Jim Hightower makes the case for supporting democratic, equitable co-op businesses in his column, Cooperatives Over Corporations:”
The Powers That Be keep us tethered to this unjust system of plutocratic rule only by constantly ballyhooing it as a divine perpetual wealth machine that showers manna on America. Any tampering with the hierarchical control of the finely tuned machinery of trickle-down corporate capitalism, they warn, will cause a collapse and crush American prosperity.
Ha! Prosperity for whom? The corporate order itself has come crashing down on the prosperity of America’s workaday majority — and the people are no longer fooled about the system’s “divinity.” From the Wisconsin rebellion to the outing of the Koch brothers’ efforts to impose their plutocratic regime on us, from the Occupy movement to the spreading grassroots campaign to get corporate cash out of our elections, we commoners have finally peeked behind the curtain to see the fraud being perpetrated by the wizards of wealth inequality.
Yet, tightly clutching their wealth, the wizards retort that the only alternative is the hellish horror of government control, screeching “socialist” at all critics to scare off any real change.
But wait. The choices for our country’s rising forces of economic and political democracy are not limited to corporate or government control. There’s another, much better way of organizing America’s economic strength: The Cooperative Way.
Cooperatives can (and do) provide a deeply democratic, locally controlled, highly productive, efficient percolate up capitalism. Co-ops are wholly in step with the values, character, spirit and history of the American people.
While socialism has been cast by the corporatists as a destroyer of our sainted free-enterprise system, the cooperative approach is not an -ism at all, but a democratic structure that literally frees the enterprise of the great majority of Americans — which is why the co-op movement is fast spreading throughout our country.