Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan, a Study in Political Sociology

By S. M. Lipset | Go to book overview

Chapter XIII
EPILOGUE

THE C.C.F. today represents the culmination of a half-century of political and economic efforts by western grain growers to establish a stable economy. It is the apex of a movement that started with the Territorial Grain Growers' Association in 1902, and continued with the Grain Growers' Grain Company, the Saskatchewan Coöperative Elevator Company, the Progressive Party, the Farmers' Union, the Wheat Pool, and the United Farmers of Canada (Saskatchewan Section). After almost fifty years of organization, the Saskatchewan farmers today have the largest coöperative movement on the continent and the only independent agrarian government. They have probably gone as far as a sectional agrarian group can go within geographic, economic, and constitutional limits to establish direct producers' control over their economy.

No complex society, however, has yet discovered the secret of harmony or equilibrium. Social movements are faced with the dilemma of maintaining their stability and social gains, and at the same time sustaining the base for a continued effort to reach their long-term objectives. The history of the Saskatchewan farmers' movement indicates anew the inherent difficulty involved when a reform organization attempts both to maintain organizational stability and to change the larger society. Each successful

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