Sociocracy in Cooperatives - A short history of co-operation and mutuality

While the 1844 story of weavers and workers in Rochdale, England is well known, Ed Mayo presents a few additional stories to illustrate the breadth and diversity of cooperativism across the globe. This topic is to share reactions to the article: A short history of co-operation and mutuality.

Could you link to or upload a copy of the article? I’m having trouble finding it but it looks like a great read!

It is useful to define what each of us means when we say or hear about “cooperatives” or “cooperation”. Humans have always engaged in mutual aid, it is how the species survived, but that isn’t the same as the concept of cooperative enterprises. The modern cooperative enterprise developed in different ways in different societies (very often burial associations were some of the first forms of this type of mutual aid). In Europe, co-ops started showing up along with mercantilism as fedualism’s economic model failed after decades of war and disease destroyed the labor force upon which it depended (sounds familiar). However, there are other models and the larger construct is sometimes called the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) which may include intentional communities, collectives, social purpose corporations and even more. Co-ops are part of the SSE, but not all groups within the SSE are cooperatives. As we discuss cooperation, we need to be clear that we aren’t appropriating another valid form of economic activity (even a different form of people-centric market-based economic models) by claiming them as “cooperatives”.

This article by David J Thompson drafted for the National Co-op Bank details the intimate connections between Frederick Douglass, anti-slavery movements in the UK, and the UK Cooperative movement. Frederick Douglass and Co-ops in 1846

Thank you, @john.mcnamara !