(The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation (MCC) has been getting a (very) little bit of attention in the media due to a relatively recent signing of a letter of intent to cooperate between MCC and the United Steelworkers (USW)).


The Mondragon model is an excellent one. It was actually established based on the basic principles of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), which evolved from the early cooperative communitarian/socialist and mutualist theorists and organizers who have been proposing and campaigning and yes fighting back (against Institutionalized Violence and Oppression) for centuries.

In its more recent history, Mondragon has strayed somewhat from some of its ideals due to its need to integrate into a larger Capitalist economy, which eschews externalities (social and environmental values, goals, and concerns). However, it's conception, early success, and its peaceful and productive response to historical antagonisms are instructive and exemplary.

The active promotion of artisanry would be an important part of all economic development initiatives and folks following the Mondragon Operating Guidelines of Person Centered, Cooperation, Continual Improvement, and Community Commitment would help ascertain that such would occur.

Reading the article and assessing the economic realities brings to mind issues of economic paralysis associated with the inflated costs of doing business (the inflated costs of real and capital assets) and the difficulties associated with replicating the Mondragon success in today's very different economic environment.

One of the keys to the community wide success of Mondragon was the Community Commitment Principle which states that among the mission of the Organization is "to create jobs and create community wealth (equity) are the irrevocable requirement of our community vocation". They did this by earmarking a percentage of revenues from successful workers' cooperatives to the start-up of new workers' cooperatives.

So where and how do we find and create the successful workers cooperatives willing to share in a like manner?