Saturday, 16 June 2012

Mondragon is a Basque story not Spanish.

There's an interesting article on the Bevan foundation Blog, This Is My Truth by David and Hilda Smith of the Progressive Co-operators Wales group ,on the need to talk about co-oprtative.

The article makes some important arguments, but it is completely spoiled when they write on Mondragon.

They say....
Mondragon is a Spanish example of a worker co-operative owned and controlled by its  “workers manual administrative and technical of both sexes’” who have invested in their own business to make it work. Robert Oakeshott is excellent at explaining ‘The Case for Workers’ Co-ops’ (1990

How can anyone write that Mondragon is a Spanish example? Even the casual researcher will realise that it is a Basque example closely associated with Basque identity and autonomy  . They might well have written that Mondragon was an European example.

Why this error? Is it because there is a reluctance to link Mondeagon with Basque Nationalism? Could it be that they fear that the some may see the future of Co-ops in Wales being linked to a Welsh National Identity.

In the eighties there was some great interest in Mondragon in Wales ; But its progress was largely quashed by those Trade Unionist who feared that this would promote Welsh Nationalism and Labour's attachment to State owned Industries.

We need to talk about the future of Co-ops in Wales but when the lead is taken by people who do not acknowledge a vital factor of the success of Mondragon that of a Basque Identity it will not get very far.


Anonymous said...

The other fact witch the Bevan Foundation and other Brit Lefts fail to notice or, rather ignore, is that Basque economic performance is better than Spain.

One central reason for this is Basque nationalism - that is, the Basque provinces raise and keep their taxes and then transfere money to Madrid.

That is, the strength of Basque nationalism has created an economic set-up which insentivises the Basques to create work and create good economic policies .... exactly the very same model which the @BevanFoundation, Carwyn Jones and Labour don't want for Wales!

Mondragon is very much a Basque model. But it seems the spirit of Engles and Marx who wished to see Basques, Bretons and other small nations become 'ethnic residue or trash' because they weren't part of the great nations lives on.

Heaven help us if writers for the Bevan Foundation saw that a small nation following nationalist constitutional strategy may be a model for success for Wale ... sorry, Englandandwales or however they see us.

Anonymous said...

Its definitley Basque and its a community enterprise development - not co-operative
Its been going over 25 years and is amazing