Thinking as a Movement

By Josh Davis, Grassroots Economic Organizing

One of the major benefits of cooperative enterprise is the superior decisions that emerge from the process of thinking together. Just as two heads are better than one, six heads are better than two. If the deliberation process is well designed, and the members are aligned to a common goal, the result is decisions and policies that are much better than any of the individual members could have come up with on their own. There are several reasons for this, but partly it is because well-functioning cooperatives overcome the informational asymmetries that plague more hierarchical businesses (i.e. managers end up surrounded by “yes men,” and so make decisions based on distorted information), and partly because collective decision-making insulates the group from the weaknesses and character flaws of any of the individual members. Anyone who has been a part of a co-op or collective that functions at a reasonably high level...