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This inherently cooperative model differs from conventional Co-ops in the relationship with investors and banks, since most Coops find it pretty difficult to raise sufficient development capital in an acceptable way.

Perhaps the biggest difference lies in the relationship between members and their agents, the management. This isn't usually a problem for small Co-ops, where members may be closely involved, but conventional Co-operative businesses do not "scale" at all well.

Co-ops have IMHO not fulfilled their potential precisely because of the inadequacy of the existing dominant enterprise model, where financial capital comes either from shares in Companies or from credit created by banks.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Feb 20th, 2009 at 08:11:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I used to 'do' co-ops in the late '60s and early '70s, as Chris knows.  We could make them work, as long as there was a core group of true-believers, who would take up the slack when general energy levels were low or when we hit the occasional financial obstacle. (Only one of the various co-ops still exists today - Lexington Food Co-op in Buffalo, NY.)

The missing ingredient for us back then was that we could not find - could not conceive of - a role for investors.  (It took us awhile to even accept the idea of manager - or, as we often called it, coordinator.)  Chris has 'put them in their place' in my opinion.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sat Feb 21st, 2009 at 10:45:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, so how is this different then from traditional Islamic financing?
by santiago on Sat Feb 21st, 2009 at 10:56:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
santiago:
Okay, so how is this different then from traditional Islamic financing?

No difference at all. It's just a new way of doing it.

The Peer to Peer investment I advocate Muslims know as Musharakah. The Peer to Peer Credit / Guarantee Society I advocate is to all intents and purposes what they know as Takaful.

It was only when I started to present partnership financing in public about three or four years ago that someone in the audience pointed out that Sharia'h compliance is inherent in it.

As I understand it, the sharing of risk and reward of partnership-based finance, and the stewardship of Commons in the model, is in accordance with the values underpinning all religions.  

It's just that it's only Islam that still - nominally - makes an issue of it. Most "Islamic Finance" in fact consists of putting Islamic lipstick on a distinctly unIslamic deficit-based pig. A select few scholars make extremely good money finding ways in which this may be done, which is IMHO virtually indistinguishable from the purchase of indulgences by Catholics that got Martin Luther so worked up.

Some would say an Islamic reformation is long overdue, but that would be a Diary in itself, and not one I am qualified to write....

I believe that partnership-based enterprise models may welkl be optimal, which is why they are emerging. The fact that they are also ethical is an interesting attribute.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 05:55:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some would say an Islamic reformation is long overdue...
Careful what you ask for. It depends of how it comes down.  How many reformations have been followed by fundamentalist upsurges in the great mass of believers?  I doubt it is unique to Protestant Christianity.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 02:49:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't actually say I was asking for this, but I think that few believe that seventh century desert Islam can adequately address 21st century problems.

And if a fundamentalist upsurge has not been going on this last fifty years (if not longer) then I don't know what has!

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 03:02:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well there theres enough that believe that 7th century BCE  Talmudic social rules can adequately adress 21st century problems, so it may be that there are more than would be liked who might think thatdesert islam is the best way.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 03:25:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that it would be good to reconcile Islamic values with 21st century understandings, such as they are, of tolerance for diverse cultures and beliefs.  But it always seems that movements that emphasize tolerance and compassion and that originate among elites of a given society and religion have a nasty way of being followed by fundamentalist backlashes among the not-so-elite. Wish it weren't so....

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Feb 22nd, 2009 at 04:45:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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