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by Josh Davis

 

One of the many topics that came up for discussion at the recent GEO retreat was whether or not we wanted to participate in Amazon's Smile program.  The program lets shoppers support the charity of their choice through purchases on Amazon's website. Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to a shopper's selected charity.

Our title is taken from the title of "Today's Must Read" article from my favorite site's list of daily links: Stop Trying to Save the World". The article tells us first to honestly measure what we are trying to achieve when we introduce some vaunted improvement program. Then it tells us that just because the formula within the program that succeeds in the test case, don't assume that it will apply to every other situation.

by Carl Ratner

The cooperative movement, in general, seems to associate co-ops with non-capitalist market economics. This is articulated by J. Restakis (2010) in his popular book Humanizing the economy: Co-operatives in the age of capital. British Columbia: New Society Publishers.

In 2013 Acorn Community suffered fires to two of their buildings. The first was an accident in their steel building, home to their auto shop and clothing storage, among other things.

“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.

There is a problem with corporate governance at traditional capitalist firms that often goes unmentioned in discussions of our current social and economic ills. It's a problem that I have reason to believe also effects some of our largest co-ops. It is a perverse dynamic that has lead to extremes of income and wealth inequality, and it is all the more pernicious for being largely invisible. (I'm going to have to dive into the weeds a little bit to get to where I'm going, but stay with me and I promise you, this will come back around to co-ops.)

I'd like to throw out a question regarding my recent article on corporate co-ops. They are clearly anti-cooperative, and are associated with the worst corporations such as Monsanto. I am curious to hear from readers about why they believe leading Co-op Associations, such as NCBA and the University of Wisconsin Center for Co-ops, ally with these corporate co-ops, honor them by admitting them into the Co-op Hall of Fame, and never criticize them.

Carl Ratner

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.

Many high impact, triple bottom-line ESOPS led by conscientious owners, investors, and worker-owners rise to the highest standards of fairness and inclusion. However, problematic ESOPS risk unloading unsustainable debt while practicing multi-class stock ownership that usually places workers at the bottom of the heap especially when markets turn downward similar to those infamous collateral debt obligation pyramid structures greatly responsible for the 2008 market crash, Great Recession, and subsequent public loss of trust.

I would like to introduce my work on co-ops and cooperation. In the near future I will post new material via blogs and articles.

Please see my web page:  www.sonic.net/~cr2

MOVEMENTS MOVING TOGETHER  6.

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:

THE EVERGREEN EXPERIMENT.

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.

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