…the Catalan Integral Cooperative (CIC) provides us with what I think is the most surprising and inspiring demonstration of what can be done and what we need to do.
In George Dafermos’ recent report, “The Catalan Integral Cooperative: an organizational study of a post-capitalist cooperative” (2017), we learn that while only begun in 2010, the cooperative now involves many hundreds of people and many productive ventures, 400 of them involving growing food or making goods. Although there are far more activities than those within the CIC, its annual budget is now $480,000.
…These people have not waited for the government to save them, they are taking control over their own fate, setting up their own productive arrangements, food supply systems, warehouses and shops, basic income schemes, information and education functions, legal and tax advice, technical research and development, and even an investment bank. Best of all is the collectivist worldview and spirit, the determination to prevent the market and profit from driving the economy, and to establish cooperative arrangements that benefit all people, not just co-op members.
…Among the principles stated in Dafermos’ report are:
*A focus on social justice, equity, diversity, mutual support, cooperation, inclusion and solidarity, and the common good
*Focusing on the transformation of the whole of society, not just on securing benefits for members of the participating cooperatives
*People contribute according to their capacity to do so
*Getting rid of materialism; and aiming at satisfaction with “non-material living standards” and toward a sufficiency that does not seek accumulation as an end
*Applying resources directly to meeting the needs of people in the region
*Above all, getting rid of capitalism, where the long-term objective is “to be an organizational platform for the development of a self-sufficient economy that is autonomous from the State and the capitalist market”