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 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...
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 https://www.quora.com/What-happened-to-the-radiation-that-was-supposed-to-last-thousands-of-years-in-Hiroshima-1945
Not that I'm encouraging nuclear conflict, but you have to be prepared for everything granted the amount of aggressive idiots at power...
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.
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 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 #cooperative 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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