BLOG POSTS

by Carl Ratner

The cooperative movement, in general, seems to associate co-ops with non-capitalist market economics. This is articulated by J. Restakis (2010) in his popular book Humanizing the economy: Co-operatives in the age of capital. British Columbia: New Society Publishers.

In 2013 Acorn Community suffered fires to two of their buildings. The first was an accident in their steel building, home to their auto shop and clothing storage, among other things.

“Co-operative culture eats co-operative governance for breakfast!”   

An article gleaned from England’s Co-operative News talks about how to generate and nurture a strong co-operative culture. It identifies six factors for sustaining a co-operative culture.

Movements Self-Reflecting.

One role a journal like GEO can play is to provide a platform for our movements to reflect on their doings. The “Scaling-Up” theme currently running is an example. Also, a recent article by Carl Ratner is another as was one of my recent blogs.

There is a problem with corporate governance at traditional capitalist firms that often goes unmentioned in discussions of our current social and economic ills. It's a problem that I have reason to believe also effects some of our largest co-ops. It is a perverse dynamic that has lead to extremes of income and wealth inequality, and it is all the more pernicious for being largely invisible. (I'm going to have to dive into the weeds a little bit to get to where I'm going, but stay with me and I promise you, this will come back around to co-ops.)

I'd like to throw out a question regarding my recent article on corporate co-ops. They are clearly anti-cooperative, and are associated with the worst corporations such as Monsanto. I am curious to hear from readers about why they believe leading Co-op Associations, such as NCBA and the University of Wisconsin Center for Co-ops, ally with these corporate co-ops, honor them by admitting them into the Co-op Hall of Fame, and never criticize them.

Carl Ratner

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