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Re: [tlug] Introduction to (Tech) Worker Cooperatives, 09:00AM on Sunday, July 12th JST

Yes, this beautifully summarizes the main ideas, I think.

The super basic concept of "post-capitalism" is union instead of division.   

Capitalism thrives on divide and conquer - pick a handful few, give them fake power and authority and control the rest through phony leadership.

Soviet communism is similar - just replace those managers with the communist party officials.

When we get rid this game of division?   We will find out!  😄


On Jul 14, 2020, at 14:06, Benjamin Kowarsch <> wrote:

On Tue, 14 Jul 2020 at 10:52, Kevin Sullivan <> wrote:
Collectivist enterprises.

If we wish to see the cooperative model spread, the very first thing we have to do is get our terminology right.

Cold war propaganda and McCarthyism have miseducated entire generations of entire populations. And it worked incredibly well for those with an interest to manipulate the public. The Western propaganda machine has redefined the vocabulary we use, but the vocabulary we use is manifestly incorrect.

It already starts with the terms capitalism and market economy.

Most people equate capitalism with market economy. And most of those who don't believe that capitalism is beneficial to market economy. But this is a product of propaganda and nothing could be further from the truth. Capitalism's only priority is the maximisation of capital and thus profits. In the pursuit of this objective, capitalists will do anything they feel they can get away with. Capitalism is opportunist. It will use a market economy for as long as it suits the objective of capital maximisation. As soon as market economy gets in the way of this objective, capitalism turns on markets, and it will undermine and erode market economy. Under capitalism, the pursuit of capital ranks absolutely supreme, it ranks above markets, it ranks above democracy, it ranks above human rights.

Have you ever seen a board of directors conclude "We could increase our market share by x% and our profits by y% by this acquisition, but if we do so, it will hurt competition and ultimately the market, so let's not do that"?! Not only will this never happen, it cannot ever happen because under our legal system fiduciary duty to maximise shareholder value has been enshrined in law and companies and their boards can be sued if they ever divert from their fiduciary duty to put profit maximisation above all else.

In the context of cooperatives this is an important factor, because the propaganda has managed to portray the world in an "Us versus Them" way, where "Us" is good and equated with capitalism, and capitalism is equated with market economy; while Them is bad and equated with anything else, and anything else is equated with Bolshevism and Leninism/Stalinism.

As a result, most people do not know what words like Marxism, communism, socialism, collectivism, cooperative, and a host of others actually mean. And because they don't, these words continue to be used as euphemisms for bolshevism, totalitarianism and evil.

If we want to overcome our unsustainable economic model and transform it with a sustainable one, the first thing we have to do is get our terminology right.

Communism is not socialism.

Cooperatives are not collectivist.

Communism involves the socialisation of means of production AND consumption. Collectives are an implementation of communism.

A real world example of communism/collectivism can be found in Israel, where there are collectives called Kibbutzim (singular Kibbutz).

Interesting tidbit: About 9% of Israel's GDP is generated by Kibbutzim.

By contrast, socialism involves the socialisation of means of production BUT NOT consumption. Cooperatives are an implementation of socialism.

I had already mentioned the cooperatives of Austria and Germany, those are real world examples of socialism.

For the average Joe on the street the difference between working in a collective and working in a cooperative is this:

* In a collective, Joe will not receive any salary nor dividends, all his needs are provided for by the collective directly as consumption is socialised.

* In a cooperative, Joe will receive a salary and dividends, since consumption is not socialised.

For as long as our propaganda muddies the waters and continues to successfully make us believe that communism, socialism, collectives and cooperatives are all the same thing, mankind will not make any substantial progress towards sustainability. Please resist it. Look up terminology and use appropriately, thanks.

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