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From Richard D. Wolffe writes:

In May 2012, I had occasion to visit the city of Arrasate-Mondragon, in the Basque region of Spain. It is the headquarters of the Mondragon Corporation (MC), a stunningly successful alternative to the capitalist organization of production.

MC is composed of many co-operative enterprises grouped into four areas: industry, finance, retail and knowledge. In each enterprise, the co-op members (averaging 80-85% of all workers per enterprise) collectively own and direct the enterprise. Through an annual general assembly the workers choose and employ a managing director and retain the power to make all the basic decisions of the enterprise (what, how and where to produce and what to do with the profits).

As each enterprise is a constituent of the MC as a whole, its members must confer and decide with all other enterprise members what general rules will govern MC and all its constituent enterprises. In short, MC worker-members collectively choose, hire and fire the directors, whereas in capitalist enterprises the reverse occurs. One of the co-operatively and democratically adopted rules governing the MC limits top-paid worker/members to earning 6.5 times the lowest-paid workers. Nothing more dramatically demonstrates the differences distinguishing this from the capitalist alternative organization of enterprises. (In US corporations, CEOs can expect to be paid 400 times an average worker’s salary – a rate that has increased 20-fold since 1965.)”

The ideas of egalitarianism and equality can work and work well within society, Mondragon is but one example of how we could be organizing our society in a more just mode of production.

Given that MC has 85,000 members (from its 2010 annual report), its pay equity rules can and do contribute to a larger society with far greater income and wealth equality than is typical in societies that have chosen capitalist organizations of enterprises. Over 43% of MC members are women, whose equal powers with male members likewise influence gender relations in society different from capitalist enterprises.

MC displays a commitment to job security I have rarely encountered in capitalist enterprises: it operates across, as well as within, particular cooperative enterprises. MC members created a system to move workers from enterprises needing fewer to those needing more workers – in a remarkably open, transparent, rule-governed way and with associated travel and other subsidies to minimize hardship. This security-focused system has transformed the lives of workers, their families, and communities, also in unique ways.

The MC rule that all enterprises are to source their inputs from the best and least-costly producers – whether or not those are also MC enterprises – has kept MC at the cutting edge of new technologies. Likewise, the decision to use of a portion of each member enterprise’s net revenue as a fund for research and development has funded impressive new product development. R&D within MC now employs 800 people with a budget over $75m. In 2010, 21.4% of sales of MC industries were new products and services that did not exist five years earlier. In addition, MC established and has expanded Mondragon University; it enrolled over 3,400 students in its 2009-2010 academic year, and its degree programs conform to the requirements of the European framework of higher education. Total student enrollment in all its educational centers in 2010 was 9,282.

The largest corporation in the Basque region, MC is also one of Spain’s top ten biggest corporations (in terms of sales or employment). Far better than merely surviving since its founding in 1956, MC has grown dramatically. Along the way, it added a co-operative bank, Caja Laboral (holding almost $25bn in deposits in 2010). And MC has expanded internationally, now operating over 77 businesses outside Spain. MC has proven itself able to grow and prosper as an alternative to – and competitor of – capitalist organizations of enterprise.

We need to see more of this in our business news.


The infallible word of god is proven once again to be anything but although we should give the RCC credit they stuck to their guns that the earth was the centre of the universe till 1992.  That is religious progress for you.

Potholer54 does a wonderful job of ridiculing the crazy christians as they make their deft case for the geocentric model of the solar system.

Patriarchy hurts both women and men.  This the first of in a series of examinations of popular culture presented with a feminist critique.

   The United States is regressing quickly under the burden of its plutocratic elites.  Public health and the rights of women are under onslaught by ignorant religious ideologues who espouse intensely anti-woman rhetoric that undermines the ideals of civilized society.  You would think that idiocy on this scale would quickly be quashed and laughed out of the public sphere.  Wrong – its becoming the common parlance…

 “The nationwide assault on reproductive and abortion rights that effects everyone with sexual health needs (so, that’s everyone, pretty much!) and has come to be known as “The War on Women” may claim its first state as a victim soon. In Mississippi, the final abortion clinic left is fighting for its survival. Bloomberg reports:

Beginning July 1, all abortion-clinic physicians must have admitting privileges at a local hospital under a law passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by Republican Governor Phil Bryant in April. At the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the state’s sole remaining clinic providing elective abortions, none of the three physicians who perform the procedure has been granted those privileges.

“Mississippi may become the first U.S. state without a dedicated abortion clinic if the Jackson facility fails to come into compliance. That would mark the most visible victory for the anti-abortion movement, which has fought to abolish the procedure in the face of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing a woman’s right to have one.”

   The Republicans in Mississippi are busy legislating themselves back into the stone-age.  I sincerely hope that Canada will not follow their foolish example.

    File this story under the “sad state of our society”; when we allow are children to mimic the testosterone fuelled stupidity known as MMA and somehow think that its OK.

“A mixed martial arts competition in Moncton, N.B., is garnering controversy after it featured a cage fight between children last month.The adult–oriented event included exhibition mixed martial arts matches, made popular by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, involving children as young as eight.

It’s not like the MMA you see in the movies, or what you see on TV,” said John Williams, the Canadian representative for amateur mixed martial arts.  The fights are “extremely safe,” he said, because the children have “lots of equipment on.”

Oh, so the idea of training children to bring forth enough hate to try to hurt each other is just fine and dandy because they “have lots of equipment on”.  I think Mr.Williams is competing with rolled oats for cluelessness with stupid statements like this.

“Williams said the rules were approved by the Moncton boxing commission, but psychologist Charles Emmrys disapproves of the fighting, especially as entertainment for adults.

Violence is exciting. That’s why we have action movies, they pump us up. Children should not be pumping us up by beating each other up,” he said.

When parents are talking about encouraging kids to beat up other kids, well that’s called encouraging a bully to be a bully.”

No kidding.  Modelling violent behaviour makes kids violent. *sigh*

You wonder where that kid came from that just beat the crap out of our special little snowflake…just ask Mr.Williams.



Ah, the prefect moral being and originator of all things good and holy is at it once again, this time condemning people to death for daring to defy his will.  Objectively moral my ass.

The good cardinal is out gunned, out classed and out argued on this episode of Q&A.  He ends up calling Jesus and ignorant sheep-herder.  A great debate, well worth your time.

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