Strategies for Change

Some time ago, Paul Hawken accurately proclaimed “a blessed unrest” pulsating across the planet. Few folks were seeing such rich possibilities for a better world. A few years later came Occupy Wall Street and all that responded to it. That phenomenon lit up the “blessed unrest” like a global Christmas tree.

By Mike Leung

 

This article deals with the conversion of an existing business to a worker-owned cooperative. Specifically, it lays out a basic strategy for allowing employees of a profitable company with publicly-traded securities to effectively convert to a worker cooperative in the absence of owner permission.

 

Proposition: first, experience; then, words and stories.

Bedrock conviction: oppression is a relational dynamic involving at least two roles: oppressor and oppressed. If we want to relate to someone or some situation in a different way, then we have to move out of and beyond these two roles. We have to focus our attention in a way in which we can experience the other as neither oppressive nor oppressed. It has to be focused on the other as genuinely and humbly as possible in order to experience them as they are. At least as much as possible.

Here’s  a stunning video report on some research that is looking with some depth at economic behavior and how we see ourselves and others. I think the implications of this work for economic democracy and understanding empowerment processes could be awesome.

Think of democracy as a garden: structures would be the plants and culture the soil. The soil will determine the quality of the plants more than the plants the quality of the soil. Plant democratic structures in conflicted soil and you get a mix that seriously lacks cooperation and collective power.
How did gays move a nation while racism tenaciously holds its ground?
Phyllis Chesler’s reflections on how the radical feminist movement was powerful but also killed its own
How to destroy relationships, communities, and democracy
A major figure in the women’s liberation movement in the 60s and 70s, her dynamic flame burned out when she was only in her 20s. Her story dramatizes two dynamics that cripple radical movements.
How do we talk and think together coherently about love, domination, and cooperation?
An anthill. A beehive. A crackling campfire around which the cave kids could play, the cave elders stay, and the buffalo strips blacken all day
A "grassroots" response to the question: What would it really take to give students a first-rate education

There’s a good graffiti story that goes with this title.The graffitti was "your karma ran over my dogma," but that story will have to wait for another time. The basic idea is not difficult: reality will make a mess outta of our theories, dogmas, ideologies. The 2008 meltdown is one example. Another is finding out that the other does not love me the way I think she/he should. This bubble gets busted ad infinitum.

We short-shift ourselves if we don't think in the long term, the really long, long term.
The point is to change the world, and to do that we have to become that change. Our political mission is a hugely spiritual mission of personal and collective transformation. More simply: learning to love.

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