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It’s news to no one that the issues concerning groups like the Occupy movement aren’t problems that have sprung up only recently. Just ask Charles Dickens. And it’s no coincidence that the social issues Dickens wrote about gave birth to a movement of people trying to do something about them. Less than a year after the publication of A Christmas Carol, a group of workers started a new kind of business in Rochdale, England. Based on democratic principles, owned by its customers and reinvesting in the community it served, The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was the first consumer co-operative to pay a patronage dividend and formed the basis for the modern co-op.
So explains The Co-operative Revolution, a new graphic novel by radical political cartoonist Polyp that celebrates the U.N.’s International Year of Co-operatives by detailing the history of the co-operative movement. The description on Amazon U.K., where you can purchase a print copy at a subsidized price, reads: “As the dominant economic system is increasingly called into question here comes a business model who’s time has well and truly come. Charting the history of the co-operative movement from its humble beginnings in the North of England to a world wide network, this graphic novel presents a robust foundation for future well-being. This graphic novel from master artist Polyp illustrates the history and enduring appeal of the co-operative movement.”
Although it’s available in print form only in the U.K., anyone can read the enhanced, digital version for free.