app economic democracy

Principles of cooperatives established by Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society (UK) in 1844.  Their first cooperative food shop sold only five products – butter, flour, oatmeal, sugar, and candles – but promised to provide members with “purest provisions, giving full weight and measure.”  They went on to establish many other successful member-owned businesses and established a model that would be emulated worldwide up to the present.

Though the readings are more than usual, they are each relatively modest in length.   

Reading questions — response notes required  — no longer than one single-spaced page.

  1. What’s the story these readings and video tell?  What are some principles of democracy applied to the economy they offer?  In our your discussion, include at least (3) take-aways to share in class.  And your thoughts.
  2. In contrast to the story of cooperatives (video #2) and co-determination as valued in many European mixed-economies, (reading #3), what are some ideological obstacles in the U.S. to policies favorable to democratic horizontalism that give workers a prominent voice in production and equitable wages and benefits?  What’s your perspective?      

NOTE: Submit your response notes to instructor as a Google doc via

  1.  Lee Alternberg.  Beyond Capitalism:  Leland Stanford’s Forgotten Vision.  Sandstone and Tile, Vol. 14 (1).  Download as pdf and read pp. 1-5.  

2.  Spanish Cooperative Mondragon Weathers the Financial Storm.  Al Jazeera English. March 22, 2012

3.  George Tyler. The Codetermination Difference. The American Propsect, Jan 10, 2019.

4.  Gar Alperovitz.  Breaking Ground for a World Beyond Capitalism.  Common Dreams, January 7, 2012.

5.  Democracy Now.  Amazon “Profiting from This Pandemic” as Warehouse Workers Walk Off Job to Demand Safer Conditions.  April 7, 2020.

6.  Annie Lowrey.  Jeff Bezos’s $150 Billion Fortune Is a Policy Failure.  The Atlantic, August 1, 2018.

7.  Paris Marx.  To Fix the Looming Supply Chain Crisis, Nationalize Amazon. In These Times. March 27, 2020.

Written assignments are single-spaced & typed in Times New Roman or Arial (size 12 font), 1-inch margins all around. Generally no more than 1-page. Remember to proofread. Include a heading (single-spaced) that includes name, date, assignment title.