From Mondragon to MendoDragon
People ask us why we're called MendoDragon. The name is a play on words with the Mondragon Collectives of the Basque region of Spain. We learned of this successful system of democratic economic governance back in the year 2000 when many of us foresaw the current economic collapse at the beginning of the Economic Localization Movement.
The Mondragon Collectives have revolutionary implications because of its structure of non-hierarchical democratic governance, with worker ownership and control, challenging the capitalist system at its very heart. Where capitalism awards profit and control to capital and hires labor, Mondragon awards profit and control to labor. In the process, it has developed a worker-centered culture which, rather than infantilizing, empowers. Mondragon members are citizens of a worker commonwealth, with the full rights that such citizenship confers.
Also, Mondragon has created a total system where one can learn, work, shop, and live within a cooperative environment. In such an environment motivation is high because members share an overall cooperative culture which integrates material and moral incentives, and which extends into every aspect of life, work, community, education, consumption, and family.
Perhaps one of the most brilliant achievements of the Mondragon organizational system is the way in which it has combined collective ownership with the incentives of individual ownership in a mixed system which recognizes both the individual and the collective side of human motivation.
A strong argument can be made for the importance of creating more networks like Mondragon, if humans are to move toward social liberation. Its systems approach to job creation confronts the problems of economic organization and development head-on, managing at once to create freedom in work and enough jobs to have a powerful impact on a regional economy.
We felt moved to start a collective based on Mondragon principles, formed an LLC with 4 members and called it MendoDragon. We resurrected a dormant greenhouse to begin a nursery collective called Lovin' Blooms. Original collective members chose not to continue to work together but the nursery still exists as a partnership and provides plant starts to the greater community. When we learned that having an LLC would not assist us in acquiring a conventional loan to purchase the land for our community we dis-incorporated. So what remains is the original spirit of co-ownership and co-creation as we enter 2012...the Chinese Year of the Dragon, an auspicious time for the MendoDragon Community and, indeed, the yearning to evolve global human community. With loving thoughts and positive actions we strive to sincerely listen to one another, find our common goals, and actualize them together.