II 13 Frank Lindenfeld Memorial

E.G. Nadeau

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

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.


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.

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: 

Using Co-operatives to Tame Recessions, Reduce Inequality, and Protect the Environment

A GEO Interview with E. G. Nadeau, author of The Cooperative Solution

about expanding-and-leveraging the "co-operative difference"

Institutions & Structures: 
Economic Sectors: 

Using Co-operatives to Tame Recessions, Reduce Inequality, and Protect the Environment

A GEO Interview with E. G. Nadeau, author of The Cooperative Solution

about expanding-and-leveraging the "co-operative difference"

Institutions & Structures: 
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




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.

Just the other day when 35 people from my community gathered to start a local Transition Town initiative, I thought about Frank Lindenfeld. I wished he were here to enjoy all the fruits of the decades of faithful energy he put into organizing economic democracy locally and globally. He would be right in the middle of the Occupy work fighting against corporate empire, and all of its injustices and inequalities. He would be with the folks walking to Pittsburgh to encourage PNC bank to stop investing in mountaintop coal removal.

The first time that I met Frank Lindenfeld in person, he astounded me.  We were meeting at a member’s home in upstate New York.  Frank and I had been on GEO conference calls, but that meeting in 2002 or 2003 was our first face-to-face.  Frank sat next to me and turned his full attention on me.  He was genuinely interested in who I was as a person.  I don’t even remember the questions he asked me –- probably some of the usual questions one asks when you meet someone for the first time, but I left from my encounter with him feeling a gentleness and loving

Memory moves us as surely into the realm of what shall be as it moves us back to what has been: by extracting what is indeterminately lasting from the latter, it allows the former to come to us. --Edward S. Casey1


Monica Frölander-Ulf

It was on October 17th 1979 that I first met Frank Lindenfeld at the Association for Humanist Sociology meetings in Johnstown, Pa.  Frank was one of the presenters in the panel moderated by me.  As I remember the occasion, the main focus of our discussion was alternative economic develop


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