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O desenvolvimento de cooperativas de produção coletiva de trabalhadores rurais no capitalismo. Limites e possibilidades
[The collective rural workers cooperatives development in capitalism.limits and possibilities]


  • Christoffoli, Pedro Ivan


This report has been prepared based on a comparative study which tries to analyze the process to establish and develop cooperatives of rural labourers collective production linked to the Landless Rural Labourers Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra – MST). The main objective was to identify the contradictions which establish limits and possibilities of development of four cooperatives situated in the Southern Region of Brazil. All data was obtained through focused interviews and 46 formal surveys, information has also been collected from the archives of the cooperatives. For the data analysis,quantitative procedures (descriptive statistics and correlation analysis ) and qualitative procedures (documental and content analysis) were used. The research demonstrated a significant social development at the collective cooperatives, where their associates have reached important achievements such as: improvement on housing conditions, basic sanitation, health, improvement on the level of school education, a gradual increase on the income, annual vacations (in some cases, paid vacations), partial support in cases of pregnancy and sickness. These results represent, in fact, a higher achievement since, during this period, urban and rural life conditions worsened for the majority of the population in Brazil. The research made clear that the evolution of the social indicators occurs as the collective organizations receive the financing subsided by the federal government and invest in activities that will generate income and create jobs for the working force available in the community, what denotes the importance of this support in order to ensure the social-economic development of the Agrarian Reform settlements. The analysis of the empiric data made also clear that the cooperatives of collective production make use of democratic mechanisms of administration, which ensures a wide participation from the associates when defining operation norms, performance objectives, and their internal policies, configuring the form of administration adopted as self-government at the level of production unit. Nevertheless, the economic analysis showed that these organizations face serious deficiencies in terms of: capability of generating receipts, utilizing efficiently the working force available, remuneration of production factors and generation of economic surplus of which is possible reproduction as a productive unit able to compete against similar capitalists investments It was also noticed in two of the cooperatives the existence of contradiction among the self-governing and socialist ideals which inspire these experiences and the practice of remunerating (paying) non-associated workers. Due to historical and circumstantial factors these organizations began to hire labor as necessary condition for their reproduction. Certain organizational paradoxes has also been identified that, for the time being, would not represent risks for the development of these self-governing experiences but that could in the future turn into main contradictions. The study shows that if the main contradictions are not faced and overcome, the collective organization won’t be able to ensure its continuity as self-governing experiences from socialist inspiration.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoffoli, Pedro Ivan, 2000. "O desenvolvimento de cooperativas de produção coletiva de trabalhadores rurais no capitalismo. Limites e possibilidades
    [The collective rural workers cooperatives development in capitalism.limits a
    ," MPRA Paper 38610, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38610

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    More about this item


    rural workers cooperatives; agrarian reform; MST;

    JEL classification:

    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • P32 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Collectives; Communes; Agricultural Institutions
    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms


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