The idea to create such a cooperative by myself, is also not new. When I was 4 years old I remember asking my parents how the corners shop and the kindergarten could actually survive, as it never seemed to me, even at that age, that they could make enough money to pay their bills (unless they were selling drugs on the side). I was not even 7 years old when I first thought of creating a global nonprofit corporation acting in just about every domain of society. At 10 I had it already all planned out in my mind.
At the time I fancied myself as quite the entrepreneur, I told my mother many times that I would be a billionaire before I reach 30. And I would have, if somehow along the way I had not become a poet, to the great dismay of my parents. The very definition of a poet is that they die in utter poverty. I’ve moved on since then, don’t worry, I barely wasted 20 years of my life in the process. Nothing to worry about, since it all led me to tell you all this now. I never forgot my initial purpose in this life.
It taught me something, that money is less important than happiness in this life, freedom, freedom of thought, this feeling of being part of something larger than oneself. Oh dear, I was no longer a poet then, I had become an idealist, a utopian lost in his dreams of changing the world. It could be worse, I could have become an anarchist, but I always remained quite realistic, still to this day.
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My childhood dream was quite simple, and even then, without knowing much about the great world of corporations, the capitalist system, the law in such regards to cooperative, and so on, I had one single idea that I think today is still perfect. In such thinking that only a child incapable of complicating everything, until you no longer have a cooperative, could think.
I was going to buy as cheap as I could, and sell without profit, except to provide for my own survival, that was all. My God, if this could be done on a massive scale nationally and internationally, I could truly make a difference in this world.
No one would ever be starving again, all within the capitalist system I grown into. I had no need to rethink the whole political and economical spectrum, I only needed to act within those systems. I did not see a problem, there was no need to change the world in the process, what did I know anyway of anything at that time. You must admit, today the idea is still very sound.
We’ve got to be realistic, capitalism is here to stay, we just bailed out all major financial institutions at great costs, trillions, so they could go on forever. We had our chance right there to change everything overnight and now it is gone. We will live in our economic system for many decades to come. And so it is the same with our normal capitalist corporations, they are here to remain, forever it seems.
Nothing will change for quite a while at least, perhaps never. And I don’t think, us the people, have it in us to change everything, never mind any revolution or civil war that might happen at some point in the future. I know now we are not ready for that, and it’s okay, no need to worry. We can change the world anyway, no matter what is going on in this world. Isn’t that reassuring? I thought so. So just listen to this, there’s no need for a revolution. We can easily go around it all.
So, in order to create our own institutions for humankind, to help us all, it has got to be built from within such capitalist system in which everything evolves. There is no point having the mentality of a socialist or even of a libertarian socialist (often called anarchism), when everything and everyone else around you obey the laws of capitalism. Any such project is obviously either doomed to failure or it remains a very isolated case of a successful cooperative that can only benefit a few over the many.
Now, this is quite important. I have just read that page on Wikipedia (and I don’t care what you think of Wikipedia) about cooperatives, and other pages linked to it, and I can see why it has never worked and always remained, when it was successful, quite an isolated phenomenon. Even banks that started as cooperative decades ago, have all become today capitalist financial institutions like any other. It tells you all, isn’t it?
Well, this is where I want to start, creating a nonprofit financial institution that truly is nonprofit, and will remain so forever. Surely everyone will flock to such a bank, are we not tired of paying so much money just to cash our checks? And from there, finance all sorts of cooperatives that will keep in mind, if not follow, some sort of established charter about what we the people truly need.
This global nonprofit company needs to start with the basics. Banking, then construction, then real estate, then supermarkets selling groceries and clothes and anything we all need on a daily basis. All nonprofit, on a major scale, an international, a global nonprofit corporation. This is what I intend to create, what should be created, what should have been created years ago.
You see, I am not that bothered with these profits going to the employees or consumers or partners/members to the enterprise. I am only worried about one thing, that we provide for everything anyone might ever need, without any kind of profit whatsoever. So no one should by right own the corporation or profit from it, the global company should just ensure it provides all the services and products at a minimum of profit to everyone, to us all.
Any profit, and yes there will be some profit, will go on to create the next big venture in the global nonprofit corporation. But at the end of the day, if you were to produce and sell something at a fraction of the cost and profit of any other competitor, any such venture will be highly profitable. So I’m not worried, every one of the venture of the global nonprofit corporation cannot fail but be sustainable, on such a global scale that everyone would know about it, and only buy from it.
I am no longer talking about a cooperative I’m afraid, and that is good believe me. Government decided to regularize cooperative, and quite strongly I might add. So the idea of calling this international corporation “The Cooperative” is gone. Anyway, none of its members or consumers or employees would benefit directly from it, it will all work under the capitalist system, like a real corporation, without wishing to make a profit out of it in the end.
So it must be called: “The Nonprofit Corporation”, selling even oil and gas and electricity, without profit. My God, this nonprofit corporation will go on to build power plants, and such energy will come at cost, just as it should always have been. Never should any third party need to make billions of profit over our need for energy. What was the government thinking? Never mind, we can go around the government, even within this capitalist world. No one could possibly stop such a cooperative, not even the government, not even the law.
Paid employees, yes, employment creation, yes, but profiting from such a cooperative? No one will, except the people, all of us in society. The need of the many over the need of the few. But I am not against helping any cooperative of any form to be created, and to financing them. As long is it remains localized.
But I am talking about the creation of a global nonprofit organization, dealing in every domain of society, that cannot profit to anyone but us all. Ensuring not only the lowest price for houses, cars, clothing and food, but also for quality, what we have been used to. This is not a cheap deal for useless things, substandard corn that a tortoise would not even eat. We’re not stupid, actually we’re quite clued up. Well at least I am for us all.
Retailers at the moment take 40% profit, on top of the 20% of the distributor, and perhaps on top of the 20% of the manufacturer. After the 25% plus taxes the government takes at every transaction. You understand the need to create such a corporation that will deliver from manufacturing, to distributing, to retailing, without trying to make a profit, perhaps even somehow evading government taxes in the process as a nonprofit organization, a charity of some sort, why not.
Maybe I am just a dreamer, perhaps I have not thought about all this more than I did when I was just a kid, but it seemed so simple to me when I was 10 years old, and perhaps it is that simple after all. All I need is the backup of billionaires truly willing to help the world, I am thinking about Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. And perhaps there are other billionaires out there who feel they want to help the world, and go on to help create such a huge “nonprofit corporation” that could go on to help billions of people in the world.
Cooperatives are not illegal, even when it comes to banking. They all went haywire in time and never seemed to bring lower prices and helping communities as they should have. I am even surprised such cooperatives have not multiplied in time, why is it that we barely can see them, or take advantage of their low price services and products? Why are they no different from any other capitalist corporation out there?
Well, we just have not created the right global nonprofit corporation yet, that is all, and that is what I am proposing. Encouraging along the way, and financing, any other smaller organization willing to espouse the same principles of nonprofit organization, and helping the community at large.
And now, there is one more thing I must stress. I am not talking about anarchism or socialism here, this is a pure capitalist corporation that is simply not intending to make a profit, just to sustain itself and help itself develop to all domains of society.
It is true that none of the employees or members will profit more whilst the corporation is becoming more successful, as it cannot fail to be successful, eliminating all the competition around. But I will not be willing to recreate the nightmare of the actual corporate structure. I dare say, who cares if you can buy a house, a car, a boat, food and clothes cheaper, if in the end it does not make you happier? We all need to be happy at work. No need for a utopia to be created for this to happen, it only depend on us all.
The whole corporate structure and hierarchy in such an organization I am planning need to go. Whilst the structure will be well defined, salaries paid, and a minimum of profit going to help create more of the same worldwide, it remains that there is still place to rethink the corporate hierarchy and management, to a more democratic process of all the employees together being involved, without any kind of identified supremacy.
Let’s face it, if this extraordinary massive scale project is to create million of jobs and help the economy, I want every single employee to take part in all the decisions and be as happy as can be. This is not exploitation I am proposing, it is a massive undertaking to bring happiness, joy and worthy standard of living to everyone on this planet. A lot of thinking will be required before this starts, I can tell you.
Okay! I am willing to start to plan this project, which is not a utopia, so we can help as many people as we can. Perfect timing, we’re in a recession. Please contact me with your ideas. And if you got billions and you are willing to jump start such a nonprofit corporation, please contact me.
I think we could do great in this world, we could achieve something that should have been done a long time ago, something that is allowed under our actual laws, that could truly become the only competition anyone ever feared, in such a capitalist system.
We cannot change our economic system, we cannot change our capitalist market, we cannot even change our government and its ways of thinking and going about everything. But in parallel to it all, we can plan the best ever cooperative or nonprofit corporation the world ever saw.
Please feel free to create such smaller organizations with the same spirit as expressed here. We’re in desperate need of such ways of going about things in this world. But if somehow we could make it global, to help us all, what a dream come true that would be. That would be something worth living for, worth working towards.
I have pledged that I would change this world somehow. I seek a donation. Don’t worry, I am not seeking a donation from you. I am seeking one worthy donation from one billionaire. From there, the nonprofit corporation will take over. New banking, manufacturing, constructing, distributing, retailing, without any profit. All employees deciding the faith of their organization, without suffering any corporate hierarchy, any management. Better remain good and hard working, or else others will get you out.
But I’m only thinking about our happiness, to get everything we need without having all those third parties making a fortune on our back, not even the government through taxes at every level. If somehow all could come to you without someone making a profit at every turn, we might be able to afford living, we might afford to survive, to be happy, and change this world without having to change it. We only need to change this world from within. All by building our own humanitarian institutions in parallel of everything else that might exist in this world.
My God, I am idealistic, am I? And yet, I feel, I just feel, it is within the reach of this reality. It can be done. We can make it happen! I don’t intend to change anything within this world, I only intend to use all that already exist, all that we can use, in order to build exactly what we always needed, and I find that nothing is stopping us. It can be done on a small scale, or a massive scale. Let’s get to work! Now, isn’t that revolutionary?
“Without irony, this life would hardly be worth living.”
Roland Michel Tremblay
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