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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Some Dots

April 8, 2014
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by Marty Heyman

Was with "the gang" at the New York celebration of Jessica's Cooperative Courage coming to a bookseller near you real soon now. Others have promised to write up the event. Just a couple of dots connected for me from the discussion.

We forget that the distinction between old-school merchantilism and industrialization and modern was the privatization of the Commons. This dispossessed the peasants and took away their means of providing their own subsistence. It drove them into the jobs of the privatizers. And to make sure the point is not lost on the dispossessed, some percentage of them are perpetually kept unemployed to remind them all how perilous life is under this system.

This came up as comments about the value of co-ops to blacks struggling to establish their civil liberties after emancipation (and into today's more veiled and just as nasty oppression). It came up as a question about Welfare which has been continually engineered to maintain those without access to the "Means of Subsistence" in sufficiently bad situations to continue to be a useful bad example. It is the undercurrent to the recent pearl-clutching about the lack of jobs for graduating students, about the weakened upward mobility in the US, about the stubbornly high US unemployment.

It was all there, in the air, talking about Cooperative Courage, solidarity, and mutuality.

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