Latin America

[Editor's note: The two videos below come from the 2008 documentary Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas.  The full documentary is available on Youtube  in Spanish, as well as in Portuguese.

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This article was originally published in Critical Asian Studies on 18 August 2010, available online here.

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1) Background
    i) Cuba has been engaged in a deep restructuring of its project to build socialism for a quarter of a century. 

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This paper conceptualizes socialist construction as a process of incremental reclaiming from capital of those resources that can best be held in common so that members of a community can achieve their fuller human development*.  Under democratic rules the community regulates the commons so as to ensure its accessibility and sustainability.  The formation of cooperatives is an instance of the socialization of the workplace.  By bringing workers together into self governing collectivities, cooperatives also contribute to the socialization of workers to a socialist moral order.  In Cuba a

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Author and professor Peter Linebaugh discusses his new book, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day. Later in the show filmmaker Avi Lewis discusses worker-owned factories in Argentina, and Laura focuses on the intersectional feminism of 19th Century Anarchist Lucy Parsons. Peter Linebaugh is professor emeritus at the University of Toledo, and the author of many books, including the Magna Carta Manifesto; Stop Thief, The Commons, Enclosures and Resistance, and his newest, The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Day.

[Editor's note: we at GEO wish to extend our deepest condolences to the people of Ecuador who recently experienced a devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of hundreds of people.  The following article from our archives (originally published in 2004) recounts the beginnings of the Kallari Cooperative, a co-op composed of Kichwa farmers and artisans in the Ecuadorian Amazon.  From their start as a small handcraft cooperative, as detailed by Fernandes below, Kallari has grown into a successful bean-to-bar choco

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This video documents Coopamare (Cooperativa dos Catadores Autônomos de Papel, Aparas e Materiais Reaproveitáveis), one of the pioneer cooperatives for collectors of recyclable material in Brazil.

SUSY is presenting examples of Good Practices in Social and Solidarity Economy around the world. Find out more here.

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The World Social Forum (WSF) is organized by several entities and social movements from many countries “that are opposed to neo-liberalism and to [the] domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Mankind and between it and the Earth” in a self-managed, decentralized and networked way.

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[Editor's note: this spring, Boston will play host to the 4th International Conference on Participatory Budgeting In North America. This article from our archives (originally published in 2004) looks at the history of participatory budgeting in Brazil, and considers it's potential in the US, where the practice in now thriving in cities across the country.]

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Cuba is decentralizing its economy, offloading state enterprises to private enterprise, but more importantly, to cooperatives, in the hope that these will become the locus of socialism and a driver of the economy. We visited ten of them in January [2015].

See more videos from Dave Lippman

 

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Cuba’s renovation of its socialism is opening space for an expanding non-state sector of its economy. The growth of small private businesses and of cooperatives is invigorating Cuba’s civil society. Whether this will be a socialist civil society depends on whether socialist cooperatives or the non-socialist private businesses predominate.
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On June 25, 2015 I visited a cooperative network in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is named Unisol, which stands for Union of Cooperatives and Solidarity Enterprises. Unisol was an offshoot of the labor union movement and progressive political movement. It was started by the metal workers’ union of the Labor Party (PT).

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Originally published in the April, 2015 edition of the The Shuttle

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GEO is pleased to announce that we're working with the Level Translation (a project of the Intepreters' Cooperative of Madison) to release a new series of ebooks.

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[Editor's Note: later this month, GEO and Level Translation will release an English edition of the most recent report on Argentina's recovered businesses (of which there were 311 in 2013, employing over 13,400 people).  The inspiring successes of the recovered business co-ops in Argentina--their failure rate so far has been less than 5%--no doubt has much to teach us, in the North, about how to successfully transition from capitalist to worker control.]

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