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Abstract

The system of Basque collectives is recognized as the world's most effective worker owned system (Henk & Logan, 1982). It is a direct result of the community organization effort of Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarreta, who created an extremely progressive agenda under Spain's repressive Franco regime. Father Jose Maria's work will be explored in this paper and principles extracted that are important lessons for community organization teachers and practitioners.

The potential values of worker ownership have long been recognized; the ability of community organizers, however, to realize this potential has generally fallen far short. The worker owned enterprises in the Basque Provinces of Spain stand out as an exception to this dismal rule. Father Jose Maria was the Basque priest and community organizer whose stimulus gave this model of organization the philosophy necessary to ensure its success.

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