Workers' Control and Nationalization
What would workers' control of industry look like and why is nationalization and democratic central planning of the key levers of the economy so important? This booklet draws on the experience of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and the Bolivarian Revolution, as well as including an article by Trotsky, written in 1931, dealing with the question of workers' control.
Workers' control means exactly what it sounds like: the working class and its representatives in the workplace should have the right to inspect the books of a company or industry, and to check and control everything that happens in the workplace, including the actions of management. The immediate tasks of workers' control would be to explain the debits and credits of society: looking first at individual enterprises to determine the share of the national income of individual capitalists and of course the ruling class as a whole. Another task of workers' control would be to reveal to society the squandering of human labor and the naked pursuit of profits, as well as to expose secret deals, swindles, and corruption inherent in the system.
Workers' control of industry is a "school for planned economy," allowing the workers to gain a scientific understanding of how the economy functions so that humanity can consciously and democratically plan production and the economy as a whole. Through the experience of workers' control, the working class prepares itself for the direct management of nationalized industries in a socialist economy.
By Rob Lyon and Leon Trotsky
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