• Marcelo Vieta

Writing: The language of autogestión in Argentina's empresas recuperadas

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Journal of Cultural Economy, https://doi.org/10.1080/17530350.2018.1544164


RECUPERATING AND (RE)LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF AUTOGESTION IN

ARGENTINA'S EMPRESAS RECUPERADAS WORKER COOPERATIVES


This article homes in on the recuperative and learning dimensions of

Argentina’s empresas recuperadas por sus trabajadores worker

cooperatives (ERTs, worker-recuperated enterprises). Drawing on the

author’s sociological, ethnographic, and political economic work with

Argentina’s ERTs since 2005, the article theorizes autogestión – the

collective self-management of associated labour – from its take up by

ERT movement protagonists. The article explores and theorizes how ERT

workers come to practice autogestión, what they actually take back in the

process of occupying and controlling the formerly capitalist workplaces

that had employed them, and how their projects of cooperative

production are ensconced in a ‘language of autogestión’ – recuperating

and (re)learning other economic notions and practices against and

beyond capitalocentric discourses. Grounded in a class-struggle Marxist

perspective, the paper ultimately proposes that ERT workers collectively

recuperate three overarching dimensions of productive life from capital:

(1) the self-valorization of living labour, (2) cooperation in the labour

process, and (3) the socialization of surpluses and wealth. These

recuperations of autogestión, the article concludes, (their ‘language of

autogestión’) offer evocative suggestions for envisioning less-exploitive

forms of work, more socially just and democratic workplaces, and for

challenging and beginning to move beyond neoliberal logics.