The Take is perhaps one of the most inspirational films I had ever seen. It provides an example to all of us – in terms of what we could accomplish if only we came together, if only we joined hands like those grandmothers in the streets of Argentina, like those workers who took production and decision making into their own hands. True democracy has to start from the bottom up, it has to start in the family, in the school, in the workplace, in the neighborhood and expand outward from there. Only when decisions in *all of these* social settings are made democratically, based on majority vote, only then, can our society begin to call itself democratic.
This is currently not the case in the United States. It is not the case in the US family, nor in US schools, and nowhere is it more untrue than in the US workplace. Currently in the United States practically all decisions are made by those in power, by those with the money, and enforced on those underneath. When somebody gets fired from a workplace, do all the workers get together and vote on whether the person should be kept or fired? Do the children in the US schools have any democratic power to decide how things are done and organized? Do wives have equal power with their husbands in the American family? So how can a society that is so undemocratic claim to be a model of democracy for others? It is unfortunate that in the US democratic participation is limited to electing individuals to power, and is never directly related to policy issues. Our society would be much more democratic if we voted like specifically on the questions at hand both at the national and at the local level: REFERENDUM: Should US troops remain in Iraq? Should gay marriage be legal? Etc. All the questions that are most important to us, why don’t we just vote specifically on them? The movie about Argentine factory workers has a message about democracy: “We vote often, that way we get used to losing”. If we were to vote more often, and to vote specifically on the issues that are important to us, then we would have a true participatory democratic society. So, The Take, in my opinion is *a very important* film, and is something that all workers around the world and all people should learn from.
By taking over Argentine factories, the workers are benefiting not only themselves and their families, but also their communities and Argentina as a whole, by contributing to economic recovery. I think this is a very important point. It is unclear to me how the workers were able to make the factories profitable again, despite the economic crush. Because generally, when an economic collapse takes place and people lose jobs and savings, the demand for new goods declines, and that is probably why the factory owners were forced to shut down their factories in the first place. So how are the workers able to sell off their final products after taking over production? Is there some kind of barter system in place? Are the workers getting their inputs domestically instead of by importing them? I wish the film explained this. The issue of private property is raised in the film. Should people really have the right to own stuff if they are not making good use of it? I mean, like if you are a kid with a toy, and you aren’t playing with your toy, and the kids next to you want to borrow your toys because they actually want to play together, shouldn’t you just give it to them, since you are not using it anyway? I mean why is the law on the side of those who want to keep their toys to themselves and do nothing with it?