Take Tower Colliery in Hirwaun, 25 miles north of Cardiff, South Wales. In 1994 British Coal shut it down claiming it was uneconomic.
Local NUM branch Secretary Tyrone O'Sullivan and 239 mineworkers decided to buy out the pit with their redundancy money -£8,000 a piece.
They also got a £2 million loan from Barclays (after the Co-op Bank turned them down!). The loan incidentally was only partly used and paid back within a year.
They also got financial advice from Price Waterhouse -the accountancy firm used by the Tory Government to sequestrate NUM funds during the miners' strike.
In any case, far from being uneconomic, the pit ran a handsome profit as it continued to supply coal to power stations and private homes until reserves finally ran out in 2008.
The first colliery in "British" history to be owned and run by its own workers had 13 years of proving people wrong. As Sean Kippin (2009) reflects, Tower Colliery was a "triumph of co-operative action in the face of Thatcherism."
But it is the international experience that provides us with the best example of workers' control and the contribution workers co-operatives could make to the economy of a post independence Scotland.
Mondragon stands out as a case in point.
*It's a federation of workers' co-ops.
*Based in the Basque country,
*Founded in 1956, in a town of that name.
*Now it's the largest Basque business group. Over 80,000 employees, 85% of whom are co-operative members.
*It reaches into agriculture, housing and education.
*It is high tech. It has a training arm and its own research and development agency.
*It's democratic, social dimension and its business success go together.
*It shows that workers' self management does work.
Marx wrote of transforming society into a "free association of producers,"
It's a vision worth fighting for.
A society based on workers' control. Socialism from below.