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

Benjamin Kowarsch writes:
 > On Thu, 16 Jul 2020 at 15:31, Stephen J. Turnbull <
 >> wrote:

 > >  > Under a bottom up model, this consensus has to be reached by a very
 > >  > large group of people, essentially all stakeholders.
 > >
 > > Not true in worker cooperatives.  Customers and society at large are
 > > excluded from decision-making.

 > Has it escaped your attention that I was talking about the
 > Raiffeisen model?

No.  That's why I wrote *worker* cooperatives, which appears to be the
topic of this thread and the motivating ethic of this whole list. :-)

 > What I said there is 100% correct under the Raiffeisen governance
 > model.

Cite please.  I can't find anything in English that describes the
governance model at all beyond calling it a cooperative, and a couple
of articles on Raiffeisen himself which mention "self-help, self-
governance, and self-responsibility" but don't say how "self" is
defined.  Certainly nothing about how non-member stakeholders
participate in governance.  Nor have you described that process, you
just asserted that "essentially all stakeholders" participate.

 > Here again we seem to have a terminology issue.

I'm not sure why you think that.  I know perfectly well what you mean
by "cooperative".  What I have been unable to find is a concise
statement of what the "Raiffeisen model of governance" is, and how it
would apply to *worker* cooperatives.

I wouldn't call a credit union (the most prominent form of Raiffeisen
cooperative as far as I can tell) a *worker* cooperative.  Most
members do not work for the bank!

 > But perhaps this gives you an idea about the mindset.

I understand the mindset.  Again, I'm not sure why you think anybody
doesn't understand the mindset.  Most people have that mindset to some
degree, and pretty much everybody knows people who live that mindset.

 > Not sure which model you are talking about there, but the
 > Raiffeisen model needs very little regulation:

You have claimed that, but I don't believe it applies to "worker
cooperatives in industries with strong network externalities", because
as far as I can tell you have one example: the Raiffeisen family of
credit unions.  You claim that they are a model, but they are not
*worker* cooperatives as far as I can tell, nor do credit unions
exhibit strong network externalities.  I do not think that model will
necessarily work outside of the credit union context, while pretty
much any model works for credit unions.  They're successful at scale
in corporate form in the US and in Britain (modulo the Big Bang which
was a huge shock to the whole country), and the basic form called
ROSCA by social scientists seems to arise everywhere.  The Wikipedia
article lists more than a dozen different names from countries around
the world, where they appear to have been invented independently.

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