The current issue of The Good Society, the long-running journal of the Committee on the Political Economy of the Good Society (PEGS), is devoted in its entirety to “Alternatives to Capitalism,” a symposium built around my essay (with Steve Dubb) on “The Possibility of a Pluralist Commonwealth and a Community-Sustaining Economy”.
The essay also serves as an important foundational document for a new Democracy Collaborative venture, The Next System Project, a multi-year initiative aimed at developing the carefully researched and comprehensive proposals required to deal with the systemic challenges—environmental, economic, social and political—the United States faces. It hopes thereby to help stimulate a broad national dialogue on longer term political economic directions.
The Next System Project will bring together leading thinkers, activists and practitioners and will use up-to-date research and understanding to place ‘the system question’ on the map. It will explore issues of political-economic system design with a view to generating alternative models—different from both corporate capitalism and state socialism—capable of delivering superior ecological, social and economic outcomes. The Project will stress such fundamental guiding values as participatory democracy, equality, liberty, ecological sustainability and community.
The overall effort will not seek to provide all the answers. Instead, it will focus on the development—through fellowships, research and strategic convening—of multiple system-wide proposals and as well as institutional and policy elements that can help catalyze a wide-ranging debate about the need for a radically different political-economic system. The goal is the careful articulation of a systemic vision beyond traditional corporate capitalism, and how we might move toward its construction over time.
More information on The Next System Project will be provided in due course. For now, the symposium is available free from JSTOR for a limited period—until the end of August 2013. I hope you enjoy the various contributions by Democracy Collaborative staff and others. In addition to the lead essay, there are articles on generative ownership design by Marjorie Kelly, state and local policies by Joel Rogers, constitutional protections by Thad Williamson, the crisis of European social democracy by Joe Guinan, and public ownership by Thomas Hanna.