by Chris Kaihatsu, [email protected], 10-18
The overall rationale for potential use of a 'global syndicalist currency' is to better-see the surplus labor value that is currently expropriated by private ownership, through the ongoing exploitation of the working class -- anything not directly for the maintenance and reproduction of labor-power going-forward (typically capitalist 'wages') could be represented quantitatively as this workers currency, to enable cash-like purchases from one workplace to another, as an expedient convenience.
This would be a *transitional* material-economic measure, until the ruling class is fully overthrown, to catalyze relationships among those nascent worker-controlled workplaces, over any arbitrary geographic terrain and topology of real-world physical linkages.
In other words it's a continued reliance on the market mechanism, but only within the social environment of emerging worker-controlled workplaces among themselves, after strictly human-need material requirements have been collectively fulfilled through the widespread internal use of the communistic gift economy -- the workers currency would address the social factor of 'discretion', more for 'wants' than for 'needs', such as for any infrastructure development or novel production among these liberated workplaces.
I was thinking of the global syndicalist currency as being mostly a workplace-to-workplace kind of thing, to simply enable a standard for appropriate portions of goods and services to be interchanged across geographic distances. In this way, local-based workplace collectivism would be the source of distribution for whatever bottom-up 'demands' / needs / wants might be unmet.
(So, while there might be a standing order for regular deliveries of *potatoes* every month, for example, for communal-type distribution, as in a cafeteria, if individuals wanted less-common custom goods like a toy train set for a kid, that could still be passed 'upward' and sent out for fulfillment, to be delivered back to the initial workplace address, for individual pick-up. The approval and cost for such would be subject to workplace-internal discussion and approval. As long as there's a workplace-collective surplus available, any custom expenses would be paid out of that workplace-collective surplus labor value -- an internal matter for the constellations of revolutionized productive workplaces that would be networked.)
This whole model *depends* on there being revolutionized / liberated workplaces, globally, to begin-with, *plus* ongoing forward momentum that *continues* to further-revolutionize social production worldwide. If such militant political momentum is *too little*, the nascent network of liberated workplaces would feel more like a 'club', and could readily collapse back into privatization at any time.
This global syndicalist currency *could* hypothetically circulate among individuals, but I think that would be a bad idea, since a standard calculation for such wouldn't be forthcoming -- instead of encouraging collectivization for each workplace the hypothetical money-type circulation would be a *backward* economic step, encouraging economic individuation and rewards-for-labor, which would implicitly *commodify* labor and be too similar to the way capitalism runs today.
The global workplace-liberating movement shouldn't *seek* to become a capitalist trading partner either because that, too, would be a backward step, constraining the spread of its politics and reach. A sufficient international network of seized productive workplaces would be materially adequate for all internal needs, and for a number of individualized wants as well, dependent on local collective workplace total output. But local collectivization is key, both for political consciousness and for keeping the accounting locally centralized, simple, and transparent.
The point of the 'global syndicalist currency' is to provide an accurate system of *internal accounting* and cross-commonality of liberated labor value for all active revolutionary workers, worldwide.
The 'socialism' phase in the following diagram indicates a *material-economic* shift to the use of (circulating) *labor credits* -- which is a different vehicle from the prior 'global syndicalist currency' that was for the initial *revolutionary* transition away from private ownership of the means of mass production, and accompanying commodity production.
 Syndicalism-Socialism-Communism Transition Diagram
There's a little bit of a discrepancy in the text there -- the whole diagram is an older formulation of mine, back from 2009, and the 'labor credits' *don't* actually measure surplus labor value (internally) in any way. What their use would signify is a fully-internal control of all productive machinery by the world's working class, since there would no longer be any objective need to compete with private production, which would have been fully *displaced* by that point.
Here's a detailed description of the labor credits framework:
https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... ost2891164
https://www.revleft.space/vb/threads/20 ... -Questions
And, a distinction: My proposed 'global syndicalist currency' and my proposed 'labor credits' are two *different* material-economic vehicles, and they would function differently and separately.
The *point* of these formulations is to address the empirical need to join  local bottom-up, and  broader-geographic top-down centralized modes of revolutionary organization, *per item* of production. 'Syndicalism' implies 'local workplace workers collectivist self-organizing', and so such a first-step would be bottom-up revolutionary workers reorganization of productive efforts, away from commodity production, and into the international population of revolutionary workers' communities. Whatever production could be done by such revolutionary workers, beyond their own self-reproduction going-forward, would be the 'surplus labor value', enjoyed internally, and put into a 'global syndicalist currency', with all recordkeeping being fully transparent internally, among such revolutionized workplaces.
The global-syndicalist-currency approach would be for standardized seized-workplace-to-seized-workplace interchange while simultaneously battling the (military) forces of the bourgeoisie. These days we wouldn't even require *printed* currency, necessarily -- spreadsheet-type accounting would be sufficient, with full transparency internally among active revolutionary workplaces.
The overall idea of the Syndicalism-Socialism-Communism Transition Diagram is to provide a solid 'bottom-up' approach, in addition to any *broadly*-geographic 'central planning' which could conceivably be seen as a 'top-down' method.
Since we don't know the actual conditions of the world around a future period of class-struggle upsurges and upheavals, *no one* today can definitively hold up a tool from the toolbox and say 'This is the tool to use.' I prefer to keep an open mind and provide an *array* of potential approaches (though I heavily favor my own 'labor credits' framework) as possible paths to a post-class world society.
I'm aware of the weaknesses of anarchist-type theory when it comes to a pan-localist material-economy, but I estimate that the *strength* of the syndicalist approach would be a decisively local, on-the-ground collective-workers control of the implements of mass industrial production, per workplace.
It would be politically far more preferable to *negate* all existing capital and currency (and finance, and all exchange values), in favor of beginning a 'primitive accumulation of socialism'.
Primitive socialist accumulation (sometimes socialist accumulation) was a concept put forth in the early Soviet Union during the period of the New Economic Policy. It was developed as a counterpart to the process of the primitive accumulation of capital that took place during the early stages and development of capitalist economies. Because the Soviet economy was underdeveloped and largely agrarian in nature, the Soviet state would have to be the agent of primitive capital accumulation to rapidly develop the Soviet economy. The concept was proposed as a means to industrialize the Russian economy of the era through state capitalism, because the Russian economy was too underdeveloped to implement socialism at the time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primitive ... cumulation
Industrialization is mostly complete throughout the world now, so that's no longer an ongoing material concern -- and my 'global syndicalist currency' aptly addresses the empirical need for 'primitive socialist accumulation', in the sense of collectively self-organized workers' control of the means of mass industrial production.