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More like a village

a different kind of cooperative

If one happened to see a cooperative around today (not a very widespread species), it is most probably a workers’ of farmers’ one. This type is predominant now and sets the standards in public thinking.

Workers’ Coop peculiarities1

Workers’ (or employees’) cooperative emerged as a way to counterbalance capitalism. As a logical extension of the concept of guilds, when artisans became workers and the owners (and, later, financial investors) took the power. As such, this kind of cooperative is focused on (and limited to) the workplace area. Its goal is to change the internal governance of the company, so the actual employees have dominant voice in management. It takes away (or redistributes evenly) the power of ownership, be it direct or through financial investment, and transfers it to those who are directly involved in the work process. In context of the most generic definition (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.2), the primary need this type of cooperative caters for is employment, and the way to fulfill it is self-management. Continue reading More like a village