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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

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March 18, 2024

The Solidarity Economy in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia

Summary

On October 18, 2023, the Center for Global Justice lost at dear friend--the renowned Russian marxist scholar/activist Aleksandr Buzgalin. In commemoration of his life and legacy, the Center is rebroadcasting his last program with the Center-- "The Solidarity Economy in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia"--originally broadcast on May 30, 2022. Buzgalin, himself a left opponent of bureaucracy and authoritarianism, refutes in this talk a widespread myth about the former Soviet Union that depicts it as a monolithic totalitarian system devoid of social movements of any significance. Instead he presents a more nuanced picture by reviewing the little-known forms of workers’ democracy that existed in the USSR along with the general characteristic of post-soviet capitalism in Russia.

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March 7, 2024

Power to the People

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At a moment when the world is awakening to the clear and present need to transition our energy system, a hopeful light gleams from the rural landscapes of America. The Rural Power Coalition (RPC), a diverse alliance of US advocacy groups serving rural communities from Alabama to Alaska, has taken another step forward with the release of “Power to the People: The Story of Rural Electric Cooperatives.” This animated short film that premiered today during the annual PowerXchange Conference in San Antonio, Texas, is not just a tale of the past; it’s a clarion call for a greener, more equitable future.

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March 4, 2024

Other Avenues Grocery Cooperative

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Celia LoBuono Gonzalez joins us on the show this episode to share her story and that of Other Avenues Grocery Cooperative.

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February 29, 2024

‘New Economies’ and the Rebuilding of Democratic Power

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We need to look more directly at how we can stimulate a new structural transformation of civil society. It will be a broad process that explores how we can rebuild democratic power to facilitate mass involvement in civil society and, by extension, our political system. Though there seems to be an instinctual knowledge of this problem, many are unaware of this prehistory of civil society, and understandably find it difficult to see an alternative to the memberless NGO, whose unelected governance, unreliable funding streams, and informal support base is inadequate to the challenges of the present, let alone the disruptions of the future.

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February 26, 2024

Danish Creamery Co-ops in the Late Nineteenth Century

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We consider the relative contributions of changing technology and institutions for economic growth through the investigation of a natural experiment in history: the almost simultaneous introduction of the automatic cream separator and the cooperative ownership form in the Danish dairy industry from around 1880. Using a new database of statistics from creameries and the tool of stochastic frontier analysis, we find that both institutions and technology were important for the success of the Danish dairy industry and, by implication, the growth and early development of the Danish economy.

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February 22, 2024

Battle River Railway Co-op

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In this episode of Each For All: The Co-operative Connection, host Robin Puga sits down with Matthew Enright, the General Manager of the Battle River Railway Co-operative (BRR).

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February 19, 2024

May First Movement Technology: Digital Radicalism

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Resistance in the digital environment demands that we center our values, intentions, and dreams, focusing on other ways to live, be, and know. May First Movement Technology is a cooperative (primarily based in the United States and Mexico) that aims to put these values into practice: digital media that supports social struggles and grassroots movements working to create the world we know is possible.

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February 12, 2024

Global Tapestry of Alternatives: Weaving Transformative Connections

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Macro-transformation does not happen from individual initiatives acting alone: large shifts become possible when a critical mass of movements for radical resistance and constructive alternatives is able to coalesce through horizontal networks.

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February 8, 2024

How Workers Bypass the Blockade: Voices from Indorca (Part III)

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Industrias del Orinoco, C.A. (Indorca) is a factory without bosses in Puerto Ordaz in Bolívar state, the home of Venezuela’s basic industries. Indorca’s workers carried out a heroic three-year struggle to gain control of the factory after the former owner brought it to a halt. Since 2015, when Venezuela’s Ministry of Labor extended a mandate giving the workers control over Indorca, the enterprise has been democratically managed by the women and men who produce here day in and day out.

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February 5, 2024

Solar Co-ops and Why They (Could) Rule

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In today’s episode we talk with author, professor, and activist Ashley Dawson about the neoliberal city in the context of climate change and the liberatory potential inherent in community solar energy projects.