New from me and @MannanMorshed in @Wired: all of a sudden Uber and Airbnb are wishing they were co-ops. We need more options for startups to .

wired.com/story/opinion-let-us

@ntnsndr @mannanmorshed

Nice piece, looking forward to reading the Georgetown article.

"Ownership" should be one of Raymond Williams' "keywords." In what sense(s) am I an owner of my credit union, really? If a company taps workers as a source of equity, does that make them owners? Is ownership in a cooperative individual? collective? The etymology of "own" (related to "owe") covers a lot of terrain including self, subordinate, confess, possess, receive...

@Matt_Noyes @ntnsndr
Yes, "ownership" deserves some scrutiny. Ownership and control don't necessarily coincide. As Yves often points out on Naked Capitalism, stock ownership is a residual claim on assets, and nothing more. The C-suite (or equivalent) makes the decisions for the company, including what to allow stockholders to vote on. Which is to say, ownership alone is highly overrated.

It's the classic problem of ESOPs: ex real employee control they often function just like a trad business.

@GuerillaOntologist @ntnsndr

And yet, ownership is crucial in worker co-ops for example, or even in very low-functioning (in terms of democratic control) credit unions, for example... What interests me is when/how our contemporary notion of ownership came to be. The root is the same as eigen, which is used in autonomy or sovereignty in German. But, there is also owe which has meant, among other things, subordinate...

@Matt_Noyes @ntnsndr
I think ownership is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for creating a democratic economy. If we accept ownership or partial ownership w/out meaningful control, I don't think we accomplish much.

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