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Gar Alperovitz is the author of What Then Must We Do?, America Beyond Capitalism, and The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb, and an advocate for a new, community-sustaining economy.

Democratic Ownership and the Pluralist Commonwealth: The Creation of an Idea Whose Time Has Come

In Charles Derber’s new book, Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous Times, Gar Alperovitz offers a “guest interlude” discussing how “an idea whose time has come actually ‘comes.'”

On September 19, 1977 — a day remembered locally as “Black Monday” — the corporate owners of the Campbell Works in Youngstown, Ohio, abruptly shuttered the giant steel mill’s doors. Instantly, 5,000 workers lost their jobs, their livelihoods, and their futures. The mill’s closing was national news, one of the first major blows in the era of deindustrialization, offshoring, and “free trade” that has since made mass layoffs commonplace.

What was not commonplace was the response of the steelworkers and the local community. “You feel the whole area is doomed somehow,” Donna Slaven, the wife of a laid-off worker, told reporters at the time. “If this can happen to us, there is not a secure union job in the country.” Rather than leave the fate of their community in the hands of corporate executives in New York, New Orleans, and Washington DC, the workers began to organize and resist. And they joined with a new coalition of priests, ministers, and rabbis — headed by a Catholic and an Episcopal bishop — to build support for a new way forward. I was called in to head up an economic team to help.

Click here to read the entire excerpt featured on Truthout.

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Pluralism vs. Authoritarianism: Gar Alperovitz with Laura Flanders

No is not enough, says Naomi Klein, so if no isn’t sufficient, what might be? This week, ​Laura Flanders talked with author/activist Gar Alperovitz, co-chair of the Next System Project (a framework for imagining ‘the next system’ of governance, democracy, and security). From the gloom of today, he sees the principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth emerging.

Click here to watch the full interview.

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Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth

Our time demands we meet the challenges inherent in an era of deepening despair and accelerating crises—political, ecological, and economic—that is also potentially the prehistory of transformative and fundamental systemic change. This requires a serious discussion of practical new economic efforts and organizing strategies as well as the steady development of both power and ideas that can help us move through and beyond the current emergency. The approach and model outlined in my new book—the Pluralist Commonwealth—offers a trajectory and pattern for wide-ranging institutional change towards real democracy over the long haul, guided by a transformative vision beyond both corporate capitalism and traditional state socialism. Read my new book for free online at The Next System Project

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Gar Alperovitz on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour

Gar Alperovitz joined Ralph Nader on June 24, 2017 to discuss his new book Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth and give an encouraging progress report on how the New Economy Movement is transforming the system.

It’s time to build new economic institutions that are democratic but also–critically–give us a new power base as well in the communities around the country.

Click here to listen to the full program.

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Gar Alperovitz on Forthright Radio

If the design of corporate capitalism is unable to sustain values of equality, genuine democracy, liberty, and ecological sustainability as a matter of inherent systemic architecture, what systemic ‘design’ might ultimately achieve and sustain these values? and
How specifically might it be possible to move forward, especially in difficult political times, to lay foundations for a transformation in the direction of a serious new systemic answer?

Gar Alperovitz joined Joy LaClaire on Forthright Radio on June 21, 2017 to respond to these questions and discuss his new handbook, Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth. 

Click here to listen to the full interview.

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