntarily escaped from both state regulation and capitalist accumulation.

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