class 21 alternative paradigms & big tech

The alternative economic paradigms of the commons and cooperatives are presented in readings #1-5.  The last three videos address the monopoly dominance of Amazon and call for it’s transformation.

  1. Tim Swinehart. Stealing and Selling Nature: Why We Need to Reclaim “the Commons” in the Curriculum.  Teaching a People’s History, Zinn Education Project.  November 13, 2012.
  2. Gar Alperovitz.  How the 99 Percent Really Lost Out – in Far Greater Ways Than the Occupy Protesters Imagine. Oct 29, 2011.  Truthout.org.
  3. Lee Alternberg.  Beyond Capitalism:  Leland Stanford’s Forgotten Vision.  Sandstone and Tile, Vol. 14 (1). First six paragraphs.
  4. Spanish Cooperative Mondragon Weathers the Financial Storm. Al Jazeera English. March 22, 2012.

5.  Meet the People Building Their Own Internet in Detroit. November 16, 2017.

  1. Amazon Profits at the Expense of Our Communities. Sep 17, 2020

Lauren Jacobs, Executive Director of The Partnership For Working Families and member of the Athena Coalition, explains why we are in a “code red” moment and must take action to reign in Amazon’s power.

  1. How Amazon’s Monopoly Power Harms People of Color. Sep 17, 2020

Maurice BP-Weeks, Co-Executive Director of ACRE, explains how Amazon’s monopoly power helps to perpetuate poor racial justice outcomes.

  1. It’s Time to Make Amazon a Public Utility. May 11, 2020. [5.09]

Reading questions – post responses on your rolling Google doc. Include assignment date and title.

  1. What your responses to these readings #1-5?  For each read/video, offer a 1-2 sentence summary.  Then, considering all these sources as a group of complementary approaches , what’s the story they tell?  How are they related?  What’s your perspective?  What do these say about the concept of democracy applied to the economy?
  2. Videos #6-8 offer strong critiques of Amazon, the final one (#8) calling for its nationalization following a socialist model in which workers have an equal say in how the business is run.   What are your thoughts?  Does this sound too radical?

Thought question — not for written response but we’ll discuss in topic groups:  What would it look like to apply these alternative paradigms to the entertainment industry issues you’re addressing?