Whether it is growing congestion due to ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, rising housing costs due to Airbnb, or increasing agitation from gig workers being forced to work longer hours for less pay, cities are at the forefront of the battle to control the exploitative platform economy.
Jackson, Mississippi, will be “the most radical city on the planet,” Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the city’s mayor, pledged at the People’s Summit in Chicago, where he spoke last July after his landslide election win.
In January 2011 Som Energia started to apply for the necessary permits and soon after entered the market as a non-profit cooperative committed to producing 100% renewable energy from hydroelectric, solar, biomass and wind power.
Instead of focusing only on piecemeal solutions for various forms of social ills, we must consider that the real and lasting solution is a new economy designed for all people, not only for the ruling corporate elite.
Cooperatives are a way of introducing people to a radical vision of the commons that also includes familiar stuff like Visa, Associated Press, and the credit union down the street. But I wouldn’t claim cooperatives are sufficient. They’re a starting point, a gateway to more diverse and widespread commoning.
How can cooperatives work together? In Japan, cooperatives have banded together to form the Japan Cooperative Alliance (JCA), an umbrella organization that seeks to promote inter-cooperative collaborations, lobby for pro-cooperative policies, and provide better information and education about cooperatives to the general public.
We try to conceive of Cecosesola as a personal process of development, not as work. Work! Just thinking about it makes you tired! It isn’t always successful, and it isn’t for everybody.
If people can create their own livelihood, I won’t say business, because it’s more than just business — but if we can create and control own livelihoods, it eliminates the long legacy of exploitation, of abuse, that people — particularly black people — have suffered in this community.
This year, the US Worker Cooperative National Conference is being held in Los Angeles, California, but it will not be the first time cooperators have converged in the state. As cooperative historian John Curl documents below, California has a long history of cooperatives and collective action of all kinds.
For those who see worker cooperatives and other forms of economic democracy as the alternative to capitalist enterprises and the seeds of an alternative, egalitarian society, there are at least three paths one might envision to that egalitarian society.
The cooperative movement is in a position to stand in the epicenter of social transformation, by simply doing what it is designed to do —mindfully, and exquisitely well.
When one stops to consider Rio’s hundreds of favelas for their plurality, with a lens of recognizing assets instead of just highlighting problems, one common thread is clear: In the face of public neglect, favela residents are expert at doing things for themselves, many times coming together to do so collectively.