Co-operative Socialism by John Courtneidge

The following is a sharing from an Occupy London website page of January 22, 2014 Category: An Occupier's Perspective

The Campaign for Co-operative Socialism by John Courtneidge (Occupy London Economics Working Group)

Co-operative Socialism is the nonviolent, non-hierarchical alternative to both forms of capitalism (neoliberalism and neoconservatism) and to both forms of totalitarianism (fascism and State ‘Communism’) – as you can see on this political/social map:


Co-operative Socialism on the map May 2013. Note: the horizontal ‘left/right’ axis is reversed in the map above. In such a world, incomes will be much more equal, (which ‘The Spirit Level’ book tells us is the key good – see The Equality Trust web-site: https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk).
And, so, there will be more peace, trust, respect, happiness.

This will be because everyone will have, from the community, a guaranteed ‘Living Income’ so that ‘co-operative care-ship’ of the planet will be our number one creative, sustainable, peaceful opportunity. We can get there by a combination of personal growth, community education and parliamentary action.

For action ideas and more, please see the 2005 CAOS paper (‘Co-operative Socialism: Theory and Practice’) and the 2010 ‘CCPA Readings on Co-operative Socialism’ in the papers’ section of http://www.interestfreemoney.org/papers/

In these videos, I try to describe Co-operative Socialism – as the sustainable alternative to both forms of capitalism (neoliberalism and neoconservatism) and to the authoritarian ‘not-capitalism/s’ (such as Marxist State-centred ‘Communism’).

Shorter 13 minute video: https://youtu.be/jSkDIUjg0z8

The longer version: https://youtu.be/IeahMiHOgsA

The Campaign for Co-operative Socialism
For equality and ecology, peace, justice and co-operation
** To help create a Fair, Safe and Peaceful world **

We are suggesting that the time has come to help create the Global Co-operative Commonweal: a Global Commonweal of Local Commonweals. A world, in other words, based upon the evolving Co-operative, Values and Principles and Definition found in the Statement on the Co-operative Identity from The International Co-operative Alliance.

Centrally, we also suggest that the concept of Co-operative Commonweal requires that we convert all workplaces into appropriate co-operative enterprises, so that every person, and every organisation, has respectful, time-limited stewardship of land and knowledge resources, and that, thus, true equality is sustainably created.

To do so, it is clear that we have to transform the economic system in which we live, so:
• All people, co-operatively and together, are in control of their lives,
• Where all work is for the long-lived benefit of all: caring for the long-lived benefit of the whole global ecology – and all its inhabitants.

This requires changes to the central features of present-day economics:
• The ownership of workplaces and knowledge used for profit,
• The ownership of land and natural resources, and their use for profit,
• The practices of money-lending and debt- and credit-creation for profit,
• Inequality and insecurity of individual incomes,
• The consequently created culture of rampant crime, fear, debt, and insecurity.
* Map your own personal/social position at -
• Link to ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘3SC Social Values
• http://www.politicalcompass.org

The Campaign for Co-operative Socialism
(Since October 1994 – this revision May 2008) Page 2 of 2

Accordingly, we work for each community to be in full, open, co-operative control of its economic resources, ensuring that they are used for the benefit of the whole of humanity, and for the benefit of the whole global ecology, so that:
  • Everyone has the security of a fair, guaranteed income •
  • And that proper care and stewardship of the planet is our central task •

This suggests the Seven Point Action Plan for Co-operative Socialism:
as follows: 

1) Co-operatives and peace – not Corporations and coercion
Convert competitive, market-based businesses into workplace co-operatives, and remodel monopoly activities as stakeholder community co-operatives: each co-op having responsible, time-limited stewardship of land and knowledge resources, shared from the commonweal, with each co-op demonstrably working according to the Statement on the Co-operative Identity of The International Co-operative Alliance.
See points 2) and 5), below, for the funding mechanism for this;

2) Predistribution not Redistribution
Distribute the created wealth from these workplace co-ops through nationally collected, co-operative corporate taxation, distributed into local, democratically-controlled, Co-operative, Community Banks and, so, make money and credit available for eco-and socially-responsible wealth creation, community development and care,

3) Global stewardship for needs and care, not private resources for profit Maximise human needs and public service provision (health, life-long education, libraries, transport and so on) on a co-operative, free-at-the-point-of-use basis, thus only retaining money as a mechanism for access to discretionary purchases,

4) Fair, guaranteed incomes for all
Introduce guaranteed fair income for all, within upper and lower limits, and with elements of automatic liveable Citizens’ Income – and so do away with the need for direct and indirect personal taxation,

5) Banking as public service – not as global warfare
Abolish money-lending and credit-creation for profit: operate banking as a community co-operative public service (see point two above),

6) End global exploitation through financial speculation
Reintroduce international exchange controls, a Tobin Tax, etc, as necessary,

7) All our sisters are our brothers: and all our brothers are our sisters
Make capital grants (not loans) to developing countries

We hope this action plan gives us, all, a good, evolving basis:
>> for a peaceful, practical, moral, sustainable, and co-operative economics.
Campaign contact: John Courtneidge <court@myphone.coop>