Our man seems not to realise that this argues against his very desire of having more worker communes:
Before we get too excited though, it is worth understanding the full scale of the limitations and obstacles facing this form of communist organisation. Islands of worker co-operatives face enormous obstacles in regard to competition from capitalist rivals, which due to the inherent nature of capitalism are able to command economies of scale, depress wages and drive down their product prices, thus undercutting their worker-managed competitors.
The purpose of production is, again, consumption. If worker co-operatives lead to more expensive production then they will limit possible consumption: this is known as making us all poorer.
Now I\’m all in favour of worker co-operatives: indeed, in any form of voluntary economic organisation that happens to float one\’s boat. Get on with it, have fun and good luck to you. But I do rather insist that whichever method you choose you\’ll have to compete in the markets: not just the market for your production, but in the marketplace of organisational structures used to create that production.
There are worker co-ops that compete very well in such: John Lewis (with Waitrose its subsidiary) is just one example. Most law firms another.
But if you\’re going to insist that in order to encourage worker co-ops you\’re going to deny us, the consumers, the benefits of economies of scale for example, then quite frankly you can bugger off. The aim isn\’t to make life cushy for the producers: it\’s to make it cushy for the consumers.