The co-operative way: A compelling socio-economic paradigm – Jamaica Observer

There are three ways to organise national production systems. The capitalistic practice, where individual ownership and private enterprise dominate. The communist model that is synonymous with state ownership...

There are three ways to organise national production systems. The capitalistic practice, where individual ownership and private enterprise dominate. The communist model that is synonymous with state ownership and public enterprise, and the third is the co-operative way, which operates when persons voluntarily unite to meet their common aspirations.

Although certain capitalistic welfare systems, and communist China, with people-centred policies have shown recent successes, their sustainability is uncertain. In the case of China, dramatic reductions in poverty have been recorded, yet troubling social inequities have surfaced, and in the case of the welfare systems, such as those in Scandanavia, the costs of taking care of ageing populations are overpowering their principled ambitions.

Interestingly, China is contemplating worker-owned agricultural co-operatives directly linked to urban markets through subsidised transport to deal with their food security anticipations.

These developments should not be surprising because capitalism and communism are premised on two primordial instincts, excessive greed in the case of capitalism and wanton use of power in communism. Both, therefore, have essentially failed as the world becomes more civilised, connected and open, and citizens clamour for their human rights and dignity.

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