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DRAFT COPY Cooperative Corporations As a Response to Exclusion

By  and Greg Macleod and Greg Macleod


Most people agree that large, global business corporations are the main agents of economic change in the world of today. However, the majority of people in the world are excluded from the wealth created by this system. Recognizing the good and bad aspects of the corporate system, we examine the problematic of how to maintain the good aspects of the corporate system while excluding the bad effects. Thus contextualized, this paper examines the origin of the business corporation, discusses its evolution and determines how it can be re-conceptualized. We look at various dualities including: capitalism versus socialism and material progress versus spiritual-cultural values. Early in the cooperative movement there were idealists like Godin and Fourier versus the co-op pragmatists. Using law and history we examine closely the basic notion of the corporation. We assume that the original Roman concept made sense and that the notion of a corporate person is a social necessity – an intermediary between the state and the individual. We propose a synthesis of two rationalities which allows the combination of the tools of capitalistic corporations with the idealism of the early co-operators; this results in the notion of cooperative corporations. We end with a discussion of guideline principles for this business model

Year: 2011
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