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It's been an interesting couple of days.

 

The Death-Star Platforms vs Co-operation meme is the latest soap-box for the Non-Profit Industrial Complex, academic/punditry division. Uber and AirBnB disintermediate the taxi and hotel industies. They are cold-blooded, VC funded extractive businesses. But we must not misunderstand the re;atove value of their "platform" (the software) in their business model.

An old Nepali friend* and I were walking through the narrow, cobblestone streets of Bhaktapur yesterday when a large blue sign above a shuttered store front caught my eye. “Oriental Co-operative Ltd.”

“That's what I'm talking about,” I said to my companion, pointing to the sign. I've been regaling him about the wonders of cooperative economics for a week now, and he's become familiar with my obsession.

There's nothing quite like traveling in the “third world” to put one's own situation in perspective. I like to flatter myself by thinking that I live a fairly spartan lifestyle, and in the context of the United States it's true. While I try to avoid the conspicuous consumption that often seems to define American culture, and to limit my use of non-renewable resources, these are conscious decisions that I make. Not everyone in this world, however, is so lucky as to be able to get to choose to live on less. Many people are just forced into it.

Black Lives Matter: Transformational Politics and Mainstream Politics, Take 2.

Well, somehow I missed the first 6 ½ minutes of the BLM encounter with Hilary Clinton that I wrote about in Becoming the Change 2. It’s good that I’m a blogger and not a reporter. J This time I will be working from the transcript of the encounter on Democracy Now.

Black Lives Matter: transformational politics and mainstream politics.

image1It has become painfully obvious that we generally express our views on right and wrong from within the context of our unspoken internal perception of our stance within Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The Guardian ran an “article” by Paul Mason entitled The End of Capitalism Has Begun. A great deal of the message resonates with the GEO Collective’s core beliefs and we certainly aren’t interested in denying the potential value of democratically organized, worker/member directed initiatives, institutions, and enterprises.

This was the first time I could get away to attend an Advancing Development of Workplace Democracy (ADWC III) and the Eastern Conference on Workplace Democracy (ECWD 2015). It was a very rewarding trip.  Josh Davis, Content Editor for GEO flew in a day early and we travelled up and back together.

I became an international networker last week. I didn’t mean to. But apparently unexpected things happen at Findhorn Community, in Scotland.

There is a fervent hope that, somehow, Peer Production is a democratizing and decentralizing model that will somehow liberate elements of the economy from the grip of Corporate Capitalism.

Community is an important buzzword these days. People recognize that social structures are deteriorating and that people want more of a sense of connection with others. Suburbia is almost perfectly designed to keep interaction to a minimum. Consumerism and capitalism are other important factors. We’re bombarded by messages promoting individual ownership, which is supported by laws and financial institutions.

by Josh Davis

Something struck me as odd while I was looking through the slide presentation of the recent public opinon poll conducted by NCBA and Consumer Federation of America.  The poll looked at knowledge of cooperatives and attitudes about them in the general population.  One of the slides breaks down respondents to the survey by educational attainment level.  Here it is:

Worker Cooperatives – An Alternative for Youth

By Alexander Kolokotronis

Worker cooperatives are rising, and youth are increasingly becoming a part of their success. In the United States youth involvement in cooperativism is taking on two forms: multi-chapter college-campus groups with strong connections to the broader cooperative movement, and youth themselves starting non-university based cooperatives.

 

Campus Student Groups – SODA and Aynah

 

By Alexander Kolokotronis

(please take survey at conclusion of this piece)

Cooperativists often posit this: the cooperative movement is a movement of movements. Or, more broadly speaking, the solidarity economy movement is a movement of movements. Many of us believe this is true in the present. In many ways it is.

Movements Moving Together 16.                

Eric Berne was a psychiatrist, famous in the 60s. He was also a logical thinker and playful writer. He began his book on sex something like this: “The first thing to consider about sex is that it’s messy.”

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