Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mondragon as a Bridge to a New Socialism


Worker-owner in Mondragon coop factory

The Mondragon Cooperatives and 21st Century Socialism:

A Review of Five Books with Radical Critiques and New Ideas

From Mondragon to America:

Experiments in Community Economic Development

By Greg MacLeod

UCCB Press, 1997

The Myth of Mondragon:

Cooperatives, Politics and Working-Class Life in a Basque Town

By Sharryn Kasmir

State University of New York Press, 1996

Values at Work:

Employee Participation Meets Market Pressure at Mondragon

By George Cheney

Cornell University Press, 1999

Cooperation Works!

How People Are Using Cooperative Action

to Rebuild Communities and Revitalize the Economy

By E.G. Nadeau & David J. Thompson

Lone Oak Press, 1996

After Capitalism

By David Schweickart

Rowman & Littlefield, 2002

Reviewed by Carl Davidson

Solidarity Economy Network

Something important for both socialist theory and working-class alternatives has been steadily growing in Spain’s Basque country over the past 50 years, and is now spreading slowly across Spain, Europe and the rest of the globe.

It’s an experiment, at once radical and practical, in how the working-class can become the masters of their workplaces and surrounding communities, growing steadily and successfully competing with the capitalism of the old order and laying the foundations of something new—it’s known as the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation (MCC).

Just what that ‘something new’ adds up to is often contested. Some see the experiment as a major new advance in a centuries-old cooperative tradition, while a few go further and see it as a contribution to a new socialism for our time. A few others see it both as clever refinement of capitalism and as a reformist diversion likely to fail. Still others see it as a ‘third way’ full of utopian promise simply to be replicated anywhere in whatever way makes sense to those concerned.

Read more!

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