Associating Mondragon, @HRheingold ‘s #Cooplit Class, P2P Fondation, with my admiration for Initiative Like This Spanish Cooperative P2P Re-Industrialization Swarm

First thing every morning I read  the daily  short messages from the P2P foundation.

This time the message hereafter struck me to the point of wanting to share it with you  here:

Spanish Cooperative ‘Grupo de las Indias’ promotes p2p re-industrialization swarm

photo of Sepp Hasslberger

Sepp Hasslberger
18th May 2012

via David de Ugarte

On May 7, 2012 Grupo de las Indias started a campaign calling for a P2P directed local re-industrialization swarming action.

They sent personal emails to more than 300 local and social leaders, including a mini-dossier in Spanish that shows how P2P industrialization could help stop the growth of unemployment in those local economies.


Spanish unemployment is the largest in Europe with around 24,44% of the general population unemployed and one out of every two young people looking unsuccessfully for a job.

The cooperative is offering to send out consulting teams to show how this P2P re-industrialization could be put into practice in any local setting. The hope is that this will become a real swarming action that can reverse the economic downturn that has gripped the Iberian peninsula. There is a campaign page in Spanish. A translated version of that page which also has a translation of the mini-dossier is here.

There have been positive reactions from local councils, activists and non profit organizations and expectations are running high that this will take off in a serious way.

I felt compelled to react. It reminded me of my visit to Mondragon, who has demonstrated how The Basque Country in Spain, after having been broken after the Spanish Revolution, resuscitated thanks to what has now become one of the World largest cooperative Movements: see Jeffrey Hollender’s analysis here

I felt compelled to react immediately. Here’s my spontaneous reaction:

The sheer multitude of initiatives that are sprouting out of the ground everywhere is really impressive. It demonstrates a sea shift taking place to replace indignified ways of thinking and acting, in favor of Humanly respectful new-ones. It also demonstrates the inexhaustible resources of Humans acting together, the power of hope overcomingf despair.

There are indeed two ways of reacting to a World on the brink of disaster:

1. A constructive one: Set aside the paradigms and the thinking behind what brought the situation in the first place, think and design differently, prototype new systems, show the benefit of new ways of collaboration

2. A destructive one:  destroy the old system through disruption, anarchism, revolution, war…

Historically this has been the outcome in the great majority of situations

The first one is the path less travelled, the most difficult one


Nicolo Machiavelli (in the Prince) has beautifully analyzed the reasons for this unsatisfactory outcome:

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.”


Let this be a warning to all those who busy themselves fiercely defending increasingly indefensible privileges. Let it also be a warning to all the lukewarm incredulous by-standers… Revolution is a dramatic Lose-Lose, evolution can/should be constructed as a Win-Win…

Wanted to share this with you. It is a fantastic example of Cooperation. I’m saying that to associate my companions in Howard Rheingold‘s new CoopLit E-Course, that started last night.


About charlesvanderhaegen

I am a grandfather of an immensely inspiring family, thanks to the most incredible wife. To satisfy my family's needs, I was for 30 years business entrepreneur, roller coasting between success and failure. 17 years ago I was forced to stop and reflect. I dug into theory and discovered the World out there, that my involvement in Business had kept hidden to me. I feared that I will not escape remaining amidst my trans-disciplinary quest forever, bouncing back and forth from action to theory, always puzzled by Europe's apparent incapacity to free itself from its Institutional/Technological Lock-ins. My horizon opened up when Gunter Pauly, my intimate friend of 35 years, asked me to join him and take charge ZERI's development in Europe. I am now fully engaged alongside Gunter Pauli in the and the @myblueeconomy Networks as CEO of ZERI.EU vzw (Non for Profit association)
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3 Responses to Associating Mondragon, @HRheingold ‘s #Cooplit Class, P2P Fondation, with my admiration for Initiative Like This Spanish Cooperative P2P Re-Industrialization Swarm

  1. Thanks a lot Charles for your support!! The campaign is starting to produce its first fruits, a lot of people is getting interested and some involved. P2P local industrialization is focusing in small productive scale, but we are making more: standing up three news coops right now in Basque Country in example. We are trying to deploy different «defense lines» in front of crisis as social situation is getting worse.

    • Hi David, Impressed by your immediate reaction. You should have quite a powerfiul radar. Thanks for that. Aftera first very quick glance at your websites/blogs I believe we should explore common interests. Let’s keep in touch. Cheers, Charles

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