The Ten Principles of Mondragon

Mondragon Cooperative Corporation

Father Arizmendi formulated ten guiding principles for his cooperative network. These still compose the cornerstone and starting point for all the other principles and values of the Mondragon Cooperative Corporation (MCC) that have been developed over the years. Values are key to any organization in fostering motivation, unity, and inspiration.

  1. At the core of the principles is education, which Mondragon considers essential to implementing all other principles.
  2. Also central—and a value we heard repeatedly emphasized—is the sovereignty of labor. Workers are the main force in transforming society and therefore are to control and benefit from all profits.
  3. The corollary to that principle is the subordination of capital. Capital is labor’s instrument, not its master.
  4. The fourth principle, democratic organization, speaks to how workers exercise their dominion over capital—through governing bodies that empower them.
  5. Open admission, a fifth principle, applies to non-discrimination on the basis of religion, politics, race, and gender. The only requirement to join the cooperative is respect for its constitution.
  6. Participation in management means that management is to be drawn from the worker-owners, (although not exclusively; sometimes it is contracted).
  7. A seventh principle is wage solidarity, which means fairness and equitability of remuneration.
  8. Inter-cooperation, an eighth principle, encourages solidarity and exchange with other cooperatives, locally as well as nationally and internationally.
  9. A ninth principle is social transformation, which refers to MCC’s relationship to the Basque region through creating jobs, promoting Basque culture and language, fostering social welfare, etc.
  10. Finally, the principle of universal nature, extends the cooperative vision to social justice and economic democracy throughout the world.

I find it impressive that MCC still promotes these principles originated by Father Arizmendi. How consistently and faithfully they do so will be addressed in future posts.

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About Kitty Kroger

Kitty Kroger is a retired high school teacher of E.S.L. She has published her first novel, "Dancing with Mao and Miguel," which takes place in the 70s and deals with political, social, and personal concerns of that decade. In addition to writing, she is also involved in trying to make the world a better place, concerning herself with issues such as climate change and attacks on refugees and immigrants. She enjoys photography, including street photos (find her work on kittykroger.smugmug.com and Instagram), writes poetry, and plays in a piano ensemble. She also publishes a blog called "Voices of the Sixties and Seventies" (sixtiesandseventiesblog.wordress.com).
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2 Responses to The Ten Principles of Mondragon

  1. Kaveta Nagamuthu says:

    Which company applies those principles now???

    • kkroger says:

      There are many worker coops around the world, especially in Argentina and Italy. There are the Arizmendi Bakeries in the Bay Area of San Francisco, and the Evergreen Coops in Cleveland, Ohio, plus many smaller coops all over.

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