As a starter, please look at the CCPA Reader on Co-operative Socialism in the papers section at www.interestfreemoney.org ..... (text now added to this website) http://www.interestfreemoney.org/papers/CCPA-Co-operativeSocialism.pdf.
Ideas for Local Action
Here are some suggestions for practical, co-operative, and peaceful action.
• Generally, you could discover and explore the world of economic and social co-operation, locally and globally. You could, for example, join, become an active member of (or create!) your local co-op food shop (that way you’ll tap into the world of co-operation).
• Your co-op might, for example, like to take up the “Annual Co-operative Audit” idea, and perhaps start a “Friends of our Co- op Shop” group. See, for example, The Canadian Co- operative Association http://www.coopscanada.coop/ and, for a directory of co-ops in the UK: http://www.uk.coop/directory
• You could help create a local interest-free credit union (that way you’ll be challenging usury, locally, and helping include people of all cultures in the local financial economy).
• How about joining with others to set up a local branch of the Woodcraft Folk? - see: https://www.woodcraft.org.uk — that way, you’ll be encouraging peace and co-operation for kids. You could also, perhaps, discuss starting a local group of Friends of the Co-operative Ideal (which now also exists in the UK Houses of Parliament), a local Co-operative Social Forum (or some such name), or a local group of the Guild of Co-operators (it does exist), or of the Co-operative Women’s Guild (ditto).
• Fancy local good food? You could, perhaps, lobby with local co-operators for a local Community Greenhouse/ farm/market garden, and a local Community Land Trust (like the Chattanooga experience: see Dolores Hayden’s, excellent book Redesigning the American Dream, and look on the net for details of Transition Towns, Community- supported Agriculture, and of urban agriculture). Also look at the Shoelace Collective’s activities in East York Toronto — http://www.shoelace.ca
• What about helping set up a co-operative or community co-housing project? Check “co-housing” on the net - http://cohousing.org.uk - or look at Co-housing by Kathryn McCamant & Charles Durrett: www.cohousingco.com/products?category=Books
• Co-operative learning and travelling? How about lobbying for local free public transport and realistic support for your local libraries?
• How about setting up a Co-operative Café as a useful meeting/ discussion/ bookshop/ poster/ leaflet display place.
• Alternatively, additionally, you could publicize a local “open round table” at an accessible coffee shop, every week at the same time, as an open-to-all point of conversation. One such round table was originally at the Global Café in Golden Square, London, England, then in the Basement Cafeteria at Friends’ House, London, and now called The London Global Table — http://www.globaljusticemovement.net/home/global-table.htm — It was an open meeting held every Wednesday, 12 noon-2 p.m. for 15 years, at the School of Economic Science, 11 Mandeville Place, Westminster, London — which provided a stimulating way of keeping on-track and on-going.
• The Social Forum movement is worth studying: a Local Co-operative Social Forum might bring active people together and produce... who knows what? There is now in the planning stage, for example, a U.S. Social Forum to be held in Montreal in August 2016: https://fsm2016.org/en/
For other examples, see the paper presented at the CAOS Conference, May 2005: http://www.interestfreemoney.org/papers/CAOS-2005-ppt.pdf.
If we can use, modify, and adapt these co-operative resources, inequality can be eradicated and peace sustainably delivered.
A Fair World, indeed!
John Courtneidge is a scientist, writer and teacher, with a PhD in chemistry and experience as a researcher, co-educator, small-scale farmer, and community organiser - you can contact John from the Contact Us page on this website.