Co-operative Day Message 1984

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         December 1997

               62nd International Co-operative Day
                    Saturday, 7th July, 1984

       Message from the International Co-operative Alliance

Dear Co-operators,


To co-operate in 1984, is to affirm the well known adage
"united we stand, divided we fall"; to acknowledge that ten
people working together can accomplish more than the sum of
their individual efforts. This applies as much to the work of
producers' co-operatives such as workers', agricultural and
fishery co-operatives as it does to the attainment of better
conditions through consumers' co-operatives (supply,
insurance, housing, credit, etc.). Solidarity is inherent in


To co-operate in 1984, is to choose; not to allow others to
impose their views or convictions. It is to participate freely
in the decision-making process. It is to choose which co-
operative to belong to.

We should also contribute to the orientation and management of
our co-operative. This moral obligations stems from the
initial decision to join the co-operative. There is an element
of responsibility in co-operation, but also an element of
freedom, for in co-operation, liberty ensues from voluntarily
assumed responsibility.


To co-operate in 1984 is to reclaim an ideal where we agree to
"do unto others as we would have others do unto us". Of
course, this justice does not refer to an inevitably useless
exchange of services or identical goods, but a
complementarity, whereby equity is measured by the quality of
services mutually rendered. Co-operation is also Justice.

In a just world, we cannot but help co-operate on a day-to-day
basis without even realizing we are doing so. But things are
different in a more ambiguous world such as ours. Awareness,
therefore, becomes a necessity.

To search for increased Solidarity, Liberty and Justice is to
promote Peace.

Organization and Efficiency

Sharing the same aspirations as the Rochdale Equitable
Pioneers, Raiffeisen, Buchez, Luzzati, Godin, Sergio, Serwy,
Jaeggi and many others during the last century, 370 million
men and women have joined together to form both large and
small co-operatives conducting various economic and social

Local co-operatives have greatly contributed, by democratic
means, to controlling prices and improving working conditions;
and their competitors have had to adapt. `It must be
emphasized that to believe in Co-operation means to have faith
in Democracy'.

In order to become politically stronger, co-operatives have
organized themselves into national federations within each
economic sector. The federations have then joined together to
form confederations. Applying methods common to the solutions
of the problems of their age, they eventually founded, in
1895, the International Co-operative Alliance, whose main
objective is to ensure that the principles of co-operation are
applied at all levels.

No victory is definitive and every human society needs
continual improvement in order to survive. The co-operative
movement should be in constant evolution.


For the ICA, 1984 is a Congress Year - an occasion to deepen
the meaning of co-operation. Approximately 1000 delegates from
all over the world, will meet in Hamburg in October, with this
objective in mind. They will debate on the statues and
projects of the Alliance, and the difficulties encountered by
the co-operative movement today and possible solutions, in
order to rejuvenate the organization and start a new lease of

By becoming aware of their co-operative aspirations and by
using the forum of their local co-operative meetings to share
these aspirations with other co-operators, each individual can
contribute to this new lease of life. `When one dreams alone,
it is only a dream; when many dream together, it is the
beginning of a new reality.'

To co-operate in 1984 is to remain united; to consciously
share the hope for a more equitable, free and peaceful world
and to contribute to making this hope a reality. The
International Co-operative Alliance, its specialized
committees, its member-organizations and the 370 million
individual members throughout the world are committed to
promoting this ideal. May the 62nd Co-operative Day be an
occasion to revive activity and dialogue in this direction.

-ICA Executive Committee