Co-operatives: a possible future to note

Speaking last week to various emancipation gatherings, President David Granger sought to strike a note of optimism about the impending oil bonanza, but this backfired when he admonished his largely African audiences for spending too much time and money on liming and drinking rather than educating themselves to take advantage of the forthcoming opportunities. Coming from a priest, that kind of sterile moralistic message might barely pass muster, but from a president it indicates that after years in opposition and government, he and his party do not have any meaningful programmes to extricate the poor – and particularly his own constituency – from their poor condition. Indeed, his statements are suggestive of the kind of failed laissez faire approach I mentioned last week in relation to co-operative development and that instigated my promise to in this column suggest how ‘cooperatives can contribute to the required mix of positive efforts to aid in the emancipation of the working people.’

The conceptual foundation of my effort here takes into consideration certain indigenous and exogenous, past and contemporary conditions and aspirations. Two of these are firstly, the era of globalization has brought with it a massive movement of people, global and local inequalities and growing political disassociation. As a result, it is now widely recognised that new approaches are necessary if we intend to live in prosperous cohesive societies. ‘(I)f today’s egalitarian politicians, … are to succeed in their projects of taming markets and revitalizing social democracy for the twenty-first century, it will not be with the politics of the past’ (…..