I came across the term 'Mondragon', this morning. Mondragon is a small town in the Basque region of Spain. In 1941, a Catholic priest (Arizmendiarrieta) started a cooperative movement there. It has since grown a great deal.
In the face of the world’s economic vicissitudes, Mondragon has been steadfast in its adherence to the fundamental principles with which its founders endowed it, and continues to enlarge the scope of their application. Eroski currently is adopting new measures to enfranchise the 35,000 of its 50,000 workers who are not currently worker members. The co-operatives have entered into a solemn commitment to extend worker ownership measures to their local and overseas subsidiaries on a case by case basis, consistent with their differing cultural, legal and financial circumstances.
In a passage written a few days before his death in 1976. Arizmendiarrieta wrote in part:
Hand in hand, of one mind, renewed, united in work, through work, in our small land we shall create a more human environment for everyone and we shall improve this land. We shall include villages and towns in our new equality; the people and everything else: "Ever forward". Nobody shall be slave or master to anyone, everyone shall simply work for the benefit of everyone else, and we shall have to behave differently in the way we work. This shall be our human and progressive union - a union which can be created by the people.
Excellent post, OldBridge. In this depressing era here in our country where Corporate rules, the model you are presenting here is a truly viable alternative that our citizens could embrace. It just may also be the only one that can enhance our ability to survive in the future, especially when the oil runs out.
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