Workers' control is participation in the management of factories and other commercial enterprises by the people who work there. It has been variously advocated by anarchists, socialists, communists, social democrats, distributists and Christian democrats, and has been combined with various socialist and mixed economy systems.
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Workers' councils are a form of workers' control. Council communism, such as in the early Soviet Union, advocates workers' control through workers' councils and factory committees. Syndicalism advocates workers' control through trade unions. Guild socialism advocates workers' control through a revival of the guild system. Participatory economics represents a recent variation on the idea of workers' control.
Workers' control can be contrasted to control of the economy via the state, such as nationalization and central planning (see state socialism) versus control of the means of production by owners, which workers can achieve through employer provided stock purchases, direct stock purchases, etc., as found in capitalism.