workers councils and democracy?

Michael Perelman michael at
Sat Aug 19 09:07:02 MDT 2000

Yes, the Southern Italians are supposed to be not selfish, but "amoral
famialists" -- unable to cooperate.

A'Hearn, Brian. 2000. "Could Southern Italians Cooperate? Banche Popolari
in the Mezzogiorno."
The Journal of Economic History, 60: 1 (March): pp. 67-9

shows that they could.

Instead, it seems that their behavior was a rational adaptive response to
poverty, which became transformed into a kind of "racism," especially
since S. Italy, especially Sicilly seems to have had a strong influx of
immigrants from Africa, sometime in the very distant past.

Patrick Bond wrote:

> I just saw an interesting (1999) PhD on this, from a London
> university (forget which), very much in the Ev.Psych. tradition but
> adding a dash of decent politics. A guy called David Erdahl, who runs
> a worker self-management centre in England (which gets support
> from Stiglitz's talented radical pal in the World Bank, David
> Ellerman), compared Northern Italian towns, using as the main basis
> for contrast the extent of self-management in local enterprises. He
> did lots of surveying of various social indicators, and concluded
> that there is a strong case for collectivity overcoming
> individualism. It's not about genetics, but having coops as a
> hegemonic building block for local social relations.
> (And this doesn't imply we want to use coops as vanguard for
> socialist revolution.)
> > Subject:       Re: workers councils and democracy?
> > unless the geneticists can exorcize our selfish and
> > acquisitive genes, i can't see how the utopias can flourish.
> Patrick Bond (pbond at
> home: 51 Somerset Road, Kensington 2094 South Africa
> phone:  (2711) 614-8088
> work:  University of the Witwatersrand
> Graduate School of Public and Development Management
> PO Box 601, Wits 2050, South Africa
> work email:  bond.p at
> work phone:  (2711) 717-3917
> work fax:  (2711) 484-2729
> cellphone:  (27) 83-633-5548

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at

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