We talk with Gar Alperovitz about the ideas in his new book, ‘What Then Must We Do: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution’.
So broadly speaking, even amongst radicals, most people are open to thinking about new directions, but they don’t have a fully coherently defined vision of where they’re going and how to go forward.
Welcome to the spring of sequester and discontent. Just ahead, whatever happens in the world of politics, a world of people are going to experience yet more cuts to education, housing, healthcare, and there’s no solution to poverty in sight. Even for those who were flushed with excitement last November, the new term is already feeling like a pretty glum place. What real change is likely to come? Probably not much. By how much are real wages going to grow? Probably less. ”If you counted poverty the way every other nation in the world counts it, a quarter of our society is in poverty,” says political economist Gar Alperovitz. So why is it then, that Alperovitz also says we may be witnessing the prehistory of the next American Revolution? What’s up?
The problem with pure worker ownership of large industries is that the worker/owners are under the same market pressures as any other company. They are therefore as likely to pollute the environment, for example, if they’re under competitive pressures to do so, as the next guys. So that means the worker-owned company’s interests are somewhat different from that of its surrounding community—which includes elderly people, young people, all those who happen to be out of the workforce. After all, half the society at any one time is not part of that worker ownership.