Saturday, March 20, 2010


Self management refers to the libertarian socialist and anarchist idea that workplaces can and should be run democratically by the people working in them without managers of any other bosses. There have been numerous historical experiments using this idea. This coming April the Spanish CNT, along with others will be holding a conference on the history and principles of this idea. The details from the Anarchist Black Cat discussion board follow below.


Within the framework of the CNT-AIT centenary (1910-2010), a series of conferences brought together under the name of “Alternatives to Capitalism: Self-management in the spotlight” will take place in Barcelona (Spain). These conferences will be held throughout April 2010. The contents will be organized in three blocks of lectures: theoretical, historical and a broader one, based in more current experiences.
The theoretical block draws up a program of lectures on how the capitalist system works, focusing on the present moment of economic and social crisis. Anarcho-syndicalist proposals facing the crisis will also be debated. This theoretical perspective is completed with several papers which shall offer a wide vision of economic and social literature on the subject of socialism and libertarian-communism models.
The historical block tries to put forward two strong models that may serve as an alternative to the capitalist system. On the one hand, that of the anarchist collectivization during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), for which lectures will be included to explain how it worked in the different regions where it was implemented (Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Aragon, Castile, Andalusia). On the other hand, explanations will be offered on the Yugoslav co-management model (1950-1990) with the purpose of assessing this experience both in the light of a possible model for the development of impoverished countries and from the limits imposed on socialism by the five-year plan, the market and the One Party State, along with a strictly libertarian vision of the whole process.
With the present block we intend to gain an insight on different organizational experiences that fight against capitalism nowadays from a self management point of view. In this sense, the contribution of the CNT-AIT (labour and socioeconomic aspects) is included, as well as those of other specific anarchist organizations (socio-political aspect), of some models of cooperatives with a radical perspective (labour and socioeconomic management aspect) or of cultural and study centres (cultural aspect). Finally there’s place for initiatives linked to local and municipal fields, such as those of squat social centres and apartments, municipalism or local assemblies (local-political aspect). Finally, from a wider geographical, and in some cases, thematic point of view, live experiences from other places in the world will be debated, such as social movements in Latin America, Chiapas, Brazil (Landless Workers Movement, MST), Argentina (enterprises recovered by their workers), Venezuela and Greece.
More info:
CeNTenary (Barcelone) Comission
Fundación Anselmo Lorenzo – FAL (
Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences – ICEA (ó d'Estudis Llibertaris i Anarcosindicalistes – FELLA ( PROGRAM
Friday 9th April. Capitalist system: exploitation, conflict and destruction
-4 p.m. Introduction to the conferences. CNT Barcelona
-4.15 p.m. Where do we stand in the crisis? Miren Etxezarreta. Economist, lecturer at Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) for 35 years and member of the critic economic seminar TAIFA
-5.30 p.m. Capitalism today: crisis or downfall? Some thoughts. Toni Castells. Economist.
-6.45 p.m. Anarcho-syndicalist proposals in the face of the economic crisis. Gaspar Fuster. Economics teacher in Secondary Education and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).
-8 p.m General debate and conclusions
Saturday 10th April – Morning. Studies on self-management and models on socialism and libertarian communism (I).
-10 a.m. Socialism and libertarian communism in economic thought until 1939. Lluís Rodríguez Algans. Economist and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).
-11.15 a.m. Self-management, an up-to date debate: participative planning or re-conceptualization of the market. Endika Alabort Amundarain. Economics lecturer at Basque Country University (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea) and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).
-12.30 p.m. Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences: study and technical support for widespread self-management. Members of the ICEA.
-1.45 p.m. General debate and conclusions
Saturday 10th April – Evening. Studies on self-management and models on socialism and libertarian communism (II).
-4 p.m.The economics of freedom: creating abundant lives for all (in English). Jon Bekken. Member of the editorial collective of Anarcho-syndicalist Review, former general secretary and treasurer of Industrial Workers of the World.
-5.15 p.m. Inclusive Democracy as a political project for a new libertarian synthesis: rationale, proposed social structure and transition (in English). Takis Fotopoulos. Political philosopher and ex-senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of North London (UK) where he taught Political Economy for over twenty years. He has been the editor of the theoretical journal Democracy & Nature, The International Journal of Inclusive Democracy since 1992 and founder of the Inclusive Democracy movement.
-6.30 p.m. Anarchist Planning for Twenty-first Century Economies: A Proposal (in English). Robin Hahnel. Professor Emeritus at American University where he taught Political Economy for thirty-three years, and is currently Visiting Professor of Economics at Portland State University. He is best known as co-creator along with Michael Albert of an economic model known as “participatory economics” which is widely discussed as an alternative to capitalism (PARECON).
-7.45 p.m. General debate and conclusions
Friday 16th April. Anarchist collectivization during the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (I)
-4p.m. Historical background and social aspects of the Civil War. Paco Madrid. Historian.
-5.15p.m. Face to face against the state: the 1936 revolution and agrarian collectivism in Catalonia. Marciano Cárdaba. Historian. Researcher in the social, economic and political factors of agrarian collectivization in Catalonia (1936-1939).
-6.30p.m. Collectivist transformations in the industry and services in Catalonia (1936-1939). Toni Castells. Historian.
-7.45p.m. General debate and conclusions
Saturday 17th April – Morning. Anarchist collectivization during the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (II)
-10a.m. "Agrarian collectivities in Aragon (1936-1939). Between revolution and reaction." Walther L. Bernecker. Professor of the History of Spain, Portugal, and Latin-America at Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany).
-11.15a.m. Coup-d’etat, war and social transformation in Andalusia and Castile (1936-1939). José Luis Gutiérrez Molina. Historian. Researcher in contemporary social history, particularly in Andalusia.
-12.30p.m. Collectivities in the Valencian Community. Ending with the typical topics. Manuel Vicent. Historian and archivist.
-1.45 p.m. General debate and conclusions
Saturday 17th April – Evening. Yugoslavia 1950-1990
-4 p.m. Unequal development as a limit to the self-management process. The Yugoslav case. Ramón Franquesa. Lecturer of World Economy at University of Barcelona (UB). Researcher in management of natural, renewable resources and on Social Economy and non-capitalist economic organization processes
-5.15p.m. The Yugoslav selfmanagement squeezed by the plan, the market and the single party : is the suppression of institutions the solution? (in English). Catherine Samary. Professor and Researcher specialist of the Yugoslav and East European transformations; activist in internationalist networks.
-6.30p.m. Yugoslav Self-Management: An Anarchist perspective (in English). Andrej Grubačić. Historian and anarchist sociologist. Researcher in the subject of anarchism and the history of the Balkans. Member of Industrial Workers of the World.
-7.45p.m. General debate and conclusions
Tuesday 20th April. Organizational models as an alternative to capitalism: anarchism and anarcho-syndicalism.
-4p.m. CNT: syndicalism for social change. Genís Ferrero. Member of the CNT Barcelona.
-5.15p.m. Libertarian organizations: Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI), Iberian Federation of Anarchist Youth (FIJA), Federation of Libertarian Students (FEL).
-6.45p.m. Uruguayan Anarchist Federation. Specific anarchism, anarchist direct action: towards the construction of the Popular Power. Mario Remedios. Secretary of Affairs of FAU. Militant of the Germinal Ateneo in the Villa Colón neighbourhood (Montevideo).
-8p.m. General debate and conclusions
Wednesday 21st April. Organizational models as an alternative to capitalism: cooperativism and municipalism.
-4p.m. Solidarity economy: the embryo of a new economy? Jordi García Jané. Cooperativist, professor and writer on subjects related to solidarity economy and social alternatives in general. -5.15p.m. Cooperatives: production, finances and consumption. Mol-Matric, Coop57, and Germinal.
-6.45p.m. Libertarian municipality on the way to self-management. Manel Aisa. Historian.Assembly of the neighbourhood of Sants. Mireia Rosselló.
-8p.m. General debate and conclusions
Thursday 22nd April. Organizational models as an alternative to capitalism: anarchism, culture and social movements.
-4p.m. House squatting and social centres. Jesús Rodríguez. Activist of the squat movement.
-5.15p.m. Libertarian Ateneo. Popular Encyclopaedic Ateneo and Libertarian Ateneo of Sants. Xavier Oller, historian and members.
-6.45p.m. Libertarian Centre of Studies: Foundation for Libertarian and Anarcho-syndicalist Studies (Barcelona), Libertarian Centre of Studies, Federica Montseny (Badalona), Libertarian Centre of Studies, Francesc Sàbat (Terrassa), Foundation Anselmo Lorenzo (Madrid). Members.
-8p.m. General debate and conclusions
Saturday 24th April – Morning. Nowadays experiences (I): Social Movements in Latin America, Chiapas y Brazil.
-10 a.m. Social movements in Latin America: you can’t fight progressivism. Raúl Zibechi. Thinker and activist, professor and researcher in social movements, journalist and international analyst for La Jornada (Mexico) and Brecha (Uruguay).
-11.15 a.m. Indigenous rebellion in Chiapas. Committee of Solidarity with the Zapatist rebellion.
-12.30p.m. Landless Workers Movement from Brazil, the struggle for land, Agrarian Reform, and a fairer society. María Carballo. Anthropologist and member of the MST Support Committee of Barcelona since 1996.
-13.45. General debate and conclusions
Saturday 24th April – Evening. Nowadays experiences (II): Argentina, Venezuela and Greece
-4p.m. From crisis to self-management: origins and perspectives of the recovery of firms in Argentina. Luis Buendía. Economist and pre-doctoral researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).
-5.15p.m. Imperialism, social reform and popular power in Venezuela. Luis Baños. Libertarian militant active in organizational, education and popular struggle processes in the rural environment and the city. Historian and member of the Institute of Economic and Self-management Sciences (ICEA).
-6.30p.m. Tracking down social antagonism and anarchist-antiauthoritarian movement in Greece. Anarchist companions from Greece.
-7.45p.m. General debate and conclusions
-8.15p.m. End of the program. CNT Barcelona


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