Worker cooperatives don’t often receive the recognition they deserve as examples of alternative forms of economic organization. The Maryland Food Co-op has recently received some publicity after announcing it will close at the end of the semester due to outstanding debt. An article in The Diamondback described the Co-op’s workers and customers’ impassioned push to remain open, while my colleague Liyanga de Silva called on the University of Maryland to offer the Co-op subsidies.
As the debate over the meaning of socialism has returned to relevance with the rise of self-described democratic-socialist politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), there is no better time to delve into the significance of worker cooperatives and their prospects for enabling social change.
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