Wednesday, 25 August 2010

COOPERATIVISM: (A real sad fairy story of lineage, despair and Hope!)

Once upon a time, long ago and just after the appearance of the Humans, the world was a very different place.
It needed something to make these humans get on with this living and breeding thing they so wanted to do. So, some of the Eternals took pity and helped them.
Present at the birth of human history was it soul mother; an eternal called Need, while the absent father, another Eternal called Neglect, did a runner as it normally was the case.

As usual, Need found that being separated from Neglect was not much better and no help from the in-laws, Indifference and Selfishness, was available either.

You see you had to look after yourself and your children or meet another eternal, Death! But after a few times of being dumped upon, Need asked Hope; yep, an eternal one, to send along help, so that her children could rise above the poverty, disease and want to which their father and his family had once again relegate them.
Hope listened and obliged the plea of help from Need, and its 1st born, Cooperativism sprung from the soil in the shape of hands and it came along to the rescue.
Groups of gatherer hunters and eventually farmers, got together to organise food and other goods. It first fed them and then allowed them to sell their excess.
Profit had been born!
You see, Neglect had been on the run from its responsibility for centuries by then, as it left behind a world filled with children, of which only the progeny of its wealthier consort, Luck, had any chance of decent future (or in fact any future!).

Some of those earlier humans thought “Aha!! Profit could be myriad if I go it alone and perhaps Luck will take me under her wing” and off many went on their way.
But others had understood that security and growth for all, could be also be achieved, if they stuck together and did this the old way.
Fast-forward to Scotland in 1761 and food was still the main item to be cooperated
Oatmeal in this case; organised by the Fenwick Weaver’s Society. They realised that other things could also be Mutualised (a sibling of Cooperativism), and education, savings and in time loans, were added to the list.

Hope then had a good look and saw what Cooperativism had done!
And he was most pleased. Hope also understood that only a living flesh person like the humans could take his children’s inspiration and make them more effective; and so he sent the humans his angel in the form of a man!
His name was Robert Owen.
For many years Robert had been delivering and receiving messages from the Eternals and he knew his time had come. It was gonna be SHOW TIME AT THE COOP!
He bought up a factory, mutualised its profits to help the workers and then set off, telling all who would listen, how to make the world a better place.
Others heard the messages too and helped Robert. A man called William even set up a newspaper to help Robert tell the people the Eternals’ message.
By then,the Cooperativist fire had spread around the country and in 1844 in Rochdale England, The Society of Equitable Pioneers was set up.
Within a decade, over 1000 more groupings of these new Co-operators, as they were by now called, had appeared. Hope was well chuffed; Cooperativism had done good!
And the rest, thankfully, as they say, is (human) History.

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