Great string, thanks
I've been studying this topic a lot. I got invited to speak at the N American convergence a few years back, and since I spoke on cooperatives being the only type of business in integrity with permie ethics, I wasn't invited back.
I think part of what's happening here is that there are employee owned businesses, which is what we all think of when we hear Co-op, and then there are businesses, such as REI, that have co-op'ed the word co-op, so to speak, by representing themselves as an employee owned business, when really they are a top down capitalist business in which the Buyer's/consumers form a collective group of people with similar interests, fondly referred to as a Co-op.
If your local grocery store in Maine follows the pattern of 1) the owner's own a home, have 100% equity in the business, and make all decisions, while 2) the workers rent, have 0% equity in the business and have zero legal voice in decision making, then, you have stumbled upon a Buyer's Co-op. Not in line with permie ethics, no? Not a worker owned cooperative, but a buyer's Co-op. I'm not sure, but in your story you mention that other buyers wouldn't approve of your suggestion, not that the worker/owners didn't approve.
The state of California recognizes worker owned cooperatives as a means to provide workers with equity, dignity, and a legal voice at work. https://www.co-oplaw.org/statebystate/california/#:~:text=California%20Cooperative%20Guides-,California%20Cooperative%20Corporation%20Statute,seek%20investments%20from%20their%20communities
We claim, as permaculture practitioners, to share the surplus, yet I have witnessed first hand situations that use the word permaculture, while acting in non cooperative work places.
I find this to be hypocritical. The Latin American community find this to be hypocritical, and they now use "agroecología" instead of "permacultura" due to this repeated misleading information.
We do this to our own detriment. How can others take us seriously when we don't follow our own ethics?
Hopland, the solar living institute, is one of the first residential and commercial solar installers in the USA, and they were purchased by a larger company. This is big business. The interns are in tents with rice and beans. We cannot take the leadership of the permaculture movement seriously, when this is the context.
I was invited to write a story for permaculture north American magazine, in which I interviewed an individual who had worked for the owner of the URL permaculture. Com, and I was threatened by a group of lawyers. The article was pulled.
Seems it's permissable to greenwash this topic of sharing the surplus 💰 of a business (profits), so long as Earth Care is pushed to the forefront. Unpaid internships are popular in the green movement, and the people care dynamic of this situation is questionable.
This is the key to the Green Revolution. It's the half Revolution that Robert frost writes about. We don't want local farms owned by conglomerates and a workplace where we are continued to be exploited with no legal voice. We want true cooperative workplaces, we want equity, legal voices at work etc etc.
The ownership class needs to invest in the youth and jumpstart this movement, or we are destined to have solar brought to us from Exxon, gardens sponsored by Dole etc etc
Thanks for listening