What Is Venture Communism?

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Quirk
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Jun 27 2005 11:07
What Is Venture Communism?

WHAT IS VENTURE COMMUNISM?

DRAFT VII

By Dmytri Kleiner

Copyleft 2005, Idiosyntactix. All Rights Detourned

Venture Communism is an investment model designed to be a form of

revolutionary worker's struggle. The Venture Commune is a type of

voluntary worker's association, designed to enclose the productivity

of labour and enable the possibility of the collective accumulation of

Land and Capital, which, in the endgame, will eventually allow the

workers to buy the entire world from the Capitalists.

"The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human

beings, a mode of human behavior; we destroy it by contracting

other relationships, by behaving differently." -- Gustav Landauer

WHY DO WE NEED VENTURE COMMUNISM?

We need Venture Communism to win the age-old battle of Labour against

Property, to end the exploitation of the worker.

All wealth results from the productive process, and in this process

there are two kinds of Productive inputs; Labour, which is work done

by people, and Property, which is land, natural resources, Capital,

and other material inputs to production.

In any productive process you have a "mode of production." To figure

out which mode of production is taking place, we need to ask the

question: Who owns the Product? At at the end of the productive

process, whose Product is it? Who takes possession of the output?

In each mode of production, the Provider of the Dominant Input, the

one which in the end owns the product, retains as their own income

that which is left over after it has paid the price of the

Subordinate Inputs.

Competition among providers of the Subordinate Inputs drives the price

of these inputs towards its cost.

In the Capitalist mode of production, the provider of Property owns

the product, therefore the Dominant input is Property, and the price

of Labour is driven towards its cost, which is its subsistence, while

the provider of Property takes a share of the product that is greater

than its costs. As a result, owners of property are able to accumulate

wealth, while workers can only earn a subsistence income by continuing

to work, and are unable to accumulate wealth.

Control and influence of the institutions of power within a society,

those that create and enforce the rules, require the application of

wealth. Political power is an extension of economic power.

Therefore a mode of production where the worker earns only

subsistence, while property earns the remainder of the productive

output will be a society where the interests of the Property owner

will be reflected in the social institutions and the interests of the

worker subjugated.

How can workers change society to better suite the interests of

workers?

As long as they operate within the Capitalist mode of production, they

can not change society politically, because whatever wealth they can

apply to influencing social institutions must come from the share of

the product that they retain, and thus will always be smaller then the

share of the product that can be applied by Property to prevent this

change.

Any political change is dependent on a prior change in the mode of

production which increases the share of wealth retained by the worker.

The change in the mode of production must come first, this change can

not be achieved politically, not by vote, nor by lobby, nor by

advocacy, nor by revolutionary violence.

Not as long as the owners of property have more wealth to apply to

prevent any change, by funding their own candidates, their own

lobbyists, their own advocates, and building up a greater capacity

for counter-revolutionary violence.

Society can not be changed by a strike, not as long as owners of

Property have more accumulated wealth to sustain themselves during

production interruptions.

Not even collective bargaining can work, for so long as the owners of

Property own the product, they set the price of the product, thus any

gains in wages are lost to rising prices.

So how can workers change society to better suite the interests of

workers if neither political means, nor strike, nor collective

bargaining is possible?

By refusing to apply their labour to property that they do not own,

and instead, acquiring their own mutual property.

This means enclosing their labour in Venture Communes, taking control

of their own productive process, retaining the entire product of their

labour, forming their own Capital, and expanding until they have

collectively accumulated enough wealth to achieve a greater social

influence than the owners of property, making real social change

possible.

WHAT IS A VENTURE COMMUNE?

A Venture Commune is a joint stock corporation, much like the Venture

Capital Funds of the Capitalist class, however it has four distinct

properties which transform it into an effective vehicle for

revolutionary worker's struggle.

1- A Share In The Venture Commune Can Only Be Acquired By

Contributions Of Labour, And Not Property.

In other words only by working is ownership earned, not by

contributing Land, Capital or even Money. Only Labour.

It is this contributed labour which represents the initial Investment

capacity of the Commune.

The Commune Issues its own currency, based on the value of the labour

pledges it has.

It then invests this currency into the private enterprises which it

intends to purchase or fund, these Enterprises thus become owned by

the Commune, in the same way that Enterprises which receive Venture

Capital become owned by a Venture Capital Fund.

2- The Venture Commune's Return On Investment From Its Enterprises Is

Derived From Rent And Not Income.

As condition of investment, the Enterprise agrees to not own its own

property, neither Land nor Capital, but rather to rent Land and

Capital from the Commune.

The Commune, unlike a Venture Capital Fund, never takes a share of the

income of the Enterprise nor of any of its workers.

The Commune finances the acquisition of Land and Capital by issuing

Bonds, and then Rents the Land and Capital to its Enterprises, or an

Enterprise can sell whatever Land and Capital it acquires through

other means to the Commune, and in turn Rent it.

In this way Property is always owned Mutually by all the members of

the Commune, however all workers and the Enterprises that employ them

retain the entire product of their labour.

3- The Venture Commune Is Owned Equally By All Its Members.

Each member can have one share, and only one share. Thus although each

worker is able to earn different prices for their labour from the

Enterprises, based on the demand for their labour, each worker may

never earn any more than one share in the ownership of the Commune

itself, and therefore can never accumulate a disproportionate share of

the proceeds of Property.

Ownership of Property can therefore never be concentrated in fewer and

fewer hands and used to exploit the worker as in Capitalist

corporations.

4- All Those Who Apply Their Labour To The Property Of The Commune

Must Be Eligible For Membership In The Commune.

The Commune may not refuse membership to any Labour employed by any of

its enterprises that works with the Land and Capital controlled by the

commune. In this way commune members can not exploit outside wage

earners, and the labour needs of the Enterprises will ensure that each

Commune continues to grow and accept new members.

THE VENTURE COMMUNIST MODE OF PRODUCTION

These four properties combine to establish an alternative mode of

production, the Venture Communist Mode of Production. With Property

owned mutually by the workers who apply their Labour to it. Labour

becomes the Dominant Input to production. As a result the price of

Property is reduced to its costs and Labour retains the full value of

its contribution to production.

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oisleep
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Jun 27 2005 11:40

why do we have to buy all this stuff back from the capitalists? and doing so using the tools & structures that were set up by capitalists in the first place (joint stock companies, issuing bonds etc.)?

sounds barmy

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cantdocartwheels
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Jun 27 2005 11:47

sounds supiciously like the ''ethical banking'' touted by liberals or or worse tory delusions that we're living in a so called ''shareholder democracy'', well no thanks, i don't think me or my family or many other people i know fancy pitting our pensions and small life savings up against stock capitalists and billionaires.

I mean lets face it they key problem under capitalism is that our class don't own more than the shirts on our backs because our lives are lived on credit as we have to borrow £100k or something to even get a mortgage, and lets face it half the working class can't even do that.

The idea that we could buy back the means of production is quite frankly laughable, since it takes us our entire lifetime to buy a 10 metre by 10 metre space to live in.

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the button
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Jun 27 2005 11:52

Wow -- you get to work full-time AND be a lifestyler. It's got the lot. wink

kalabine
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Jun 27 2005 12:41
the button wrote:
Wow -- you get to work full-time AND be a lifestyler. It's got the lot. :wink:

grin

it will never work

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 27 2005 13:30
Quote:
This means enclosing their labour in Venture Communes, taking control

of their own productive process, retaining the entire product of their

labour, forming their own Capital, and expanding until they have

collectively accumulated enough wealth to achieve a greater social

influence than the owners of property, making real social change

possible.

ok so once we've worked for so many years in this company that we've somehow bought using our labour, once we've made this company one of the most profitable in the world (presumably by working our fingers to the bone in the service of some or other commodity) then we'll be able to influence the political elite with our hard earned capital confused

Quirk
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Jun 27 2005 15:52
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
ok so once we've worked for so many years in this company that we've somehow bought using our labour, once we've made this company one of the most profitable in the world (presumably by working our fingers to the bone in the service of some or other commodity) then we'll be able to influence the political elite with our hard earned capital confused

Yes, any political change must follow a change in the mode of production, this is not a feature of my proposal, this is a feature of economic and poltiical reality. Venture Communism is a proposed way to to acheive a change in the mode of production.

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the button
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Jun 27 2005 15:56
Quirk wrote:
Yes, any political change must follow a change in the mode of production, this is not a feature of my proposal, this is a feature of economic and poltiical reality. Venture Communism is a proposed way to to acheive a change in the mode of production.

Mmmm..... the base/superstructure model AND a rigid seperation of the economic & the political. You're really selling this to me.

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Lazy Riser
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Jun 27 2005 17:26

Hi All

Well, there goes my monopoly on nutzoid economics. Seriously Quirk, good effort, I really enjoyed reading your post.

Quirk, are you based in the States? Here, I think you need to issue share capital of at least £50K to list on the stock exchange, plus, and I might be wrong, you need a qualified accountant as company secretary. The process of listing is not cheap, because of lawyers’ fees and the like.

For a normal limited liability company it’s a different story and any Tom, Dick or Harry can set one up for about £35.00, plus about £15 a year to file your returns. You’ll need a director, a secretary and a registered office. You can call up share capital and pay yourselves dividends, but corporation and income tax will apply to any money you make. Plus as a director, I’ve heard a rumour, you won’t be eligible for unemployment benefits, job seekers allowance etc, can’t be sure until I see it for myself.

You’ll need security and a business plan if you want to borrow money from a bank, unless you’ve got a very special scheme. The government may give you a grant, but then only as much as you’re willing to put up yourself.

But eventually you’ll have to answer the question, just what is it you’ll do to make money? In order to profit from rent you’ll have to have very rich members who all bring income generating capital of their own into the business. If you’re going to profit from speculation then you are going to have to hire some extremely serious analysts who will want a lot more than a workers’-wage in exchange for failing to grow your business. Maybe we could sell branded bongs and t-shirts.

As the original Pro-Leisure Enterprise Communist, I have to admire your approach, but can’t for the life of me figure out how to make it work. Reminds me of one of Ian Bone’s old schemes, and that, my friend, is a kind of compliment.

I look forward to Draft VIII, but you’ll need a business plan. Hey, we could set up a kind of Anarcho-Dragons’ Den and run it at the next book fair. Oh, oh, music videos, I’ve always wanted to be casting director and audition people for music videos, why can’t we do that? Where do I sign up?

I’ve recently been wondering if we could form a firm of management consultants and research analysts and flog our top skills to the media, academia, think-tanks and NGOs. LibCom Ltd? Indymedia were floating the idea of forming a limited company to protect their equipment under law, did that work out?

AK Press comes to mind as a profit-making worker managed business; anyone got any thoughts on how they operate? So many questions, so little time.

How many members has the Tory party got? How much would it cost us to covertly enter it en masse, cease its assets, change it’s name and, um, take over the world?

Anyway, as usual, lots of love and happiness to everybody.

Chris

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cantdocartwheels
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Jun 28 2005 01:32

if you want to sell tstuff at the market or do other types of side earners then fair enough, a lot of us do it or have done it to get by, but don't dress that up as politics, you're not altering the mode of production in any way. If i want to flog stuff from catalogues as a side earner, theres no way i'd pretend that was some sort of ''alternative'' to capitalism, because when it comes down to it i'm still selling my labour to a larger company.

And seriously, this is an organising forum, and we're not bullshit like urban 75 or indymedia, so we don't enter into mindless pseudo debates about whether so called ''libertarian capitalism'' might be an ''interesting idea'', it isn't, its complete and utter shite.

As for the comment about the tory party, seriously are you joking or are you just crazy? They're the party that smashed the strongest unions in the country, why would you want anything to do with them?

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 08:02
Lazy Riser wrote:

As the original Pro-Leisure Enterprise Communist, I have to admire your approach, but can’t for the life of me figure out how to make it work.

[...]

I look forward to Draft VIII, but you’ll need a business plan.

[...]

Hey, we could set up a kind of Anarcho-Dragons’ Den and run it at the next book fair. Oh, oh, music videos, I’ve always wanted to be casting director and audition people for music videos, why can’t we do that? Where do I sign up?

Hey Chris, as far as "making it work" that would be different for different Communes, while each of us needs a Business plan, there is no one Venture Communism business plan.

A good inititial business plans would be one where the marginal productivity of labour is high, and Capital requirements are low.

We start by simply refusing to aply our labour to land and capital owned by private interests at soon as we are able to.

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 08:06
the button wrote:

Mmmm..... the base/superstructure model AND a rigid seperation of the economic & the political. You're really selling this to me.

I'm intersted in discussing, if you you want something sold to you, turn your attention back to your television set.

There is no seperation of the economic and political in my proposal.

Political power is an extension of economic power.

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 08:16
cantdocartwheels wrote:

but don't dress that up as politics

[...]

you're not altering the mode of production in any way.

[...]

And seriously, this is an organising forum, and we're not bullshit like urban 75 or indymedia, so we don't enter into mindless pseudo debates about whether so called ''libertarian capitalism'' might be an ''interesting idea'', it isn't, its complete and utter shite.

1- Workers organizing industrially to control mutually control their land and capital has long been a central theme among Anarchists, starting with Proudhon and his concept of a People's Bank.

2- When private owners of property do not retain the output of the productive process, this by definition, means that another mode of production is happening.

3- I doubt your accomplishments, or those of this forum, ar so substantial that they compare even slightly to what has been accomplished by international indymedia in turms of movement building, your mindless sectarianism strikes me as needlessly juvenile.

4- My proposal is exactly a contribution to methods of organizing.

5- I agree that "Libertarian Capitalism" is nonsense, I doubt, however, you could explain why, since you seem to only make catigorical statements and offer no reasoning in your contribution. I will give you a clue: The answer lies in the question "What Is Property?"

Regards.

redyred
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Jun 28 2005 10:43
Quirk wrote:

I doubt your accomplishments, or those of this forum, ar so substantial that they compare even slightly to what has been accomplished by international indymedia in turms of movement building, your mindless sectarianism strikes me as needlessly juvenile.

That is a good point cantdo - you know, maybe if you were accomodating to every dreadlocked wadical that came your way, spread a load of conspiracy theories and made some shit riot porn then you'd be worthy of this debate.

Quirk wrote:
4- My proposal is exactly a contribution to methods of organizing.

5- I agree that "Libertarian Capitalism" is nonsense, I doubt, however, you could explain why, since you seem to only make catigorical statements and offer no reasoning in your contribution. I will give you a clue: The answer lies in the question "What Is Property?"

The whole idea of Venture Communism is both impractical and undesirable - never mind our critiques of them, these ideas don't even belong on a libertarian communist forum.

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the button
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Jun 28 2005 10:49

On the one hand,

Quirk wrote:
any political change must follow a change in the mode of production

and on the other hand,

Quirk wrote:
There is no seperation of the economic and political in my proposal.

I think I'll take you up on your invitation to carry on watching TV, thanks.

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 12:52
redyred wrote:

That is a good point cantdo - you know, maybe if you were accomodating to every dreadlocked wadical that came your way, spread a load of conspiracy theories and made some shit riot porn then you'd be worthy of this debate.

[...]

The whole idea of Venture Communism is both impractical and undesirable - never mind our critiques of them, these ideas don't even belong on a libertarian communist forum.

Yet more baseless, unreasoned posturing.

You wont critique them because you are unable to, as you likely know little about libertarian communism and its theoretic basis.

You would likely say that Proudhon's proposal for a People's Bank did not belong either.

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 12:55
the button wrote:
On the one hand,
Quirk wrote:
any political change must follow a change in the mode of production

and on the other hand,

Quirk wrote:
There is no seperation of the economic and political in my proposal.

I think I'll take you up on your invitation to carry on watching TV, thanks.

Describing a relationship is not sepearting it.

It's unfortunate you can not grasp the relationship between wealth and power, as a result you will be unable to grasp any Anarchist critique.

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the button
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Jun 28 2005 13:23
Quirk wrote:

It's unfortunate you can not grasp the relationship between wealth and power, as a result you will be unable to grasp any Anarchist critique.

True, but I think I'll live. grin

the button -- thick as fuck & proud of it 8)

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 28 2005 13:56

Quirk-your ideas regarding the creation of wealth by some sort of workers co-op in order to spill capital into the political arena and in turn gain some sort of political influence in order to make the politicians sympathetic to the idea that we could all run co-ops and is a)impractical-there is no way that workers can afford to simply buy huge businesses, people would have to work their balls off in order to produce substantial capital in order to bribe the politicians, meaning they work for years before they can even begin to think about influencing politics through their accumulated wealth b) Unrealistic-what is there to say that politicains would suddenly accept that because a workers co-op has given them a bit of cash that all policy should be modelled with that co-op in mind? c)utterly stupid-why the fuck, as anarchists would we want to pander to the government or adhere to the laws of capital accumulation in order to get our foot inside the door of a particularly unpalatable and fetid brothel?!

Quote:
It's unfortunate you can not grasp the relationship between wealth and power, as a result you will be unable to grasp any Anarchist critique.

come on dude confused what are you trying to say here, we need to accumulate wealth in order to gain power?! Yeah we'll also need to employ a workforce, a constabulary, an army and promulgate all sorts of reactionary legislation

confused confused confused

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 14:47
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
Quirk-your ideas regarding the creation of wealth by some sort of workers co-op in order to spill capital into the political arena and in turn gain some sort of political influence in order to make the politicians sympathetic to the idea that we could all run co-ops and is a)impractical-there is no way that workers can afford to simply buy huge businesses, people would have to work their balls off in order to produce substantial capital in order to bribe the politicians, meaning they work for years before they can even begin to think about influencing politics through their accumulated wealth b) Unrealistic-what is there to say that politicains would suddenly accept that because a workers co-op has given them a bit of cash that all policy should be modelled with that co-op in mind? c)utterly stupid-why the fuck, as anarchists would we want to pander to the government or adhere to the laws of capital accumulation in order to get our foot inside the door of a particularly unpalatable and fetid brothel?!

[/qoute]

A- There is no nead for workers to buy huge business at the onset, they only need to divert their own labour to mutual rather than private property and the accumulation will take care of itself, until they can indeed buy or raplace huge companies. There are even some examples such as the Mondragon Co-operatives in Spain, the large network of Isreali Kibutzim, ot even religous communities such as the Menonites.

B- Social institutions reflect the interests of the dominant class, when this class is workers then the workers interest will be dominant, the political model is irrelevant to this. Neither politicians nor the State need to exist for this to be true. Political power is an extension of economic power in every political system.

C- There is nothing about pandering to Government to government nor adhering to laws in the proposal. Organizing Industrialy has alwas been the central revolutionary principal of Anarchism. I'm endlessly surprised how many so-called Anarchist do not seem to know this.

Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:
Quirk wrote:
It's unfortunate you can not grasp the relationship between wealth and power, as a result you will be unable to grasp any Anarchist critique.

come on dude confused what are you trying to say here, we need to accumulate wealth in order to gain power?! Yeah we'll also need to employ a workforce, a constabulary, an army and promulgate all sorts of reactionary legislation

confused confused confused

Power is an extension of wealth, power is achieved by the application of wealth.

The basis of the accumulation of wealth is Property, ownership of the material inputs to production that allow non-producers to appropriate wealth from producers by way of Interest (Captial Yield) and Rent.

It is this transfer of wealth from the productive to the non-productive that Anarchists believe is Theft, as in Proudhon's often quoted "Property is Robbery."

The solution is for workers to mutually own land and capital and thus not depend on Property, this is the intent of almost all proposed Anarchist forms of industrial organization, including Anarcho-syndicalism, including ParEcon, including Anarchist Communism, and including Venture Communism.

"It is the historic mission of the working class to do away with capitalism.

The army of production must be organized, not only for the every-day

struggle with capitalists, but also to carry on production when capitalism

shall have been overthrown. By organizing industrially we are forming

the structure of the new society within the shell of the old."

-- The International Workers of the World

[/i]

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 28 2005 15:14
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B- Social institutions reflect the interests of the dominant class, when this class is workers then the workers interest will be dominant, the political model is irrelevant to this. Neither politicians nor the State need to exist for this to be true. Political power is an extension of economic power in every political system.

so once weve amassed about 51% of all capital then the social institutions of the state will simply melt and we can build our own? Is there not going to be some sort of conflict between the mutualy owned and privately owned industries, how would a mutually owned industry survive in the cut throat world of capitalism without exploiting its members? Ive seen some docu's on some workers co-ops in peru mining some valuable mineral-the workers at this co-op were as fucked over as any other miner, they all had respiratory diseases, worked horrific hours and got paid shit.

so the jist of things is that instead of taking back what we have produced using our initiative we instead buy it all back from under the noses of the private companies? Wouldnt these companies simply use the funds gathered from the sell off to start new businesses?

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 15:49
Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:

so once weve amassed about 51% of all capital then the social institutions of the state will simply melt and we can build our own?

Each commune need not worry about 51%, just the Land and Capital it uses. we need to stop applying our labour to private Property, and instead apply it our mutual Property.

As more wealth is accumulated by the Venture Communes, as a result the social insitutions will start to reflect the interests of the Venture Communes. This will be a gradual process, not a climactic sudden change that happens at 51%, but a process of workers gaining more and more political influence as they accumulate more and more wealth.

By the time the wokers have gained enough economic power to "take over" the State, it will already be gone. Having lost its basis of power and been replaced by the decentralized, voluntary institutions created by the Venture Communes.

Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:

Is there not going to be some sort of conflict between the mutualy owned and privately owned industries, how would a mutually owned industry survive in the cut throat world of capitalism without exploiting its members?

A mutually owned company does not have private Property owners to share its product with, thus there is more product for the workers to keep. The value of this product is neither reduced nor increased by the change in the mode of production.

Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:

Ive seen some docu's on some workers co-ops in peru mining some valuable mineral-the workers at this co-op were as fucked over as any other miner, they all had respiratory diseases, worked horrific hours and got paid shit.

If they trully own the entirety of their product, meaning they pay neither rent for the land nor interest for the capital, and they still are unable to earn enough to maintain decent working conditions and earnings, they should stop doing this work, and apply their labour differently.

Vaneigemappreciationclub wrote:

so the jist of things is that instead of taking back what we have produced using our initiative we instead buy it all back from under the noses of the private companies? Wouldnt these companies simply use the funds gathered from the sell off to start new businesses?

No the jist is retaining what we have produced by refusing to apply our labour to the land and capital of others. The Venture Communist mode of production makes Property a subordinate input to production, and as such it has no means of accumulating, its price being reduced to its cost.

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Jun 28 2005 16:00

Hi Quirk

You need to chill out, go and grab a handful of love...

http://libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=59303#59303

Big globs of compassion, hope and euphoric joy to you all.

Chris

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oisleep
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Jun 28 2005 16:07

i'm a simple man so please bear with me

these communes, you say they'll issue bonds to buy back the fruits of our and previous generations labour......

....how many hundreds of billions would be required to buy this all back and more importanly i can only think of one set of people with those kinda resources, the people who currently own the things in the first place......

....so assuming for some bizare reason they lend you the money, you buy stuff from them, so your commune finds itself being the owner of land & property with a massive big fuck off debt to the people who you just bought the stuff from........

....that debt itself would be full of covenants regarding the use of the assets purchased in order to ensure interest & principle on the borrowing (bonds) are protected.......

....so from that point of view the capitalists would still control what is done with the land & property, except now indirectly through their ownership of the debt issued.......

....they would continue to look after their interests by that control......

or have i misunderstood your plan

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 16:09
Lazy Riser wrote:
Hi Quirk

You need to chill out, go and grab a handful of love...

http://libcom.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=59303#59303

Big globs of compassion, hope and euphoric joy to you all.

Chris

I'm quite chilled, I very much enjoy discussing Anarchist theory and Practice, the court is still out on wether there is anyone here that either knowd anything about Anarchist theory and Practice or is intrested in learning.

We shall see though, hope springs eternal.

Regards.

Quirk
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Jun 28 2005 16:37
Quote:
i'm a simple man so please bear with me

With pleasure.

Quote:
these communes, you say they'll issue bonds to buy back the fruits of our and previous generations labour......

To buy Land and Capital specifically.

Quote:
....how many hundreds of billions would be required to buy this all back and more importanly i can only think of one set of people with those kinda resources, the people who currently own the things in the first place......

Whatever the value, far less then the share of our wealth we allow them to appropriate when we allow them to take possession of the property of our labour.

And we need not buy it all at once, but only as much as we need to use at any given time.

This means that early Venture Communes should focus on Enterprises where the productivity of labour is high, and Capital requirements are low.

Examples of such are promotion of art and community events, online and IT projects, catering, small press publishing and distribution, etc.

However, as Venture Communes grow, they will have enough accumulated wealth to form sufficient capital for any Industry, including heavy manufacturing, as examples such as Mondragon and some of the more Industrial Kibutzim show.

Quote:
....so assuming for some bizare reason they lend you the money, you buy stuff from them, so your commune finds itself being the owner of land & property with a massive big fuck off debt to the people who you just bought the stuff from........

There is no "they," Bonds can be issued with denominations low enough for average consumers.

In my oppinion the majority f Bond purchacers will be members of the Commune.

I would not encourage any commune to borrow more than the value of their actual productive output.

The Bonds merely represent a mechanisim by wich a portion of their output is being reserved for Capital formation instead of consumption.

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....that debt itself would be full of covenants regarding the use of the assets purchased in order to ensure interest & principle on the borrowing (bonds) are protected.......

The terms of the Bond are decided by the venture commune and I would suggest setting the interest rate by dutch auction with the Land or Capital being purchased as the security on the bond.

With Labour being the dominent input to production (retianing the Product), return to Capital (Interest) would be driven towards its cost by competion and may even become negative, depending on how the currency system was modelled.

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....so from that point of view the capitalists would still control what is done with the land & property, except now indirectly through their ownership of the debt issued.......

No, as I mentioned the bond owners would mostly be commune members, and in any case, as the Capitalist do not own the product, capital is a subordinate input and thus reduced to its cost, with labour retaining the product, they also retain the wealth created beyond the costs of the inputs.

Your concern is a valid one though, perhaps I should mention in the proposal that the value of Bonds should never exceed the actual value of the products of the Commune. That the Bonds represent a share of the product reseved for Capital formation, not external debt.

You are certainly correct that a Commune could over extend itself and trap itself in dept, thus loosing the land and capital is has worked to win, however no mode of production protects against idiocy.

Thanks very much for your comments.

Regards.

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oisleep
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Jun 28 2005 16:46

thanks for the detailed response, i don't have much time to engage at the moment, but if these bonds are only going to be issued to effectively the working class......

....that assumes at the moment that the sum total of the available wealth of the working class is enough to buy the whole productive land & property assets that currently exist (ok this assumes everything is bought from day one, which you state is not the case, but it would have to get to that stage at some point)..........

......even if that was true, it assumes everybody would be willing to contribute and trust the administrators of the scheme, that's a huge ask.....

i really can't see enough money being raised from the workers in the first place to enable these communes to purchase anything worthwhile, once you go outside of those workers for finance, you would lose the ability to set the terms of the debt and therefore be back in control of the capitalists

Quirk
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Jun 29 2005 10:03
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....that assumes at the moment that the sum total of the available wealth of the working class is enough to buy the whole productive land & property assets that currently exist

No, it assumes that the value of the future is greater that the value of the past, which is true.

All wealth originates from the labour of the working class, it is lost to owners of property in the Capitalist mode of production, because the output of the productive cycle is appropriated by the owners of Capital.

When we take Possession of our own product, we enclose our labour and do not allow the wealth to flow to Property.

We damn up the river, so to speak, and redirect it to our own reservouirs, instead of theirs, leaving theirs to simply dry up.

We do not need to take any wealth away from the Propertied class, we need to simply stop allowing them to take posesion of our product, and their wealth will become a subordinate input like our labour is now, and therefore will be driven to its cost.

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......even if that was true, it assumes everybody would be willing to contribute and trust the administrators of the scheme, that's a huge ask.....

No, anybody and everyone could start their own Communes, and their own Enterprises. This is not some monolithic scheme with one central administration, this is an alternative mode of production. All that is required is that workers understand that they should refuse to apply their labour to land and capital they are not owners of.

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i really can't see enough money being raised from the workers in the first place to enable these communes to purchase anything worthwhile,

Then you deny the existance of the entire co-operative movement, credit union movement, worker-owned companies, building societies and even labour unions, which is silly. There are plenty of examples of worker-owned and co-operative organzations.

The trouble with these organizations is that they are not rooted in Anarchist philosophy, and thus to not have the four properties of a Venture Commune, which leads to there degrading into Capitalist companies when they become successfull, which they do.

The problem is actually not so much how to start a worker-owned and co-operative organzations, though starting any business is of course not trivial, the real trouble is how to keep them such once property is acquired and prevent it from either demutualizing (like many building societies), hiring wage workers to exploit (like many cooperatives and even kibutzim), or becoming authoritarian extensions of the Capitalist system, like Labour unions.

The four properties of a Venture Commune are specifically designed to prevent this sort of degradation, but ultimately instilling the conviction that no worker should apply their labour to land and capital they do not own is the basis of the vigilence required to make the strategy work.

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once you go outside of those workers for finance, you would lose the ability to set the terms of the debt and therefore be back in control of the capitalists

This is only true in the case that the Capitalist takes possession of the product, where Capital is the dominent input. When the product is owned by the workers, Capital is merely a subordinate input, and thus reduced to its cost.

In anycase, there should be little reason for the commune to go outside the workers for financing, as the Bonds should only represent the fact that inorder to finance capital formation, some of the earnings of the workers needs to be directed towards capital formation, selling them Bonds thus redirects a portion of income (their share of the product) from consumption to investment.

As I mentioned, of course it is possible for a Commune to destroy itself with debt, but as I said, stupid decisions are possibe in any mode of production, this is certainly no reason to chose to be slaves of Property owners instead, as they too are far from infallible, its not like Capitalist Enterprises never fail.

Regards.

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oisleep
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Jun 29 2005 10:19
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and their wealth will become a subordinate input like our labour is now, and therefore will be driven to its cost

you mentioned this quite a few times, but i can't really get my head around what you mean by it.

If on the assumption that the commune gets enough cash to buy productive land & property (without recourse to outside borrowing) what does "their" wealth have to do with the situation anymore, why would it still be an input at all, subordinate or otherwise, surely their wealth (which would now be sitting as cash representing the crystalisation of previously owned assets) would be outside the system

And leading on from that, would not their cash then become worthless as there would be nowhere they could invest in now (remember, your communes would own eventually all productive land & property and they coudn't invest in that), so on that basis if aware of the long term aim why would capital voluntarily allow "their" currently owned productive assets to be exchanged for cash that would soon become worthless?

Vaneigemappreci...
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Jun 29 2005 10:48
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And leading on from that, would not their cash then become worthless as there would be nowhere they could invest in now (remember, your communes would own eventually all productive land & property and they coudn't invest in that), so on that basis if aware of the long term aim why would capital voluntarily allow "their" currently owned productive assets to be exchanged for cash that would soon become worthless?

well put mate

this is what i was getting at earlier, if there was any revlutionary potential in this process the capitalist class wouldnt go near it, there would be wide scale fighting between the industries at best and you'd be in a situation where you would have probably been better off just occupying the means of production through strikes and occupations in the first place instead of going through this long, drawn out rigmarole.

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oisleep
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Jun 29 2005 10:54

exactly and another thing where's the fun in filling out a bank transfer form to gain control of productive assets!