Why Cooperatives Exist in a Market Economy

While it is true that cooperatives create “common wealth” to be paid forward for use by future generations of cooperative members, the context of why this option is critical in a market economy is often overlooked.

The following statement by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, in a May 29, 2014 speech, outlines the importance of the contribution from cooperative design:

Just as any revolution eats its children, unchecked market fundamentalism can devour the social capital essential for the long term dynamism of capitalism itself. . .Prosperity requires not just investment in economic capital, but investment in social capital; that is the links, shared values, and beliefs in a society which encourages individuals not only to take responsibility for themselves and their families, but also to trust each other and work collaboratively to support each other.”

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