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Readers' Write... Zvi Galor writes back (1998)

Dec., 1998
(Source: Co-op Dialogue, Vol. 8, No. 3, Oct.-Dec., 1998, pp. 12)

I would like to thank you for the recent publication of my article in your last issue.

It was quite interesting, and to some point disappointing, to read the distinguished people who spoke about co-operative principles, the new version of which was practically created by them. The first impression, not good one, is the non-reference of these personalities to my article criticizing of the 3rd co-op principle, which you have published in a recent issue. Why? Either they don't read Co-op Dialogue, or they don't like to face up to these ideas which are not supporting their approach to what a co-operative is.

As you know very well, and I am not asking you to accept my views, I represent in my thinking, as well as in my co-operative experience, a different view of what a co-operative is. I was born in a co-operative, a Moshav. I lived in a Moshav for more than 40 years and managed some Moshav at various occasions. I assume that I have some experience, as well as of wealth of knowledge, coming out of my teaching here at the International Institute.

This point of view, even though backed by practical successful experience, is not extended among the co-operatives in ROAP. What do they have to lose, the leaders of the cooperative movement in your region? I did not see any reaction to my writings in Co-op Dialogue, so I can assume that the ideas have not been extended sufficiently. Even so, among my students, I know about a change going forward in different parts of the world, according to my approach: the Czech Republic, Senegal, Fiji, and other places. Many co-operative movements, such as those in Kenya, Namibia, Thailand, Brazil, are sending their leaders to our institute in Israel, to enable them to be exposed to the new approach about co-operatives.

Take for instance Prof. Munker. He says, and I bring it only as an example of his inconsistency, that there should not be tax concessions to co-operatives. But, in Israel co-operatives do not pay taxes, since they do not realize surpluses, or profits. The co-operative serves the members in the best possible way, sell service to their members at lowest possible price, and there are no profits, no income tax to pay.

I do hope that there will be reactions to my writing, and that I will be able to read them.

Yours sincerely,

Zvi Galor, Academic Director
The International Institute, Israel