From the “buy local” movement to public banking, communities are quietly laying the groundwork for a more democratic, cooperative, and people-centered economy.
“Many years ago, while researching the history of the U.S. decision to use atomic weapons on the people of Japan, I came to understand something: There was something deep at work in the American political and economic system driving it toward relentless expansion and a dangerous, informal imperialism. I began thinking about how to fundamentally change America out of concern with what America was doing—and is still doing—to the rest of the world.
Many experiences since—especially working in the U.S. House, Senate, and at upper levels of the State Department trying to resist the war in Vietnam; and thereafter with activists in the antiwar and civil rights movements—taught me something important: It wasn’t enough to stand in opposition to the injustices America inflicted on the world and its own people. It was equally important for these movements to operate with an idea of what they want instead…”
On September 5th, 2016, Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, joined Ian Masters on his radio program, Background Briefing, to discuss building upon the momentum generated by Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Gar speaks about the potential to transform the energy of the Bernie campaign into a 21st century populist movement–starting at the grass roots to build up community initiatives such as worker cooperatives and regional banks.
In this seminar, I spoke with a small group of activists, researchers, and change-makers from around the world on the key design principles of a just society and my vision for a Pluralist Commonwealth. I hope you enjoy this in-depth discussion and and perhaps share it with others as a resource to begin to uncover and create what’s next.
On August 16, 2016, Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz joined Talk Nation Radio host David Swanson on his show, “Let’s Try Democracy” (Syndicated by Pacifica Network). Gar comments on the current state of nuclear armament, and what it would take to end all world wars:
Gar Alperovitz: I think things are in dire straits. We’ve been very, very, very lucky so far that someone has not triggered use of these [nuclear] weapons. We’re skating on thin ice. We have yet to find a president who is willing to make this a top priority…
Gar Alperovitz has been a leader of the conversation about the atrocities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for decades. Here, he is cited by New York Times journalist David Sanger for his evidence that dropping the bomb was an unnecessary part of the Japanese surrender and the end of World War II:
“The top American military leaders who fought World War II, much to the surprise of many who are not aware of the record, were quite clear that the atomic bomb was unnecessary, that Japan was on the verge of surrender, and — for many — that the destruction of large numbers of civilians was immoral,” Gar Alperovitz, a leader of the movement to revise the United States’ own historical accounting, wrote last year in The Nation…
"This book offers by far the most serious, intellectually grounded strategy for system-changing yet to appear. It could be the most important movement-building book of the new century..."
—Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers
"Concrete and feasible ways to reverse the ominous course of the past several decades and to open the way to a vibrant democracy with a sustainable economy…
A marvelous book…I recommend it all the time"
"Highly readable; excellent for students…. A tonic and eye-opener for anyone who wants a politics that works."
—Jane Mansbridge, President-Elect, American Political Science Association, Adams Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University