Conscious Capitalism -v- Co-operation: Hyperbole and Hypocrisy


When I spent some eleven years advocating within a leading grocery co-operative for worker’s rights, one of my rallying cries was that you don’t make a traditional capitalist corporate grocery store a genuine co-operative simply by writing a conscious, conscience check to a charity at the end of the financial year.

My particular so-called co-operative grocery store was very good at writing conscious, conscience checks all through the year. But, at the end of every year, it was still a traditional grocery corporation.

And so too was and is Whole Foods. Little difference.

It’s a shame really. There is nothing wrong with being a traditional grocery corporation, which writes conscious, conscience checks. Provided that’s what you say you are.

There’s nothing wrong with being an almost co-operative. Which tries to brighten the mood with dancing on its front lawn. And wine shows twice a year. Provided you don’t claim to be any more.

But when you seek capital by consciously lying about the nature of your capitalism. Well. Um. That’s not conscious capitalism. That’s consciously lying.

Frankly, I hope that the story of Whole Foods brings to an end the bunkem known as ‘conscious capitalism.’

I mean, what does that even mean? Capitalism is, by definition, not conscious. It is a hands-off way of driving economic activity, by making all of that activity serve only one purpose – the enriching of capitalists.

To be honest, I have no problem with that as a starting point. I think you need capital for economic activity.

But I think the employing of that capital should be a tad more conscious in its manner. And that requires structure.

Simply putting the word ‘conscious’ in front does not apply structure. It merely involves the CEO choosing to write one check more than all those he writes to the capital-holders.

I think capitalism can work for the social good, if the correct structure is applied. And I choose to believe that the correct structure is ‘co-operation.’ Mutualism. Properly applied, executed and administered.

Go look it up. I’m not allowed to direct you to my blog any more.

Published in: on June 6, 2017 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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