All Things Co-op is a bi-weekly podcast produced by Democracy at Work that explores everything co-op. From theoretical and philosophical conversations about political economy and the relations of production, to on-the-ground interviews with cooperative workers, All Things Coop aims to appeal to a wide audience of activists, organizers, workers, and students to be better educated and motivated to creating a new cooperative society.
The Artificial Intelligence Dilemma
37:45In this episode of All Things Co-op, Kevin, Larry, and Cinar discuss the artificial intelligence renaissance going on today and its implications for a cooperative future. Artificial intelligence seems to be here to stay and we have to figure out how to engage with it. The ATC guys focus mainly on the issues of values and alignment, questioning if we should instill our essential human values of fairness and democracy in AI or simply let it run free? Under capitalism, however, the values we actually uphold as a society are not rooted in democracy and kindness. What are the consequences of AI being developed in a hyper-capitalist culture and what are the possibilities for its use in a possible post-capitalist cooperative future? **All Things Co-op is a @democracyatwrk production. We make it a point to provide the show free of ads. Please consider supporting our work.
Silicon Valley Bank and the Mania of Capitalist Banking
43:24In this episode of All Things Co-op, Larry, Kevin, and Cinar discuss the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, financial markets, self-regulation and the role of capitalist ideology in modern banking, the effect on real people of bank collapses, and more. **All Things Co-op is a @democracyatwrk production. We make it a point to provide the show free of ads. Please consider supporting our work.
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Lula's Brazil & The Landless Workers Movement
1:08:11In this episode of All Things Co-op, Larry, Cinar, and Kevin talk to Marcelo Netto, a Brazilian journalist and activist with the Landless Workers Movement in Brazil. They discuss Lula 3, the third term for Brazil's president Lula De Silva, the history of Brazil's development and the unique working class make up, the landless workers movement and their relationship with Lula, the impacts of the Bolsonaro presidency, and more. About our guest: Marcelo Netto is a journalist with a Master's degree in Social Sciences. In the early 2000s, he resigned from the newspaper Folha de São Paulo and interrupted his studies at the University of São Paulo to live in camps with families of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST). He studies the relationship between Liberation Theology and global anti-capitalist movements and is currently the Head of Communications for Public Services International, a Global Union Federation of more than 700 trade unions representing 30 million workers in 154 countries. To learn more about the Landless Workers Movement: https://mst.org.br/ Support All Things Co-op on Patreon!
People Power - Imagining a World without Bosses
1:02:51In this episode of All Things Co-op, Kevin and Cinar speak with sociologist, political scientist, author and documentary filmmaker Dario Azzellini. They discuss recuperated workplaces—workplaces that have been abandoned by private capitalist owners and taken over by workers and reorganized to be democratically controlled—and why the process of engaging in struggle with fellow workers builds an enduring ecosystem of trust. They also explore critiques of the Mondragon corporation, why co-ops should be rooted in community and social movements, the dangers of co-op owners identifying as entrepreneurs, the long history of worker struggles around the world, and more. About our guest: Dario Azzellini is a professor and researcher in the Department of Development Studies (Unidad Académica en Estudios del Desarrollo) at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas (Zacatecas, Mexico) and visiting scholar at the ILR School at Cornell University (Ithaca, USA). His primary research interests are labour studies, local and workers’ self-management, and social movements and protest. He has more than 160 academic publications, among them more than 20 books, 11 films, and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, many of which have been translated into a variety of languages. Together with Oliver Ressler he produced Occupy, Resist, Produce, a series of documentaries on recuperated factories under workers control in Europe. To learn more: www.azzellini.net; https://www.versobooks.com/books/1433-they-can-t-represent-us; https://www.azzellini.net/en/english
Law for Cooperative Movements
57:13Please join us for a LIVE Q&A with the hosts of the All Things Co-op podcast on Friday, January 27! Learn more and RSVP: https://www.democracyatwork.info/ask_live_all_things_co_op In this episode of All Things Co-op, Kevin talks to movement lawyer and Clinical Law Professor Julian Hill. Julian’s research and teaching focuses on how law can be used as a tool to support the solidarity economy and social movements. Kevin and Julian discuss Julian’s background and how they got involved in cooperatives and the solidarity economy, what a movement lawyer is, the many contradictions of laws and lawyering, what the solidarity economy needs in order to grow, some resources around co-ops and movement lawyering for interested listeners to explore, and more. About our guest: Julian Hill is currently an assistant professor at Georgia State University College of Law, but they’re also a lifelong learner, community organizer, artist, and attorney. Julian joined Georgia State after completing a two-year fellowship as a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Supervising Attorney with the Social Enterprise and Nonprofit Law Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. They have also partnered with community-based organizations to co-facilitate political education and co-develop policies and campaigns, facilitating workshops, both in English and Spanish, on worker cooperatives and the solidarity economy with Law 4 Black Lives, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Democracy at Work Institute, and the New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives, among others. To learn more: https://law.gsu.edu/profile/julian-m-hill/ To learn more about the Solidarity Economy Graphic: https://designforsustainability.medium.com/thriving-communities-the-solidarity-economy-464ef874f51f
Developing the Co-op Sector
47:57In this episode of All Things Co-op, Kevin speaks with Paul Hazen, executive director of the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) and Cooperative Development Foundation hall of fame inductee. Drawing on a lifetime of cooperative development work, Paul shares his insights on the importance of cooperatives in rural communities, how he helped his church start the Community Purchasing Alliance Cooperative, how to achieve bipartisan support for co-ops in congress, national vs. local policies, and more. About our guest: Paul Hazen has held a number positions in the cooperative sector: executive director of Kickapoo Valley Association, a shared services cooperative of nine municipalities, executive director of Rural Housing Inc. in Madison, WI, where he developed co-ops and affordable housing projects in rural communities. In the late 80s, Paul joined the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA), where he raised the profile of cooperatives through advancing domestic co-op policy and programs and greatly expanding funding for international cooperative development, more than tripling its portfolio from $8 million to over $30 million. A few things you might know owe their existence to Paul’s work, such as the USDA Rural Cooperative Development Grant program, and the.coop domain. Since joining the Overseas Cooperative Development Council (ODCD), Paul has led the effort that has resulted in a 50% increase in Congressional funding to $18.5 million for the Cooperative Development Program. At OCDC, Paul has fostered more collaboration among international cooperative developers, including networks of cooperatives in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. To learn more: https://ocdc.coop/
NYC's Christmas Tree Cooperative
34:03In this holiday-themed episode of All Things Co-op, Kevin speaks with Ellis Roberts of New York State of Pine, a worker cooperative selling Christmas trees in New York City. They discuss the exploitation of workers and huge markups for consumers from traditional Christmas tree companies, New York State of Pine’s democratic centralist model for decision-making, the question of scale, and the importance of working with and getting to know working-class people as communists and socialists. If you live in NYC and haven’t gotten your Christmas tree yet, visit NY State of Pine at 323 St. Johns Pl in Prospect Heights, 75 7th Ave in Park Slope, or Metropolitan Ave and Bedford Ave in Williamsburg! About our guest: Ellis Roberts came to New York from Pennsylvania to join the Occupy Wall Street encampment and never left. After working for, and getting ruthlessly exploited by several large Christmas tree companies, Ellis, a dedicated communist, struck out on his own with a few of his fellow workers and started their own cooperative enterprise selling Christmas trees. To learn more, visit https://www.nystateofpine.com/
Cooperative Socialism with Ben Burgis
51:23In this episode of All Things Co-op, Cinar, Larry, and Kevin talk to philosopher, podcaster, and Jacobin contributor Ben Burgis about his views on cooperatives and their relationship to socialism. Burgis and the ATC guys discuss the value of co-ops under a capitalist economy and in a socialist future, the need for political victories to advance socialist ideals, the role of debating those who don’t share your views, and possible paths forward towards a new cooperative society.
Just Work for All with Joshua Preiss
1:18:33In this episode of All Things Co-op, Larry and Kevin talk with Joshua Preiss, professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Preiss talks with Kevin and Larry about the notion of the American Dream, notions of fair rates and just work, this American economic ideology and its relation to economic reality, Adam Smith and the framework of the "Well Ordered Society," the current Winner Take All economic arrangement, the dire consequences of the winner take all dynamic, and some real structural changes that could bring about just work for all. Dr. Preiss has published papers ranging from Milton Friedman’s notion of freedom, the relation of finance capitalism and democratic freedom and, most recently and the focus of this conversation, Just Work for All: The American Dream in the 21st Century. About our guest: Joshua Preiss is a professor of Philosophy and Director of the program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He regularly teaches courses in social and political philosophy, business ethics, philosophy of economics, and the philosophy of race, class, and gender. Just Work for All: The American Dream in the 21st Century by Joshua Preiss: https://www.routledge.com/Just-Work-for-All-The-American-Dream-in-the-21st-Century/Preiss/p/book/9780367694883 To get a discount, enter the code JPS22 at checkout.