Published below is a heavily condensed and edited version of a chapter from Dario Azzellini’s recent book,“An Alternative Labour History”. The chapter can be read in its entirety here (PDF).Yes, this article appears highly condensed, but it offers an important overview of worker taker-overs ("recuperations") of factories that were closed by the owners in various countries. It is must reading for anyone contemplating such an action and, to others, an important study as to the potential this sort of action might have in transforming capitalist organization of a society into something that served all of the people.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up