Where I, Ron, blog on a variety of different subjects--social theoretical, historical, cultural, political, social ethical, the media, and so on (I got the Max Weber and Mark Twain in me)--in a sometimes Niebuhrian or ironic way all with an attitude. Enjoy. Disagree. Be very afraid. Be very Eek.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
The coop ideal of the 1960s and 1970s died as I wrote in an earlier blog on this site, the day worker coops became "consumer coops". On top of that there has been, for years, a "conspiracy", both conscious and ideological, between national coop organisations, including the National Cooperative Grocers Association and CDS Consulting, both of which provide "expert advice" to coops and the managerial class, which is predominately neoliberal, which now run coops. The NCGA, by the way, conducted an audit of Bloomingfoods after public administration academic bureaucrat Keith Taylor urged them to take this action. But back to my main point: The actors in this national conspiracy to turn coops into mirrors of its competitors use fear--we have to stay competitive with Whole Foods--and lies--member labour is illegal--to get their way. What is their way? They want to take power from members and give it to a Board of "elected" neoliberal types. They want to do this by manipulating by-laws (anyone who knows Weber and Foucault knows what is going on here) and they want to turn coops into Whole Foods Junior, Trader Joe's Junior, and Lucky's Junior which is, by the way, not a particularly good survival strategy. They have succeeded with their fear tactics and lies at a number of coops across the country but not in Albany, NY where members provided factual material detailing the lies and fear tactics of national coop advisory groups. It looks like Bloomingfoods is about to be the next hybrid coop and corporation to fall. In this case the picture above foreshadows the story to come. The picture above of the only Bloomingfoods I knew when I was a worker member in the late 1970s, was abandoned by the powers that be just like they abandoned coop principles earlier. These same powers that be, by the way, have apparently arranged that the upcoming member meeting, Board election, and by-laws vote is jigged in their favour. The jigging, and the elimination of dissident voices from the Facebook site, reflects standard national coop expert advice operating procedure as those of us who saw similar things attempted at Honest Weight know all to well. Rest not in peace Bloomingfoods.