Keynote address by John Samuel to the Asian Forum on the Solidarity Economy, Oct. 3, 2008.
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Arvol Looking Horse spoke at the New York Open Center, and I was able to hear his important perspective on the role of ecological awareness and spirituality in daily life, and the reforming of modern lifestyles.

On Thursday, September 18, the U.S. Mission to the U.N. held a Green Business discussion panel at U.N. Headquarters.  The panel was diverse to the extent that the Corporate representatives were also met by a consultant and NGO representative.  The subjects focussed on the corporate level views of the issues, including Cap and Trade Markets.  Some audience input also contributed to deepening the conversation.  My topic was certification, and was met by a negative and skeptical view of "legitimacy," although later comments acknowledged important examples.  I am beginning to evaluate the communication process and the information structure which I as an advocate of solidarity economics and the World Social Forum can develop.

Modern neoliberal investor capitalism has roots in its Judeo-Christian heritage generally, and Christianity in particular.  Activist culture can be fortified and

invigorated by examining its own roots to raise the conflicting consequences of common religious influences,

and to identify the grassroots, democratic, non-exclusionary, non-domination qualities inherent in those origins.

Modern corporate advertising and consumer culture tends to divert the attention of people from the obvious source of true culture, and the basis for employee cooperative and community ownership: grassroots personal projects and memory and recognition of loved ones and history of the basis of modern activism and education.  These go beyond back further than the World Social Forum, Mother Jones, A. Philip Randolph, Samuel Gompers, the Rochdale Pioneers, and Robert Owen.   Following the modern university, modern logic begins before Newton and Descartes in the efforts of Thomas Aquinas, a philosopher minister student of Albert Magnus.  The essential role of Christ's teachings of justice, therapy, love, and integrity thus appear in activism, spiritual practice like in Tai Chi or Yoga, and psychotherapy.  Making your own ice cream, for example, is also one easy way to start.

      The Microsoft Anti-Trust case is also an interesting example of corporate ideological influence in the U.S., and the difference with Europe.  The subject becomes a good opportunity to recognize the importance of Public Interest groups, consumer activism like Reverend Billy advocates, and local empowerment efforts. 

Visions for "simultaneous, co-locative pluralistic systems."
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Practices, Tools & Strategies: 
Can we have markets without the unsustainability of the capitalist format and its attendent biospheric destruction and social and psychic dislocation?
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People in a small North Dakota town are working to buy their local grocery store and turn it into a community-owned cooperative.
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Putting christian principles of justice and love into economic action.
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Introducing the Green Mountain Spinnery, a worker-owned wool spinnery in Vermont.
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By Yvon Poirier
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By Yvonne Poirier

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By Lauren Kozol 

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by Jim Johnson, GEO Collective

Past issues of GEO have reported on the emergence of a particular type of worker cooperative, the home care cooperative. In the 1980s, the federal government followed the lead of state governments like Wisconsin and acknowledged that elderly and disabled people who need help in day-to-day living are best served by in-home assistance. Medicare and Medicaid funding that would have otherwise been used only for nursing homes would now be applicable to home care services.

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By Joel Schoening
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By Josh Lerner
Originally published by the Movement Vision Lab.

 

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A school with no principals? It's like a shop with no bosses. Introducing "Teacher Cooperatives"!
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Rising costs of oil may give local economies a competitive advantage...
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A brainstorm on strategies for local economic development
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