‘A Hidden History Runs Through Our Social Movements in This Country’

NS:...There’s a long tradition in American economic history, and the economic history of the world, of cooperative enterprise, businesses owned and governed by the people they serve, exemplified by, for example, in the financial industry, credit unions, which are banks that are owned by the people whose money they hold and whose loans they carry. And these kinds of businesses behaved very differently in 2007 and 2008, and those should be the model of how we move forward, rather than simply doubling down on this backwards and very dangerous accountability problem.

JJ: It seems important to underscore that you’re not necessarily always talking about—or we’re not necessarily talking about—smoke-filled rooms and conspiracies and evil people. It really is about structures of accountability, and the way systems are set up.

Well, the values of cooperative work, of cooperative ownership, they aren’t new, even though we don’t hear about them every day. It’s almost like a hidden history.

NS: That’s right. And sometimes there are smoke-filled rooms involved, you know...

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