Guild Socialism Restated

Guild Socialism Restated
Guild Socialism Restated by G. D. H. Cole

First published in 1920, Guild Socialism Restated is G. D. H. Cole's fullest and most systematic acĀ­count of his vision of industrial and political reorganization. An Oxford University political theorist and an influential figure on the British Left between the two world wars, Cole was the best-known advocate of Guild SocialĀ­ismā€”a form of socialist thought that sought to transfer control of industry to professional "guilds" or self-governing associations of producers.

The introductory chapters of Guild Socialism Restated develop the theme of democratic citizenĀ­ship in relation to industrial soĀ­ciety. Cole contends that neither Japitalism nor state socialism can dequately meet the fundamental requirements of democracy beĀ­cause neither provides institutions irough which active citizenship an be achieved. He insists that the atter can be realized only in the ealm of industrial relations. In so oing, Cole anticipates such con-emporary themes as workers' elf-management and participatory democracy, and he envisions also the corporatist mode of orĀ­ganization that some would see as a defining quality of postindustrial societies.

The central chapters of the book develop a view of socialist organiĀ­zation in which citizenship is a vital ingredient in every arenaā€” from that of the workplace to naĀ­tional policymaking. Guild SoĀ­cialism Restated is also notable for its effort to come to terms with nonindustrial interests, and to provide representations for indiĀ­viduals as consumers and citiĀ­zensā€”not only as producers.

Cole's book concludes with an assessment of the transition to soĀ­cialism. He proposes that there is a "third way" in addition to politiĀ­cal reform and civil warā€”one that will be both revolutionary and gradual. Cole writes that "he who wishes revolution to succeed should hasten towards it slowly."

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