Monthly Archives: August 2011

Two video interviews from this past weekend at the Democracy Convention in Madison

Thanks to Karen Rybold-Chin from On the Earth Productions and The Nation for catching up with me this weekend at the Democracy Convention in Madison, WI and shooting the video interviews below.

And speaking of the Democracy Convention, there’s a great quick summary of one of the panels I spoke on (“Cooperatives: The Co-op Alternative to Corporate Capitalism”) on itsoureconomy.us thanks to Kevin Zeese, and some reflections on the weekend from my co-panelist Rebecca Kemble over at the Progressive.

Gar Alperovitz: America’s Massive Wealth Disparity

In the United States, the richest 400 people own more collective wealth than the bottom 150 million. As historian and writer Gar Alperovitz puts it, this is quite literally medieval.

America’s distribution of wealth is controlled by corporations and the extremely wealthy—if there is to be real social change, this gaping inequality needs to be addressed and radically altered. The people need to take the pain of the laborers affected by politicians such as Governor Scott Walker and unite around this as something to replace with progressive reforms.

In this video by The Nation and On The Earth Productions from this year’s Democracy Convention, Alperovitz explains just how urgent the need for a radical redistribution of wealth really is.

Gar Alperovitz: The Environmental Movement’s Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience is a transformation of consciousness, a sudden revelation that something new must be done. It is the knowledge that there are two options: disrupt and change the system or remain silent in the face of injustice.

Right now, civil disobedience is emerging from the anti-war and environmental movements in significant ways, most notably around opposition to the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. In this video with historian and writer Gar Alperovitz at the 2011 Democracy Convention, he wonders when the leadership from these campaigns will inspire the shift in consciousness that will change our broken environmental and economic systems.

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Movements, History, & Economic Transformation, Part 4: New Possibilities, New Alternatives

In this segment, I emphasize the importance of having a real vision of the world we wish to see; if we don’t have an answer to the question “If you don’t like capitalism, and you don’t like state socialism, then what do you want?”, then there’s no reason to take what we’re saying seriously. My claim in the segment below is that we can ground our vision of this new system in existing economic practices of cooperation and community building…

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Speaking in Madison this weekend

Convention BannerI’m heading to Madison, Wisconsin this weekend for the Democracy Convention, where I’ll be speaking on two panels on Saturday, August 26th. At 2:00 PM at Madison College, I will be discussing “The Coop Alternative to Corporate Capitalism” with Rebecca Kemble, a worker-owner of Madison’s Union Cab Coop and current president of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Later that evening, at 6:00 PM at Grace Episcopal Church, I’ll be speaking on Viagra Sales Online Usa, alongside:

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Movements, History, & Economic Transformation, Part 3: The politics of the new economy

In this segment, I explain how we may be moving beyond the liberal model which seeks to regulate capitalism to something more egalitarian, participatory, and decentralized, grounded in the emerging new economy. Here, as in my book America Beyond Capitalism, I call this possible new system “the pluralist commonwealth.”

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Movements, History, & Economic Transformation, Part 2: On “Socialism”

In this second segment, I examine the history of the idea of “socialism,” tracing out how the ideal of an egalitarian society has animated religious as well as secular movements for change. I also discuss the relationship of “socialism” to the state, and how the caricatured understanding of this relationship—where socialism is synonymous with ‘Big Government’—gets in the way of imagining a bottom-up, 21st century socialism. At the same time, I emphasize the pitfalls of isolated experiments without a framework for engaging politically with the larger economic context.

Interview shot and produced by Jordan Karr-Morse from Softbox Digital.

View part one of this interview here.

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