Socialize This!

 

Since over one million Berlin voters cast their ballot in favour of the “Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen” initiative last September, questions about the distinction between public and private property and how to socialize key economic sectors have surged to the forefront of public debate in Germany. But socialization means a lot more than just taking private property into state hands. Crucial as it may be, that formal legal act merely represents an initial step in a much deeper process of democratizing important sectors of social production and reproduction, making them answer to the needs of the majority rather than the interests of a few wealthy owners.

Ultimately, we need more than just a “de-privatization” of economic life: given the limited amount of natural resources on our planet and the need to transition to a more equitable and simultaneously sustainable mode of distribution, what socialization has to mean is a thoroughgoing transformation of how we live, work, and reproduce the world we live in.

 

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