Strategies for Change

The US economy is known for its powerful banks and transnational corporations, but behind the scenes an alternative economy based on cooperatives, worker ownership and solidarity is thriving. Laura Flanders, host of a TV show shares stories of this new economy and how the Next System Project is seeking to analyse and learn from these experiences in order to put forward systemic alternative policies that can deliver a more just and sustainable society.

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[Editors note: We're excited to announce two new ebooks from Las Indias, a trans-national, egalitarian community.  These books were translated from the original Spanish by Level Translation and are now available in English for the first time.  Below you will find a short excerpt and a preview chapter from each book.  If you would like to download a copy (in .epub, .pdf, and Kindle-compatible formats), just click the buttons below--you can even make a contribition to help Level and GEO keep bringing you these in

 

First, the Village

Yes, dear Readers, there is a place filled with Public Hope, a place in Spain far more tangible than Kris Kringle or Santa Claus.

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[Editor's note: this is the final installment of GEO foundin-member Len Krimerman's new memoir.

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“There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy” (Hamlet: Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 167-168)

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As worker-owners, we’re used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We’re tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows—and it is, rapidly—we’re innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive.

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[Editor's note: this is the fourth installment of GEO founding-member Len Krimerman's new memoir. You can read the preface and introduction and the first two chapters here, here, and here. Look for chapter four next Monday.]

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Black Lives Matter: Transformational Politics and Mainstream Politics, Take 2.

Well, somehow I missed the first 6 ½ minutes of the BLM encounter with Hilary Clinton that I wrote about in Becoming the Change 2. It’s good that I’m a blogger and not a reporter. J This time I will be working from the transcript of the encounter on Democracy Now.

Black Lives Matter: transformational politics and mainstream politics.

The challenges for 2015 are the same ones we've failed as a movement to find solutions to, or even act on, for a very long time: climate change and the neoliberal politics of austerity. The co-operative movement needs to work internationally to stop oil companies extracting, and governments and corporations burning fossil fuels for profit, and it should be a part of the international campaign against rich elites profiting from wrecking the climate.

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[Editor's note: Below is the preface and introduction to GEO founding member Len Krimerman's new memoir, Coming Alive in Dangerous Times (1961-1983).  We will be publishing Len's memoir serially, every Monday, over the next month, starting with Chapter 1, A New York Yankee in Louisiana,next week .  Here, Len discusses how he came to write a memoir, the value of memiorizing our life stories, and lays out the plan of the book.  GEO will be releasing Coming Alive as an ebook this fall.]

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[Editor's note: this is the second "Walk on the Bright Side" column by GEO founding member Len Krimerman.  The first one can be found here.]

More people are choosing the cooperative model to express their entrepreneurial spirit in the Northwest. The success of a co-op depends on many people and their efforts. Keywords: resident-owned communities, manufactured homes, worker coops
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Let's try to get both a firm grasp and a large perspective on "regional co-operative/solidarity economic development," and what it has to do with “advancing the development of worker co-operatives.”

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Many people, including those in the labor and worker co-op movements, think that unions and co-ops are singularly mismatched.  Logic has it that worker co-ops don’t need to be unionized since workers own and manage their businesses, and that workers in labor unions just naturally aren’t entrepreneurial but rather are used to resisting “the boss.”  In addition, people may be familiar with large agricultural co-ops in the Midwest that fight with unionized workers, or with food co-ops that resist worker unionization.  

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Since 2011, we’ve been steadily growing the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance. We’ve been developing as an organization, establishing programs and services, and building connections among cooperatives and credit unions. In this article, I will discuss our evolution and speak to our successes and challenges with an eye towards helping other cooperative alliances in their own formation.

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In order to create a fully cooperative society, co-ops of all varieties need to reach out to other, similarly-aligned groups, such as racial, social and climate justice movements. Groups such as Solidarity NYC and the Southern Grassroots Economies Progect (SGEP) are already working along these lines. Len Krimerman suggests adopting an 8th co-operative principle to address this reality. Keywords: solidarity economy, co-ops, regional development, social development
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In Ferguson and St. Louis, solidarity economy activists are coming together with social justice advocates to create innovative ways of fighting for justice in their communities. Keywords: MORE, Decarcerate St. Louis, cooperatives, poverty, #BlackLivesMatter
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