How to Start and Run a Workers’ Cooperative

I’ve had to face the disturbing fact that even though when asked, most people say they believe in democracy, in actual practice, their true religion is empire. They don’t recent being dominated by big bosses so much as envy them, desire to be the one dominating others.

The narratives we weave in our fantasy lives are not about dedication to honor and serving our neighbors, being a worker among workers, but self-deceived Kings, Queens, Princesses, and Princes, so on and so forth.

When I mention democracy in the work place, what I get is militant pushback, in the flat declaration of, “Oh yeah, how’s that working for ya?” followed just as often by, “I’m creating my own empire, you won’t recruit me!”, and of course, “That’s a White thing.”

The rare exceptions being Cooperative or Collective Permanent Housing communities founded by some forward-thinking Black folks, and a smattering of Food, Craft, Art, Performance Art, or Service oriented communities.

What I cannot even entice people into a discussion about are co-operative manufacture of durable goods. Durable Goods are the opposite of Perishable Goods that people buy and consume. Your washer/dryer, motorcycle, car, truck, trains, boats, planes are all durable goods that are purchased and endure, providing service over a considerable span of time.

Of greatest importance are those durable goods and services that our entire Civilization depends on, a topic people strangely don’t spend much thought on until they don’t work or something happens to make them realize how much control certain people have over us all because they have an insane degree of control over these, the foundation of our society.

I suggest we reinvent this infrastructure so the cost of living is dramatically reduced first, make sure it insures our survival through the duration of this climatic change we face, and most of all include Reformation of Democratic process, making it far more hands on Participatory, among our highest priorities.

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