Gleanings

Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval: The violent destruction of the commons of the ZAD (Zone To Defend) of Notre-Dame-des-Landes by the French government is an infamous and revolting act. The current police offensive, led by several thousand gendarmes and CRS equipped with armored vehicles and helicopters is only the exercise of the purest State violence against a set of collective practices that are in progress or in preparation.

HIDDEN INSIDE THE Commonwealth – both the word and the idea – is a crucial concept: the commons. A much-misunderstood political, social and economic idea, the commons is a powerful lens through which to examine the past, present and future of the Commonwealth of Nations. The commons is perhaps the oldest-known model of social organisation. It is about co-operation to ensure long-term stability for communities in and with the living world.

Sounds like a good way to go, right? Ripe old age, preferably in your sleep. But I’m not talking about you, or me, I’m talking about the credit union industry. We are mathematically on track to die of old age. I mean we’re already over 100, so the chances are pretty good that we can’t sustain life for much longer.

But here are some concerning vital signs, if you will.

When teaching or facilitating, I often hear, “Can we have a meeting and just talk, without any special format? It feels more natural that way.”

Sure, you can. But I won’t join you. Why? Because I am aware of what we are buying into when we promote “natural” flow.

What is natural flow and what are its effects?

Electric cooperatives were so successful in electrifying rural America that in 1949, the REA was authorized to fund cooperatives for telephone services. Or, as we would call the service today, “telecommunications.”

And it’s on that peg that leaders of the Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), based in the Nelson County community of Arrington, believe they’ve found a way to address the biggest challenge facing rural America in 2018: the unavailability of access to broadband internet services.

In homecare, building a family-like culture is undoubtedly more challenging. Due to the nature of the work, caregivers are more isolated and have fewer opportunities to connect with owners and co-workers. This is one of the many reasons that turnover is so high in the homecare industry. A small but growing sector of cooperatively-owned homecare agencies has hit on a model that overcomes these challenges and presents a promising path for workers and retiring owners.

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