The frustration of the left, given this exhaustion of traditional socialisms' appeal, arose from having no other broadly agreed-upon vision of an attractive alternative to capitalism. The left could not provide what mass audiences craved as they deepened their criticisms of capitalism's longer-term decline and short-term crisis.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: GEO has been following Mayor Gayle McLaughlin for over two years: here, here, and here. Now the NYTimes has caught up with her.)

Eminent Domain: a Long Shot Against Blight

By SHAILA DEWAN

This interview, shot May 2013 in Oakland, CA begins to introduce an idea that has been floating through my mind the past several years around the need for community colleges (in particular) to include training on cooperatives in their business programs, not as a form of  "kinder, gentler capitalism" but as community-based, capital subordinated business models hewing to the seven International Cooperative Principles.  The unemployed have headed back to community colleges to upgrade skills or to learn new skills. One of our local community colleges has a trades program.

The year 2014 will see the publication of the UNRISD volume on SSE comprised of papers originally presented at the conference on the Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy in May 2013.

SENSITIVITY.   That "other world" that we know is possible becomes realized much more by our becoming its people than by the projects and institutions we create on that journey. We create from what we are far more than from what we think we should be. And we create stuff outside us to help us become more aligned with what is possible. So let us focus on our projects and institutions emerging and developing out of our continually becoming more cooperative and democratic beings, not from who we are now.

Floating like a butterfly and humming like a mockingbird                                                                                                                                                              

Here's one reflection on the first of the four questions I identified in Movements Moving Together 2:

In November, Mondragon – a conglomerate stretching from banking to supermarkets with revenues – decided to let its oldest member file for protection against its creditors.

A new worker-ownership evolution-revolution featuring more virtuous capitalism communities of practice is demonstrating that doing well can realistically and profitably be based on doing good. This brave new economic world is emerging from green-shoot, “made in America” antidotes to structural unemployment and income inequality, sprouting ubiquitously among increasing absentee-owner-plagued urban and rural geographies.

The objective of this conference is to promote and support the development of Cooperative Enterprises and Development in the City of Jackson, MS.

Chris Agee is loading boxes of food and drink products on to a conveyor belt down in the basement of a grocery store in Brooklyn, New York.

One floor above him, shoppers push trolleys up and down the aisles, picking up their weekly groceries.

The problem of informality represents one of the major challenges in the fight against poverty. To address this issue, the traditional response has often been to apply Western entrepreneurial rationality to informal actors and consider small informal productive units as pre-capitalist firms whose growth potential can be realized, it is supposed, by providing them with adequate tools such as credit or training. But do informal initiatives really share the capitalist spirit of entrepreneurship or do they develop other rationales, such as the ones which spread in a "solidarity economy"?

Mervyn Wilson looks back at how Nelson Mandela and the struggle against apartheid shaped the cooperative movement in the UK

"As the world mourns the passing of a man whose life was dedicated to the type of inclusive society co-operators would describe as “the co-operative commonwealth”, it is worth reflecting on the impact that he and the struggle against apartheid had on the co-operative sector."

Whenever possible at SMC, we like to measure how we’re doing...our financial progress, our work backlog, our internal social factors, our longer-term future, in design and project planning, And, of course, building is a process of constant measurement.

michael johnson

FOUR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

What I am trying to do in this series of Movements Moving Together (MMT) blogs is think out loud about how movements that want to advance democracy more deeply and broadly into our cultures can work together in this multi-century project that is probably in its 3rd century at this point.

Here’s a short TED talk that might send you off wondering about empathy and compassion.

 GEO Collective member Jessica Gordon Nembhard's new book on the history of the African-American cooperative movement is now available for  pre-order from Penn State University Press.  

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