Vio.Me: Business Without Competition.

Here’s an interesting few pieces about a factory in Greece that the workers appropriated when the bosses shut up shop and left without paying them.  It provides a good model for working toward a situation where work is not about ever increasing profits, but about a sustainable living, by uniting those who benefit from a workplace, and those who work there, in the same people:

https://roarmag.org/essays/vio-me-factory-without-bosses/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/18/cope-capitalism-failed-factory-workers-greek-workplace-control

 

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Solidarity NYC

This is an group that brings together a variety of organisations which support social justice, democracy, cooperation and ecological sustainability, whilst at the same time resisting individualism, competition and exploitation. There are a variety of types of organisations from worker coops and community supported agriculture to credit unions and social justice networks:

https://www.shareable.net/blog/solidaritynyc-transforming-our-city-through-economic-democracy

http://solidaritynyc.org/

Repair Cafes

Repair Cafe’s are a place where you can take a broken item and an expert volunteer will help you to repair that item for free. It’s aimed at bringing people together to learn from each other about maintenance of different objects and in the process save the owner from buying a new one, and at the same time stop the need for producing another one and all the resources that entails.  It’s emphasis is on moving away from an accelerated consumer society. The link below allows you to find one local to you, and the video gives a better understanding than I could:

https://repaircafe.org/en/

Recuperated Workplaces

Recuperated workplaces are those that are reclaimed by workers when the capitalist system and/or bosses decide to abandon the business and workers due to their lack of profitability.  The workers move in to reclaim the workplace so as to continue to provide for their own livelihood and welfare. Many focus on democratic alternatives and work self-determination which suggests of a reversal of the capitalist ideology to focus on producing for communities, not profits, and empowering workers rather than exploiting them.  Here’s an article and two videos with more (the first video is the trailer, and the second is the full film):

http://upsidedownworld.org/archives/argentina/recuperated-enterprises-in-argentina-reversing-the-logic-of-capitalism/

 

Remunicipalisation as a Response to Privatisation’s Failures

Even where corporate power is entrenched people can reclaim and improve services.  Remunicipalisation is an acknowledgement of the falsity that private is best or most efficient (except possibly in the support of hoarding wealth), and thus moves to return services to the public sphere.  This aims to make the services accountable to more than a motive to increase profit/power, emphasizing the needs of the community rather than the wealth of a few. This enables a focus on supporting the needs of all members of  the public, the environment and engagement with other similar projects in a reinforcement of solidarity:

 

https://www.tni.org/en/publication/here-to-stay-water-remunicipalisation-as-a-global-trend

http://www.municipalservicesproject.org/

http://www.remunicipalisation.org/

Alternative Avenues: The Pluralist Commonwealth

Here’s a video and website that explains another alternative economic model that looks to explain an alternative to corporate capitalism and authoritarian state socialism, focusing on sustainability, democratic and community engagement and equality and liberty. The commonwealth denotes that the economic foundations of society are broadly spread and democratized, and the pluralist emphasises its concerns with the resilience provided from a variety of types and sizes of institutions rather than overbearing monopolies provided in the two other mentioned alternatives:

 

http://www.pluralistcommonwealth.org/

Windows on a New World

“If you’ve been told your whole life that things are the way other people tell you they are, to be able to think ‘No, well I can make it different’ is quite a big deal.”

Here’s yet another example of the difference people can make when they choose to come together and organise. What starts off as a sit down strike in Chicago, demanding that workers are paid their wages, eventually culminates in a new cooperative run through democratic processes:

http://www.newerawindows.com/

Raising Capital for Community Projects

Direct Public Offerings offer the opportunity to raise money that will support community projects without having the domineering requirements of quick profits or loss of control that might come with the usual funding opportunities. Read here for more:

https://www.cuttingedgecapital.com/direct-public-offering/

Communities Rather Than Investors, Developing Rather Than Siphoning

Here’s a video that has a great brief explanation of how economics and power are interrelated in responding to the parable about teaching a man to fish.  As a suggestion off the back of this the article draws your attention to how a community can, through its governmental resources, enable an enterprise that benefits the community.  It does so through creating an investment cycle that cuts out any rentier investment entities (private investors who draw off the profits for themselves, meaning the money leaves the local community) and so passes financial benefits through members of that community (by giving them the opportunity and the profits in a more spread out way, making it more likely each will spend them within that community in some form).  This then serves to retain the benefits within the community and the extra income that is spent there offers opportunities for other people to develop other opportunities to the benefit of that community:

https://f4dc.org/2013/economic-incentives-yes-but-directly-to-the-community/

 

Chitsvachirimurutsoka Cooperative Farm

Chitsvachirimurutsoka (meaning nothing ventured nothing gained) farm in Zimbabwe has grown from a simple cooperative to playing a much larger role in supporting the local community through a number of initiatives and investments.  It’s development has included not only providing practical infrastructure (such as roads, sanitation, education, etc) for the local community but also encouragement to others to form cooperative models in different areas (such as housing, retail, savings, etc).  Within the video it’s revealed that there is a law in Zimbabwe that before a company folds it must offer the workers the opportunity to form a cooperative from it first, have a read/watch:

http://unsdn.org/2015/10/01/cooperative-newsletter-september-2015-activities-of-cooperatives/