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The Demanding Challenge of Community in an Era of Systemic Transformation

On December 1st, 2016, Gar Alperovitz delivered the plenary lecture at the Pendle Hill Moral Economy Conference in Wallingford, PA, discussing the challenges of building a new community-sustaining political economy:

From Black Lives Matter and climate change activists to Senator Bernie Sanders political organizers, a new movement is building the basis of a historic transformation. How, specifically, can the creation of a meaningful democratic and moral community became central to the transformation of the largest corporate capitalist system in the history of the world? How, specifically, can we build from community to confront some of the larger order challenges true systemic change will require?

Gar's Lecture at Pendle HIll

Click here to watch Gar’s lecture.

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Building a System-Changing Response to Trump and Trumpism at All Levels

TruthoutIn this op-ed for Truthout, originally published on November 30, 2016, Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz discusses the possibilities for designing a new system in the Trump Era:

Any serious perspective on how to respond to the election of Donald Trump must begin by recognizing that his victory flowed in substantial part from the growing global crisis of capitalism, which demands a specific strategic response. The response must begin with — but also go beyond — the urgent work of defending, wherever and however possible, the individuals and communities most at risk.

At the most obvious level, our collective response must build upon the energies illuminated by Bernie Sanders’ “democratic socialist” campaign, Black Lives Matter, climate justice, the mobilization in Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Green Party, LGBTQ activism, immigration activism, People’s Action and many, many other efforts. It must also find ways to bring such energies together with the community-level organizing aimed at democratizing the economic system from the ground up, starting with the development of alternative institutions and building toward a larger vision.

Read the full article here.

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‘All Resistance Is Local’: A Plan of Progressive Action for the Trump Years

Nation

 

 

 

Originally published in The Nation on November 29, 2016.

In this forum for The Nation, Gar Alperovitz explores what the election of Donald Trump means for local organizing — particularly at the level of cities, which will inevitably play a central role not only as sites of resistance to Trump’s agenda, but also as the birthing ground for new progressive strategies.  Other contributors to the discussion, “‘All Resistance Is Local’: A Plan of Progressive Action for the Trump Years,”include Heather Gerken (Yale Law School), David Bollier (Commons Strategies Group), and Gary Gerstle (University of Cambridge). Here’s an excerpt from Gar’s contribution:

Cities—along with a handful of states—are the most important places left in America under Democratic control. They will inevitably play a central role not only as sites of resistance to Trump’s agenda but also as the birthing ground for new progressive strategies. An explosion of new forms of democratic ownership suggests how new power can be built and how foundations for long-term political change can be established.

In cities all across the country activists have been developing worker-owned cooperatives, community-based land trusts and financial institutions, and publicly owned broadband networks. Some have even launched efforts to take over and municipalize electric utilities as a way to address climate change. ­Mayors, realizing the potential, have begun to respond to this new wave of organizing and institution building. In New York City and Madison, Wisconsin, funds have been allocated to help build worker cooperatives. In Santa Fe, Oakland, and Philadelphia, intensive city-sponsored explorations of municipally-owned banks are underway.

Read the full article here.

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What’s Next with Peter Buffet: Gar Alperovitz on Quantitative Easing for the Planet

What's Next with Peter BuffetOn October 7, 2016, Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, joined Peter Buffet on his radio show, What’s Nextto discuss the possibility of using quantitative easing to avert climate crisis by buying out the fossil fuel industry and transiting to green and renewable energy.

Hear the full radio show here.

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Systemic Crisis and Systemic Change in the United States in the 21st Century

Systemic Crisis and Systemic Change in the United States in the 21st CenturyThis new working paper by Gar Alperovitz, Gus Speth, Ted Howard, and Joe Guinan from The Next System Project—prepared as an invited contribution to the “After Fossil Fuels: The New Economy” conference in Oberlin, Ohio from October 6-8, 2016—explores the intersections of systemic economic and ecological crisis, and propose that only a break with the mechanisms of corporate capitalism is capable of guaranteeing a sustainable future.

The challenge of mounting an adequate response to climate change has to be understood within the context of the larger systemic crisis facing the United States. The perpetuation of generalized austerity and the continued reliance on traditional— and manifestly insufficient—policy solutions which do not address the underlying drivers of inequality, poverty, and ecological overshoot is especially wrongheaded given the historically unprecedented productive capacity our nation enjoys, and the growing consensus on the fundamentals of post-scarcity monetary theory. As the ecological rift widens, we must recognize the incompatibility of core features of the current corporate capitalist system with a sustainable, just, and equitable future…

Read the full paper here.

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