by Josh Davis


I am going to make what I’m sure will be a contentious claim: no organization that is not itself cooperatively organized has any business engaging in cooperative development.

On the face of it, this shouldn’t be a contentious sentiment, any more than saying that someone who wants to get paid to teach others to play the piano should be a piano player themselves . However, given the current makeup of much of the cooperative development sector, I’m guessing that this suggestion will rub more than a few people the wrong way.

Will Wilkinson, one of the deeply democratic conservatives over at the Niskanen Center, recently asked, “…what, today, do Americans call ‘home’?”

Then he answered his own question:

Tea Party leader, Ray ­­­­­Warrick, and Black Lives Matter leader, Hawk Newsome, shared the same platform at the Better Angels convention, June 21, 2019. David Blankenhorn, co-founder and president of Better Angels, moderated their discussion.

In RE: Polarization 1 I shared how Cornel West, an ardent Leftist intellectual and activist, would approach somebody with whom he had extreme political disagreement. Two examples were explored: an hypothetical  KKK member and Louis Farrakhan. In both cases he would use the same approach: come out of love and seek to understand them in order to find common ground for dialog.

I struggle to genuinely listen to people who say things that either piss me off or that I deeply disagree with, especially when I experience it as a personal attack. At the same time I have spent the past 40 years working on how to listen in order to understand the other. I have accomplished a lot, but feel like Sisyphus a lot of times. To make things more complicated I am writing a book about democracy in which listening to understand the other is one of the main themes. At the same time, going from the frying pan to the fire, I am immersed in very polarized situation.

I am sending a link to a TED talk. Unusal for me. This one is really unusual. If you watch the first two minutes or so, you will probably have to watch the whole thing.

It's about the core of democracy and our cooperative/solidarity movements far more than any scaling up efforts could possibly be. Everything we do needs to burn gently and fiercely with this, and that includes changing ourselves.


Student housing co-operatives offer something far beyond the usual college experience. Members learn about community and how to show up in today’s world as responsible citizens. This is the University of Life!

Intentional communities are intrinsically idealistic. They’re based on a radical analysis of social problems and are an attempt to address them. They represent a personal desire to live in a way that feels more satisfying, but also the desire for a better society for all people.

Inner Landscapes: Activists' Community-of-practice Part III.

Activist-Practitioners Share Practice Experiences

By Pamela Boyce Simms

This piece involves a bit of an epiphany about myself. You know, like when you are surprised into seeing yourself a bit more as you really are. Some background is necessary to lead into how this unfolded.

Since Trump’s election I have become a democracy-freak. Writing a book about it in fact.  And that is taking me on a new journey within myself and across our political spectrum. Here is the opening of my draft Introduction:

Pamela Boyce Simms

Resistance mobilizes the troops and galvanizes the base. It gives warriors on the front lines a sense of purpose and the oppressed, glimmers of hope. It's an opportunity to put our best analysis of social ills and resistance movement models to the test. Economic and political liberation, social and eco-justice resistance struggles seem so essential, so vital, and are so seductive.

I just posted a book review, Oh, Trauma! How Little We know Ye. It's a good novel about sexual trauma, but I review it from the perspective of it being very relevant to social change. Both personal and social trauma play major roles in our lives and we have very little understanding of how that works. We get significant insights into it through the novel. The author, Steve Wineman, has been an activist and mental health worker for over 30 years.

Inner Landscapes Activists' Community-of-practice, Part I.

Pamela Boyce Simms

The Inner Landscapes Activists’ Community-of-Practice democratizes sustained “mystical experience” in service to movement-buildingMystics worldwide describe accessing and obtaining guidance from the undifferentiated field of consciousness as the ultimate state of bliss. The Activists' community-of-practice takes the mystery [but not the awesomeness] out of "mystical." 

If there is anything human I would label “evil,” it is shame, with guilt being a close second. Both are at the heart of moral righteousness.

I need to say some more about the thinking I expressed in my earlier blog. My main point was and is that our most meaningful and effective protests have their source in sharp strategic thinking that is free of moral righteousness. Full of passion grounded in our values and concerns for a world that can work well, but not in moral righteousness.


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