Guild Socialism

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“The reward for labour is life. Is that not enough?”

Guild Socialism (GuildSoc) is a left unity to libertarian left ideology that advocates for worker ownership of the Means of Production through trade guilds, and that such guilds have "an implied contractual relationship with the public". It originated in the United Kingdom in 1914 with the book "National Guilds: An Inquiry into the Wage System and the Way Out" in wich S. G. Hobson (the author) presents guilds as an alternative to state socialism. Guild socialism believes in democratic workplaces and varies on government types.

History

Guild Socialism took inspiration from the Guild system of the Middle Ages, in which worker-owned guilds played a big role in the economy. Likewise, it criticized the capitalist hierarchy and the wage system, believing that the laborer has no rights under the system, thus calling for a decentralized economy consisting of worker guilds. Likewise it acknowledges the differences of conditions back then and in the present day, mainly in how said industry functions and how town-economies have become all but impossible in the modern day.

What sets Guild Socialism apart from other forms of socialism is how the guildsmen is to maintain the apprehension in the framing of social arrangements, and how the economy would consist of guilds, mainly on the local level but also some on the national level, which would serve to include workers of all areas of whichever sector said guild represents.

Likewise, it criticizes both State Socialism and Syndicalism as leaving open the possibility of tyranny, and likewise G.D.H. Cole believed that the Bolshevik Revolution and Lenin himself “replaced the capitalist state with an equally as coercive state”, as said in his book “Guild Socialism: A Plan For Economic Democracy”.

While it sees Trade Unionism as what is supposed to become the upcoming guilds, it has also criticized trade unions for being too moderate and compromising, in addition to how many only focus on one workplace rather than the common industry, arguing that even if that specific workplace is freed, many in the same industry are still exploited, in addition to believing that there can’t be worker’s justice under the hierarchy of capitalism.

It also takes elements from both a socialistic market economy and decentral planning, acknowledging markets in the regards to consumer goods, but opposes markets when in regards to civic and essential services, utilizing a communal structure under which guilds serve as a basis for hiring and firing as well as operating under a mostly direct democratic system, though on occasions, a meritocratic and expertise vote would be utilized as well, likewise the workers can make suggestions to the guilds as a form of suggesting improvement of the workplace and industry.

The guilds also have a relation to the public, via councils making up of those using said service(s), who can submit suggestions to the guilds, as a form of improvement of relations to the public and direct democracy.

Variants

Blue Labour

Blue Labour was started in 2008 by Maurice Glasman after his mother's death restored his vigour to make a difference in the world. It believes that Old Labour was too statist, losing the point of socialism, while New Labour was equally bad as it placed to much emphasis on the market. It believes in reversing the trend of globalisation so that local people can control their own economy through fiscal localism and democratising the economy. They planned to achieve this by nationalising public services allowing them to be controlled by working people, not the state, while also leaving the European Union and putting tariffs up against the rest of the world too with the government funding British industries to redevelop the national economy. Blue Labour opposes economic migrants too as they believe that migrants lower wages and undermine union power. They are rarely featured at the highest level of Labour politics however it is generally associated with the soft left in Ed Miliband and Keir Starmer opposing both the radicalism of Corbyn and Blair.

How to Draw

Flag of Guild Socialism
  1. Draw a ball
  2. Fill it with burgundy
  3. Draw a red horseshoe with a gold border tilted 45 degrees
  4. Draw a white arrow coming out of the horseshoe also with a gold outline
  5. Draw a tic-tac-toe game in gold with a golden star in the top right corner
Color Name HEX RGB
Burgundy #680F0B 104, 15, 11
Red #FF0000 255, 0, 0
Gold #FFCB00 255, 203, 0
White #FFFFFF 255, 255, 255

Relationships

Friends

Frenemies

  • Council Communism - Alright. But workers' councils are also lame.
  • Democratic Socialism - Fellow enjoyer of economic democracy, but he is too statist.
  • Corporatism - Also has similar ideas, but still way to centralized. Also too hierarchical, I support having some higher ups in the guilds for more expert issues, but the majority of the power should be in the hands of the workers.
  • State Socialism - Fake socialism.
  • Third Way - Many of you call yourselves socialists but are way too pro market
  • Market Socialism - Literally just the guy above.
  • Fabian Socialism - Cole was a Fabian, but why Eugenics?
  • Mercantilism - You like guilds too but cool it with the proto-capitalism.
  • Reactionary Socialism - Dad's pretty cool but really needs to tone it down.
  • Progressivism - I like you and many of your ideas but we cannot alienate the conservative working class.
  • Yellow Socialism - He likes some of my ideas but he doesn't like guilds that much.
  • Leninism - You know, I agree that the current system should be overthrown for the better, it's just that what you propose shares the same coercion that the current system promotes, and I hate it.
  • Libertarian Conservatism - We agree on quite a lot actually, how we need to shrink the government and empower local communities but your plans will just empower large corporations.
  • Thalassocracy - Sometimes we can work together, but often your merchants are just greedy elites that withhold their vast wealth from the commoners!

Enemies

  • Capitalism - The "democracy" you represent under your systematic rule is merely a facade to hide the fact that in actuality, it's an unfair hierarchy where the laborer is denied his rights shrouded under a false consciousness.
  • Neoliberalism - Doesn't like guilds or unions.
  • Revolutionary Progressivism - Violent intellectuals are the worst sort...
  • State Liberalism - ...especially if it comes from above.
  • Nazism - I dont understand what are you?!
  • Corporatocracy - He wants to drive us out of business.
  • Anarcho-Capitalism - Why dont you wanna join a guild?
  • Marxism–Leninism - Your central planned command economy is pretty cringe.
  • Anarcho-Communism - Nothing personal but you're very disorganized.

Further Information

Literature

Wikipedia

Online Communities

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