Imagine if Amazon was run as a cooperative, and the money generated by the workers went to them instead. Amazon could literally hire 10 times as many people, and have each employee work 1/2 a day a week while getting the same salary they get now. The only reason that's not happening is because a guy named Jeff takes the lion share of the profits.

@yogthos And it's not as if Bezos can actually enjoy even a fraction of profits he accrues. His Long Now Foundation and his running of Amazon seem conceptually opposed.
@y0x3y @yogthos

this Clock in the Mountain is being funded and built on property owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of B

@emacsomancer @yogthos thats good to know. thanks for the information. amazon and long now certainly seem directly opposed

@yogthos On the other hand, could a cooperative build an enterprise attracting so many customers as Amazon?


If it could, why it didn't? That's the first question I'm asking myself in those endless discussions where a popular but inferior X is compared to unpopular but allegedly superior Y...

@yogthos In #uk I'm using at least 2 food coops, #coop mobile operator and would love to switch to a electronics and books trading coops.

Food coops work well and I'm ready to pay slightly more.

Phone coop has IT portal like in 2000's and ridiculous data plans.

The other coops... don't exist.


Ok, but this Mondragon looks like a classic "guild of professionals" that work in B2B environment.

I also operate in a kind of a infosec consulting coop, but that's also B2B and very narrow field.

I'm wondering why there's no consumer-facing coops that sell books and are able to deliver them in a few days?


This part is easy: because it's more effective to run a large enterprise, either private or state-owned. All enterprises naturally tend to grow through merger or acquisitions (capitalist), or nationalisation (socialist).

In socialism everything was a single state-owned enterprise and there was no competition, which was seen as wasteful by Marxian economy.

They later re-introduced it but concealed under name of "socialist emulation".


As you remember, we can continue this argument for hours, but I disagree.

The problem is that progress in USSR was very narrowly directed: into defence industry.

At the same civilian production was severely underdeveloped and consumer good either weren't there or their quality was utter crap and well behind anything produced in the West.

Classic economy of shortage...

@yogthos It's just as true as saying that USSR was designed to bankrupt/destroy the West.

Remember the Soviet "Догоним и перегоним" poster I posted here some time ago? ;)

This *was* battle of ideologies, where each one claimed to be superior and used any means to destroy the other one.

@yogthos Why do you think I've been always into speleology? ;)


There's no such thing as "world population problem", scientifically.

That's an idea pursued in 60's by elitist circles like Ehrlich and Club of Rome who preferred to keep their California mansions not "contaminated" by "human pest" from developing countries. I have a copy of Ehrlich "Population bomb" on a shelf here, that's his language.

"Population carrying capability" etc were just ideas to support this contempt towards less privileged.


Caves aren't particularly friendly places to live with average 4-8°C and 100% relative humidity.

But this might be not even necessary in long term, read this

Not that I'm encouraging nuclear conflict, but you have to be prepared for everything granted the amount of aggressive idiots at power...

@yogthos @kravietz Global overheating and economic tyranny on a **global** scale are only part of the horrors coming down the road. (As much as I sympathise with @yogthos on the ecomomic ideology, I think it's all very much a moot point now — the oligarchs are well beyond the control of any system of laws and really couldn't care less about the imminent suffering of living beings. Many of these people are actually, seriously, extropians, which is about as nasty a millennial suicide cult as one could imagine.) We also have the long-term effects of pollution in all three domains, earth air and water; much faster sea level rise and changes in ocean chemistry than generally discussed; shifts in climate patterns; and the wholesale collapse of ecosystems and loss of biodiversity. Yes, we can expect mass migration, and soon. We can also expect infrastructure collapse, epidemics, food shortages, and politics that make present autocracies look mildly amusing. Local use of nukes, sure; we're already seeing chemical weapons. There will be industrial pollution events. There will be freak genetic engineering efforts like the one in China. There will be stupid efforts to geoengineer. There will be a lot of selfish wealthy people pulling up the ladders to save themselves. There will be a great deal of pointless religion; we already have quite a bit of millennarian craziness driving foreign policy in the USA.

Many of my academic colleagues who understand how serious the situation is are deeply depressed. I'm trying hard to find tools and narratives that help humans and other people keep struggling to rescue what we can. It seems to me many other people here are doing the same. Distributed communication systems are part of that. The fediverse (like UUCP or Fido before it) can run across radio modems between isolated nodes, if we need that. Dance, people: dance like you mean it, and don't stop until we find a better way for all living things.


This is simply not true, Bolshevik's objective was *always* a world revolution, spread by any means available, be it military force, propaganda or sabotage. USSR was created literally by forcefully conquering republics split from Russian Empire, including Baltics, Ukraine, Caucasus etc with classic scenario being small Bolshevik party "requesting support of mighty Red Army". In 1920 Bolsheviks tried to conquer Poland this way, but lost.


The history of escalation started in 1917 with Bolshevik promising violent world revolution and pursuing it at all means.

> look at NATO expansion over the years

It's countries *asking* desperately for NATO protection from openly imperialist Soviet Union, and then Russia.

This is precisely the sentiment most of Eastern Europe had in 90's while Russia - who just finished bloody intervention in Afghanistan - started another bloody intervention in Chechnya and threatened Baltics etc.

@kravietz @yogthos

if there were a "Euro-cooperative" that sold the same genuinely useful items from mainland Europe and China that matched the level of customer service from Amazon I'd use it straight away.

All the bad things about Amazon and other capitalist tech firms are true - OTOH here in the UK they consistently deliver goods on time and have stock, which many other (similarly capitalist) businesses struggle to do.


We have a global market, they *could* have appeared in any other large economy like EU.

Yet they didn't, the closest to Amazon like Alibris however offer significantly inferior delivery times and service (first hand experience, I did switch to Alibris purely for ideological reasons).

P.S. not arguing, more of trying to understand it...


UK has a very strong coop traditions and EU has multi-billion programs for fostering *any* kind of startups you wish.

Yet, there are few globally recognized brands that started here, not to mention being coops.


You speak of West like there was some other countries blooming with coops ;)

These changes don't seem to be - pun intended - game changers. It's easy to start a run a coop in UK, just like any other business. Red tape is close to zero.


Have you ever been to Belarus?

I was and I can tell you exactly how that "vibrant economy" looks on the ground.


Ok, so I can tell you first-hand that the first experience when you enter Belarus by train is middle-aged women smuggling raw meat under their coats from Poland to Belarus. Agriculture is ineffective (still very much kolkhoz style) which leads to higher consumer prices.

Living blocks (общежития) and general infrastructure (roads etc) are in poor state, obviously underfunded.

One huge difference as compared to Russia is lack of visible corruption.

@yogthos Ever heard the expression "Potemkin village"? ;)

Also read the paragraph starting with "Lukashenko's exception is now under threat".

@kravietz @yogthos I'd like to understand more why coops like Migros (2.2 million member) and Coop (2.6 million members) are quite alike to any corporation you can name... maybe it's a scalability issue?

@kravietz @yogthos cooperative is built to pursuit **members** business interests; not workers. There are workers' cooperatives, where members are doing the work, but this is just one of the forms of the cooperatives.

Building cooperatives, consumer (purchasing) cooperatives seems to be most common forms.

@yogthos @kravietz sorry, but that's wrong. Let's not waste time on terminology. If you think that model is something worth pursuing, I'd have a look at the real examples of cooperatives run for example in Europe (those I have mentioned, cooperative banks, insurance companies etc.).

For banks, for example, one big disadvantage of a small cooperative bank (like many in Germany) is that single fraud case can nuke 10 years of members' efforts.

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