September 30 4:30 pm


Talk | Polish Cooperativism as Institution of the Common



On Sept 30th (online, 1630-18 (Vilnius), 1530-17 (Warsaw), 930-11 (NYC), we’re excited to be joined by Aleksandra Bilewicz, a militant researcher concerned with issues faced by the contemporary cooperative movement in Poland.

While the goal of the contemporary Polish cooperativist movement may be the building of an institution of the commons: protecting communities from market and state forces, asserting social control over production, building of solidarity between producers and consumers; Aleksandra contends that the revolutionary potentialities of this countermovement to capital and state, are undermined by the Polish Left’s avoidance of the formal organizational structures that would afford a scaling-up of operations. Searching for new paths in the old, Aleksandra will introduce the large-scale early 20th century cooperative movement in Poland – addressing the organizational politics of stateless socialism, as developed by Edward Abramowski and other Polish cooperativists of the time.

Aleksandra’s research may be found in her contribution to Praktyka Teoretyczna Journal, “A Path to a Countermovement? Forms of Integration in Polish Consumer Cooperatives”, 2018.

You may also be interested in Bartlomiej and Mikolaj contribution for the same journal issue, which details Abramowski’s writings on stateless socialism and its relation to post-Operaist theories of the commons, see: “Principles of the Common: Towards a Political Philosophy of Polish Cooperativism”