Mondragón

Goodbye and good riddance.

Huff Post still thinks it’s going strong and a model for socially aware blah blah blah, following a long tradition of blind hope (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is known for swallowing all manner of bollocks blowing in the wind, and here’s his conversion).

But now Fagor is dead, Eroski is only still alive in accounting terms to the extent that Mercadona and the cheaper chains are frightened by the shadow of ETA from going into Navarre and the Basque Country, and the rest is about to come tumbling down.

It’s incredibly curious that the illusion had lasted so long. Following initial enchantment, the hard left has been aware of the chain’s moral bankruptcy for at least a decade (random link), although they still shy away from denouncing the fear exercised by Basque nationalism in Mondragón and the region.

And Sharryn Kasmir’s good left-leaning, critical sociology of the what and where of a business that thrived under Francoism and the totalitarians who replace him, The Myth of Mondragon came out in 1996. I guess folks like Chomsky preferred vague stars to writing on paper. Kasmir’s book is partially available in Spanish and is a good read.

I’m obviously not saying that coops can’t work or that they’re Satanic. One just needs to choose the good ones.

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