Anarchist Economic Practices in a 'Capitalist' Society: Some Implications for Organisation and the Future of Work

Ephermera: theory and politics in organization, 2014, 14(4): 947-971

25 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2015

See all articles by Richard White

Richard White

Sheffield Hallam University - Faculty of Development and Society

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Adopting an ‘anarchist squint’ (Scott, 2014: xii) this paper aims to expose, subvert, and undermine the dominant prima facie assumption that we live under a ‘neoliberal capitalist’ order. It achieves this primarily by drawing attention to the pervasive nature of alternative economic modes of human organisation within western society. Celebrating an ontology of economic difference, the paper argues that many of the existing ‘alternative’ modes of human organisation enacted through everyday material, social and emotional coping strategies are demonstrably and recognisably anarchistic. Far from being a residual and marginal realm, these anarchist forms of organisation – underpinned by mutual aid, reciprocity, co-operation, collaboration and inclusion – are found to be deeply woven into the fabric of everyday ‘capitalist’ life. Exploring the key implications for the organisation of everyday work, particularly at the household and community level, an economic future is envisaged in which anarchist modes of organisation flourish. The paper concludes by discussing why anarchist forms of organising and organisation should be harnessed, and how this might occur.

Keywords: anarchism, informal economy, capitalism, unpaid work, neoliberalism

JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17

Suggested Citation

White, Richard and Williams, Colin, Anarchist Economic Practices in a 'Capitalist' Society: Some Implications for Organisation and the Future of Work (2014). Ephermera: theory and politics in organization, 2014, 14(4): 947-971, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2707308

Richard White

Sheffield Hallam University - Faculty of Development and Society ( email )

United Kingdom

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

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