GEO Weekly Newsletter 20140722

 Grassroots Economic Organizing Weekly Newsletter

(July 22, 2014)

This week, GEO takes a critical look at our movement.  With the New York City Council's recent awarding of $1.2 million to various co-op developers, and in the context of our ongoing economic malaise, co-ops (and worker co-ops in particular) have been on the receiving end of a lot of cheer-leading...

GEO Weekly Newsletter


This week, GEO takes a critical look at our movement.  With the New York City Council's recent awarding of $1.2 million to various co-op developers, and in the context of our ongoing economic malaise, co-ops (and worker co-ops in particular) have been on the receiving end of a lot of cheer-leading. 

While we welcome the press and attention that have so long eluded our movement, we are also wary of the tendency to exaggerate the successes and downplay the short-comings of worker co-ops.  While celebrating success is important, facing up to--and learning from--our failures is vital to the success of the Solidarity Economy movement.

To that end, Carl Ratner presents a case study of two co-ops which appear to have, at least in part, abandoned their cooperative values.  We also highlight a new study which  finds that "the iron law of oligarchy" applies to peer-to-peer production as much as to political parties.  On a happier note, we present part two of our history of the first ten years of USFWC organizing, as well as video from the NYC Worker Cooperative Conference.


Read, share, and be inspired!

The Corrupting Role of Corporate Co-ops

One worrying form of cooptation and corruption is the association of corporate co-ops with worker co-ops and consumer co-ops.  This association enables corporate, capitalist values to corrupt cooperative values.

Read more...

 
image by Andrzej Krauze

Laboratories of Oligarchy?

[M]any peer production projects exhibit entrenched leadership and deep inequalities..., and often explicitly embrace undemocratic organizational forms.  Instead of functioning as digital "laboratories of democracy," peer production projects may conform to Robert Michels' "iron law of oligarchy"...

Read more...


 

USFWC: Ten Years of Achievement

Part Two

At the ECWD conference in Asheville, grassroots organizer Shakoor Aljuwani and former Collective Copies member Erin Rice made a strong plea for the next USFWC national conference to take place in New Orleans to help in rebuilding efforts.

The Federation board not only took up the challenge, but also organized cooperators to stay an extra week...to offer New Orleans residents skills on cooperative building, and to help in locally determined ways.

Read more...


 

Grassroots Economic Organizing has been a continuous voice for worker-owners and the solidarity economy for over 30 years.  Help us continue our work by making a donation today!
 


Movements Moving Together 7

by Michael Johnson

We all know from personal experiences how hope leads to wanting to see what we want to see when it is not there. This is very human...


Read more..

Gleanings


Boston Tech Collective Crowdfunds Expansion Loan 

Financing the Global Sharing Economy

Why Not Worker Control?

The Impossible May Take a Little While
 --GRITtv

More Gleanings...
 




Video: NYC Worker Co-op Confence
 

Thanks to the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives for uploading these videos of the NYC Worker Cooperative Conference that took place at CUNY Law School on June 21st.  We're pleased to be able to present over five hours (!) of video from the conference.


Watch the videos










 
Become a GEO Blogger

We're always on the lookout for co-op and solidarity economy practitioners and activists to blog on the GEO site.  If you have something to say about the cooperative movement, emaileditors@geo.coop today.

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