michaeljohnson's blog

Black Lives Matter: Transformational Politics and Mainstream Politics, Take 2.

Well, somehow I missed the first 6 ½ minutes of the BLM encounter with Hilary Clinton that I wrote about in Becoming the Change 2. It’s good that I’m a blogger and not a reporter. J This time I will be working from the transcript of the encounter on Democracy Now.

Black Lives Matter: transformational politics and mainstream politics.

Movements Moving Together 16.                

Eric Berne was a psychiatrist, famous in the 60s. He was also a logical thinker and playful writer. He began his book on sex something like this: “The first thing to consider about sex is that it’s messy.”

Movements Moving Together 15               

by Michael Johnson                       

Movements Moving Together 14.                 

The loss of perspective around 6th Principle solidarity that I spoke of in my last blog seems to be in play in Madison, WI. A recent report from the March 18, 2015 issue of the Credit Union Times Magazine critiques its own sector in this regard:

The best kept secret about credit unions might be the opportunities that exist in partnering with other local cooperatives.

Movements Moving Together 13.                      

An email was recently sent out from NYC Worker Cooperative Coalition with this subject head:

Organising, Mobilising, and Building a Worker Cooperative Ecosystem from the Ground Up.

Presencing, being present, and video journalism.

A friend of mine who is developing a digital business asked what I thought of the overview of personal and collective transformation mapped out by the Presencing Institute, which is connected with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is someone who finds my thinking that learning how to build small transformative cultures for self-empowerment and deeper cooperation makes some sense.


There is a very interesting development coming out of the UK and Western Europe. A network of folks over there are working hard on developing a framework for the convergence of co-operative, commons, solidarity, open source, and all the alternative economic movements. 

At this point they have identified three long term objectives:

[1] Build and Expand New Regimes of Law, Governance and Management; 

[2] Aggregate Patient Capital (aka “Co-Operative Accumulation”); 


A new article by a GEO cohort Ajowa Ifateyo is as surprising as it is inspiring and saddening. Surprising because it tells a whole different story of Marion Berry, a powerful Black leader in D.C. politics who was much maligned and discredited by the media.

Inspiring because we learn from Ajowa’s piece that his mayoral ambitions

“Co-operative culture eats co-operative governance for breakfast!”   

An article gleaned from England’s Co-operative News talks about how to generate and nurture a strong co-operative culture. It identifies six factors for sustaining a co-operative culture.

Movements Self-Reflecting.

One role a journal like GEO can play is to provide a platform for our movements to reflect on their doings. The “Scaling-Up” theme currently running is an example. Also, a recent article by Carl Ratner is another as was one of my recent blogs.

Please, for the sake of our movements, some humility and self-criticism.

Every movement for social change involves  long periods of great frustration that can even lead to despair as well as sudden moments of breakthrough opportunities that spur hope and confidence. Unfortunately these moments of breakthrough also produce star-struck fantasies of unrealistic expectations. Such fantasies and mis-visions are a major way we shoot ourselves in the feet. Often, even, shoot our feet off.

"It's you, it's me, it's us."

This blog is connected to TTC 6, which I posted yesterday.

I am watching a PBS series of short documentaries on Shakespeare called Shakespeare Uncovered. They are really good. They are opening up his mind and his writing to me as never before. Also showing how dramatic writing can be more powerful and more precise than my didactic prose.

With cold, clear eyes and a warm, loving heart.

We embody our culture. Each of us in our unique way.

Our culture is many things in many complex ways. One of them is that it is very oppressive.


When I try to explain what solidarity (or social or social-solidarity) economics is all about to someone who has never heard of it, I often ask them to imagine a rainforest, those awsome ecosystems that are often called such things as "incubators of life" and "lungs of the planet."  I quote from Wikipedia to help them make their picture:


GEO recently posted a link to a must-read article on the Evergreen experiment in Cleveland: Can the Co-ops Save Us. It’s a must-read because it is an excellent piece of journalism by Steve Friess that reports on the financial and economic side of the experiment, its warts and its roses.

The Marriage of Abuse and Vulnerability.

The title comes from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. I don’t know if his theme relates to the theme of “two under-cultures” or not. The title does relate, however, at least superficially.

One thing I use my blog for is to think about themes that I think are strategically critical for the success of democracy movements. Recently I have been focusing on empowerment of ordinary people. Below I kind of sketch out the main lines I have been thinking along.

The idea to start a series of blogs on this theme came to me as I read a blog from a friend who is exploring what’s going on in Palestine. The story she tells in her blog is very moving. Great example of ordinary people empowering themselves. And she writes well. I urge you to read it.


Subscribe to RSS - michaeljohnson's blog