All economic systems have a core set of values. Capitalism has the maximization of wealth for its owners, Marxism has the self-emancipation of the working class, the green economy has sustainability and harmony with nature. The solidarity economy, for its part, has the core values of mutual aid and cooperation. The recent rise in the solidarity economy began largely as a response to neoliberalism in the third world. When global capital shattered the safety nets of local governments, the masses had nowhere to turn but to each other to find means for survival. This often took the form of cooperatives, which grew in many forms--peasants, workers, even garbage picker coops. As they form networks, they gained strength and political recognition, and are still doing so today. This page will provide resources on the topic.
The Emilia Romagna Cooperatives in Italy
John Restakis, Executive Director of the British Columbia Cooperative Association, discusses how these cooperatives have succeeded in building a powerful, autonomous cooperative economy alongside an advanced capitalist economy. The Emilian Model also demonstrates how cooperation supports the success of small firms and enables them to successfully compete in the global marketplace.Access Here
Gar Alperovitz: "America Beyond Capitalism"
Gar Alperovitz speaks here, in three 30-minute videos, as part of the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series at Occupy Boston. Alperovitz is the author of many books including "Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam," and "America Beyond Capitalism." To learn more about Gar, see http://www.garalperovitz.com/Access Here
History of African-American Cooperatives
Jessica Gordon Nembhard shared with the Arizona State University community some of her research on African-American participation in, and design of, alternative democratic economic strategies. In this 90 minute talk, 'Black Co-op Pioneers in the Struggle for Economic Justice,' she explains how African-American scholars and activists over the last 300 years have viewed and engaged in cooperative economics. For an excerpt from her work as text in PDF form, click HEREAccess Here
The Mondragon Cooperatives: An In-Depth Examination
Carl Davidson of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism speaking at the Left Forum in 2011 on the nature of the 50-year-old thriving network of worker-owned coops centered in Spain's Basque Country, but now spreading worldwide. Broken into three 30-minute segments on Blip-TV by Ithaca DSA.Access Here
Introducing the Solidarity Economy: Left Form, 2011
This is a 90-minute video of a panel featuring Emily Kawano, Executive Director of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, chairing the session and giving the main overview. Other speakers are Carl Davidson, Jerome Scott and Maliha Safri.Access Here
The Growing Impact of Mondragon
"I don't think we get the socialism by multiplying cooperatives - like mushrooms after the rain. I think cooperatives are just one tactic, one weapon among many in our arsenal." (Carl Davidson, national co-chair of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, national board member of Solidarity Economy Network, speaking at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Berlin. 20 minute introductory video. New downloadable slideshow HERE.Access video here