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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More on the Irrationality of Large Organizations

Today I'm posting at Uncapitalist Journal on the subject "What Can Bosses Know?"

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Blogger Unknown said...

I posted a rather long-winded comment on your post at Uncapitalist.

September 22, 2005 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, in your article you wrote:

"The second alternative, workers' control of production, internalizes the costs and benefits of decisions in the same people by making decision-makers directly responsible to those doing the work. It has a long track record of success stories, with worker self-management resulting in steep increases in productivity and morale, and decreases in absenteeism and scrap rates."

Do you have (web) references for recent studies or overview of cooperative enterprises?

Thanks in advance,


September 24, 2005 1:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, Kevin,

Did things get windy and wet for you in Arkansas? Are things OK up there? Rita looks like it's in your neighborhood on the sattellite photos.

September 24, 2005 10:07 PM  
Blogger Alberto said...



September 25, 2005 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alberto, thanks (even I already knew about this one). I also own "shares" of two sucessfull french cooperatives.

What I'm looking for is a more comprehensive overview of the worldwide cooperative world. I've seen the movie "the take", so I assume there are plenty of place where this kind of fight and success is happening.

The most "comprehensive" ressource I know is the wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative
(MCC is listed).

But I'm surprised given that "left" minded economists do exist that I can't find (recent) survey litterature on the subject.

May be Kevin can help me here :)


September 26, 2005 1:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


The best site I have seen for current cooperative information is the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives. There is a great deal of information here mainly on US agricultural cooperatives, but there is a lot of stuff about cooperatives around the world. Poke around the site and see if anything there can help you.


Coopnet Update has a library of publications that you might be interested in as well.



September 26, 2005 4:46 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...


I'd check out L.S. Stavrianos' The Promise of the Coming Dark Age for an old 1970s literature review of the subject. Read anything by Yaroslav Vanek on workplace democracy. Sam Dolgoff's The Anarchist Collectives has a lot of material on self-management in Spain. And Barry Stein's Size, efficiency and Community Enterprise ties economy of scale issues and a general study of innovation in rather nicely with workers' control.

Just got a nice long soaker up here--everything's great, thanks!

joe kelley,
I guess Alex Jones would say the large organizations are functioning all too efficiently, but I doubt they're competent enough to be coordinating that many things deliberately.

September 27, 2005 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Presto and Kevin, thanks for the links, more reading for me.

I suspect I won't find directly what I'm looking for, things like:

- what share of GDP was from cooperative per country in 2004

- in what markets cooperative are competing against corporations and what are the outcomes

- did the internet where available help more cooperatives or corporations

- are cooperative workers more productive in 2004 in markets where other form of production exist, etc...

but I hope I'll find links at some point :).


PS: I took the liberty to add your links to the wikipedia article.

September 27, 2005 1:02 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

For the absolute size of the cooperative economy, you should check out Larry Gambone's sites (esp. Mutualize!). He has a lot of such info for the U.S. and Canada.

September 27, 2005 8:06 PM  

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