May 15, 2022 3:25 am

Cooperativism vs. story

The National Executive Power persists in promoting social plans or programs aimed at what it identifies as productive enterprises and associative groups, activities of the social and popular economy, recovered companies –and other definitions devised with the same questionable objective– in the form of cooperatives of job. That is to say, insists that the work will be generated through cooperatives promoted by the State.

On several occasions, from these columns, we have highlighted the very important role that these valuable structures play in our society, provided that they are not distorted and they are not intended to be used as instruments for the use of public resources for the personal benefit of pointers or political leaders or social.

The use of this figure, under cover of a story that considers them as the only valid tools for the “generation” of work, as well as deserving of benefits in their relationship with the State, is reprehensible since its members, in the majority of the cases, they are in a context of social vulnerability. Well, this is the condition imposed by the different levels of the Executive Power to financially assist such entities.

It is repugnant that they take advantage of those who need it most, for the benefit of a few. This has happened in numerous cases throughout recent history.

If there is something that opposes the ideas of totalitarian regimes, it is cooperativism, since it encourages the debate of ideas and participation; things autocrats hate

Cooperatives are legal entities that arise from the need for individuals to join together to collectively meet their needs. They are essentially democratic entities. Cooperative ventures can occur in the fields of production, work, public services, credit, consumption, insurance and health, among others.

When the decision to set up a cooperative is made by the State, the natural evolution of these structures is reversed. When from the State it is proposed that social plans become a “source” of work, but it is intended to generate it through cooperatives, promoted and constituted from the same State, its purpose is disrupted, since they will be the recipients and administrators of social programs that previously received their beneficiaries directly.

We have already lived the experience of social programs used for construction, purchase of materials, tools and other supplies that have led to scandalous situations. Suffice it to recall the disastrous case of miracle room in the province of Jujuy constituting cooperatives in record time to receive resources from the State and that of alleged cooperative members who withdrew huge sums of money in cash from banking entities.

The healthiest thing would be for the State’s social coverage to go its way and that, for the generation of work, we promote legislation and an adequate control of genuine employment.

In fact, it is very common to observe how the development of the cooperative sector is promoted in opposition to capitalism or liberal ideas. Regrettably, It is another fallacious story, another ideological trick with no more support than promoting confrontation between sectors of society. There is no reason to think that cooperatives and other associative entities cannot develop their full potential in an environment of economic freedom such as that which prevails in the most advanced countries. Beyond theory, practice shows us that the most advanced associative entities are found in countries with more open economies, as was demonstrated by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent reunification of Germany: the most developed cooperatives were on the western side, not the socialist one.

Contrary to what many believe, the system of associative entities is not socialist by definition. They are in themselves just one more form of corporate organization, as valid as any other, but which requires that it be formed and conducted by people who respect its spirit and its rules and do not take advantage of the rest of its partners and the community in question. In general, due to the tax benefits that this type of entity entails in our country.

A clear example of the benefits of this corporate system is found in cooperatives of agricultural producers. Clearly, the organization in cooperatives has allowed many producers to obtain a sufficient scale to be able to compete with companies, typically corporations, allowing them to fight in a highly competitive market. What in commercial companies is the merger and purchase of companies, among small producers is the organization in cooperatives, with their respective federations and confederations. The concept is the same: add critical mass to compete. Only the legal vehicle is different. That is the associative system is complementary to the system of commercial companies, not opposed to it.

Another example is the development of public service cooperatives in our country. Where neither private capital nor the State went to provide the service, the cooperative system allowed the inhabitants of many areas to organize themselves to provide themselves with what they needed (water, electricity, telephony, among others). Over time, some of these cooperatives compete on equal terms with commercial companies.

If there is something that clearly opposes the ideas of totalitarian regimes, it is cooperativism, since in this type of organization what reigns, or should reign in all cases, is the debate of ideas and opinions and the democratic participation of their members. members, something that those regimes fear and reject by nature. That healthy democratic spirit is what is conspicuous by its absence in pseudo-cooperatives managed by social movements or political leaders, which are very far from respecting the dignity of their members..

Unfortunately, the governments of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner they appropriated, among many other things, cooperativism, particularly worker cooperatives. Given the lack of generation of a legal and economic framework that would allow the reasonable development of private capital, with the consequent generation of employment, they put together another convenient story to try to convince that development should come, almost exclusively, from the organization of workers. in work “cooperatives” dependent on municipal, provincial and national government bodies, incorporating them into the political scene to harvest voters and the State bureaucracy by increasing spending

They artificially opposed both systems again. Given the lack of private job creation, once the recovery after the 2001 crisis was exhausted, they were nothing more than a tricky way to swell the payroll of public employees, without paying social charges and increasing the sectors dependent on state handouts.

This clearly highlights that, from the Government and in a deceitful way, the creation of this type of entities that did not respond at all to the free choice of the supposed cooperative members was promoted.

What happened between 2003 and 2015 confirms that the State cannot impose a model of corporate organization based on a partisan political narrative. Unfortunately, this process was not free for the system of associative entities. Today, at least in large urban centers, the popular imagination associates cooperativism with entities that live off the economic resources provided by the State, some of which were even part of high-profile corruption cases.

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