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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meetup: The Cooperative Movement and the "Big Tent" Approach (67 comments)

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  •  Community centered vs. Job centered (5+ / 0-)

    I think another interesting observation is the way all the American and most of the European coops are centered around a single manufacturing or service industry.

    Mondragon is unique, from what I can see, in that it started its life organizing around the needs of a single community: Education, then Jobs, then Health Care, then Housing, then back to Education and Jobs, etc. That focus was instrumental in creating the organizations initial stability in tough times.

    It would be interesting to see a city or county organize itself in that manner. Start with the local services: Education, police, utilities, etc. Then work outward to the construction for needed cheap housing or adult education, or farming and harvesting of community owned lands, etc. Would such organization create stability? I would like to see the experiment redone in our modern hard times.

    De air is de air. What can be done?

    by TPau on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 04:33:19 PM PDT

    •  I think some of the city council planning groups (5+ / 0-)

      in the communal lands in Venezuela are organizing somewhat in this manner.  Justina may knw better than I do.  I hope to check out their approach next Spring.

    •  It would be. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It should be mentioned that Father Arizmendiarreta showed up in Mondragón in 1941, began the educational aspect of Mondragón in 1943, and saw the first industry start in 1955.  

      It also helped that the Catholic Church was heavily involved at a time when Franco's propaganda machine married Church and State.  Free elections, civil rights and free speech not being an option in Franco's Spain, he had to bless such movements to keep the Communists and separatists at bay.  (Small-d democrats were sent to labor camps and prison.)  Add tariff protections and strict labor laws designed to keep workers pacified (excellent job security, for starters), so it was hard for competing enterprises to undercut Mondragón's workers during the first years.

      While the last two paragraphs argue against the feasibility of co-ops in 2012 America, consumer cooperatives are growing in size and strength.  Your diary gives the impression that worker cooperatives are going through a Cambrian explosion, with all sorts of models evolving.

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:01:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are a number of producer coop forms evolving (0+ / 0-)

        but more in other countries where governments are more supportive than here.  We do currently have a movement of "cooperative incubators" where local governments, institutions and NGOs are trying to use the coop model to create jobs in depressed low income areas.  they are not huge in numbers, but a regular accepted part of the economy at this point. Of course, there is always a rise in coops during depressions as they stabilize the local economy.

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