GEO 13 (II)

Still Truckin' at 30!

Thirty years later, the GEO Newsletter continues its ongoing work to catalyze worker co-ops and the solidarity economy Click through for the full index to the Anniversary Issue!

Yes, GEO turns 30 this year. As far as the Cosmos, or even human history, that's less than infinitesimal. But in the world of small alternative publications, it's HUGE!

So please pardon our celebratory pride in focusing our lens, this time, on ourselves, our collective, our own story (which of course contains many, many other stories).

This inward issue has four different sections:

Click here to read Michael Johnson's report on this Solidarity event in New York City recently. The first paragraph is below but click through to read the full report.

E.G. Nadeau

Click to read Michael Johnson's recent interview of E.G. Nadeau to discuss his new book The Cooperative Solution and E.G.'s views on the current state of the Cooperative Movement..

This issue of the GEO Newsletter is a Memorial Tribute to Frank Lindenfeld, a founder of the Economic Democracy Institute of North America (EDINA), of "Changing Work", a print magazine dedicated to new visions of work and the workplace (a predecessor to the GEO Newsletter), and of the GEO Newsletter.

The 2010 documentary, Comuna: Under Construction, by Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler, invites viewers into the inner workings of a few of the more than 30,000 Venezuelan community councils (consejos comunales). These self-organized councils are built from the bottom-up with support from the national government. They form the foundation of Hugo Chavez's vision of a Bolivarian Revolution enabling participatory governance in local communities.

GEO WAS THE PLACE…

By Betsy Bowman

The 1990s was the decade when I learned about neo-liberalism and globalization; it was also the decade when I was most involved with GEO. I had visited Mondragon in 1989 and fell in love with it. Then I met Len at the Socialist Scholars' Conference in 1991. Invited to Moscow in 1992 to lecture on the Mondragon model, I advanced the global cooperative movement as a solution to the shock therapy imposed on Russia and the structural adjustments programs imposed on the Global South.

GEO's three decade journey is actually composed of four intriguingly distinct periods. Before there was GEO, there was the Changing Work magazine, and this had its own ancestry. And GEO itself appeared first as a hard copy newsletter, but has now become almost entirely digital. Of course, we may expect to find continuities along with the contrasts.

 

 

Economic Sectors: 

No Chains began in 2009, from an encounter in Bangkok between worker cooperatives in Argentina and in Thailand – La Alameda and Dignity Returns. They undertook to build a global worker-led and sweat-free garment brand that would show not only that workers could produce affordable, quality clothes in decent conditions through their own democratic self-management, but that worker cooperatives could play a role in both national and international labor struggles for garment workers everywhere.

In preparing this issue, I've been reading and re-reading past Changing Works and GEOs for several months (sometimes it seems like much more than that). I've had a role in almost all of them, back to our first columns in the Planners Network Newsletter in 1983. The pages are mountainous, and their memories run deep, provoking a messy medley of emotions. Some are very personal, focused on people I was once close with.

New Society Publishers, an alternate publishing company still thriving, published When Workers Decide in 1992 (WWD). It's a collection of writings on the workplace democracy movement gathered largely from issues of Changing Work, the predecessor of GEO. When I volunteered to take on the task of reviewing it in order to shed some historical perspective on the role and significance of the work GEO has done, I thought it was going to be a rather straightforward task. It didn't turn out that way.

This brief review examines three articles from Changing Work characteristic of the issues and movements covered during the mid-1980s by what is now Grassroots Economic Organizing. My purpose is to briefly assess some of the successes, challenges, and lessons afforded to us through hindsight as we continue to report on and help build a more fully democratic economy.

Visions & Models: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: 
Economic Sectors: 

I never knew Frank Lindenfeld and had no idea that I was taking on his legacy and vision when I joined GEO in 2009, which was after he died. In fact, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a GEO Newsletter until 2008. It was only a year before at the tender age of 65 that I woke up to the fact that democracy without democratic economics at its core was a distraction. I made myself pretty much an outsider in the various discussions the GEO team has had on this Memorial issue for Frank.

Bibliography for Frank Lindenfeld (partial)

 

Compiled by Len Krimerman and Jessica Gordon Nembhard, GEO Collective

 

I. BOOKS

 

An Analysis of Political Involvement (Ph.D. dissertation), Columbia University, 1961; 414 pages.

J. Matthias Brown JP

J. Matthias Brown JP

Tribute to Dr. Frank G. Lindenfeld, Professor

 

Professor, when I got the news I cried and I cried

Not because you were taken away too soon but

Pm Press has released a second edition of John Curl’s 550 page history of “cooperation, cooperative movements, and communalism in America,” In this interview GEO’s Michael Johnson talks with John about what is new in the second edition, the s

Many friends and fans of GEO have written shorter remembrances of Frank Lindenfeld. Some were written just after his death in 2008. Others were provided on the occasion of this Memorial Issue.

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