Building A Solidarity Economy
Under the cooperative model, workers own the business, reducing injustice because they have a stake in the community and because an individual will find it hard to exploit oneself. Workers often buy into their jobs (upfront or amortized), vote on major decisions in general assemblies or committees, and even voluntarily donate to the co-op for re-investment. Known as “workplace democracy,” this model of authentic self-determination renders state action superfluous.
The flagship Mondragon Corporation, the seventh largest company in Spain by asset turnover (and a federation of hundreds of cooperatives) is a controversial but impressive proof-of-concept that worker cooperatives can do everything the vampiric large-scale, capital intensive firms can, but better.
Today, worker co-ops have immense economic impact but unrecognized political clout. The cooperative is a sleeping giant: There are at least 30,000 U.S. cooperatives with at least $3T in assets, $654B in annual revenues, $75B in wages and benefits and 875,000 jobs directly created.