Ours to Master & to Own: Workers Control from the Commune to the Present

Manny Ness, Dario Azzelini & Victor Wallis

Capitalism would have us believe we need our bosses. Envisioning a post-Capitalist society implies challenging this proposition. This volume, edited by Immanuel Ness and Dario Azzellini, reveals the history of workers who dare to disagree.

 From the dawning of the industrial epoch, wage earners have gone so far as to challenge the very premises of the system by creating institutions of democratic self-management aimed at controlling production without bosses. With specific examples drawn from every corner of the globe and every period of modern history, this new book comprehensively traces this often underappreciated historical tradition.

Dario Azzellini, co-editor with Immanuel Ness of Ours to Master and to Own, is a political scientist and lecturer at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria and a writer and documentary film director in Berlin and Caracas. His research and writing focus on social and revolutionary militancy, migration and racism, people's power and self-administration, workers' control, and Latin America. He is an associate editor of the International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protests: 1500 to the Present, of Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, and for Cuadernos de Marte.

Immanuel Ness is co-editor with Dario Azzellini of Ours to Master and to Own. His research focuses on worker resistance and social movements, proletarianization, syndicalism and migration. He recently completed Guest Workes, Corporate Despotism and Labor Resistance. He is also working on a manuscript focusing on syndicalism and new forms of worker representation. His work includes Immigrants, Unions and the U.S. Labor Market and Trade Unions and the Betrayal of the Unemployed. He is editor of Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society. He has received numerous awards for his reference works including: Encyclopedia of American Social Movements, Encyclopedia of Third Parties in America, and the eight-volume, four-thousand page International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protests: 1500 to the Present.

Victor Wallis, a contributor to  Ours to Master and to Own, teaches at the Berklee College of Music and is managing editor of Socialism and Democracy. He first incountered worker-control issues in the context of the aborted Chilean revolution of 1970-73. His articles--encompassing an array of subjects including ecology, political strategies, the U.S. Left and Latin American revolutionary film--have appeared in Monthly Review, Capitalism Nature Socialism, New Political Science, Socialism and Democracy, Jump Cut, Organizatio & Environment, and the Historich Kritisches Worterbuch des Marxismus. His writings on ecological socialism have been translated into nine languages.

Brecht Forum Archive
Publication/Event Date: 
October, 2011