Blogs

A lovely TED talk by Frans de Waal on moral behavior in animals. Lots of research into animals that certainly carry over to humans. Their experiments show "prosocial behavior" (as opposed to antisocial competition), empathy and consolation, and reciprocity and fairness in monkeys and other animals. The point is that human morality is an evolved morality many elements of which we share with others in the animal kingdom.

On TruthOut.org, a couple of short video interview segments with Bill Ayers. Very down-to-earth and sensible criticism from which all of us should draw comfort and strength. His point about Revolution is that it probably won't be a repeat of the War of Independence, the French Revolution, or the Overthrow of the Czar.

Nicole Foss, an economist and writer on the coming problems of resource depletion, is touring Australia and New Zealand. She posted an article with the title above on The Automatic Earth. The topic is really cooperation (small "C" cooperation) but it talks to the values of cooperation in general. Most important, cooperation is a productive, feel-good activity in this telling and that makes it worth the read and watching the embedded video.

I see economic democracy at three main levels: 1) workers gaining greater control of the workplace and participating in management, 2) collectively controlling investment funds to benefit local and regional economies, and 3) democratically allocating resources through a national investment fund to achieve social goals.
The purpose of the working group, "is to take a comprehensive look at the economic benefits, innovative companies and emerging policy issues around the growing 'sharing economy.'"
The Union Co-op Model: this country’s largest industrial labor union teamed up with the world’s largest worker-cooperative to present a plan that would put people to work in labor-driven enterprises that build worker power and communities, too.

Teju Cole is a novelist (Open City, winner of this year's PEN/Hemmingway award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) troubled by US interventions in and emotional response to Africa's problems. His piece in the Atlantic starts, "If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement."

At a time when so many are so clear that the current system is not working—what might? Is it already happening? There’s more information about OurGoods.org at their website and you don’t have to be officially ordained as an “artist” to join it.
At the Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), our approach has been to help nonprofit organizations develop the financial capacity to keep providing the programming their missions demand. The end goal of this work is the facilitation of social change, but the approach demands an initial focus on the welfare of individual organizations. But what if we approached the question from another angle? What if we started by focusing on the needs of whole communities and then asked what resources individuals and organizations - including nonprofits - could provide to fulfill those needs?
SolidarityNYC has worked to "challenge the social justice movement to take up grassroots economic community development" as a way of building solidarity and concrete alternatives to capitalism.

South-By-Southwest is  a huge convention that had an interesting forum on Tech-shop co-ops. The audio is available, at the linked location, for you to listen to the session.

In the middle of the Greek monetary (Euro) crisis, people have discovered a way around the system that's been rigged against them. They are setting up local currency and exchange systems and doing business, effectively, without government money. The breathless story can be found at Raw Story and it is well worth reading and thinking about. But, for me, that's just the tip of the iceberg.

In the midst of an inspirational TED talk by Arthur Potts Dawson, a restaurateur from London, in the thick of talk about sustainability and reduction of waste, we get a  quick sermon on co-operative supermarkets and exactly how important they are. Priceless if brief.

In a recent conversation with Jim Johnson, the topic of co-op structure came up and we chatted briefly about the new Benefit Corporation, a new form of corporate entity available by statute in at least seven states: California, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Virginia. The enabling legislation is moving along in several other states already: Michigan North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Jim reflected some "sour grapes" from the co-op movement.

A core operating principle and some corollaries for the Occupy movement

 a number of commentaries on OWS and beyond that I found especially good

What would the world be like had America truly learned about Griffin's identification unconscious white racism and had acted even in individual ways on his belief that there is no "other"?

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