I just signed up for this free #MOOC on #coops, run by Univeristy of #edinburgh, starts 8th Jan: edx.org/course/economic-democr

"Economic Democracy: The Cooperative Alternative
Could a cooperative market economy, in which firms are owned and controlled by their workers, be a viable and efficient alternative to capitalism?"

@wu_lee
Unfortunately cooperativism is an economic project without any associated political project, so history has already borne out that the answer to this question is clearly NO.

@kavbojka @wu_lee

Market Anarchism, Market Socialism, Libertarian Socialism (Anarcho-syndicalism and others) seem to be closely related with the coop movement.

Mondragón and CNT in Spain are quite strong nowadays.

Camille E. Acey
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@fabianhjr
As far as I have seen, there is no distinct political project associated with Mondragon. This is a good read about their recent failures and system flaws truth-out.org/news/item/19704-
@wu_lee

@kavbojka @fabianhjr

Interesting article. Alperovitz++. The authors seem to include coops as *part* of a potential solution.

"There is nothing inherently wrong with [new system based on cooperative ownership]; far from it, the principle is one to be advanced and supported. The question of interest, however [...] is whether trusting in open market competition is a sufficient answer to the problem of longer-term systemic design."

@wu_lee
Yes I agree they are PART of a solution. Too many people are lazer focused on it as a solution to the exclusion of the harder work to be done building true political power. History has repeatedly shown that coops without a radical political project are not revolutionary.
@fabianhjr

@fabianhjr @wu_lee
In fact many of these cooperatives have served to reproduce the very nefarious social outcomes they claimed they opposed.

@kavbojka

Your article here also interesting:
colet.space/incorporating-note

Further references and more specific criticisms welcomed, particularly if relevant to the aforementioned MOOC.

@fabianhjr

@kavbojka

Overall I agree, coops alone not sufficient. My feeling:

- "The Corporation" (book/film) had an insight: institutional designs shape the world, and trumps morals of (replaceable) individuals within.
- Top-down joint-stock (IT) companies toxic as designed, both on personal and global level.
- Our financial/economic system also riddled with systemic badness. (Money accumulates, etc.)

@fabianhjr

@kavbojka

Hence I am searching for more benign institutional replacements/economic tools to belive in.

Motiviated not just by questions of fairness or idealism, but also that, whether politically left or right, our systemic growth imperative leads to ecocide, collapse. Thresholds are being crossed as of now, and may accelerate out of control soon.

@fabianhjr

@kavbojka

These are not easy questions. I suspect, ironically, they are questions of ecosystem design - our own human ecosystem.

Butterfly effect makes revolution or technological fixes like ecological change: inherently dangerous, due to unforseen consequences.

A rock and a hard place. My fear is this century is on track to be much worse than the last, once our ecosystems start to go tits-up and people start to panic and pull up their drawbridges.

@fabianhjr

@wu_lee @kavbojka @fabianhjr coops are definitely on my list of 'models which help'

One-person-one-vote on fundamental issues is intrinsically political in my opinion, and epitomizes the principle of equivalence.

There are better and worse ways of implementing this practice! Don't use majority voting before checking out #ScoreVoting electology.org/score-voting

@wu_lee by the way, two of my Edinburgers now signed up to that course :) They thank you I guess.

@douginamug @wu_lee @fabianhjr

They are on my list too, but having been involved with coops for over 20 years now, I know that they don't necessarily result in producing the kind of counterpower required for system change. In fact, they *usually* don't.

@kavbojka @wu_lee @fabianhjr Fair enough. I know a lot of housing coops and workers coops that seem to have figured things out for themselves and the founders—presumably exhausted—decided to live comfortably in their walled gardens.

Coop federation is tricky. The Mietshäuser Syndikat in Germany is a successful example IMO: they lock coop housing from being re-sold and require occupants to pay solidarity payments in perpetuity to fund other coops. syndikat.org/en/

@wu_lee @fabianhjr I highly recommend checking out and the Democracy Collaborative's Next System Project thenextsystem.org/ I especially enjoy the podcast; people are presenting some very innovative ideas there

@kavbojka @fabianhjr @wu_lee Alperowitz seems interesting yes but his 'Next System' isn't what pops up first when accessing Democracy Collaborative. That seems much more compromised, with 'progressive business' quite prominent? And to a Brit, it seems Alperowitz is constantly needing to seem 'American', pussyfooting around the faith in 'business'? That's the name of the game, maybe? P2P Federation, for example, also accepts the DC notion of 'generative' vs 'extractive' business - as a tactic?

@fabianhjr @kavbojka

"... If 'the system question' is not addressed in theory and in practice, and in sophisticated longer-term design, many of the hopes generated by even so brilliant an experiment as Mondragón may be thwarted by forces more powerful than any one element in a system can handle alone."

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