beyond capitalism

The Social Solidarity Economy is an alternative to capitalism and other authoritarian, state-dominated economic systems. In SSE, ordinary people play an active role in shaping all of the dimensions of human life: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental. SSE exists in all sectors of the economy—production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption and governance. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals.
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Unlike many alternative economic projects that have come before, solidarity economics does not seek to build a singular model of how the economy should be structured, but rather pursues a dynamic process of economic organizing in which organizations, communities, and social movements work to identify, strengthen, connect, and create democratic and liberatory means of meeting their needs. ~Ethan Miller, from Other Economies are Possible

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[Editor's Note: later this month, GEO and Level Translation will release an English edition of the most recent report on Argentina's recovered businesses (of which there were 311 in 2013, employing over 13,400 people).  The inspiring successes of the recovered business co-ops in Argentina--their failure rate so far has been less than 5%--no doubt has much to teach us, in the North, about how to successfully transition from capitalist to worker control.]

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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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Presencing, being present, and video journalism.

A friend of mine who is developing a digital business asked what I thought of the overview of personal and collective transformation mapped out by the Presencing Institute, which is connected with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is someone who finds my thinking that learning how to build small transformative cultures for self-empowerment and deeper cooperation makes some sense.

[Editor's note: this report by Pat Conaty and David Bollier presents an in-depth look at the how our often disparate movements might begin to work together more closely in order to create a more just, open and equitable economy.  David Bollier describes the scope of the report on Shareable:

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[Editor's note: This piece originally appeared in the Colombia Support Network’s fall 2014 newsletter.]

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I've been meaning to write something that lets me use that picture for weeks now. It's from the cover to Fred P. Brooks's The Mythical Man Month and I've always wondered whether these were his mythic beasts or if they were a play on his being a dinosaur in the industry.

cross-posted from Medium

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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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by Alexander Kolokotronis

 

There are alternatives: economic, political, and cultural. The trick of any ruling elite is to convince just enough people that there are no such alternatives. There is no magic bullet alternative; no singular alternative institution that by itself can transform or transcend a system. Yet, in combination, as a set, and in a network, such alternative institutions carry the possibility of both building and fomenting system-change.
           

(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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Tall luxury condominiums, new restaurants, coffee shops, and health food stores now punctuate most of the neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, bringing (what some consider) prosperity the likes of which the one-time "Chocolate City" has never before witnessed.

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by Josh Davis

 

One of the many topics that came up for discussion at the recent GEO retreat was whether or not we wanted to participate in Amazon's Smile program.  The program lets shoppers support the charity of their choice through purchases on Amazon's website. Amazon donates 0.5% of eligible purchases to a shopper's selected charity.

[Editor's note: Here is a long video with some great panelists from the Elevate Festival 2014, held in Graz, Austria.  Amy Goodman's opening statement begins at 22:56; Friederike Habermann's segment begins at 39:20; Felix Stalder begins at 45:43; and Silke Helfrich gives her intial statement at 52:08.  At 2 hours and 20 minutes, there's a lot of food for thought here.]

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[Editor's note: In this presentation from The Sustainable Economies Law Center's 5th Annual Fall Celebration, SELC's staff presents a comprehensive vision of a Cooperative Economic future and, more importantly, lays out concrete steps that can be taken in order to arrive there.  As an additional bonus, the presentation is creative and entertaining.  Enjoy!  (The show starts at 1:50 and runs until 35:52)]

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cross-posted from New Economy Transtion

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[Editor's note: In this video, Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation, discusses the intersection of cooperatives and the commons; problems with traditional co-op models; and ways to structure cooperative enterprises to more effectively create an alternative economy around collective wealth creation instead of private wealth extraction.  More videos from Open Everything: A Collaborative Economy Convergence, held in Ireland this September, can be found

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