Friday, November 13, 2009


Just a thought. In Zombie Capitalism, Chris Harman points out that the 2,000 largest companies control half of the world's wealth. Harman figures that if a board of directors has about ten people on it, that's 20,000 people (or, by my calculation, 0.0003% of the world's population) who have decisive control over the world's production, output and surplus. There's another way to look at it, of course. The workers of those companies exert decisive leverage over the future of production. They don't constitute a multitude, admittedly, but if they formed communist associations - workers' councils, soviets, whatever - that would surely establish a new hegemonic paradigm of work that could increasingly become the norm. Admittedly, they would then have to wrest control of the means of production from the employers and then eventually take on the state (who seem to get uppity when workers decide to take control of the means of production). But such a process seems altogether more probable than, say, a sphere of cooperative value production gradually eroding the boundaries of capitalist production until the latter withers away. Doesn't it?