Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Co-ops to our economic resscue? "Everything for Everybody", the new book by Nathan Schneider, suggests coops as a cure for what ails capitalism
Book Review: Everything for Everybody: the radical tradition that is shaping the next economy/Nathan Schneider [Nation Books] (2018) For those seeking alternatives to the ongoing economic “in-equalization” of what has been called marketworld, that is, the global market economy where, like it or not, we all exist in in 2019, Nathan Schneider’s new book celebrates the co-operative movement’s aspiration, and its achieved reality, of common wealth through cooperation, thoiugh he still recognizes the compromises and contradictions of actual co-operatives.
Coops arose in the 19th century to salvage human value in the wreckage of dog-eat dog capitalist industrialism and one special virtue of cooperatives is their dual local/global federated democratic structure. But their materiality means the above niche is increasingly outdistanced in the geographically barrier-less electronic world. Co-ops persist but can they retain the advantages of their special distinction as all key relations get etherealized, i.e. dehumanized, in the virtual world? However relational friendly Skype and Facebook may be should E-coops rely on them to sustain their trustworthiness and intimacy? Are core co-op values still relevant when the virtual "friends" are orthographic, more than personal. In theory perhaps yes, but as a lived reality of material fellowship? We sisagree. And as problematic as ever is the co-operative tendency to introversion and relative passivity vis a vis their external political worlds. Co-ops are alternatives to the market status quo. Are they serious opponents of it? Time for a revitalized new co-op world online, as motivates the recent call for worker-owned platform co-ops. DStay tuned to thie space for more on virtual cooperativism.
NOTE: All books reviewed in our blog are available at your local public library, unless otherwise noted, and/or are available for purchase from TorontotheBetter's parent worker co-op Libra Knowledge and Information Services Co-op. For a quote and to purchase email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with EforE in the subject line. Of course you can buy the book from Amazon but we are a worker co-op and believe that if you are here values matter to you as they do for us when it comes to where and how we buy things.