Blogs

by Marty Heyman

"Democracy" is a complicated idea and difficult ideal to establish as a political, economic, and social objective. Democracy is relatively easy in "the small," groups of under, say, a couple of hundred people who can come together for deliberations. I wonder, however, about scaling Democratic institutions beyond that generally accepted limit of effectiveness.

In this series of blogs I am developing a narrative about how we maintain and change ourselves and our cultures. Here’s the core of it (taken from the first in the series):

It appears that the new formula for American private sector competitiveness is staring the country in the face.

This may be a challenge to read. It’s unusually long, but particularly because the first part gets a bit dry and conceptual. However, I share an intense story to bring that to life, and then I reflect on that story.

Last summer, I was interviewed in Vienna, Austria by “Dr. Future,” i.e. Allan Lundell and his wife, Sun Marian McNamee-Lundell. We were joined in the conversation a couple of times by Franz Nahrada, who had brought us together here in his hotel. It was quite an interesting conversation about how our economy generates scarcity and about some possible alternatives, and I am sharing the audio file with you here.

IN PRAISE OF BRENÉ BROWN  

Blame and punishment head toward destructive outcomes. Empathy and loving move toward creation. The first are grounded in an relational under-culture of scarcity and fear; the second, in a relational under-culture of abundance and basic goodness. Both of these relational under-cultures are intertwined within every individual I have known (whatever their original culture), within every situation I have been in, within every social change movement I identify with, in every historical event I have read about.

INTERNAL OPPRESSION. 

Three keys to that ‘other world’ we know is possible: empathy, sane rationality, and compassion. Empathy is our biological capacity that enables us to get another in their reality. That other includes everyone and everything, human and non-human. Empathy gives rationality the gut-level information it needs to make sane decisions, to keep it from running amok. It makes compassion—the deep caring for someone or something you have gotten—possible.

Wolfgang Hoeschele

With this post, I am introducing a new series here on GEO – occasional blog posts around the themes of solidarity economy, the commons, and abundance.

In MMT 2 I identified four key questions confronting any effort to bring autonomous democratic movements together. In MMT 3 I discussed the first one, and here I want to get into the second one, on which I think the whole game rides.

by Cheyenna Weber

When survival is just another word for heartbreak I will usually make a soup.

This interview, shot May 2013 in Oakland, CA begins to introduce an idea that has been floating through my mind the past several years around the need for community colleges (in particular) to include training on cooperatives in their business programs, not as a form of  "kinder, gentler capitalism" but as community-based, capital subordinated business models hewing to the seven International Cooperative Principles.  The unemployed have headed back to community colleges to upgrade skills or to learn new skills. One of our local community colleges has a trades program.

SENSITIVITY.   That "other world" that we know is possible becomes realized much more by our becoming its people than by the projects and institutions we create on that journey. We create from what we are far more than from what we think we should be. And we create stuff outside us to help us become more aligned with what is possible. So let us focus on our projects and institutions emerging and developing out of our continually becoming more cooperative and democratic beings, not from who we are now.

Floating like a butterfly and humming like a mockingbird                                                                                                                                                              

Here's one reflection on the first of the four questions I identified in Movements Moving Together 2:

A new worker-ownership evolution-revolution featuring more virtuous capitalism communities of practice is demonstrating that doing well can realistically and profitably be based on doing good. This brave new economic world is emerging from green-shoot, “made in America” antidotes to structural unemployment and income inequality, sprouting ubiquitously among increasing absentee-owner-plagued urban and rural geographies.

michael johnson

FOUR IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

What I am trying to do in this series of Movements Moving Together (MMT) blogs is think out loud about how movements that want to advance democracy more deeply and broadly into our cultures can work together in this multi-century project that is probably in its 3rd century at this point.

Here’s a short TED talk that might send you off wondering about empathy and compassion.

This is my response to Michael Johnson's recent blog post, Movements Moving Together, Part 1.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - blogs