Skip to main content

The properties of a True Collaborative Society

H Luce Says:
April 2nd, 2013 at 11:25 pm
Any enterprise which advertises itself as a “collaborative society” and yet is run as an entrepreneurial business with a small or one-man leadership group, accountable to no one within that “society”, should not be recognized as a “collaborative society” but rather as an attempt by an entrepreneur to amass enough intellectual and monetary capital and get a product with a market in place and the physical plant to produce it at the expense of his work force, in order to go into a “for-profit” business organization.

A true collaborative society should have the following properties:
1. The members of the society are partners and co-owners, each with an equal share in the business;
2. Each member owns the right to an equal share of the profits generated, and the right to decide whether to take his or her full share, to put part of the share back into the business for the acquisition of capital goods, and has the right to inspect the financial records of the society at any time;
3. The decision-making takes place by a consensus process, which necessarily limits the size of the society.

Of course, questions will arise, and more rules will have to be put down to deal with those questions, but these seem to be a minimum set.

Here’s the current version of the Rochdale Principles:

“Values

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

Principles

The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice.

1. Voluntary and Open Membership

Co-operatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control

Co-operatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary co-operatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and co-operatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.

3. Member Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their co-operative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the co-operative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their co-operative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the co-operative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence

Co-operatives are autonomous, self-help organisations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organisations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their co-operative autonomy.

5. Education, Training and Information

Co-operatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operatives. They inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.

6. Co-operation among Co-operatives

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

7. Concern for Community

Co-operatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.” (from ica.coop/en/what-co-op/co-operative-identity-values-principles)

Of course, democratic control can be fairly easily subverted by means of voting blocs to convert the cooperative into a regular for-profit business which is why a consensus process, along with the fractionation of ownership of the capital, including intellectual property (perhaps under a variant of the Creative Commons licensing scheme) and capital improvements, should be used in order to thwart attempts at this.

Here’s an interesting look at the development and history of the Rochdale project: usaskstudies.coop/pdf-files/Rochdale.pdf

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paddehoa og plassen min

Kjære plassen min, kvalt du vart, lik ei paddehoe alle paddehannane kasta seg over i dammen om våren.
Dei ville alle bu ved dine grøne enger, då dei tykte det her var so vent og fredeleg. Men dei vørde deg ikkje, og no er du kvalt til daude.
Herr Fossemøllens augnestein stend utan låven sin, her gjeng ikkje lenger dyr og beitar i dine grøne enger. Berre grasklipparar beitar her no.
Dei elska deg til daude, og med deg i grava di tok du den rike
grendearven din.
No stend vi ribba attende.

Venter metankatastrofen oss?

I dag inneholder atmosfæren 5 gigatonn metan. Et estimat anslår at rundt 50 gigatonn metan kan være i ferd med å frigis i Arktis, dvs. en tidobling. Flere tusen gigatonn ligger lagret i den arktiske permafrosten, i den Øst-Sibirske arktiske havhylla alene ligger det 500 - 5000 gigatonn metan.

Metan er ved frigjøring mer enn 150 ganger sterkere som klimagass enn CO2, etter 20 år 86 ganger sterkere i gjennomsnitt, og etter 100 år 23 ganger sterkere. Dette fordi den blir til H2O og CO2.

Mennesket er et produkt av ilden, dette ser nå ut til å bli vår bane. Imens er det søndagsåpne butikker som debatteres, selvsagt en uting og et pådriv for konsumerismen, men allikevel et bevis på menneskets korte tidshorisont.

"Geoengineering" kan ikke hjelpe oss, det er langt mer fornuftig å lagre karbon i jordsmonnet. Det er 5-6 ganger mer karbon i jorda enn i atmosfæren og vegetasjonen sammenlagt. Her kan biokull (terra preta) spille en viktig rolle.

Biokull kan bli i jorda i flere hundre tu…

Hurdalsrosa på Toten

Austlandets perle
i dei djupe skogane
på hi sida av Totenåsen,
var raus då ho gav oss hurdalsrosa,
som her stend og raudner
over venleiken sin,
i veggen på våningshuset
til plassen min.

Kva skal vi med fjerne roser frå Nederland, når den venaste rosa i verda,
alt ved husveggen står? Ei våningshusrose var du, og er du, når eg syklar ikring, eg ser du prydar våningshusveggen, på mang ein staseleg storgardsbygning.

Hurdalsrosa vart like gjev
åt fattig som åt rik,
ho skil ikkje
på kven ho skjenkar
av venleiken sin.
I lag med deg,
sjølv ein husmannsplass,
rik vart.
Eit kjærleikshjarte er kvar ei rose
du oss skjenkar.
År etter år,
inga kulde eller tørke,
tek knekken på kjærleiken din,
du gamle hurdalsrosebusk,
ved gråsteinsmuren åt oldefaren min. Kan vi be om meir?