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View Diary: Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Is A Non-Exploitive Economy Based on Worker-Own Cooperatives Possible (150 comments)

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  •  Interesting Over-View! (7+ / 0-)

    Here in Venezuiela, worker-cooperatives are recognized as a constitutional right and their start-up and expansion is subsidized by low-cost or free government loans.  

    There are now thousands of them here, but not all survive.  One problem is that the world capitalist market is still very much determinative of both viability and the type of products that can be economically produced.  

    Thus, even though the workers in a given cooperative might want to produce a beautifully carved, ornate wooden bookcase, they are competing at the market with the cheap wood look-a-like from China.  Thus, the model seems to work better in some industries (agriculture, markets, services) rather than others, depending how tied in a given industry is to the capitalist world market.

    That being said, I don't think you can make a blanket statement about what "Marxists" believe about worker cooperatives.

    This particular Marxist sees the development of workers' cooperatives as a dialectical development arising out of the capitalist division between owners, managers and workers.  While workers'cooperatives might not, in themselves, bring down capitalism, they show the way as another mode of organizing production, one in which the worker producers- managers are both the thinkers and the doers in the process of production, thus hugely reducing the alienation of labor in the production process, a pernicious, inhuman division that capitalism has perfected.

    Breaking down the division between the thinkers (planners) and the doers (workers) is a very revolutionary act, and, at least here in Venezuela, that is a legal requirement for running a cooperative.

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

    by Justina on Sun Jul 24, 2011 at 03:44:11 PM PDT

    •  I absolutely agree. I should have left in the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NY brit expat, MKSinSA, shantysue

      article the line that marxists also believe in the cooperative model -- just not as the total solution.  BTW, I was in Venezuela in December of 2009 and have plenty of info on the Venezuelan coop movement.  I hear your criticisms and agree.  I also, believe, however, that Venezuela was looking for a program that could offer the poorest of the poor an opportunity. They didn't require the level of collateral that microbanks did and didn't have the same standard (repayment of the loans) for success.  So where traditional banks have a success rate of 92% in micro loans (even if all it does is raise the woman from starvation to subsistence - still pretty miserable). Venezuela (at least at that time) had a success rate of 50% but that was because they ran it as an entitlement program and experiment in teaching a socialist group ethos. personally, I think that is 50% of the people who might have fallen over a cliff if they hadn't had that opportunity.  And wouldn't have gotten that opportunity from a microbank.

      Will discuss more in the third part of the series -- hope you will be there and maybe can help me put the part on Venezuela  together!

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