"the freedom of all is essential to my freedom"

human and animal liberation


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Taking advantage of sunny weather on the rainy island, I sit for hours over the sea, reading a collection of writings by Edward Abramowski in the book “Brotherhood, Solidarity, Cooperation.” As history lovers know Abramowski was an ardent supporter of the cooperative movement and social cooperation, an opponent of capitalism and the exploitation of the workers. This book is not only interesting, but also motivating, because most of the cases referred by Abramowski (the beginning of the twentieth century) are still valid, and collectivism is still an alternative to the current, hierarchical organization of society.

The idea of cooperatives is really very simple and possible (proven by the examples given in the book). Of course, it’s a threat to the governments and capitalists, so from decades people are convinced that the self-organization is impossible and if they want to live in prosperity they need prime ministers, bankers, thirty years mortgages and other slavery overlays. But what do they really need politicians and bosses for? For work? Each of us carries out its work alone or in cooperation with other employees. We know how to do our job. The bosses are useful here only to give orders and take almost all profit. Do we need their control? Well, British Rochdale co-operative and contemporary workplaces (especially Zanon) in Argentina, the Zapatistas in Mexico, social centers in Greece show that not only we do not need the executioner, who will be observing and terrorizing us, but we’re able to organize ourselves better, while exercising direct control over what is done. People were told that in order to grow we need leaders who will carry out reforms for us, who will decide for us what religion should we , who will know better what we need and what we don’t. And of course, completely by chance the vast majority of all resources, means of production, land, money belong to a small group of capitalists, corporations or governments (in the case of dictatorships state). It belongs to our “leaders”.

Collectivism is therefore an alternative to the exploitation of the masses and the dominance of the rich, focused only on the widening of its revenue and power. Through its specific structure it ensures equity, stability and mutual aid. It’s not only-profit-oriented kind of economy, it’s not based on the oppression of others. It’s focused on the development and welfare of all members of the cooperatives. Because the good of co-perative depends on good of its members. At the same time it’s s an open activity, subjected to constant monitoring of the cooperative members. There is no parliamentary immunities, there is no banking secrecy, no thieves rate, no traps. Of course, building co-operative is an enormous challenge for the group, because it requires education and resetting your line of thinking from passive to active. You want to make a difference? Do it yourself. Do you think that something goes wrong? Don’t complain, create a better proposal. You have had an impact on what is happening around you. You aren’t the number, which is remembered by the elites, when the elections come.

The purpose of this note is not to discuss acurately the issues of collectivism, but to draw attention to the fact that the alternative organization of economy or local communities exist and are proven in practice. No coincidence that they are marginalized by the main discourse. Finally, ordinary people would enjoy them, not power or corporations. Especially that bottom-up self-organization is not only business thing, but also the development of interpersonal contacts, extensive cooperation instead of competition, concern for others, care for nature and ethics. It’s more than just a business. For those interested in the subject I would recommend this book, which would give you the practical advice, including logistical troubles and benefits of self-organization.


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