Peace Building

THE LOSS OF PUBLIC HOPE?

by Len Krimerman, GEO Collective

Some days it does seem that we are on the wrong planet, that the worst aspects of humanity are now beyond challenge and are inescapably producing disasters – unending warfare, global climate crises, abominable increases in child slavery – that will bring short term profits to a few and leave the rest of us penniless and powerless. In his book, Radical Democracy, philosopher C. D. Lummis speaks of the “loss of public hope”:

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This article was first published in GEO Newsletter Vol. 1, Issue 72/73, 2007

The contemporary U.S. worker cooperative movement is somewhat ambiguous about its relationship to capitalism.  Members of our movement today range in perspective from viewing cooperatives as an anti-capitalist tool of struggle, "embodying the world that we seek to build," to seeing them as worker-empowering additions to an economic system believed to be either inevitable or in need of only minor modification.

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Last year, in December 2013, my daughter decided to visit Twin Oaks, a long established, egalitarian income sharing community in Louisa, Virginia.  Her hope was to find a community that would support her commitment to living sustainably, connecting with the earth on a spiritual level, and supporting her egalitarian cooperative values.  Her initial reports were te

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In this inspiring talk from TEDxDouglas (Isle of Man), Valerie Miller discusses the founding of Mother T—a community center whose objective is to rebuild community, facilitate connection and tackle problems such as loneliness and isolation.  She also highlights how time banks, unlike traditional social service providers, enrolls the help of the people it supports, and focuses on the assets and abilities of community members, rather than their deficits.  Miller argues that this empowering approach has the potential to revitalize community spirit and improve people's lives and relationships.

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[Editor's note: In the opening speech from this year's CommonBound conference, Ed Whitfield, co-managing director of the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC), discusses the necessary conditions for creating an economy that provides not only the knowledge, but also the means, for economic security to everyone on an equal basis.  He discusses the intersection of economic and environmental justice, the inherent biases of  our s

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(Editor's note: This article emerged out of conversations Michael had with Terry Mollner and his thinking about creating institutions grounded in the idea the common good. We were quite surprised to find out that it turned out to be one of this most read articles on GEO: 10,500 a week or ago; almost 11,000 now. We were more than delighted when a recent article passed the 3,000 mark in page views. 1,500 is a seen as a big plus. But 11,000! We can’t explain it. However, since there has been so much interest in it, we decided to post it anew.

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Marina Sitrin and Dario Azellini, authors of the book They Can't Represent Us, discuss the roots of revolt in Latin America, Greece, and the US, and the change from a politics of representation to a politics of cooperation.  GRITtv's Laura Flanders conducts the interview.

 

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"One cheer for democratic culture; another for democratic structure; three cheers when they join together in collaboration."

~Anonymous

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No Bosses Here! a manual on working collectively and cooperatively (1981) by Vocations for Social Change Staff, Karen Brandow and Jim McDonnell

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Amalurra, Basque for 'mother earth', was formed from a meditation group with life coach Irene Goikolea over 20 years ago. Wanting to take their practice further, they bought an old seminary and oriented their lives around making it beautiful and offering hospitality. Fast forward to now, and there are several gleaming buildings, including a hotel, hostel, spa, cafe, restaurant, many spaces for meetings and workshops, and a sweat-lodge next to a stream and extensive gardens.

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We need to deeply democratize ourselves and others in order to move cooperation and democracy from the margins toward the center of our collective lives.

An unusual perspective

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[Editor's Note: These guidelines were originally written in 2010, and were updated in April, 2014.]

The principal conditions are: a group or community who have come together to do something together, either through working together or living together, or sharing some experience together.

Common basis of unity

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[Editor's Note: More than a few groups in the US use the ZEGG Forum. In January one practitioner of the process from the West coast, Teryani, reflected on how this is unfolding in her blog. Another on the East coast, Sarah Taub, responded in a long piece originally sent to a ZEGG Forum list. She revised it for inclusion here in GEO’s Intentional Community/Solidarity Economics theme.

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Teju Cole is a novelist (Open City, winner of this year's PEN/Hemmingway award and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award) troubled by US interventions in and emotional response to Africa's problems. His piece in the Atlantic starts, "If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement."

Permanent link to this article: http://geo.coop/node/447

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By Len Krimerman

In 1995, the International Cooperative Alliance adopted seven cooperative principles to define and guide cooperatives throughout the world. Briefly stated, the "traditional seven" include: voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; member economic participation; autonomy and independence; education, training and information; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community.

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