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

On 18/7/2020 9:43 am, Yasuaki Kudo wrote:
There seem to be enough people who think that the current system
which tries to "restrict capitalism" to be a bit more society- and
environment friendly will never work out, and would try to do
other approaches.

Yes, I have recently met economists who very clearly state that Capitalism is not reformable.  One person even told me there isn't a single theory she can think of that would make it work. 😄

I think it is akin to say one cannot substitute proprietary software for free software - there's a reason why free software exists. Just like the economist I was having a conversation with, the free software people will probably tell you that proprietary software just won't survive in the long run.

I'm not so sure that's a reasonable comparison. We've now reached a point where one relies on the other. Recently, a commercial hardware vendor helped me set up something under Linux on one of their systems. Similarly, I'm sure some supporters of free software sometimes turn to proprietary software.

I think there will be some (many?) supporters of free software that also have day jobs where they are paid for software that they write. Because they still have to put food on the table.

To make what you're saying closer to this analogy, then someone would have to (say) work for a capitalist company by day and worker co-operative by night. :-)

Setting up a worker co-operative is no different from starting your own business. If you have the initial capital, you can do it. The question is, can it last in a world of (mostly) capitalism. I guess at the end of the day, any model would work...what's more important is what product or service you're selling.

I imagine, in the end, there will be a substantial social, non-capitalist economy co-existing and the oligarchs of capitalism will stay richer than ever, at least on paper.

I the future, I suspect that series of political reforms will the push the super rich and the like fleeing constantly to tax havens and "business friendly" regimes and their paper wealth will start to look shaky.   At some point, a realization will set in that their paper wealth cannot be effectively realized in much of the democratic countries anymore.

Uhhhhhh, I'm not sure what crystal ball you're looking into but (IMHO), rather than looking at "worker cooperatives" vs "capitalism", you should be looking at "Japan" vs "other countries".

Maybe I'm alone here, but over the years, I've seen a steady decline in Japanese consumer electronics. Over here, I used to see many more televisions and mobile phones by Japanese makers. And now...<shrug> Even on a recent trip to Japan, I looked at the selection of mobile phones and computers and the market may not have changed since last year, but it is so different from (say) 20 years ago.

My point is, whatever business model you choose, I fear the distant future will have overseas companies buying up Japanese companies if Japan doesn't reverse whatever it is that's happening. And you'll just have to accept whatever model they use. :-)

Checkmate 😄

I don't think so. You're looking at just one match; mega-companies overseas are looking at an entire tournament. Put more Japanese electronics on the store shelves and then it's "checkmate". I'd like to have more choices again... ;-(


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