Marxism vs. Owenism: Labour Exploitation

Marxists will often tell you that under capitalism, labour is “exploited”. This invokes images of workers toiling in factories, but what is meant by “exploitation” is actually quite technical, and can exist even in working conditions which may seem opulent. “Exploitation” for Marx is the objective source of profit, growth and expansion in the economy, […]

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Abolish the Rochdale Principles

Co-operators go on and on about the “Rochdale Principles”. If you hear someone doing this, you can know right away they are less than familiar with happened at Rochdale, or why Rochdale is an important part of Co-operative history. There are no “Rochdale principles”, in the sense of principles written down by members of the […]

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What Happened to Worker Co-op Federalism?

19th century American worker co-ops practiced co-operative federalism – they put portions of their surplus towards creating new co-operatives, and they belonged to federations that participated in creating and managing new co-op firms. “In 1885, the Solidarity Watch-Case Co-operative, was organized in Brooklyn, New York, by the Knights of Labor (KOL) after a strike against […]

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Letter to a friend about Syria

Hi Friend, It was really good to see you and your family yesterday. I hope we can hang out again soon. I am writing this letter because I feel the need to say something in response to this notion of “complexity” that you used in one of our conversations to characterize the situation in Syria. […]

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On the terminology of “non profits”

Why do we call charities “non profit companies”? The idea of “non profit” seems to imply that the surplus would be shared out towards some socially desirable end. This is, I believe, a general site of confusion for anti-capitalists: there is nothing inherently capitalist about the notion of an economic surplus. Under capitalism, the surplus […]

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Campus Co-op’s Legacy

Campus Co-op Residence Inc. was formed by four University of Toronto students who, after seeing Toyohiko Kagama speak at a conference in Indianapolis during the 1935 Christmas break, returned to Toronto determined to start a co-operative of their own. Our first house at 63 St George was leased for a nominal fee from Victoria College […]

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Community De-Development

In my first assignment I defined community development as the process by which “an increase in generalized reciprocity erodes the barriers that prevent the flow of social capital between social fields, corroding barriers to access to social capital across a locality”. After considering the role of the Canadian State in the provision of humanistic services, specifically health […]

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