Cooperatives and Socialism: A View from Cuba by Camila Piñeiro Harnecker

By Camila Piñeiro Harnecker

This publication demonstrates that the cooperative version is predicated on rules necessary to construction a extra simply and democratic society. it really is argued that this can be the simplest financial reform substitute to neoliberal capitalism and authoritarian socialism in Cuba, and that this version may also extensively rework different economies around the globe.

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The advantages of cooperation are even more beneficial for cooperatives when they horizontally and/or vertically integrate with other cooperatives. Therefore, in many cases, cooperatives – if they have their own or external management expertise, and favorable macroeconomic conditions are created – may reach optimal levels of effectiveness because they are better prepared to use the advantages of decentralized and integrated or coordinated economic management. This may be seen in the global tendency to reduce the size of enterprises and give workers more participation in their management, without renouncing the advantages of economies of scale, through horizontal and vertical integration.

Cooperatives are the most widespread enterprise alternative in the world – not the only one – and have proven their effectiveness and sustainability, although that is not always the case, of course. This chapter is focused on explaining what cooperatives are, with an emphasis on production cooperatives. It begins with an outline of the conditions that led to the emergence of the first cooperatives, and that continue to motivate and bring about their creation. Exploitation, marginalization, and alienation inherent to the capitalist system originate and aggravate problems that affect everyone and that can only be solved through collective action.

They are therefore motivated to increase the productivity and quality of their work, as well as their competence, and to contribute any idea or knowledge that might improve the cooperative’s performance. In this way, unlike capitalist enterprises, cooperatives can fully enjoy the advantages of cooperation,14 without being limited by the logic of private property or the subordinate relationship of labor to capital. The advantages of cooperation are even more beneficial for cooperatives when they horizontally and/or vertically integrate with other cooperatives.

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