Schulze-Delitzsch's Doctrine of Cooperative Economy as a Liberalist Solution to the Social Problem in the Nineteenth Century

  • Jurij Perovšek Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino


The author deals with the socio-economic ideas and practice of Franz Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch, the founder of the German cooperative movement and the author of its legislation. He concludes that Schulze-Delitzsch's concept of cooperatives - i.e. societies based on the cooperation and mutual solidarity of its members, which dealt, among other, with the production and sale of agricultural products, the provision of machinery, raw materials and financial loans - was an attempt to find a "third way" between the Capitalist and Socialist economic systems. This attempt failed because the social reform programme of his cooperative organization remained bound to a transitory stage of an economy heading towards a full-blown industrialization and was overtaken by a progressive industrial development in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. However, an analysis of the concrete socio-economic consequences of Schulze-Delitzsch's cooperative societies showed that they played a prominent and positive role in German politics and sociology.


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