This is the title of a worthwhile article over on openDemocracy.net. Written by Robin Murray, a Visiting Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (as opposed to my position as Resident Applied Fool at the Manorhaven School of Hard Knocks?) on the state of the "Global Civil Society" in 2012.

Vibrant nightly protests over the past week in downtown Montréal, in solidarity with the Quebec student strike, are sparking global attention. As the Quebec-wide strike continues - it has now been going for over 11 weeks - a new energy is apparent in the city.
In eighty other countries, May 1 is officially marked as International Workers Day. Not here in the US. So it’s no small thing that this May 1 in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, Chicago, New York and scores of other places, tens of thousands of Americans picketed businesses, blocked intersections, held teach-ins, sang and took to the streets.

Valve is a Software game development company founded by an alumnus of Microsoft. Self-funded, it has about 300 employees. Its first product came together quickly and paid off handsomely. Most importantly, it has no bosses. It is entirely flat. There have been several write-ups recently about Valve in the mainstream (Capitalist) business press pointing out the "no boss" structure.

The Post Carbon Institute's Energy Bulletin just posted an article titled "The Hidden Power of Coops" by Michael Shuman.  It is a glowing report with lots of numbers and good words. The segment is a reprint of a piece of the author's book Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity

The gift economy questions an order that is already established, a trend where people accumulate more and have more difficulty in sharing, in giving, because they want to fit a global model that says that there’s not enough in this world for all of us, that says that the most intelligent people are the ones who are able to exploit others and gather more. That paradigm has been failing people for the longest time. Everyone thinks is the only model, which is not true.
Solidarity Economic perspectives develop from penetrating reflection on our actual experience to find the questions we need to be asking

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.

The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is asking members and all friends of cooperatives to demonstrate their support of S. 2231, which will enable credit unions to support economic growth through increased small business lending. The bill is in the US Senate, and critical action on this bill could come in the next few weeks. It’s important that members of the Senate hear from the cooperative community about the importance of voting in favor of this legislation.

USFWC Members and Worker Coop Supporters,

I’m writing to ask you to support the completion of the documentary film about worker cooperatives, “Shift Change: Putting Democracy to Work.&rdquo

GEO Associate Member, Joe Maraffino recently presented a session "How Worker Cooperatives Work" at the 2012 Upstate (NY) Cooperative Convention (Building Our Economic Future). People are much more familiar with consumer co-ops, credit unions, and the like so Joe introduced worker co-ops. Click Read More for the slide show.

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.'"

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