Three reasons for you and those close to you to take a step forward and organize a small cooperative.
The origin of the first European “businesses” could hardly be more modest. Pirenne describes them almost like bands made up of wandering families, people fleeing from servitude and united by a sense of solidarity, who earned their freedom, their security, and their well-being through trade. It’s worth rereading his descriptions. Among other reasons, because the question inevitably arises of whether it’s time to reinvent those “companies,” those almost familiar arts instead of letting fear oppress us and letting the tide of the crisis sweep us away. And for the same reasons, though updated, that they had:
- Freedom: the crisis is changing the world. If you sit around waiting for things to “go back” to what, in another time, was considered “normal,” it’s quite possible that by the time it happens — if it ever does — age will have passed you by. There are only options for the one who holds the rudder, even the rudder of the tiniest boat. Going as a cabinboy or stowaway on the Titanic is glamorous, but once an iceberg cracks the hull, it offers a worse outlook than rowing the smallest lifeboat. It wasn’t from “every man for himself,” but rather from the autonomy of those companies that urban democracy emerged in Europe.
- Security: In stormy times, the only security possible for you and those close to you is in having income that is as distributed as possible. A contract with the State is worse than a contract with several businesses, which, in turn, is worse than selling directly to the public. How many salaries can you have? If you’re lucky, one. How many clients can you have on your own? How many if you join forces with others? More clients, less individual risk, and more security for everyone. Security is no longer something that some (parents, the State) can give to others (children, workers), but rather something we can only give each other among everyone (between peers, in the market). In the end, it was the Hansas who created the idea of fraternity (solidarity).
- Enjoying life. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not about “weathering the storm” with precarious contracts. That’s not what life is. It’s having new experiences, earning autonomy, learning. It’s not about getting rich,it’s about having and sharing an interesting life with your friends as you build well-being in common with them. An ethic of cooperation can only be born of autonomy.