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Another Life is Possible: Cooperatives in Barlovento, Venezuela

Conversations with Dada Chandranath

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By the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela

Venezuela is undergoing a transformation within its workplace. With approximately 50,000 cooperatives in operation—the highest number of any country in the hemisphere—will this economic democracy prove to be a model for development throughout the region?

More than 40 cooperatives were surveyed in the impoverished rural district of Barlovento to see just how cooperatives are transforming people's lives. Workers from a variety of different sectors including farming, fishing, hotel, restaurant, electrical and sewing co-ops tell in their own words the stories of their problems, struggles and successes.

24 minutes, NTSC, with English subtitles.

BONUS FEATURE: “Economics of Prout: Economic Democracy in Practice” is an introduction to the Progressive Utilization Theory or PROUT, a socio-economic alternative to capitalism and communism. Includes interviews with Sohail Inayatullah and Johan Galtung. 30 min.

   

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Minimum Requirements and Maximum Amenities

“There are many attractions in society, and it is the nature of human beings to run after these attractions. Communism exploited this human tendency by promising to give equal wealth to all. But the mundane resources in the world are limited, so is it possible to provide equal wealth to all? No, and the attempt to do so is nothing but a dazzling ostentation. Now communism has met its end. Communism was nothing but a “bogusism” – a mere ostentation of verbose language and nothing else.

Rather than trying to give equal wealth to all, the proper approach is to ensure that everyone is guaranteed the minimum requirements of life. As the income of people increases, the radius of their minimum requirements should also increase. Just to bridge the gap between the more affluent people and the common people, we have to increase the minimum requirements of all. In addition, the maximum amenities should be provided to meritorious persons to enable them to render greater service to society. This should be done by setting aside some wealth for those with special qualities, but the provision of the maximum amenities should not go against the common interest.”

P. R. Sarkar
13 October 1989, Calcutta

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