Reminder that coops flourished during the great depression, being one of the few reliable sources of employment, and that credit unions were by and large the only financial institutions to make it through the '08 recession unscathed

Supporting the cooperative economy isn't just some long-term fantasy of slowly weakening capitalism from within until it withers. It's also vital dual power, and it'll be just as vital even if neoliberalism collapses in the next few years (which it very well might)

Support! Your! Local! Coop! Economy!

Reading about the coop movement during the great depression is really funny, because essentially people went "hey, you still have food, we still have labor, can we just do stuff anyway? even though there's no money?"

And then they were like "oh hey looks like the economy was fake all along"

A ton of great praxis can come from just taking a step back and realizing the economy is fake. Everyone has stuff they don't need, and often the people who need that stuff are right next door. And there's always work to be done and people who need work to do. Those things just don't ever connect because they don't have enough green paper to give each other

Timebanking, bartering, community-controlled currency, sharing spaces, or even something as simple as encouraging neighbors to *talk* to each other about what they need and what they can offer, can all dramatically change the quality of life in poor communities - not just after a crash, but at any time

@socalledunitedstates Howard Zinn presented some evidence, I think, that the depression-era coops led to the new deal, because the powers that be were terrified that the masses would realize they didn't need masters.

@socalledunitedstates I think it holds true for two troublesome Soviet periods:
1. In 20s bolsheviks found themselves on the ruins of old empire and without a way to do any production. They allowed some sorts of small entrepreneurship linked by trusts and government acting as a coordinator. This was very effective. Then Stalin came to power and scrapped it all.

2. Late USSR found itself losing the cold war, exhausted by the proxy war in Afganistan and elsewhere and lacking almost every form of production. Suddenly coops were made legal and oh boi how effective were they. They filled in huge void of real need.

coops are *very* effective

@charlag @socalledunitedstates ohhhhh I thought this said cops and was very confused.

Just FYI It really helps my dyslexia if co-ops keeps it's hyphen (and also won't get confused with chicken coops! )

@hope @socalledunitedstates oops, sorry, I didn't even remember how to spell it, non-native speaker here

@socalledunitedstates I like to say that rather than more economy what people need is more empathy.

@polychrome @socalledunitedstates I would agree with this: less numbers and more heart.

There's some great background on the history of co-ops and community currencies during the 1930s depression in the book "The Future of Money" by Bernard Lietaer. Apparently there were a number of significant and successful grassroots efforts to create local currencies based on exchanges of services, but the fashion in the 1930s was for large, centralized, bureaucratic solutions, so instead the various countries all came up with their own nationalized systems for dealing with it (some of which had disastrous consequences). In some cases, the grassroots efforts were forcibly repressed.

I had the same feeling during the last economic crisis.
I work on a farm one day a week in exchange for produce. The papers and tv channels were screaming that the world was ending and all was lost. But the crops were still growing, the birds still singing, the hedges and trees full of (new) life. Every time I went home with bags of fresh veggies it felt surreal. As if I lived in a different world somehow.

@socalledunitedstates mutualism: for when the coop economy IS the economy.

I may have a neich definition of mutualism...

@socalledunitedstates I really need to learn more about this! What are some good resources to learn about coop economy? Perhaps the wiki? 🙂

@cb This is where I read about the great depression coop movement:

And for a more practical, contemporary, and comprehensive resource, try Shareable:

Also, this stuff is a big part of Symbiosis's strategy. If you live on Turtle Island (so-called North America) you should definitely check 'em out:

@socalledunitedstates Not that I doubt you, but do you have some sources for this stuff? I want something to show people when they ask me why I hate the current way of doing things. (also it'll probably make for a fun reading)

@grainloom Here's where I read about the great depression coop movement:

I don't remember where I saw the thing about credit unions surviving the recession though, and that's a difficult concept to DDG for....

@socalledunitedstates They're an in between step that can be useful for causing people to doubt their bad worldviews

@socalledunitedstates How do I find these things? All I find are housing co-ops.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Sunbeam City 🌻

Sunbeam City is a Libertarian Socialist solarpunk instance. It is ran democratically by a cooperative of like-minded individuals.