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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present

Another Now rolls out the story of a path not taken by Occupy movements in 2011, but one where a few subversive groups working in various sectors of society—electronics, banking, politics—manage to leverage their expertise to force the capitulation of powerful institutions to their demands. Varoufakis delves deeply into a detailed depiction of the alternative economic mechanisms that lead to a more democratic society in this other future. For those who are either involved with cooperatives, especially worker cooperatives (a growing sector with a thousand in the pipeline), or who are agitating for democratic economic structures Another Now will be engrossing.

Over five years ago, Varoufakis was the economist-in-residence for Valve, the gaming company, advising them on their flat organizational structure. (Some currently contest Valve’s adherence to those non-hierarchical values.) He brings that experience of self-management to this book. Another Now, however, expands both the contemporary cooperative sector’s tepid criticism of capitalism and its precarious position in the market economy. In the utopia outlined here, there is universal participation in the management of all enterprises. Beyond that, every person receives a substantial stipend based on the economic bounty society provides (a minority no longer absconds with the common wealth). Subsequently, banks have been made redundant since all transactions are recorded as personal data without the need of bankers—so no savings and checking accounts. And further, since individuals have funds at their disposal they can collectively invest directly in a project without the mediation of bankers’ loans and stock brokers’ fees.

Read the rest at Counterpunch

 

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