Why and how can coops change the fundamentals of American politics, both domestically and world wide

How and why would coops tackle the scourge of financialization of the economy ? Why would coops be any more likely to oppose American imperialism and plunder of poor countries' assets. Why would you expect coops to be any less patriotic in the reactionary sense of that word, than workers in any corporation ? Why, if they were given an opportunity to exploit overseas workers, and plunder their assets would they be any less likely to seize that oppotunity ? Why wouldnt highly successful coops collaborate with rich corporations rather than support their comrade workers ? We need a lot more trhan faith, and whenever you stray into this territory, you tend to become somewhat more faith-based than persuasive.

Official response from submitted

Faith is not in play here. And for just that reason, no guarantees are provided either. In the past, basic social transitions were often accompanied by proud declarations by proponents of those transitions that the transition would usher in an era of all things good and wonderful. Often that failed to happen. The transition from feudalism to capitalism saw promises (raised to the level of revolutionary slogans in France, for example) that the transition would bring liberte, egalite, and fraternite. It did not, or at least only in very partial, incomplete, etc forms. Still I would argue the transition was historically progressive. So too was the transition out of slavery, out of colonial status, etc. But there are no guarantees that each and every change or transition will be immune from distortion, regression and so on. That applies to the transition from hierarchical, capitalist enterprise organization to the alternative of worker cooperative organization. It is possible that all the unsavory outcomes might occur. It would be - as it always has been - up to the living beings struggling through the transitions and changes to fight for the forms and consequences of them that progressive people had in mind. I think that the collectivity of the workplace/workprocesses does provide a model and framework making our task of shaping the consequences of a transition to worker coops easier and more likely to succeed than it would be in a competitive, capitalist, hierarchical workplace framework. Just as in the revolutions out of slavery and feudalism, the chances for freedom and equality were enhanced - but, of course, not guaranteed - by the ending of such differentiations as master/slave and lord/serf.

Take a look at those who have traditionally and are now pushing for worker coops and ask about their views, in general, re imperialism, patriotism, collaborations with rich capitalists, etc. Their positions have been, in general, of the sort you would likely approve and share. Does that guarantee the outcome? No, there are no such guarantees (at least outside a faith-based approach). But you have important, structurally-focused allies among the fighters for a transition to coops - and they are looking for allies too - and that plus the cooperativization itself is an impressive set of resources to work with.

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  • Richard Wolff
    responded with submitted 2017-07-02 15:45:52 -0400
  • Lee Roberts
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-07-02 07:03:33 -0400