Gleanings

There's been rumors of Oprah Winfrey being interested. But a couple of Clippers fans, Tim Nguyen and Russell Curry, have an idea that would not only take the team from Sterling, but move it in the direction of economic democracy too: Clipper fans should own the team.

Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation recently published a short essay noting that the economic fruits of peer production in today’s world tend to be captured by capitalists – whereas what we really need is a system to enable capital accumulation for and by commoners themselves.  To that end, Bauwens embraces the idea of a Peer Production License, as designed and proposed by Dmitri Kleiner.

If you live—or want to live—according to the ideals of sustainability, cooperation and equality, come to the annual Twin Oaks Communities Conference this summer for a celebration of cooperatives and communal lifestyles!

While many people associate cooperatives with a place for hippies to buy organic food, the cooperative movement has actually grown far and wide, creating sustainable enterprises that generate jobs and strengthen local economies. Today, there are nearly 30,000 cooperatives in the United States, with more than 100 million members.

Mira Luna: Why did African-Americans first start getting involved in cooperative economic activity? Was it for political or practical reasons or both?

The Praxis Project is excited to release, “Transforming the Economy from the Ground Up,” a paper on the solidarity economy authored by the Highlander Research and Education Center. The solidarity economy is part of a long-term strategy to address systemic and structural problems that make Mississippi the poorest state in the nation and keep billions of people in poverty  all over the world.

Imagine this: an economic model that takes the needs of the entire community into account. One that respects the rights of people and the planet. A market system that favors both the consumers and the producers.

In the past 30 years, though, there has been a rapid growth of all kinds of initiatives in the social economy. Confidence was lost in the centralised state-based alternatives, particularly after 1989. The revolution in information and communications made it possible to develop much more distributed systems of organisation, with complex webs of collaboration. Now, with the financial collapse of 2008 putting neoliberalism on the back foot, we are witnessing a new interest in co-operation.

No one really likes having a boss. So why not be your own boss? And no, this is not yet another post about the benefits of freelancing.

Worker cooperatives are a unique kind of business that are democratically owned and governed by the people doing the labor. Without any bosses on the job, each employee acts as both worker and owner. Now one group, the Wellspring Collaborative, is looking to jumpstart the growth of worker cooperatives in an unlikely place: inner-city Springfield, Massachusetts.

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