We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lessons for Building a Co-operative Movement

Click here to access article by John Curl from Grassroots Economic Organizing

I certainly don't see cooperatives being constructed within a capitalist society as a viable long-term answer to the downward spiral of economic prospects for the 99 Percent. However, they can provide a near-term laboratory for learning how to run enterprises on a cooperative, social need basis while providing a means of survival until we can eliminate control of society by the One Percent and their sociopathic system of capitalism.
When large numbers of ordinary people refuse to accept the submissive role, societies change. But people need to believe that social change is possible. If they think their only option is to exchange one oppressor for another, they will usually choose to accept their victimization and try to make the best of it. That is why counter institutions are so important, because they are living demonstrations that better social relationships are possible and within our grasp. They are possible because, besides the seeds of the oppressor within us, we also have the seeds of mutual liberation within us, the instincts of cooperation, of sharing, democracy, equality, extended family.