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This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

The co-operative is a successful, mutually beneficial system of production which has been systematically suppressed from business schools, economics classes, and Marxist theory throughout the world.

In a corporation, workers have no say in the company's goals, which are determined by a board of elites and a group of outsiders whose only aim is to make money (shareholders). In a co-operative, the organization is controlled by the workers, who make decisions that will benefit themselves.

Some of the obvious problems solved by co-operatives:

Main problem of a co-operative:

Co-operatives succeed in a free market

Co-operatives are not only successful, they have demonstrated success in a free market to the extent that you already recognize their brands, and most people don't even realize the brands represent "non-profit". Here are some examples of co-operatives today:

These organizations function like normal corporations. They invest in R&D and clean up after themselves. They advertise, operate efficiently, and lobby Congress. But they do all of this in a way that is satisfying to the owners of the company-- its employees.

Co-operatives are systematically suppressed

In the business world, neoclassical economists starting with Nobel Prize winner Paul Samelson have aimed to suppress the existence of the co-op from economics-- by omitting it from textbooks and classes. They replaced it with a fairy tale that runs like this: "When a group of people wish to work together to produce something, they can sell it all under an individual's name, work in a partnership and share culpability like lawyers, or create a corporation run by shareholders, creating a profit motive."

This is one of the biggest lies you will be taught in economics class. A corporation need not have transferable shares. In fact, it is against the interest of the community, society, and the planet to make shares transferable. But this goes unexamined. The haphazard way the corporation was set up in the 19th century, which you can learn about by watching the movie The Corporation, is obviously not the only way it could have worked. The alternative-- the co-operative-- is the way it should have happened.

Some papers noting this:

(These papers are summarized in Daniel Schugurensky's talk, "What knowledge is of least worth?”)

The theory that has been invented as an alternative to the damaging and inherently unequal corporation is Marxism. Marxism has never worked in practice; co-operatives have. Yet Marxists ignore the co-operative as a system of production.

Movements that used the co-operative method

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