Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

4 erthygl ar y dudalen hon



CO-OPERATION. Attention has once more been directed to the sub- ject of co-operation by the Co-operative Congress, but in the discussions which have taken place no new facts of much importance have been brought out. With regard to co-operation for distribution, it is generally admitted that excellent results have been accomplished. The movement has put tradesmen on their mettle, and even if it had had no other conse- quence it would have been of real benefit to the community. Unfortunately, productive co-operation does not seem to make very rapid progress. At one time it was believed by social reformers that all our hard economical problems were to be solved by co- operative production and we may still hope that the idea has a future, for under favourable conditions it evokes some of the best qualities of the working class. But there are many formidable obstacles in the way. In the first place it is becoming increasingly difficult to carry on successfully any business which is not conducted on a great scale. Competition is driving small undertakings from the field, and co-operative producers, like individual capitalists, can hope to make considerable profits only by being prepared for large expenditure. Again, one of the most essential conditions of productive co-operation is that there shall be rigid organisation, and a readiness on the part of each partner in the enterprise to sacrifice his own notions in deference to the will of the majority. This is a condition with which English workmen are not very ready to comply, although, no doubt, their pre- judices in favour of extreme individualism are to some extent giving way through the influence of Trades Unions. A still more serious difficulty is that societies for co-operative production need managers who are both prudent and enthusiastic. An individual capitalist has the strongest possible motives for looking sharply after the minutest details of his business. If any mistake is made, it is he who will be the principal sufferer; if his schemes prosper, the profit will be his own. The manager appointed by a body of co-operative producers is not personally so deeply concerned, and is not, therefore, likely to do his work so well unless he happens to be a man of exceptional ability and character.— The Graphic.


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