"Labor Republicanism and the Transformation of Work"
by Gourevitch, Alex (2013)
In the nineteenth century a group of ?labor republicans? argued that the system of wage-labor should be replaced by a system of cooperative production. This system of cooperative production would realize republican liberty in economic, not just political, life. Today, neo-republicans argue that the republican theory of liberty only requires a universal basic income. A non-dominated ability to exit is sufficient to guarantee free labor. This essay reconstructs the more radical, labor republican view and defends it against the prevailing the neo-republican one. It argues that neorepublicanism lacks an adequate conception of structural domination, which leaves it without theoretical resources to address certain forms of economic domination. The concept of structural domination allows us to comprehend the coherence of the nineteenth century, labor republican view and identify its relevance to modern labor markets. Labor republicanism takes us beyond a universal basic income to a concern with control over productive assets and workplace organization. As such, it shows us how the republican theory of liberty can support an argument for the transformation of work, not just the escape from it.
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