By Richard D. Wolff for Truthout. Over the last century, capitalism has repeatedly revealed its worst tendencies: instability and inequality. Instances of instability include the Great Depression (1929-1941) and the Great Recession since 2008, plus eleven “downturns” in the US between those two global collapses. Each time, millions lost jobs, misery soared, poverty worsened and massive resources were wasted. Leaders promised that their “reforms” would prevent such instability from recurring. Those promises were not kept. Reforms did not work or did not endure. The system was, and remains, the problem. Inequality likewise proved to be an inherent trend of capitalism. Only occasionally and temporarily did opposition from its victims stop or reverse it.
By Mandisa Routheni for US News – The past three Thursdays, I found myself in the midst of several different landscapes, all working towards real, transformational change. With hands open to the possibility of community wealth and land, I learned about the work of the Black Belt Justice Center. With hands in the soil with a community that creates healthy relationships with ecosystems, I visited the Black Dirt Farm Collective. With hands sore from tweeting about policies for freedom, I attended a racial justice forum led by the Movement for Black Lives.
By Erin Dirnbach for Waging Nonviolence. California – Activists in Oakland have been campaigning for new city policies that would assist worker cooperative development. After successfully winning passage of a city resolution in support of cooperatives last fall, they are now pushing for a new law, the Oakland Worker Cooperative Incentives for Growth Ordinance. Supporters will speak in support at the upcoming hearing at City Hall on September 27, and the ordinance is likely to pass in October. It would grant a variety of benefits for registered worker cooperatives including procurement preferences, development funding, tax incentives, streamlined permitting and promotion of business conversion to cooperatives. The Sustainable Economies Law Center, one of the key promoters of the ordinance, says that it will be the first of its kind to offer this level of assistance for cooperatives.
By Sebastiaan Faber and Becquer Seguin for The Nation. Barcelona, Spain—“When we moved into city hall, there were only paintings by men,” Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau tweeted in March, attaching a picture of her current office wall, which now featured portraits of eight prominent Catalan women—including the legendary anarchist leader Federica Montseny. “Redecorating the walls, that was the easy change,” Colau’s second in command, Gerardo Pisarello, joked when we spoke with him in late June. “The other ones take quite a bit longer—they are more difficult and don’t just depend on us.” Pisarello’s office, too, features black-and-white photographs: one of a woman celebrating the proclamation of Spain’s Second Republic in 1931, and another taken at the country’s first LGBT protest after dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975, a demonstration that, as Pisarello proudly points out, happened in Barcelona.
By Kristen Steele for Local Futures. United Kingdom – When I woke up on June 24th and checked the news, I cried. Along with millions of people around the world. I’m a diehard believer in independence, freedom, democracy, and strong local economies. For some, the Brexit result represented those things. If that had been the reality, I would’ve supported it too. But like every other choice offered in the global economy these days, Brexit was a false one. Getting out of Europe does nothing to address the real problems in UK society—or the world. We’re still headed down the same destructive path together, but now more fractious and divided than ever. My colleague Lawrence Bloom summed it up perfectly: the referendum was like choosing between cabins on the Titanic.
By Jessica Gordon Nembhard for The Next System Project – Before defining a cooperative commonwealth, it is important to describe its major features. Cooperatives are companies owned by the workers or the people who use their services. These member-owners form the company for a particular purpose: to satisfy an economic or social need, to provide a quality good or service (one that the market is not adequately providing) at an affordable price, or to create an economic structure to engage in needed production or facilitate more equal distribution.
By Staff of Ellen McArthur Foundation – Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce negative externalities such as leakage into oceans, according to the latest report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with analytical support from McKinsey & Company. The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics provides for the first time a vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste, and outlines concrete steps towards achieving the systemic shift needed.
By Staff for BYP100. As people across the world celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and take action to reclaim his legacy of radicalism, the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) announces its upcoming release of the Agenda to Build Black Futures. The Agenda to Build Black Futures, the organization’s second public policy agenda, is a platform for young activists seeking to create a new economy where young Black people can thrive. “For Black people living in America, there is no economic justice without racial justice. We live in a country that tells us that not all of us deserve to breathe, eat well or have access to water,” says BYP100 National Director Charlene Carruthers. We understand that Dr. King’s personal revolution sparked his commitment to economic justice. In doing so, a wider target was placed on his back. His last days were spent among street sanitation workers demanding dignity and fair pay for their work.
By Janet Biehl and Zanyar Omrani for ROAR Magazine – In this interview, independent filmmaker and journalist Zanyar Omrani talks to Janet Biehl about her late companion Murray Bookchin, her trips to Rojava and the important question of how to build bottom-up power structures without risking the reversal of the process over time. Janet Biehl has traveled to Rojava twice in the past year and has written extensively about her experiences and observations while visiting the autonomous cantons in northern Syria. She is the author of the book Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin.
By Staff of SEIA – BOSTON, Mass. and Washington D.C. – A new report shows 2015 shaping up to be the United States solar market’s best year in history with record-breaking fourth quarter projections. The U.S. installed 1,361 megawatts[i] (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the third quarter of the year. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, Q3 2015, this marks the eighth consecutive quarter in which the U.S. has installed more than a gigawatt (GW) of PV capacity.