The Cooperative Movement in Jugoslavia, Rumania and North Italy during and after the World War

The Cooperative Movement in Jugoslavia, Rumania and North Italy during and after the World War

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The Cooperative Movement in Jugoslavia, Rumania and North Italy during and after the World War

The Cooperative Movement in Jugoslavia, Rumania and North Italy during and after the World War

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The cooperative movement as a whole seems to have survived the war more successfully than many other forms of enterprise. In Central Europe reports show that, comparatively speaking, at least, the cooperative societies have made progress since the World War. In France and Switzerland all forms of cooperation are flourishing, and in the former there has been some cooperative effort for reorganizing the devastated areas. In the countries with which this report deals there can be no doubt that cooperation has demonstrated its efficiency and elasticity in meeting economic diffculties. Where private enterprise has failed, cooperation has been able to insure the fair distribution of supplies. It has kept the economic nation alive in many districts where other forms of trade have, actually ceased to function.

This must largely be ascribed to the fact that the cooperative societies command the confidence of their members and are therefore regarded as of especial importance when rapid fluctuations in value encourage profiteering and speculative buying. The value of this confidence is shown by the fact that in Southeastern Europe not only did the Governments of Serbia and Rumania use their cooperative societies as the means of distributing essential commodities, but the Austrian and Hungarian Governments actually used cooperative societies formed by members of the subject races of their old dominions both for collecting agricultural products and for distributing manufactured goods.

The more particular reasons why cooperation has gained rather than lost by the economic catastrophe of the War are: (1) The increase in the cost of living has made the savings effected by cooperative purchasing of great importance to the vast bulk of the people of Europe. (2) The continued necessity of distributing has controlled necessities of life, such as bread, salt, flour and tobacco. (3) The general upset of international trade has made the procuring of the raw materials of agriculture (seeds . . .

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