Why not form a "normal" corporation?
We formed Cooperatus because we wanted to work on projects we could enjoy and perhaps believe in, to set our own hours, to contribute to building a better economy for "the rest of the world," and to eat here and there.
Pretty simple, really.
Particularly over the last several decades, history has watched the hull of the "productivity" world crumble, shored up and patched just enough to keep those on top from getting their feet wet. Emergency measures to save their portfolios have been required at least once every decade. The supposed elites "at the top" think it a "noble sacrifice" for most of us to straight-up drown, so long as they have more workers. They tell us we are doing all of this for our retirements, our children, or "the future." They tell us they are in the trenches with us, and that if we only work a little harder, we too can "win" like they have.
But this is not true.
I hope it is becoming apparent to many who could not (or would not) see it before: our lives are considered fodder for the massive machines of bureaucracy and industry. Those who do no work yet benefit from our labour are currently fighting with everything they have to invade, control, and orchestrate our lives for their continued benefit. An ever more complex system built and refined solely for profit has repeatedly found ways to strip our power from us. Where it could not be taken from us outright, "the market" has found inroads to co-opt and package our identities with "socially acceptable" trappings, and sell it back to us at a markup. And if that doesn't work, the force of their police state is ever-present.
But we are not machines just one more purchase away from being "happy" in the society that is. We don't need problems created so that new products will magically "solve" them. We don't constantly need our lives to be both "new" and "improved."
We need to take this system apart and build its replacement. An economy that keeps more of our heads above water, respects our autonomy, and one where we command our own liberty and dignity.
Everyone is People.
We are not employees or staff. We are workers, builders, fixers, creators. We are the lifeblood fueling the world we all participate in. Without us, there is no business, no industry, no commerce.
We are not tools to be used up and discarded. We are entities with feelings, aspirations, and lives. And we will live them best by continuing to work, together.
Success in this system is not indicative of right- or goodness. True liberation is not to earn the most, to hustle till you die, or to start your own personal lifestyle brand. It is to see those things as trappings of a system that serves most of us poorly...and to do away with them. We will have to get creative, and we will have to work hard. Especially on ourselves.
Workers pooling their resources together - capital, means, and skills - this is how our society builds a more just world. An economy that respects our lives, our planet, and our sustainability. Because the earth will be fine after we've driven ourselves to extinction.
It won't ever be a utopia. Those are boring anyway. We embrace the challenge of life and we thrive when we overcome. Being responsible for one's self in a community of others takes great effort. But it is an incredible freedom to experience.
In this chaos, look for your truth.
Seize it with us.
Thanks to Our Teachers
We are only able to see the world with greater insight and put these thoughts to words through education we were fortunate to have received (both formally and not). It is a privilege of time and effort to learn the history of workers and the movements impacting us today, one that not everyone can undertake.
If you would like to follow along some of those same roads, we will make recommendations when relevant.
Mexie: On Strategies for Post-Capitalism
Peter Coffin: Why Criticize Capitalism?
And for some cool cooperative news, check this out!