Difference between revisions of "Category:Cooperatives"

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=Definition=
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For the definition, typology and more, see our entry on [[Cooperatives]].
  
A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
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At the P2P Foundation, we do not believe that the development of cooperatives, competing within the dominant economic system today, is a sufficient alternative, see the article: [[Cooperatives Are Not a Viable Strategy Against Capitalism]], by Sam Gindin.
  
The Wikipedia has a very elaborate entry on Cooperatives, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative
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But neither do we believe we have to 'wait' for a big moment of change. Instead, we favor:
  
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* [[Open Cooperativism]], which are cooperatives with structurally and legal develop commons and contribute to accumulation of commons
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* [[Platform Cooperativism]], these are distributed mechanisms for exchange of products and services, but in which the platform and infrastructrures are commons, thus serving the accumulation of commons
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* [[Protocol Cooperativism]]: the creation of global open infrastructures that can be used by open and platform coops, creating trans-national commons infrastructures that can be adapted for local usage
  
'''Values'''
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See our report, [[Value in the Commons Economy]], which explains how commons-oriented cooperativism can instantiate different regimes of value, not just compete within the current system.
  
Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.
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'''A word of caution:''' you have to be familiar with the limitations of the cooperative model in a capitalist society, formulated as [[Oppenheimer’s Law of Transformation]]: cooperatives are a short-term means of survival, but tend towards capitalist privatization in the longer term Oppenheimer clearly formulated the prospect that as long as the macro-economic accounting system is governed by private capital calculation, no communal settlement can survive without adapting this economic model.
  
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Our proposal for [[Open Cooperatives]] is meant as a pragmatic antidote to this deeper tendency, it recommends making 'commons creation' a legal and structural obligation for cooperatives, so that they produce common goods even as they veer towards adaptation.
  
=Principles behind cooperatives=
 
  
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=Introduction=
  
From http://www.ica.coop/coop/principles.html
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Michel Bauwens:
  
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"Peer production is about mutualizing knowledge and allowing anyone to freely aggregate his immaterial efforts to common pools of knowledge, code and design; stigmergy is the vehicle for mutual coordination of local and global collective efforts through transparency of the cooperation.
  
The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.
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Cooperativism and other such forms are about mutualizing property and physical infrastructures, such as to allow anyone to freely aggregate their efforts to common efforts at provisioning material good and securing a livelyhood; stigmergic coordination of physical production is obtained  through open book accounting and open supply chains; and a proposed peer production license can create the solidarity around the commons pools of technical knowledge need for cooperative production.
  
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While immaterial cooperation, because of its anti-rival nature, requires a commons-based relational logic and the creation of universally accessible common pools of knowledge; material cooperation, requires mechanisms based on reciprocity and fair trade."
  
'''1st Principle: Voluntary and Open Membership'''
 
  
Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
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* The P2P Foundation supports the convergence of self-organized labor and multi-stakeholder cooperatives and solidarity economy entities on the one hand, with open models that sustain livelihoods and co-create commons. This is convergence of models is called [[Open Cooperativism]] and can take special forms like [[Platform Cooperativism]] or [[Data Cooperatives]]. This calls for mutual support and relations between productive communities based on open contributions (i.e. [[Commons-Based Peer Production]], and post-corporate ethical entrepreneurial coalitions (see http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Post-Corporate).
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* The P2P Foundation supports the emergence of [[Commonfare]] practices of social solidarity for networked workers who co-created commons and shared resources (see our special section http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:P2P_Solidarity), as well as their integration with a strengthened welfare system. In particular we support the creation of 'labor mutuals', i.e. freelance coops which already exist in the French-speaking world ([[Coopaname]] in France ; SMart in Belgium, Bigre, etc ..; see the project of AltGen in the UK).
 +
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* The P2P Foundations supports the call for a [[New Mutualism]] by [[Sara Horowitz]]
  
  
'''2nd Principle: Democratic Member Control'''
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==Henry Tam on how to scale the cooperative economy==
  
Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.
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* Henry Tam: http://henry-tam.blogspot.fr/2016/03/a-strategy-for-cooperators.html
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==The 7 Principles of Cooperatives==
 +
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* '''Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, member Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training and Information, Cooperation Among Cooperatives, and Concern for Community'''.
 +
 +
The 7 principles, based on the historical Rochdale Principles set in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, have been nofficially adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1937, and the current version reported here derives from the last revision adopted by the ICA in 1995.
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They can be found on the website at http://ica.coop/en/whats-co-op/co-operative-identityvalues-principles
  
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==Sources==
  
'''3rd Principle: Member Economic Participation'''
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'''* Special Issue: Affinities Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2010): The New Cooperativism''' [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/issue/view/4/showToc]
  
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
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Selection of articles:
  
 +
#The [[Cooperative Movement in Century 21]]. John Curl [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/50/169]
 +
#[[Commons and Cooperatives]]. Greig de Peuter, Nick Dyer-Witheford [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/45/151]
 +
#[[Social Centres and the New Cooperativism of the Common]]. Andre Pusey [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/31/124]
 +
#A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm. Andrew Gryf Paterson [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/51/140]
  
'''4th Principle: Autonomy and Independence'''
 
  
Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter to agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.
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* Shareable commisioned these articles to help educate the general public about the value of  cooperatives in creating democratic societies.
  
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# an interview with Chuck Gold of ICA about the Int'l Year of  the Coop:  http://www.shareable.net/blog/co-ops-are-big-business-charles-gould-interview
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# feature story about cooperatives, "Meet the New Boss: You": http://www.shareable.net/blog/meet-the-new-boss-you 
  
'''5th Principle: Education, Training and Information'''
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* [[Sharing Companies Should Be Cooperative T-Corporations]]
 
 
Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public - particularly young people and opinion leaders - about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
 
 
 
 
 
'''6th Principle: Co-operation among Co-operatives'''
 
 
 
Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
 
 
 
 
 
'''7th Principle: Concern for Community'''
 
 
 
Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.
 
 
 
  
 
=Typology=
 
=Typology=
  
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#[[Worker-Owned Cooperatives]]
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#[[Consumer-Owned Cooperatives]]
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#[[Housing Cooperatives]]
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#[[Credit Unions]]
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#[[Food Cooperatives]]
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#[[Farmer’s Cooperatives]]
  
'''1.'''
 
 
 
"'''Cooperative ownership of business enterprises''' produces financial benefits for member-owners, while building business skills, and providing experience in democratically controlled enterprise.  Successful cooperative businesses enhance neighborhood revitalization and stability.  Where cooperatives include community residents as member/owners, they create a strong linkage between people and place by helping to ensure that residents are direct stakeholders in and beneficiaries of local business activity.
 
 
'''Worker Cooperatives''' enable member-owners to obtain financial benefits as shareholders of the business.  Worker cooperatives exist in nearly every business sector and include manufacturing and processing companies, health services agencies, restaurants, and other enterprises.  Many include residents as member-owners, thereby playing a central role in the community development arena.  A notable example is Cooperative Home Care Associates in the South Bronx, a worker cooperative that employs some 550 African-American and Latina women-75% of whom had previously been on public assistance.
 
 
'''Employee Stock Ownership Plans''' (ESOPs).  ESOPs enable employees to own all or part of a company's stock.  They range from "democratic" ESOPs that are controlled on the basis of one-member one-vote, to companies that provide their workers with stock options but no voting rights (the latter case does not constitute a cooperative ownership model).  ICA Group has been at the forefront of efforts to expand the role of ESOPs as a community development strategy.  ICA has assisted groups like the Fifth Avenue CDC in Brooklyn and Manna Inc. in Washington DC, to establish temporary services agencies that will ultimately be transitioned to worker-owned enterprises. Workers come from the neighborhoods where the agencies are located as well as from throughout New York City and Washington DC.
 
 
'''Consumer Cooperatives'''.  Consumer co-ops enable a group to reap economies of scale through their joint purchasing power. They provide products and services to members in a local or regional area and enable members to exercise more leverage with suppliers.  Because consumer coops make purchases in bulk, members are often able to save on per unit costs.  Consumer cooperatives are organized primarily in the insurance, food, and utilities industries.  Rural electric cooperatives operate more than half of the electric distribution lines in the United States and provide electricity for 26 million people.
 
 
'''Community development credit unions''' (CDCUs) are a type of consumer cooperative that plays an important role in communities in both rural and urban areas.  CDCUs are financial institutions that are owned and operated by low-income residents and provide access to credit by recycling member deposits back into the community.  Northeast Community Credit Union provides lending products such as mortgages for first-time homebuyers, small business loans, and credit restoration loans to inhabitants of San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood and has 1,200 members.
 
 
'''Producer Cooperatives'''.  Producers, individually, or as a group, own and operate cooperatives that provide members with expanded production, marketing and distribution capacity. Many smaller producers lack the production volume to do direct business with wholesalers and retailers of their products.  Producer coops thus enable individual producers to aggregate their products and gain more negotiating power in the market place.  This coop model is particularly common in the agricultural and agro-industrial sectors.  Another type of producer coop, the craft cooperative, has been particularly effective in helping low-income, low-wealth crafts people bring their products to a wider market."
 
(http://www.policylink.org/EDTK/ROMcoop/)
 
 
 
'''2.'''
 
 
"Any economic activity can be conducted on the cooperative model.  Cooperatives may be generally classified as consumer, worker, producer, credit or marketing cooperatives  --  or by sector. Traditionally cooperatives have been divided into economic sectors of agriculture, banking and credit, consumer, fisheries, housing, insurance, and workers' co-operatives.  Each of those eight sectors has its own global organization whose members are the corresponding national associations, and in turn their members are the individual co-ops of those types in the various countries. (A distinction is made between producer and worker cooperatives inasmuch as large corporations may join together in producer co-ops  --  Welch’s and Ocean Spray are United States cases  --  without practicing workplace democracy.)
 
  
Uniting these eight global organizations of cooperatives is the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), in Geneva, a UN-recognized consultative NGO linked to the UN’s International Labor Organization.  But cooperativism is expanding.  It permeates many other activities, from car-sharing and child/elder-care, to health care, home and hospice care, funeral services, computer consultancies, orchestras, schools, tourism, utilities (electricity, water, gas, etc.), transport (taxis, buses, etc), and more."
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=Statistics=
(http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/articles/coop_intro.htm)
 
  
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"Born in the XIXth century, cooperatives are a large
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movement counting in 2015 almost 180,000 enterprises in the world, over 140 million members,
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more than 4,5 billion employees and more than €1,000 billion turnover. Only in Europe, there are
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127 million members, meaning that 1 out of 5 people in the EU is a cooperative member, and these
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numbers are constantly increasing (Cooperatives Europe, 2015)." [https://wiki.p2pfoundation.net/Cooperative_PLatforms_in_Europe]
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'''0.'''
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"Cooperative businesses have lower failure rates than traditional corporations and small businesses, after the first year of startup, and after 5 years in business. '''About 10% of cooperatives fail after the first year while 60-80% of traditional businesses fail after the first year. After 5 years, 90% of cooperatives are still in business, while only 3 - 5% of traditional businesses are still operating after 5 years'''." [http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-05-05/the-benefits-and-impacts-of-cooperatives]
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 +
-  www.coopseurope.coop
  
=Example=
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'''1.''' Did you know that [http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/292-cooperative-capitalism-can-coops-rejuvenate-the-american-economy]:
  
#Bowman & Stone: [http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/papers/bowstone.htm Cooperativization on the Mondragón Model As Alternative to Globalizing Capitalism]
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* One billion people are members of cooperatives?
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* The 300 largest cooperatives have sales totaling more than $1 trillion per year?
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* Cooperative enterprises employ 100 million people worldwide, 20 percent more than multinational enterprises? [http://www.ica.coop/coop/statistics.html#jobs]
  
=Status=
 
  
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'''2. Jay Walljasper:'''
  
==World==
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"more than 800 million people around the world belong to one of these economic networks. Coops flourish in all sectors of modern society proving that sharing is a practical economic model. They represent a commons-based alternative to both the private market and state controlled enterprises.
  
"Worldwide, roughly 750,000 cooperatives serve 730 million members, according to the National Cooperative Business Association."http://www.alternet.org/story/144969/the_growth_of_citizen_co-ops_is_a_positive_development_as_corporations_fail_us_in_every_way] 
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Four in ten Canadians are coop members (70 percent in the province of Quebec). In the U.S. 25 percent of the population belongs to at least one coop ranging from credit unions to food coops to major firms like REI and Land O’ Lakes dairy, according to the International Co-Operative Alliance In Belgium, coops account for 20 percent of pharmacies: in Brazil, 37 percent of all agricultural production is from coops; in Singapore, coops account for 55 percent of supermarket purchases; in Bolivia, one credit union handles 25 percent of all savings; in Korea and Japan, 90 percent of farmers belong to coops; in Kenya, coops account for 45 percent of the GDP; in Finland, 34 percent of forestry products, 74 percent of meat and 96 percent of dairy products come from coops.
  
==U.S.==
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Around the world, coops provide 100 million jobs, 20 percent more than multinational companies."
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(http://www.shareable.net/blog/2012-international-year-of-the-co-op)
  
"Here in this country, some 72,000 co-op establishments operate, providing more than 2 million jobs and serving 120 million members--that's four in 10 Americans. These establishments exist in energy, childcare, food distribution, health care, insurance, agriculture, telecommunications and other industries." [http://www.alternet.org/story/144969/the_growth_of_citizen_co-ops_is_a_positive_development_as_corporations_fail_us_in_every_way]
 
  
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==UK==
  
by Elizabeth Bowman and Bob Stone:
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"The scale and impact of the UK’s mutual sector is revealed in the recently published Mutuals Yearbook, launched by campaigning group Mutuo at its annual conference in London.
  
"With 800 million members world-wide, co-ops are major economic actors. They provide 100 million of the planet’s jobs, 20% more than multinational enterprises!  The ICA reports that in the most cooperativized continent, Europe, over 140 million are members of co-ops of all kinds. Over 10% of France’s employees work in co-ops - not extreme in western Europe.  Surprisingly, in the US, as National Co-operative Business Association reports, co-ops of all kinds serve some 120 million members or 4 in 10 citizens.  Included are: 10,000 credit unions, 1000 rural electric, 1000 mutual insurance companies, 6,400 housing, 3,400 farm, 270 telephone, and about 300 worker co-ops (a small percent compared to Europe). Worker co-ops are most frequent in Venezuela and Argentina, credit unions in Mexico, agricultural co-ops in Cuba and Brazil.
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Despite the recession, mutual businesses and organisations are set to achieve record revenue figures of £116 billion – a £4bn increase on last year’s total. Mutuo calculates that there are 17,897 mutuals in the country – a small drop on the 2011 figure – and over a million people employed in the sector.
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Altogether, according to the Yearbook, there are 5,933 co-ops in the UK; 338 Co-operative Trust schools; 9,006 clubs and societies; 184 football and rugby supporters trusts; 250 employee-owned businesses; 55 mutual insurers and friendly societies; 47 mutual building societies; 424 credit unions; 144 NHS Foundation Trusts and 1,516 housing associations."
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(http://empowerus.co/)
  
Since democratizing production can transform an economy, worker co-ops have attracted social change advocates. Surprisingly, most comparative studies show them to be more productive and profitable than similar capitalist firms. Given this pivotal advantage, a cooperative sector, not just the odd co-op or even co-op network, could out-compete traditional firms on their own criteria. Varied explanations have been offered for this advantage. It may be due to owner-members’ stakes in its success. And the pooling of knowledge that would otherwise go unshared may be important.  Finally, worker co-ops, freed of the burden of costly managers and absentee shareholders, enjoy financial buoyancy and more options. Instead of being hired by capital for its ends workers would voluntarily join together to hire capital for their ends. If the current economic crisis matures, this taming of markets and narrowing of the wealth gap would bring welcome global economic security and balance.
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=Related Wiki sections=
  
Based on the premise that cooperatives are public goods – stimulating production and stabilizing demand - measures that would foster growth of a co-op sector in the U.S., for example, might include: community economic development (with neighborhood control of major pieces of municipal and county budgets); tax breaks and priority in government contracts; publicly funded co-op market research; establishment of revolving loan funds for cooperatives; widespread education in cooperative management and accounting; and letting workers themselves use their retirement funds for major buy-outs. Workers empowered in these ways would likely insist on democratizing not only production and investment but also distribution, yielding a viable cooperativized economy. Arguably, the weak effort in that direction made by the former Yugoslavia does not suffice as a counter-example, as we indicate below. Enterprise by enterprise the market in human labor would be abolished and collective decisions would displace “market forces.”
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* Material on "Participation", http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Participation
(http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/articles/coop_intro.htm)
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* On Cooperation, http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Cooperation
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* Material on "Facilitation", http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Facilitation
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* Material on "Collective Intelligence", http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Intelligence
  
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* The emerging Sharing Economy, http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Sharing
  
==USA 2009==
 
  
"a new study by the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Cooperatives points to a long-term gradual growth throughout the movement. There are now almost 30,000 cooperative businesses in the U.S., and they generate about $500 billion in revenue and $25 billion in wages. The Center also found 350 million co-op memberships, with all but 10 million of them in consumer cooperatives."
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=Citations=
(http://www.solidarityeconomy.net/2009/12/22/worker-co-ops-green-and-just-jobs-you-can-own/)
 
  
=History=
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"We acknowledge the cooperative movement as one of the transforming forces of the present society based upon class antagonism. Its great merit is to practically show that the present pauperising, and despotic system of the subordination of labour to capital can be superseded by the republican and beneficent system of the association of free and equal producers."
  
by Elizabeth Bowman and Bob Stone:
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- Marx, 1866 [http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1866/08/instructions.htm#05]
  
"The cooperative movement - born along with and within capitalism as its built-in but radically opposite smaller twin - has for at least 160 years presented itself as an alternative to the dominant system’s antagonistic relations of production. While the utopian community set up by Robert Owen preceded the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers founded in England in 1844, Rochdale is usually considered the first successful co-operative enterprise. Its principles inform the modern movement. Of the following 7 principles of cooperativism, agreed to in 1995 by representatives of the global movement, four were initiated at Rochdale.  Numbers one, two, three and five of today’s principles hark back to Rochdale: 1.voluntary and open membership;  2. democratic member control;  3. member economic participation;  4.autonomy and independence; 5. education, training, and information; 6. cooperation among cooperatives;  7. concern for community.
 
  
As mechanization was increasingly forcing skilled workers into poverty, a group of 28 weavers and other Rochdale artisans opened their own store in December 1844. They sold food items workers could not otherwise afford. In the four months prior to opening they had struggled to pool together one pound sterling per person for a total of 28 pounds of capital. The store opened with a meager selection of butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal and a few candles. Within three months, selection expanded to include tea and tobacco, and the co-op became known for providing affordable, unadulterated goods. When, to raise more capital, the Rochdale workers took on non-worker investor members, the new members outvoted the pioneers and set up a standard capitalist enterprise  -- a trajectory that was to become all too common in future cooperatives.
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"We recommend to the working men to embark in co-operative production rather than in co-operative stores. The latter touch but the surface of the present economical system, the former attacks its groundwork."
  
Subsequent co-op history is a discontinuous tale of sudden upsurges and equally sudden collapses, followed by forgetting. By 1848 it was clear that capitalism could not deliver on humanistic claims of the French and U.S. revolutions. In that year of the first serious protests in Europe against capitalism as such, cooperativism as alternative often figured prominently.  And again, in 1871, co-ops of all sorts flourished briefly under the Paris Commune before it was brutally repressed by the French army.  Later, in France in May 1968, the re-discovered idea of “self-management” swept through the economy, democratizing factories, apartment blocs, even corporate offices. As the ferment of debate permeated occupied businesses radical change in a developed nation seemed possible. Opposed by the De Gaulle government and subverted by the Communist Party, however, the 1968 uprising was reduced to being yet another flash in the pan.  In 1974 workers in the occupation strike at the Lip watch factory at Besançon, France re-started production under “self-management” and began selling their products – an important innovation over the 1968 struggle.
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- Marx, 1866 [http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1866/08/instructions.htm#05]
  
Starting with Rochdale itself, the cooperative movement has been consistently dogged by what has been called “the degeneration problem”: re-absorption of co-ops by capitalism. solved Part of that problem - vulnerability to buy-outs – was largely solved by the “individual capital accounts” invented in the 1950s by the Mondragón Cooperative Corporation in Spain’s Basque country.  The Mondragón network became a movement model by demonstrating that a major producer of capital goods could go up against capitalist firms and prosper.  However, MCCs choices to enter first the European and later the global markets resulted in centralization of management and sacrifice of much of the democracy that had distinguished it from its capitalist competitors. At the same time however, a long-term democratization of production in capitalism itself may reflect investors’ growing difficulty in exacting more labor and hence more profits without giving workers “a piece of the action” or a semblance of it."
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=Key Resources=
(http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/articles/coop_intro.htm)
 
=Discussion=
 
  
 +
 +
* [http://cultivate.coop/wiki/Category:Articles Cultivate Coop]: great wiki on all things cooperative
 +
 +
* [[Find Coop]] is a directory of alternative economic initiatives in the U.S. [http://find.coop/]
  
==Separating Ownership from Voting Rights==
 
  
Presented as a solution to the degeneration problem (i.e. coops turning into for-profit enterprises):
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==Key Articles==
  
"The Mondragón co-ops avoid this degeneration by separating ownership, which varies in value, from voting, which is strictly equal. Instead of buying stock, new applicants advance labor to pay the membership fee. Roughly a year's salary, this loan by members starts an "individual capital account" (ICA) to which monthly and year-end profits and losses are credited or debited. (Thomas & Logan 1982, p. 136) Unlike stock shares, ICAs are neither accumulable nor sellable and carry only one vote. Being both individually recoupable upon leaving yet available meanwhile for collective investment, they constitute a sort of bank inside each co-op. Rights attach solely to membership and terminate when members retire or leave. There being no non-worker owners, co-ops remain whole solely in the hands of their active workforces, avoiding the Rochdale error. A co-op could be sold, but only by a hard-to-muster two-thirds of a general assembly vote, and this has never happened.
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* [[Coops Based on Cryptonetworks]]. Jesse Walden: "we believe that '''cryptonetworks — what we call “community owned and operated networks” — could unlock a new paradigm for continued cooperation, while still sustaining strong network effects".'''
  
The "salary" spread from lowest to highest, currently 1 to 6, is based on an agreed job rating index. "Salary" is in scare quotes since members, not being employees, receive no wages or salaries. Rather, they have the following rights of owners and managers: 1) monthly and annual profit distributions; 2) 6% annual interest on their loans to the co-op; 3) a vote on undistributed funds; 4) access to all records; and 5) a vote on policy and managers.
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* International Co-operative Alliance. Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade [online]. http://ica.coop/en/blueprint
  
Mondragón has outlasted Olympia as a co-op by 20 years, due partly to separating voting rights from ownership rights."
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* Chavez, H & Maria, E. 100 Million Jobs: The contribution of cooperatives to employment creation. United Nations International Labor Organization [online] (2008). http://www.ilo.org/global/publications/ilo-bookstore/order-online/books/...
(http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/papers/bowstone.htm)
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* Bruno Jossa: [[Marx, Marxism and the Cooperative Movement]].
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* [[On the Private Nature of Cooperative Property]] ; "although the indivisible reserves are indisputably collective property, it is still private from the point of view of people outside of the cooperative" ; By BENOÎT BORRITS
  
  
==How is Cooperative Production related to P2P?==
+
 +
'''* Special Issue: Affinities Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2010): The New Cooperativism''' [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/issue/view/4/showToc]
 +
 +
 +
Selection of articles:
 +
 +
#The [[Cooperative Movement in Century 21]]. John Curl [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/50/169]
 +
#[[Commons and Cooperatives]]. Greig de Peuter, Nick Dyer-Witheford [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/45/151]
 +
#[[Social Centres and the New Cooperativism of the Common]]. Andre Pusey [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/31/124]
 +
#A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm. Andrew Gryf Paterson [http://journals.sfu.ca/affinities/index.php/affinities/article/view/51/140]
  
Michel Bauwens, comparing p2p and cooperatives:
 
  
 
+
===P2P Foundation===
"1. P2P is based on cyberspace and therefore it has a global scale and cooperatives are designed for a physical (and therefore inherently more local) production system.
 
 
 
2. P2P belongs to all while cooperatives belong to an specific collective (workers or consumers)
 
 
 
3. P2P produces use value in a commons; while cooperatives run in the marketplace and, because of that, they are geared towards the creation of exchange value.
 
 
 
4. P2P is emerging as a phenomenon supported by online world, are emerging as more productive that other forms of production, while cooperatives have traditionally been marginalized in our capitalist world.
 
 
 
5. P2P is a system where anyone contributes but without any exigency of return and cooperatives are based on reciprocity.
 
  
6. They can be complementary in the following way: 1) globa-local [[Open Design]] communities create a [[Commons]] for the global development of the knowledge; 2) local cooperatives work in the marketplace, using the open designs, and are themselves contributing to it.
+
'''Please read:'''
 +
 +
* '''[[Why We Need a New Kind of Open Cooperativism for the P2P Age]]''', a shorter appeal ;
 +
 +
* [[From the Communism of Capital to a Capital for the Commons]], the theoretical and political underpinning of the appeal
  
7. Cooperatives are a more equity-based approach to working with peer communities, than for-profit institutions, and therefore may be preferable as a format for the marketization of the exchange value that is derived from the P2P-commons"
+
===How-To===
  
More Discussion on this topic via the following Blog entries:
+
Creating coops in the digital age:
  
#http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/p2p-markets-cooperatives-the-state-and-altruism/2006/03/17
+
# Worker Coop toolbox: http://cccd.coop/sites/default/files/resources/worker_coop_toolbox.pdf
#http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/p2p-and-the-cooperative-movement-2/2006/03/11
+
# A Technology Freelancer’s Guide to Starting a Worker Cooperative: http://electricembers.net/pubs/TechCoopHOWTO.pdf
#http://artesaniaenred.blogspot.com/2006/03/p2p-cooperatives-and-mondragon.html
+
# Steps to Starting a Worker Coop: http://www.cccd.coop/files/Steps%20to%20Starting%20a%20Worker%20Coop.pdf
#http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/p2p-and-the-cooperative-movement-critical-comments-from-marcus-moltz/2006/02/20
+
# Darius Kazemi: A [https://feeltrain.com/blog/operating-agreement/ DOCUMENT TO HELP YOU START A TECH COOPERATIVE]
#http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/cooperative-capitalism-as-an-intermediary-between-the-market-and-peer-production/2006/02/20
 
#http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/p2p-and-the-cooperative-movement/2006/02/15
 
  
  
 +
* [http://shareable.net/blog/how-to-start-a-housing-coop How to Start a Housing Co-op] (U.S.)
  
==Data on the Higher Labor Productivity of Cooperatives==
+
==Key Books==
  
Mira Luna:
+
* [[Ours to Hack and to Own]]. Ed. by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider, fall 2016: contributions on creating [[Platform Cooperatives]].
  
"As to the efficiency effects of greater worker participation, the HEW study of 1973 concludes, “In no instance of which we have evidence has a major effort to increase employee participation resulted in a long-term decline in productivity.” Nine years later, surveying their empirical studies, Derek Jones and Jan Svenjnar report, “There is apparently consistent support for the view that worker participation in management causes higher productivity. This result is supported by a variety of methodological approaches, using diverse data and for disparate time periods.” In 1990, a collection of research papers edited by Princeton economist Alan Blinder extends the data set much further and reached the same conclusion: worker participation usually enhances productivity in the short run, sometimes in the long run, and rarely has a negative effect. Moreover, participation is most conducive to enhancing productivity when combined with profit sharing, guaranteed long-range employment, relatively narrow wage differentials , and guaranteed worker rights (such as protection from dismissal except for just cause)- precisely the conditions that will prevail under Economic Democracy. 8
+
* '''[[Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy]]'''. by Michael Lewis & Pat Conaty ; The Resilience Imperative is a key book integrating a vision of cooperatives in a broad social economy consisting of commons, solidarity economics, the principle of resilience, etc ..
  
As to the viability of complete workplace democracy, we note that workers in the plywood cooperatives in the Pacific Northwest have been electing their managers since the 1940s, workers in the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain since the 1950s. There are some twenty thousand producer-cooperatives in Italy, comprising one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy. The Swedish cooperative movement is also large and impressive. Needless to say, not all self-management ventures are successful, but I know of no empirical study that even purports to demonstrate that worker-elected managers are less competent than their capitalist counterparts. Most comparisons suggest the opposite; most find worker self-managed firms more productive than similarly situated capitalist firms. For Berman, on the plywood cooperatives, states:
+
* '''Johnston Birchall, The Co-op: the People's Business''': "For a full picture of the twists and turns of the history of the Co-op movement in the UK from the 1770s and right up to the mid-1990s with some earlier links to Ireland (before independence)"
  
“The major basis for cooperative success, and for survival of capitalistcally unprofitable plants, has been superior labor productivity. Studies comparing square-foot output have repeatedly shown higher physical volume of output per hour, and others…show higher quality of product and also economy of material use.” 9
+
* John Curl, For All the People - '''Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative movements''' and Communalism in America. For the US history of Co-ops and the twists and turns.
  
And Thomas on Mondragon:
 
  
“Productivity and profitability are higher for cooperatives than for capitalist firms. It make little difference whether the Mondragon group is compared with the largest 500 companies, or with small- or medium-scale industries; in both comparison the Mondragon group is more productive and more profitable.” 10
+
* Recommended by Pat Conaty:
  
There is also the example of Weirton Steel. In 1982, following a mediocre year and facing bleaker prospects, National Steel offered to sell its Weirton, West Virginia plant to its 7,000 workers. The deal was completed in 1984. Weirton proceeded to post eighteen consecutive profitable quarters- at a time when many steel firms suffered steep losses, including two of Weirton’s competitors, who were forced into bankruptcy. 11 United Airlines, now majority owned by its pilots and technicians, has survived the intense competition that has brought down so many conventionally owned carriers."
+
"Recent books on Co-operative Economy solutions including:
(http://trustcurrency.blogspot.com/2009/12/worker-cooperative-productivity.html)
 
  
 +
#John Restakis, [[Humanizing the Economy]],
 +
#Richard Sennett's book Together, 
 +
#Bruno Roelants Capital and the Debt Trap. and
 +
#Gar Alperovitz's latest book (2013) [[What Then Must We Do]]?
  
  
===References===
+
* Bruno Roelants with Claudia Sanchez Bajo. Capital and the Debt Trap: Learning from Co-operatives in the Global Crisis. MacMillan, 2013.
  
8. Citations in this paragraph are from US Dept of Health, Ed, and Welfare, Work in America(Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1973), 112; and Derek Jones and Jan Svenjar, eds., Participatory and Self-Managed Firms: Evaluating Economic Performance (Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1982), 11. See also Alan blinder, ed., Paying for Productivity: A Look at the Evidence (D.C.: Brookings, 1990), especially the contribution by David Levine and Laura Tyson.
+
* John Curl (2009) For All the People, PM Press, 2009: On US co-ops and their potential with a fabulous review of US Co-op history:
  
9. Katrina Berman, “A Cooperative Model for Worker Management,” in the Performance of Labour-Managed Firms, ed. Frank Stephens (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982), 80.
+
* Mark Lutz (1999) Economics for the Common Good, Routledge. For a superb intellectual case for co-operative economics including a brilliant case for worker ownership and rethinking the corporation'
  
10. Hendrik Thomas, “The Performance of the Mondragon Cooperatives in Spain,” in Participatory and Self-Managed Firms, ed. Jones and Svenjar, 149.
+
* JW Smith (2009) Economic Democracy - a Grand Strategy for World Peace and Prosperity.
  
11. For more on Weirton, see James Lieber, Friendly Takeover: How an Employee Buyout Saved a Steel Town (New York: Viking, 1995).  
+
* Paul Hirst (1993) Associative Democracy: New forms of social and economic governance, Polity Press. convincingly updates the case for Guild Socialism
  
  
==Cooperatives, Productivity, Innovation==
+
===Reports===
  
Kevin Carson's fifteenth draft chapter of Organization Theory goes into a detailed comparison of the productivity of cooperatives vs. business enterprises. It shows, how the meta-system is skewed against the cooperative format, despite their higher productivity.
+
* [[Co-operation in the Age of Google]]. By Robin Murray.
  
One subsection discusses the issue of Innovation:
+
* The [[New Wave of Mutuality]]. By ROBIN MURRAY. Policy Network, 2012.
  
"Critics of worker cooperatives frequently charge that they skimp on capital
+
* [[Revisiting Associative Democracy]] [http://www.opendemocracy.net/andrea-westall/time-to-revisit-associative-democracy]
investment in order to maximize employment. But to put it in less value-laden terms, that
 
simply means that cooperatives economize on capital at the expense of labor efficiency.
 
Capitalist enterprises, on the other hand, do just the opposite: they pursue a strategy of
 
capital substitution in order to maximize labor efficiency, reduce labor costs, and
 
minimize agency problems associated with labor--even when it means relying on the
 
relatively wasteful use of large capital and energy inputs.
 
  
What's happened in the United States is that we have displaced those ways of producing
+
==Key People==
goods which are efficient in using energy, efficient in using capital, and inefficient in using
 
labor with the reverse, and the upshot is that we tend to waste energy, to run out of capital,
 
and to run out of jobs.
 
  
What's the difference between the two approaches? The difference is that we are
+
* [http://blog.oi-london.org.uk/post/53446273539/oi-interview-annemarie-naylor-director-common Anne-Marie Naylor] of Common Futures, recommended by Josef-Davies Coates
conditioned to see the maximization of utility by owners of capital as the normal purpose
 
of economic activity, but to dismiss maximization of utility by labor as "malingering."
 
  
Barry Stein, as we have already seen, argues that incremental improvements in the
+
* [[Janelle Orsi]], sharing lawyer
production process, cumulatively, have more of an effect on productivity than do
 
generational changes in production machinery.
 
  
Jaroslav Vanek makes the distinction between major and minor innovations. While
 
major technological innovations,
 
  
''"if profitable, will generally find outlets into productive application whatever the economic
+
Recommended by [[John Restakis]]:
system, the minor ones may or may not depending on the environment in which they are
 
made. ....[T]he labor-managed form of productive organization is highly conducive to minor
 
innovative activity within the firm...."''
 
  
Probably the best way of distinguishing between what we have termed major and minor
+
* Lou Hammond Ketilson ; Centre for the Study of Co-operatives ; University of Saskatchewan (Canada)
innovations is that the latter generally cannot be the subject of a full-time professional
+
<[email protected].usask.ca>
occupation. Rather, they will arise as an externality... of an activity whose primary purpose
 
is something else than to innovate--generally to produce or contribute to the production of
 
some good or service. More concretely, ...a repeated act of production will stimulate
 
reflection on how that act could be facilitated, or done more efficiently....
 
  
Clearly... the situation most conducive to the application of minor innovations is one of
+
* Sonja Novkovic ; St. Marys University
an individual self-employed producer, provided that he is not constrained by financial
+
limitations. As far as conduciveness--or the incentive--to innovate goes, the labor-managed
 
firm is the second-best solution.... First of all, the self-management structure... provides an
 
excellent channel of communication, unparalleled in any other firm, between those who have
 
innovative ideas, those who decide on an procure the capital implementation, and those who
 
incorporate the innovation into the income-distribution scheme of the firm. Second, the
 
innovator in the labor-managed firm need not worry that the capital owner will exploit the
 
innovation and leave him with only a small part of the gain.
 
  
The reference to developing ideas for minor innovation as a side-effect of production, by
+
hard core cooperative academic; Master's in Cooperative Business Administration
the way, is reminiscent of Jane Jacobs' theory of technical innovation as finding new uses
 
for the waste materials of an existing production process, or spinning off production
 
techniques from existing products (for which the new techniques may not even be
 
suitable) to new product lines. A good example is 3M (originally Minnesota Mining and
 
Manufacturing) corporation's lines of adhesive tape (including Scotch tape), which were
 
an offshoot of an unsuccessful experiment in developing adhesive backing for sandpaper
 
in their primary business line.
 
  
According to Barry Stein, the cumulative effect on productivity of small, incremental
+
* Ana Maria Peredo ; Centre for Co-op and Community Based Economy, University of Victoria
innovations (i.e., Vanek's "minor innovations") is as great as that of generational leaps in
+
technology. He cites a 1965 study of DuPont rayon plants by Samuel Hollander, which
 
found that "'minor' technical changes--based on technology judged relatively 'simple' to
 
develop... and usually representing 'evolutionary' advances... accounted for two-thirds of
 
the unit-cost reductions attributable to technical change at most of the plants considered."
 
  
Such incremental changes made it possible "to incorporate within a given structure
+
* Hazel Corcoran ; Canadian Worker Co-op Federation
sufficiently productive technology to permit an older plan to produce almost as efficiently
+
as a newly built plant"--and "the sum total of the outlay needed to accomplish the
 
alterations at the older plant [would be] relatively small."
 
  
Stein echoes the insights of Vanek and Jacobs about innovation as the byproduct of
+
* Anne Hoyt ,Dept. Chair Consumer Science, University of Michigan
the production process.
+
  
It has already been noted that much of the technological progress within a firm is the
+
cooperative theorist; used to run Center for Coop studies at Un. of Michigan
result of a series of small innovations.... The primary source of all innovations is derived
 
from the recognition of a need, rather than from technical opportunity, as such.... In one
 
study, only 21 percent of the successful innovations stemmed from technical sources; 30
 
percent were a response to perception of a need/opportunity in manufacturing; and fully 45
 
percent were due to market factors. Such recognition of a need, whether within the firm or
 
with respect to the outside market, becomes possible only under conditions in which
 
workers... are more generally knowledgeable about the organization, its operation, and its
 
relationship to its environment.
 
  
Likewise, the most successful product innovations often result less from generational
+
* Vera Negri Zamagni, University of Bologna
changes or fundamentally new technologies than from tinkering with existing products.
+
  
Tom Peters, in his observation of the corporate world, found numerous examples of the
+
foremost cooperative historian in Italy
phenomenon.
 
  
As we already saw in Chapter Five, Hayek argued for the role of the distributed
+
* Renate Georgen, Le Mat
knowledge of those engaged in the production process in making such incremental
+
<renate.[email protected].com>
process and product improvements. Let's repeat his earlier quote:
 
To know of and put to use a machine not fully employed, or somebody's skill which could be
 
better utilized, or to be aware of a surplus stock which can be drawn upon during an
 
interruption of supplies, is socially quite as useful as the knowledge of better alternative
 
techniques....
 
  
Is it true that, with the elaborate apparatus of modern production, economic decisions are
+
practitioner, very engaged in theory and practice of cooperative social enterprise; Le Mat is largest social franchise coop in Italy, perhaps even in Europe
required only at long intervals, as when a new factory is to be erected or a new process to be
 
introduced? Is it true that, once a plant has been built, the rest is all more or less mechanical,
 
determined by the character of the plant, and leaving little to be changed in adapting to the
 
ever-changing circumstances of the moment?
 
  
The fairly widespread belief in the affirmative is not, so far as I can ascertain, borne out
 
by the practical experience of the business man. In a competitive industry at any rate--and
 
such an industry alone can serve as a test--the task of keeping cost from rising requires
 
constant struggle, absorbing a great part of the energy of the manager. How easy it is for an
 
inefficient manager to dissipate the differentials on which profitability rests, and that it is
 
possible, with the same technical facilities, to produce with a great variety of costs, are
 
among the commonplaces of business experience which do not seem to be equally familiar in
 
the study of the economist.
 
  
Innovation in an economy where self-employment and worker ownership
+
Other cooperative economists, or related, as recommended by [[Pat Conaty]]:
predominates would likely include efficiencies which presently go unrealized because of
 
the special agency problems of absentee ownership and hierarchical authority."
 
(http://members.tripod.com/kevin_carson/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/Chapter15.pdf)
 
  
=More Information=
+
#[[Angela Espinosa]]
 +
#[[Hazel Henderson]]
 +
#[[Emily Kawano]]‎‎
 +
#[[Margrit Kennedy]]
 +
#[[Mary Mellor‎]]
 +
#[[Margie Mendell]]
 +
#[[Carlota Perez]]
 +
#[[Ann Pettifor]]
 +
#[[Molly Scott-Cato]]
  
Cooperatives: A [http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/articles/coop_intro.htm Brief Introduction to their Types, History & Social Change Prospect]. by Elizabeth Bowman and Bob Stone. December 2007
+
and also:
  
 +
#[[Hilary Wainwright]], editor of Red Pepper in the UK
 +
#Margie Mendell, Montreal, Quebec and Director of the Karl Polanyi Institute
 +
#Frances Hutchinson, author of the Political Economy of Guild Socialism and Social Credit
  
Also:
+
==Key Videos==
  
#See http://www.ica.coop/calendar/ga2005/birchallkey.pdf
+
#[[Stefano Zamagni on Cooperatives as a Counterpoint to Corporatism]]
#“Cooperative Alternatives to Capitalism,” Special issue of Humanity &  Society, Vol. 28, No. 3, August 2004, edited by Frank Lindenfeld
+
#[[Robin Murray on the Future of Co-operation]]
#Website of International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) -- “Uniting, representing and serving cooperatives world-wide,” www.ica.coop
 
#Website of National Cooperative Business Association (US), www.ncba.coop
 
  
 +
==Visualizations==
  
[[Category:Encyclopedia]]
+
[[File:CLT - Commonwealth Wheel.jpg|thumb|none|The Commonwealth Wheel by [[Pat_Conaty]].]].
  
[[Category:Governance]]
+
=Directory=
  
[[Category:Relational]]
+
[[Category:Companies]]

Latest revision as of 05:38, 27 October 2020

For the definition, typology and more, see our entry on Cooperatives.

At the P2P Foundation, we do not believe that the development of cooperatives, competing within the dominant economic system today, is a sufficient alternative, see the article: Cooperatives Are Not a Viable Strategy Against Capitalism, by Sam Gindin.

But neither do we believe we have to 'wait' for a big moment of change. Instead, we favor:

  • Open Cooperativism, which are cooperatives with structurally and legal develop commons and contribute to accumulation of commons
  • Platform Cooperativism, these are distributed mechanisms for exchange of products and services, but in which the platform and infrastructrures are commons, thus serving the accumulation of commons
  • Protocol Cooperativism: the creation of global open infrastructures that can be used by open and platform coops, creating trans-national commons infrastructures that can be adapted for local usage

See our report, Value in the Commons Economy, which explains how commons-oriented cooperativism can instantiate different regimes of value, not just compete within the current system.

A word of caution: you have to be familiar with the limitations of the cooperative model in a capitalist society, formulated as Oppenheimer’s Law of Transformation: cooperatives are a short-term means of survival, but tend towards capitalist privatization in the longer term Oppenheimer clearly formulated the prospect that as long as the macro-economic accounting system is governed by private capital calculation, no communal settlement can survive without adapting this economic model.

Our proposal for Open Cooperatives is meant as a pragmatic antidote to this deeper tendency, it recommends making 'commons creation' a legal and structural obligation for cooperatives, so that they produce common goods even as they veer towards adaptation.


Introduction

Michel Bauwens:

"Peer production is about mutualizing knowledge and allowing anyone to freely aggregate his immaterial efforts to common pools of knowledge, code and design; stigmergy is the vehicle for mutual coordination of local and global collective efforts through transparency of the cooperation.

Cooperativism and other such forms are about mutualizing property and physical infrastructures, such as to allow anyone to freely aggregate their efforts to common efforts at provisioning material good and securing a livelyhood; stigmergic coordination of physical production is obtained through open book accounting and open supply chains; and a proposed peer production license can create the solidarity around the commons pools of technical knowledge need for cooperative production.

While immaterial cooperation, because of its anti-rival nature, requires a commons-based relational logic and the creation of universally accessible common pools of knowledge; material cooperation, requires mechanisms based on reciprocity and fair trade."


  • The P2P Foundation supports the emergence of Commonfare practices of social solidarity for networked workers who co-created commons and shared resources (see our special section http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:P2P_Solidarity), as well as their integration with a strengthened welfare system. In particular we support the creation of 'labor mutuals', i.e. freelance coops which already exist in the French-speaking world (Coopaname in France ; SMart in Belgium, Bigre, etc ..; see the project of AltGen in the UK).


Henry Tam on how to scale the cooperative economy


The 7 Principles of Cooperatives

  • Voluntary and Open Membership, Democratic Member Control, member Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training and Information, Cooperation Among Cooperatives, and Concern for Community.

The 7 principles, based on the historical Rochdale Principles set in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, have been nofficially adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) in 1937, and the current version reported here derives from the last revision adopted by the ICA in 1995. They can be found on the website at http://ica.coop/en/whats-co-op/co-operative-identityvalues-principles

Sources

* Special Issue: Affinities Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2010): The New Cooperativism [1]

Selection of articles:

  1. The Cooperative Movement in Century 21. John Curl [2]
  2. Commons and Cooperatives. Greig de Peuter, Nick Dyer-Witheford [3]
  3. Social Centres and the New Cooperativism of the Common. Andre Pusey [4]
  4. A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm. Andrew Gryf Paterson [5]


  • Shareable commisioned these articles to help educate the general public about the value of cooperatives in creating democratic societies.
  1. an interview with Chuck Gold of ICA about the Int'l Year of  the Coop:  http://www.shareable.net/blog/co-ops-are-big-business-charles-gould-interview
  2. feature story about cooperatives, "Meet the New Boss: You": http://www.shareable.net/blog/meet-the-new-boss-you 

Typology

  1. Worker-Owned Cooperatives
  2. Consumer-Owned Cooperatives
  3. Housing Cooperatives
  4. Credit Unions
  5. Food Cooperatives
  6. Farmer’s Cooperatives


Statistics

"Born in the XIXth century, cooperatives are a large movement counting in 2015 almost 180,000 enterprises in the world, over 140 million members, more than 4,5 billion employees and more than €1,000 billion turnover. Only in Europe, there are 127 million members, meaning that 1 out of 5 people in the EU is a cooperative member, and these numbers are constantly increasing (Cooperatives Europe, 2015)." [6]

0.

"Cooperative businesses have lower failure rates than traditional corporations and small businesses, after the first year of startup, and after 5 years in business. About 10% of cooperatives fail after the first year while 60-80% of traditional businesses fail after the first year. After 5 years, 90% of cooperatives are still in business, while only 3 - 5% of traditional businesses are still operating after 5 years." [7]

- www.coopseurope.coop

1. Did you know that [8]:

  • One billion people are members of cooperatives?
  • The 300 largest cooperatives have sales totaling more than $1 trillion per year?
  • Cooperative enterprises employ 100 million people worldwide, 20 percent more than multinational enterprises? [9]


2. Jay Walljasper:

"more than 800 million people around the world belong to one of these economic networks. Coops flourish in all sectors of modern society proving that sharing is a practical economic model. They represent a commons-based alternative to both the private market and state controlled enterprises.

Four in ten Canadians are coop members (70 percent in the province of Quebec). In the U.S. 25 percent of the population belongs to at least one coop ranging from credit unions to food coops to major firms like REI and Land O’ Lakes dairy, according to the International Co-Operative Alliance In Belgium, coops account for 20 percent of pharmacies: in Brazil, 37 percent of all agricultural production is from coops; in Singapore, coops account for 55 percent of supermarket purchases; in Bolivia, one credit union handles 25 percent of all savings; in Korea and Japan, 90 percent of farmers belong to coops; in Kenya, coops account for 45 percent of the GDP; in Finland, 34 percent of forestry products, 74 percent of meat and 96 percent of dairy products come from coops.

Around the world, coops provide 100 million jobs, 20 percent more than multinational companies." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/2012-international-year-of-the-co-op)


UK

"The scale and impact of the UK’s mutual sector is revealed in the recently published Mutuals Yearbook, launched by campaigning group Mutuo at its annual conference in London.

Despite the recession, mutual businesses and organisations are set to achieve record revenue figures of £116 billion – a £4bn increase on last year’s total. Mutuo calculates that there are 17,897 mutuals in the country – a small drop on the 2011 figure – and over a million people employed in the sector. Altogether, according to the Yearbook, there are 5,933 co-ops in the UK; 338 Co-operative Trust schools; 9,006 clubs and societies; 184 football and rugby supporters trusts; 250 employee-owned businesses; 55 mutual insurers and friendly societies; 47 mutual building societies; 424 credit unions; 144 NHS Foundation Trusts and 1,516 housing associations." (http://empowerus.co/)

Related Wiki sections


Citations

"We acknowledge the cooperative movement as one of the transforming forces of the present society based upon class antagonism. Its great merit is to practically show that the present pauperising, and despotic system of the subordination of labour to capital can be superseded by the republican and beneficent system of the association of free and equal producers."

- Marx, 1866 [10]


"We recommend to the working men to embark in co-operative production rather than in co-operative stores. The latter touch but the surface of the present economical system, the former attacks its groundwork."

- Marx, 1866 [11]

Key Resources

  • Find Coop is a directory of alternative economic initiatives in the U.S. [12]


Key Articles

  • Coops Based on Cryptonetworks. Jesse Walden: "we believe that cryptonetworks — what we call “community owned and operated networks” — could unlock a new paradigm for continued cooperation, while still sustaining strong network effects".


* Special Issue: Affinities Journal, Vol 4, No 1 (2010): The New Cooperativism [13]


Selection of articles:

  1. The Cooperative Movement in Century 21. John Curl [14]
  2. Commons and Cooperatives. Greig de Peuter, Nick Dyer-Witheford [15]
  3. Social Centres and the New Cooperativism of the Common. Andre Pusey [16]
  4. A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm. Andrew Gryf Paterson [17]


P2P Foundation

Please read:

How-To

Creating coops in the digital age:

  1. Worker Coop toolbox: http://cccd.coop/sites/default/files/resources/worker_coop_toolbox.pdf
  2. A Technology Freelancer’s Guide to Starting a Worker Cooperative: http://electricembers.net/pubs/TechCoopHOWTO.pdf
  3. Steps to Starting a Worker Coop: http://www.cccd.coop/files/Steps%20to%20Starting%20a%20Worker%20Coop.pdf
  4. Darius Kazemi: A DOCUMENT TO HELP YOU START A TECH COOPERATIVE


Key Books

  • Cooperative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy. by Michael Lewis & Pat Conaty ; The Resilience Imperative is a key book integrating a vision of cooperatives in a broad social economy consisting of commons, solidarity economics, the principle of resilience, etc ..
  • Johnston Birchall, The Co-op: the People's Business: "For a full picture of the twists and turns of the history of the Co-op movement in the UK from the 1770s and right up to the mid-1990s with some earlier links to Ireland (before independence)"
  • John Curl, For All the People - Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative movements and Communalism in America. For the US history of Co-ops and the twists and turns.


  • Recommended by Pat Conaty:

"Recent books on Co-operative Economy solutions including:

  1. John Restakis, Humanizing the Economy,
  2. Richard Sennett's book Together,
  3. Bruno Roelants Capital and the Debt Trap. and
  4. Gar Alperovitz's latest book (2013) What Then Must We Do?


  • Bruno Roelants with Claudia Sanchez Bajo. Capital and the Debt Trap: Learning from Co-operatives in the Global Crisis. MacMillan, 2013.
  • John Curl (2009) For All the People, PM Press, 2009: On US co-ops and their potential with a fabulous review of US Co-op history:
  • Mark Lutz (1999) Economics for the Common Good, Routledge. For a superb intellectual case for co-operative economics including a brilliant case for worker ownership and rethinking the corporation'
  • JW Smith (2009) Economic Democracy - a Grand Strategy for World Peace and Prosperity.
  • Paul Hirst (1993) Associative Democracy: New forms of social and economic governance, Polity Press. convincingly updates the case for Guild Socialism


Reports

Key People


Recommended by John Restakis:

  • Lou Hammond Ketilson ; Centre for the Study of Co-operatives ; University of Saskatchewan (Canada)

<[email protected]>

  • Sonja Novkovic ; St. Marys University

<[email protected]>

hard core cooperative academic; Master's in Cooperative Business Administration

  • Ana Maria Peredo ; Centre for Co-op and Community Based Economy, University of Victoria

<[email protected]>

  • Hazel Corcoran ; Canadian Worker Co-op Federation

<[email protected]>

  • Anne Hoyt ,Dept. Chair Consumer Science, University of Michigan

<[email protected]>

cooperative theorist; used to run Center for Coop studies at Un. of Michigan

  • Vera Negri Zamagni, University of Bologna

<[email protected]>

foremost cooperative historian in Italy

  • Renate Georgen, Le Mat

<[email protected]>

practitioner, very engaged in theory and practice of cooperative social enterprise; Le Mat is largest social franchise coop in Italy, perhaps even in Europe


Other cooperative economists, or related, as recommended by Pat Conaty:

  1. Angela Espinosa
  2. Hazel Henderson
  3. Emily Kawano‎‎
  4. Margrit Kennedy
  5. Mary Mellor‎
  6. Margie Mendell
  7. Carlota Perez
  8. Ann Pettifor
  9. Molly Scott-Cato

and also:

  1. Hilary Wainwright, editor of Red Pepper in the UK
  2. Margie Mendell, Montreal, Quebec and Director of the Karl Polanyi Institute
  3. Frances Hutchinson, author of the Political Economy of Guild Socialism and Social Credit

Key Videos

  1. Stefano Zamagni on Cooperatives as a Counterpoint to Corporatism
  2. Robin Murray on the Future of Co-operation

Visualizations

The Commonwealth Wheel by Pat_Conaty.

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Directory

Subcategories

This category has only the following subcategory.

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Pages in category "Cooperatives"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 762 total.

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