It’s not just about «seizing the means of production», we also need to co-produce alternative cosmovisions that liberate us from capitalist common sense and normalise horizontal relations based on mutual aid, cooperation and solidarity.
Those who choose to pursue this line of work will understand localised decision-making for the Earth’s survival and bringing back species that are on the brink of extinction. Furthermore, everyone outside of these cooperatives will be additionally grateful for their existence, for the goodness that is extended to everyone will be shared by all of life.
Two decades after its declaration of neutrality, the community still carries on its peace crusade. Despite many difficulties, they are hanging on to their collective work thanks to the precious cacao cultivation.
The Compost Cooperative is a worker-owned food scraps pickup service that empowers those who have been incarcerated by providing fulfilling work that allows for agency and economic independence.
Cooperative structures like the Carolina Textile District provide an inspirational example of the type of regional networks that could grow and flourish throughout the country.
The pandemic has brought into focus the stark conditions and precarity faced by workers in the gig-economy. When the dust settles, can these workers who were at the frontlines of this crisis build a fairer future? The workers featured in Reclaiming Work believe so.
Reader-owners will, collaboratively, determine the future of the publication. It is uncharted territory, but one that readers, staff and editors are all eager to begin.
The Park Slope Food Co-op is a landmark achievement of what can be achieved through commoning in a co-operative organizational structure.
DisCOs, by contrast, start from a different set of premises about humanity. They regard we humans as a cooperative species whose members need and want to engage with others, personally. Earned trust among people and open collaboration can then achieve some remarkable things.
Lately, I’ve been mulling over what I think is a better metaphor for the cooperative movement, or rather, a better metaphor for what I hope to see the cooperative movement become: not an ecosystem, but an organism. Not a collection of disparate entities occupying the same space, each working for its own survival, but rather a single entity with many parts and pieces that play different roles in the functioning and health of the larger whole; a whole which in turn supports each of its constituent parts.
So, what do we mean by a DisCO?
It stands for Distributed Cooperative Organizations, and it’s a set of organisational tools and practices for groups of people who want to work together in a cooperative, commons-oriented, and feminist economic form.
I frequently encounter a notion, among those drawn to cooperatives, that a cooperative should be an amorphous, faceless collective in which old-world skills and norms of leadership can be discarded.