Category Archives: Articles

Centrist Think Tanks Won’t Save Our Cities

Gar Alperovitz offer his perspective on centrist, elite resistance to Trump era politics.

“What they (local elites) are after are high-tech metropolises whose upscale tone and glamour can bypass and obscure the deepening pain of those left behind. A rumbling, anger-driven and increasingly sophisticated alternative, however, based on grassroots experimentation and organizing, suggests the developing possibility of something very different.”

Gar offers an number of examples and evidence of the growing national and global movement to build a new economy from the ground up.

Read the full article in “In These Times” here.

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Gar Alperovitz, Historian and Professor of Political Economy Oberlin

 

Gar Alperovitz visited Oberlin College to speak at The State of American Democracy: A National Conversation, a three-day, non-partisan discussion about the state of democracy in the U.S. While visiting the university, he was interviewed by Sydney Allen, News Editor for “The Oberlin Review.”

Read their full conversation here.

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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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Progressive Visions: The Pluralist Commonwealth

Read Dan Sisken’s review of Gar’s book, Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth on Progressive Strategy. Sisken highlights the many successful examples of alternative forms of ownership and economic institutions across the United States that Gar features in his book:

These are just a few of the building blocks put forth as part of a pluralist commonwealth. Among the others addressed in the book are climate change, decentralization, culture, democracy, liberty, investment, markets, technology, and trade. There is a short chapter that explains how each of these plays a role in the pluralist commonwealth that may be starting to appear on the horizon.

The Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth proposes building blocks that help progressives and others envision something different that works for everyone.

Click here to read the full review.

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The Policy Weapon Climate Activists Need

In this article published in The Nation, Gar Alperovitz, Joe Guinan, and Thomas M. Hanna, make the case for using quantitative easing as the knockout punch that shuts down the fossil fuel industry before the climate bubble pops. As window for acting on climate change, the government could use the same tool it used to save the economy from depression to save the climate from burning.

We’re running out of time on climate change. As Donald Trump and Big Oil’s other friends in Washington do their utmost to keep global temperatures climbing, our window for preserving civilization is closing fast. Yes, solar, wind, batteries, and energy efficiency are plummeting in cost and grabbing market share the world over, but this clean-energy transformation is not proceeding anywhere near fast enough to prevent catastrophic climate disruption. The science is clear on what’s most needed: We must leave the vast majority of Earth’s remaining reserves of oil, coal, and gas unburned and underground. But those reserves are the basis of the stock prices of some of the richest, most powerful companies in history. And those companies give every indication that they plan to keep burning them, science and humanity be damned.

Click here to read the full article.

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