… one implication of this analysis is the need to continue to politicise and activate struggles against managerialism, and not always to subordinate those struggles to the more traditional ones of defending jobs, pay and pensions. I realise this might sound glib, when those traditional economic supports are under attack in so many places. but I think it is actually a crucial point: for the most part, labour struggles in most of the world have paid very little attention to the problem of managerialism except when this has become bound up with and subordinated to a struggle against austerity measures; and in almost all cases, struggles against managerialism have taken the form of defences of traditional professional privileges. This will not suffice. Managerialism must be opposed because it is one of the key strategies through which capital seeks to intensify exploitation of all members of a particular social field, not just public-service professionals, and it is on these terms that it should be opposed by explicit demands for more collaborative and co-operative modes of work. We should not be afraid to revisit the moment of autogestion, workers self-management and industrial democracy, of student demands for reforms more radical than a mere expansion of consumer choice in the curriculum: we’ve been told for long enough that these are anachronistic ideas which cannot work. It’s surely clear by now that these are the only ideas which might work.
Jeremy Gilbert, here.