I've used this blog to try to explore what it might mean to be a 'socialist' in these strange times. Its' title is an obscure reference to the fact I stopped party-political - though not community - activity almost 20 years ago, when the party of which I was a member, the CPGB, collapsed. So I felt like Captain Oates leaving the tent...but now, having somehow 'returned to the tent' as it were, I have found myself less than impressed by the Left of today, as I said here.
In particular I've been less than impressed by the Left's response to the current economic crisis and by the seeming poverty and purely rhetorical nature of their economic policies. So it's good to see Boffy's Blog coming up with a lengthy, detailed and austerely defended 4 part analysis of co-operatives. The key contemporary issues are covered in part 4 - but there are links to the three previous pieces on the subject which constitute a historical account of various Marxist views on the subject, going right back to Marx and Engels themselves.
He also provides a link to an Italian paper setting out a 'workable transition to socialism to be achieved through a system of producer cooperatives', from a partially Gramscian point of view.
I'm not saying I agree with any of this - I just don't know, I haven't had time to digest it. I suspect I'm much more prepared than Boffy is to think positively about consumer, as opposed to worker, controlled co-ops, since I no longer consider myself a Marxist (or nothing more than a 'ex-ish' Marxist anyway). But, my, I'm so pleased to see debate of this nature beginning....