For All the People
426 pages
English

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426 pages
English

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Description

Seeking to reclaim a history that has remained largely ignored by most historians, this dramatic and stirring account examines each of the definitive American cooperative movements for social change—farmer, union, consumer, and communalist—that have been all but erased from collective memory.


Focusing far beyond one particular era, organization, leader, or form of cooperation, For All the People documents the multigenerational struggle of the American working people for social justice. While the economic system was in its formative years, generation after generation of American working people challenged it by organizing visionary social movements aimed at liberating themselves from what they called wage slavery. Workers substituted a system based on cooperative work and constructed parallel institutions that would supersede the institutions of the wage system.


With an expansive sweep and breathtaking detail, this scholarly yet eminently readable chronicle follows the American worker from the colonial workshop to the modern mass-assembly line, from the family farm to the corporate hierarchy, ultimately painting a vivid panorama of those who built the United States and those who will shape its future.


John Curl, with over forty years of experience as both an active member and scholar of cooperatives, masterfully melds theory, practice, knowledge, and analysis, to present the definitive history from below of cooperative America. This second edition contains a new introduction by Ishmael Reed; a new author’s preface discussing cooperatives in the Great Recession of 2008 and their future in the 21st century; and a new chapter on the role co-ops played in the Food Revolution of the 1970s.


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 juillet 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781604867329
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0025€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

Praise for For All the People
"It is indeed inspiring, in the face of all the misguided praise of ‘the market,’ to be reminded by John Curl’s book of the noble history of cooperative work in the United States."
Howard Zinn, author of A Peoples History of the United States
"This new edition is greatly welcome, because we need a cooperative movement and spirit more than ever before. Curl surveys all, and explains much. New generations of readers will find this a fascinating account, and aging co-opers like myself will understand better what we did, what we tried to do, where we succeeded, and where we failed. Get this book and read it, Curl will do you good."
Paul Buhle, author of Robin Hood: People’s Outlaw and Forest Hero, co-editor of Encyclopedia of the American Left, and founding editor of Radical America (SDS).
"For the past two decades John Curl has been my favorite guide to anarchism and collectives in America. His passion for describing living models of face-to-face mutuality is a major contribution to the hidden history of cooperatives in the United States."
David J. Thompson, author of Weavers of Dreams: The Founding of the Modern Co-operative Movement and 2010 inductee into the Cooperative Hall of Fame
"Written with integrity, intelligence, passion, and commitment, For All the People draws on deep experience and, if we read it well, provides a road map to the future."
Malcolm Margolin, author of The Ohlone Way and publisher of Heyday Books
"The self-destroying machine of industrial consumer capitalism lurches toward its collapse, and those who come after will need the information and inspiration in this marvelously detailed book. It will suggest other and better ways of organizing society and its productive resources as we ultimately move toward a sustainable future."
Ernest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia and Ecotopia Emerging
"John Curl has done it again with a vital look at America’s great history of communalism and co-ops. Contrary to corporate myth, Americans have loved their time in the unending stream of collective living and work. We thrive when we cooperate, and the message of this excellent new book is that the way of getting along for a common purpose is as American as apple pie."
Harvey Wasserman, author of Solartopia!: Our Green-Powered Earth AD 2030
"John Curl’s book For All the People is a one-of-a-kind gem. He has done what no one else has by exploring the various permutations of ‘cooperation’ as a value system and as a movement throughout American history. He also makes clear that the cooperative alternative to wage labor and exploitation still offers hope to those of us who want to see democracy permeate the world of work."
Steve Leikin, author of The Practical Utopians: American Workers and the Cooperative Movement in the Gilded Age
"Curl blends the three strands of his historical narrative with aplomb, much inspired, I am certain, by the determination of the women and men he brings to life. For historians, Curl’s book is a must; for young women and men considering the idea of starting a business they own and manage; and for the philosophers among us, Curl does not ignore the theoretical threads."
Frank T. Adams, coauthor with Dr. Gary B. Hansen of Putting Democracy to Work: A Practical Guide for Starting and Managing Worker-Owned Businesses

For All the People:
Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements, and Communalism in America
John Curl
ISBN: 978-1-60486-582-0
LCCN: 2011939695
Copyright © 2009 John Curl
Second Edition © 2012 PM Press
All Rights Reserved
PM Press
PO Box 23912
Oakland, CA 94623
www.pmpress.org
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Cover Design by John Yates/Stealworks.com
Layout by Josh MacPhee/Justseeds.org
Printed in the USA on recycled paper by the Employee Owners of
Thomson-Shore in Dexter, MI.
www.thomsonshore.com
The earth for all the people. That is the demand. The machinery of production and distribution for all the people. That is the demand. The collective ownership and control of industry and its democratic management in the interests of all the people. That is the demand. The elimination of rent, interest, profit, and the production of wealth to satisfy the wants of all the people. That is the demand. Cooperative industry in which all shall work together in harmony as a basis of a new social order, a higher civilization, a real republic. That is the demand. 1

Eugene V. Debs, 1902
Contents
Foreword
Preface
Introduction
PART I: COOPERATIVES & COOPERATIVE MOVEMENTS
1. Early Cooperation in the Americas
2. The Revolutionary Movements Begin
3. The Movements Renewed & the Corporations’ Rise
4. The Aftermath of the Civil War
5. The Knights of Labor & "The Great Upheaval"
6. "The Bloody Nineties"
7. "The Progressive Era": Wobblies & Radical Farmers
8. World War I & the Conservative Reaction
9. The Great Depression & the Conservative Advance
10. Case Study: The Berkeley Co-op
11. Cooperatives & Counterculture: The 1960s & ‘70s Part I
12. Case Studies: Bay Warehouse & Heartwood
13. Cooperatives in the Mainstream: The 1960s & ‘70s Part II
14. Surviving: From the 1980s through the Millennium

Illustrations

PART II: COMMUNALISM
15. Cooperatives & Communalism
16. The Early Communalist Movements
17. Communalism in the 20th Century
18. Spiritual Communalism
CONCLUSION
Cooperatives Today & Their Potential as a Strategy of Social Change
FOOD FOR PEOPLE, NOT FOR PROFIT.
APPENDICES
1: Listing of Some Unique Cooperatives Today..
2: International Documents on Cooperatives

Bibliographic Essay
Notes

Illustration Credits
Index
Foreword
Since the modern era began, men and women in subordinate positions have marched against their superiors in the state, church, workplace and other hierarchical positions. They have gathered under different banners the labor movement, feminism, abolition, socialism and shouted different slogans: freedom, equality, rights, democracy, revolution. In virtually every instance, their superiors have resisted them, violently and nonviolently, legally and illegally, overtly and covertly. That march and demarche of democracy is the story of modern politics or at least one of its stories.
If I were to write an abstract for John Curl’s big book, the result of a thorough exploration of the clashes between the well-off, those who want to hog the planet’s resources, and the 99 percent, I would choose the above quote from The Reactionary Mind by Corey Robin. However, Curl proposes that this conflict begins earlier than the modern era and helps to explain the current turmoil that is resulting from the realization on the part of millions of whites, who have voted against their interests, that the rich have no feelings of racial solidarity with them.
His book is timely because the American middle class, which ignored the assault on the poor by followers of Ayn Rand, the philosopher of selfishness, who, with typical right-wing gall and hypocrisy, helped herself to entitlements and amphetamine. Now, they have found that they, who were conned into aligning themselves with the wealthy in exchange for protection from those whose skin is darker than theirs, are expendable.
Their frustrations have led to an upsurge of communalism evinced by the Wall Street Occupation. John Curl’s book provides a background for this movement. Written in a style that is frill-less and free of jargon, it charts the conflict between the 99 percent and the 1 percent from the end of indigenous communalism, the 3,000 to 10,000-year-old dominant form of economics, to the introduction of capitalism that accompanied the invasion of North America by Europeans, thus beginning the conflict between labor and managment.
At one time the 1 percent were the Crown and the Church. The first strike was against a group of investors called the Merchant Adventurers, who bore the imprimatur of royalty. It occurred on the day before the landing of the Mayflower, when indentured servants "seized their freedom." The Pilgrim "free workers" sided with the servants. They signed the Mayflower Compact and established a government in which all males had equal voice and vote.
This would be the beginning of a struggle between those who control the bulk of the country’s resources, nowadays called The Job Creators, and those who, at one time, provided the 1 percenters with their labor, which lasted until the 1 percent found free or cheap labor elsewhere.
General Electric head Jim Welch was one of those who led a renewal of the confederacy’s economic system when he noticed that he could pay Indian workers less than Americans, thus weakening the American unions. Other American corporations got the political branch of their sales force, employees like Bill Clinton, to make outsourcing legitimate through trade deals that led to thousands of plant closings and millions losing their jobs.
But For All the People shows that no matter how many setbacks labor suffers from that of the Knights of Labor, the populists, to the rise of Reaganism, which saw the percentage of those belonging to labor unions drop from 38 percent to 8 percent the human need to gravitate toward communalism and cooperation is unquenchable. Although the white working class has been criticized for its racist attitudes anti-Black in the East, anti-Chines

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