Co-Operatives in America: Their Past, Present and Future

Co-Operatives in America: Their Past, Present and Future

Co-Operatives in America: Their Past, Present and Future

Co-Operatives in America: Their Past, Present and Future

Excerpt

Co-operation in America is not new. It began among the animals that practiced mutual aid in their economic and social lives--in getting their food, and in protecting themselves from the elements and from their enemies. It continued among the primitive peoples of this continent, who did the same things in their different ways. The North American Indians organized themselves co-operatively and carried on their affairs in closer conformity to what are now called Rochdale methods than do many societies which are called co-operative today.

The Indians set up a tribal democracy in which each invested, as his contribution to share capital, his goods and his man power. They distributed to each member according to his needs. From distribution they moved back toward production. The chase, the forests, and the fields yielded food which was co- operatively apportioned. Each member got what he required and what in man power he paid for. No funds received interest, because no money was needed. The use of wampum was exceptional, and unnecessary within the tribe. Reserves, as a common surplus saving in the form of food, clothing, and . . .

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