The Lucas Plan

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The Lucas Plan and Socially Useful Production

The Lucas Plan and Socially Useful Production

The Lucas Plan is an exemplary effort by members of the Combine Committee at Lucas Aerospace to save their jobs and communities; move from production for military purposes to Socially Useful Production and to demonstrate that workers can take control of workplaces and manage themselves.

The titles below cover the history of the Lucas Plan, explore the meaning of Socially Useful Production and probe the possibilities for reviving the concepts for a world where militarism, climate change and a lack of workplace democracy are more urgent concerns than ever.

<span style='font-size: 14px;'>The Search for Alternatives</span>The Search for Alternatives
Liberating Human Imagination
A Mike Cooley Reader

By Mike Cooley

Foreword by John Palmer
Introduction by Karamjit S Gill

"we have become far too smart scientifically to survive much longer without wisdom"
Mike Cooley, The Myth of the Moral Neutrality of Technology

"The thrust of Mike Cooley's human society focused analysis has a striking parallel in the rapidly growing world-wide movement - led by young people - against climate change and for radical, green policies in all the major aspects of our economic, social and individual lives to counteract it. It is a development profoundly welcomed by him as the climate change threat to our planet and its people looms ever larger. In a sustainable world economy, the values and goals of Michael Cooley's work on human centred technology are sure to be reflected."
John Palmer

"Through his historical insights into the evolution of digital technology, Mike Cooley provides a stimulating narrative for understanding the impacts and implications of the new digital technologies of machine intelligence and automation ... Cooley's main concern is the misuse of technology, which can amongst other things create a frantic work tempo for some and the dole queue for others. Although humans with their skill and ingenuity were able to create technological change from the early stages to the advance of artificial intelligence, the society which has given birth to them tends to fail to keep pace."
Karamjit S Gill

Price: 11.99

202 Pages | Paperback
ISBN 978 085124 8851


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>Delinquent Genius - The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology</span>Delinquent Genius - The Strange Affair of Man and His Technology
By Mike Cooley

"Delinquent Genius is simply brimming with insights. It traces the sources of technology and its application. It is, above all else, a brilliant account of a dangerous hubris which can lead to that which is instrumental becoming a source, a dangerous source of domination, of passive rather than active existence...

I believe the publication of this book must be seen as an invaluable contribution. What is particularly moving in it is that it takes all of these issues that have been raised in different fora, and in different ways and locates them in a biographical experience of a brilliant scholar. There is something immensely hopeful in this, the sheer power that comes from retaining one’s early curiosity, harvesting it through scholarship, and delivering it for the benefit of mankind."

Michael D. Higgins
President of Ireland

Mike Cooley has an international reputation as an activist, engineer and academic. He received the Right Livelihood Award (‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) ‘for designing and promoting the theory and practice of human-centred, socially useful production’. He was centrally involved in developing ‘The Lucas Plan’ and has been a guest professor at universities throughout the world, debating and lecturing in German and English. His previous work, Architect or Bee?, has been translated into six languages, most recently Chinese.

Price: 11.99

248 Pages | Paperback
ISBN 978 085124 8783


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>The Lucas Plan - A New Trade Unionism in the Making?</span>The Lucas Plan - A New Trade Unionism in the Making?
By Hilary Wainwright & Dave Elliott

Long out of print, this book tells the detailed story of the Lucas workers determination to defend their jobs, how they came up with a plan to convert from largely military production to the development of socially useful products.

The workforce had the skills and the will to make the plan work; management, ever sceptical, retrenched; government obstructed; even the official trade union response was unhelpful.

This is a riveting political story and with timely lessons for all those concerned with arms conversion, climate change, alternative models of work and the need to move to an era of socially useful production. This new edition features Hilary Wainwright’s thoughts after 40 years.

Price: 15.00


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>Architect or Bee?</span>Architect or Bee?
The Human Price of Technology

By Mike Cooley, Foreword by Frances O'Grady

'A bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of its cells; but what distinguishes the worst of architects from the best of bees is namely this. The architect will construct in his imagination that which he will ultimately erect in reality. At the end of every labour process, we get that which existed in the consciousness of the labourer at its commencement.'
Karl Marx, Kapital

Mike Cooley's pioneering introduction to socially useful production and human-centred manufacturing systems, with a new foreword by the General Secretary of the TUC, herself an advocate of the lessons of the Lucas Plan for alternative production priorities. Years ahead of its time, Architect or Bee? is essential reading for all those seeking a democratic alternative to the politics of austerity.

'Welcome new edition of a wonderful book' - Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary

'Challenges the power of the machine' - New Society

'Essential reading' - New Statesman

Mike Davis - Chartist, Jan/Feb 2017

Price: 10.99

194 pages | Paperback
ISBN: 978 0 85124 8493


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>Socially Useful Production</span>Socially Useful Production
The Spokesman 133
Edited by Tony Simpson

Tony Simpson - Editorial
Jeremy Corbyn MP - Rebuilding politics
Frances O’Grady et al - Human face of labour
Phil Asquith - Lucas revisited
Michael Ward - London's alternative
Adrian Smith - Society and technology
Tom Unterrainer - Trade unions
Adrian Smith et al - Grassroots movements
Abigail Parry - Goat
Tony Blair et al - IRAQ The Reckoning
Muhammad Ali - Bertrand Russell
Mike Harding - Belfast Flight – 1979
Jo Vellacott - Working with Labour


Price: 6.00

124 pages | A5 size
ISBN: 978 085124 8608


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>Lucas - An Alternative Plan</span>Lucas - An Alternative Plan

Institute for Workers' Control Pamphlet Number 55

This is the abridged version of the Corporate Plan prepared by the Lucas Aerospace Combine Shop Stewards' Committee. The pamphlet contains background analysis of Lucas Industries Ltd, the Corporate Plan itself and an outline of an alternative Socially Useful Production scheme.

Price: 2.00

A4 Pamphlet | 12 Pages


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>Very Nice Work If You Can Get It</span>Very Nice Work If You Can Get It
The Socially Useful Production Debate

Edited by Collective Design/Projects
With a Foreward by Audrey Wise

Socially Useful Producation seeks to join needs with resources. It spans services, products, labour processes, political demands, political theories and social issues. No single object, movement or project completely contains or delimits the term. Overall, it relates to the specific needs of particular people: young and old; black and white; men and women; fit and unfit; skilled and unskilled; oppressed and liberated.

Many of the contributors to this book were centrally involved in recent developments that consciously invoke the aims of Socially Useful Production.

First published 1985.

Price: 8.95

ISBN: 0 85124 431 9
214 Pages | Paperback


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>The Cutting Edge of Socialism</span>The Cutting Edge of Socialism
Working People against Transnational Capital

By Stephen Bodington

Drawing on his long experience of the Labour Movement and his knowledge of political economy, Stephen Bodington argues passionately for a new socialist economics. In order to reverse the disastrous decay of our industry it is not necessary to rely upon bureaucratic controls. A much more important option is that which bases itself upon the grass-roots initiatives that are struggling against the dominance of multinationals and monetarist policies towards new forms of workers' control and self-management. His great hopes for a new society are inspired by the imaginative plans for socially useful products led by the shop-stewards for the Lucas Aerospace Combine and by the various initiatives for local enterprise now being encourages in London, Sheffield and elsewhere.

Stephen Bodington was a mathematician and economist. He is the author of 'Political Economy', a textbook on Marxist economics which he wrote under the pseudonym John Eaton, and 'Computers and Capitalism' which is published by Spokesman. He was a founder member of the Institute for Workers' Control.

First published in 1982 with a foreword by Mike Cooley.

Price: 5.00

88 Pages | Paperback
ISBN: 0 85124 332 0


<span style='font-size: 14px;'>The Machine and the Worker</span>The Machine and the Worker
By Alfred Barratt Brown

'This is one of the most interesting, informative and insightful books I have encountered on this topic. It is both cautionary and inspirational …

Although it was published in 1934 when the author was Principal of Ruskin College, Oxford, its great strength is that it still provides a multidisciplinary framework in which to consider how to progress further the matters addressed. It shows the need to campaign for socially useful systems in an era of exponential technological change, when the gap between technology's potential and its reality becomes a yawning chasm.

Those initiating technological change usually provide an account of its positive features only. History shows, however, that it is a double-edged affair, a form of Faustian exchange. The author deals deftly with this by providing a sort of balance sheet of the gain and losses of such systems …

This is indeed a tour de force and is written in a form that makes it not only accessible but a delightful read. It should be widely read and discussed, not least in departments of engineering and design, as works of this kind are surely as important as mathematical or machine theory.

The Barratt Brown family are to be thanked for making this book available for republication, and Spokesman Books should also be thanked for making it a reality.'

Mike Cooley, from his new foreword

Price: 9.99

216 pages | Paperback
ISBN: 978 0 85124 838 7
Published Oct 2014


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