Guild Socialism (GuildSoc) is a left unity to libertarian ideology that advocates for worker ownership of the Means of Production through trade guilds, and that such guilds have "an implied contractual relationship with the public". It originated in the United Kingdom in 1914 with the book "National Guilds: An Inquiry into the Wage System and the Way Out" in wich S. G. Hobson (the author) presents guilds as an alternative to state socialism. Guild socialism believes in democratic workplaces and varies on government types.
Guild Socialism took inspiration from the Guild system of the Middle Ages, in which worker-owned guilds played a big role in the economy. Likewise, it criticized the capitalist hierarchy and the wage system, believing that the laborer has no rights under the system, thus calling for a decentralized economy consisting of worker guilds. Likewise it acknowledges the differences of conditions back then and in the present day, mainly in how said industry functions and how town-economies have become all but impossible in the modern day.
What sets Guild Socialism apart from other forms of socialism is how the guildsmen is to maintain the apprehension in the framing of social arrangements, and how the economy would consist of guilds, mainly on the local level but also some on the national level, which would serve to include workers of all areas of whichever sector said guild represents.
Likewise, it criticizes both State Socialism and Syndicalism as leaving open the possibility of tyranny, and likewise G.D.H. Cole believed that the Bolshevik Revolution and Lenin himself “replaced the capitalist state with an equally as coercive state”, as said in his book “Guild Socialism: A Plan For Economic Democracy”.
While it sees Trade Unionism as what is supposed to become the upcoming guilds, it has also criticized trade unions for being too moderate and compromising, in addition to how many only focus on one workplace rather than the common industry, arguing that even if that specific workplace is freed, many in the same industry are still exploited, in addition to believing that there can’t be worker’s justice under the hierarchy of capitalism.
It also takes elements from both a socialistic market economy and decentral planning, acknowledging markets in the regards to consumer goods, but opposes markets when in regards to civic and essential services, utilizing a communal structure under which guilds serve as a basis for hiring and firing as well as operating under a mostly direct democratic system, though on occasions, a meritocratic and expertise vote would be utilized as well, likewise the workers can make suggestions to the guilds as a form of suggesting improvement of the workplace and industry.
The guilds also have a relation to the public, via councils making up of those using said service(s), who can submit suggestions to the guilds, as a form of improvement of relations to the public and direct democracy.
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- Christian Socialism - Best bud.
- Catholic Workerism - Good friend of mine.
- Agrarian Socialism - My rural counterpart.
- Castroism - He's a bit stubborn but he's learning my ways.
- Distributism - My religious son who denies being a socialist.
- Market Socialism - The right way to have both markets and equality, but there shouldn't be a competitive market in civic services.
- Conservative Socialism - Yeah, I know I'm a bit old-fashioned too.
- Libertarian Socialism and Libertarian Market Socialism - I too am an enthusiast of a truly decentral and democratic economy.
- Democratic Socialism - Fellow enjoyer of economic democracy, but I doubt if working with the system would really achieve anything.
- Syndicalism - Alright. But unions are kinda lame though.
- State Socialism - Alright. But state control's pretty lame too.
- Council Communism - Alright. But workers' councils are also lame.
- Strasserism - Similar economics but quit it with the Nazi shit.
- Corporatism - Also has similar ideas, but still way to centralized. Also too hierarchical, I support having some higher ups in the guilds for more expert issues, but the majority of the power should be in the hands of the workers
- Fabian Socialism - Cole was a Fabien, but why Eugenics?
- Mercantilism - You like guilds too but cool it with the capitalism.
- Reactionary Socialism - Dad's pretty cool but really needs to tone it down.
- Yellow Socialism - He likes some of my ideas but he doesn't like guilds that much.
- Leninism - You know, I agree that the current system should be overthrown for the better, it's just that what you propose shares the same coercion that the current system promotes, and I hate it.
- Social Democracy - Look man, there really isn't any economic democracy under capitalism, despite how hard you try to achieve that by working with it.
- Thalassocracy - Sometimes we can work together, but often your merchants are just greedy elites that withhold their vast wealth from the commoners!
- Capitalism - The "democracy" you represent under your systematic rule is merely a facade to hide the fact that in actuality, it's an unfair hierarchy where the laborer is denied his rights shrouded under a false consciousness.
- Neoliberalism - Doesn't like guilds or unions.
- Third Way - Not New Labour, Blue Labour.
- National Socialism - I dont understand what are you?!
- Corporatocracy - He wants to drive us out of business.
- Anarcho-Capitalism - Why dont you wanna join a guild?
- Marxism–Leninism - Your
central plannedcommand economy is pretty cringe.
- Anarcho-Communism - Nothing personal but you're very disorganized.
- The Restoration of the Gild System by Arthur Joseph Penty
- A Guildsman’s Interpretation of History. by Arthur J Penty
- Guilds, Trade And Agriculture by Arthur J Penty
- Guild Socialism Re-Stated by G.D.H. Cole