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Black Lives Matter: transformational politics and mainstream politics.

image1It has become painfully obvious that we generally express our views on right and wrong from within the context of our unspoken internal perception of our stance within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The Guardian ran an “article” by Paul Mason entitled The End of Capitalism Has Begun. A great deal of the message resonates with the GEO Collective’s core beliefs and we certainly aren’t interested in denying the potential value of democratically organized, worker/member directed initiatives, institutions, and enterprises.

This was the first time I could get away to attend an Advancing Development of Workplace Democracy (ADWC III) and the Eastern Conference on Workplace Democracy (ECWD 2015). It was a very rewarding trip.  Josh Davis, Content Editor for GEO flew in a day early and we travelled up and back together.

I became an international networker last week. I didn’t mean to. But apparently unexpected things happen at Findhorn Community, in Scotland.

There is a fervent hope that, somehow, Peer Production is a democratizing and decentralizing model that will somehow liberate elements of the economy from the grip of Corporate Capitalism.

Community is an important buzzword these days. People recognize that social structures are deteriorating and that people want more of a sense of connection with others. Suburbia is almost perfectly designed to keep interaction to a minimum. Consumerism and capitalism are other important factors. We’re bombarded by messages promoting individual ownership, which is supported by laws and financial institutions.

by Josh Davis

Something struck me as odd while I was looking through the slide presentation of the recent public opinon poll conducted by NCBA and Consumer Federation of America.  The poll looked at knowledge of cooperatives and attitudes about them in the general population.  One of the slides breaks down respondents to the survey by educational attainment level.  Here it is:

Worker Cooperatives – An Alternative for Youth

By Alexander Kolokotronis

Worker cooperatives are rising, and youth are increasingly becoming a part of their success. In the United States youth involvement in cooperativism is taking on two forms: multi-chapter college-campus groups with strong connections to the broader cooperative movement, and youth themselves starting non-university based cooperatives.

 

Campus Student Groups – SODA and Aynah

 

By Alexander Kolokotronis

(please take survey at conclusion of this piece)

Cooperativists often posit this: the cooperative movement is a movement of movements. Or, more broadly speaking, the solidarity economy movement is a movement of movements. Many of us believe this is true in the present. In many ways it is.

Movements Moving Together 16.                

Eric Berne was a psychiatrist, famous in the 60s. He was also a logical thinker and playful writer. He began his book on sex something like this: “The first thing to consider about sex is that it’s messy.”

Movements Moving Together 15               

by Michael Johnson                       

Movements Moving Together 14.                 

The loss of perspective around 6th Principle solidarity that I spoke of in my last blog seems to be in play in Madison, WI. A recent report from the March 18, 2015 issue of the Credit Union Times Magazine critiques its own sector in this regard:

The best kept secret about credit unions might be the opportunities that exist in partnering with other local cooperatives.

Published by Nova Publishers, New York, 2015.

ISBN: 978-1-63482-407-1

 

 

The Politics of Cooperation and Co-ops: Forms of Cooperation and Co-ops, and The Politics That Shape Them

 

 

Carl Ratner, Ph.D.

Institute for Cultural Research & Education

Trinidad, CA 95570

USA

http://www.sonic.net/~cr2

 


 

 

Movements Moving Together 13.                      

An email was recently sent out from NYC Worker Cooperative Coalition with this subject head:

Organising, Mobilising, and Building a Worker Cooperative Ecosystem from the Ground Up.

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.

OPEN CO-OPERATIVISM EMERGING

There is a very interesting development coming out of the UK and Western Europe. A network of folks over there are working hard on developing a framework for the convergence of co-operative, commons, solidarity, open source, and all the alternative economic movements. 

At this point they have identified three long term objectives:

[1] Build and Expand New Regimes of Law, Governance and Management; 

[2] Aggregate Patient Capital (aka “Co-Operative Accumulation”); 

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