[lbo-talk] Worker-Owners of America, Unite!

Chris Sturr sturr at dollarsandsense.org
Fri Dec 16 11:12:00 PST 2011

Right--that was what I meant too (not the book itself): what's remarkable is that anti-capitalist ideas get a hearing on the opinion pages of the NYT.

But Gar's argument is that co-ops *are* much more popular, and people are much more receptive to them in the U.S., than many imagine (the figure about how many people work in co-ops vs. how many people are in unions is itself pretty startling). And as he says in the talk he gave here (see my earlier post for the link to the video), people of all political stripes are remarkably receptive to ideas like these, and have been in the Ohio experiments that are a big focus of his. So he would reject exactly the point you seem to be making here--that visceral anti-socialism in the U.S. dooms anything like this. His argument is (for better or for worse) precisely about how (*some*) core American values and traditions can actually fit nicely with kinds of democratized ownership he's talking about. (I think Jordan's comment, "If that's not the definition of un-American [namely, 'people pooling their resources and agreeing to work together to advance their common interests'], I don't know what is," is much too hasty. American society and culture is really much more complex than that. There's all kinds of civic engagement and mutual aid that is all-American. If individualism were all there is, why don't leftists just give up? Are we that cynical about U.S. culture and Americans?) Also: Gar's not just talking about co-ops: he's linking them to a whole range of phenomena, including land trusts, credit unions, municipal power, etc. The quick versions of Gar's views can sound overstated or polyanna-ish, but he really is a serious thinker.

From: Wojtek S <wsoko52 at gmail.com>
> The fact that there is a book being promoted behind every idea
> launched into the public discourse comes with the territory. I would
> be really surprised if there weren't any. What caught my attention
> was the fact that the mainstream media mention the subject of
> alternatives to capitalism without obligatory denunciations. This is
> a change. For the past thirty or so years we've been told that none
> exists.
> Wojtek
-- -- Chris Sturr Co-editor, Dollars & Sense 29 Winter St. Boston, Mass. 02108 phone: 617-447-2177, ext. 205 fax: 617-447-2179 email: sturr at dollarsandsense.org

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