A New Cooperative Economy
Guy Dauncey, April 2017
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Our modern economy is in crisis. Can we build an alternative economy as our ancestors did in the transition from feudalism to capitalism? It’s a question that takes us deep into our values, culture, history, politics—and visions of the future.
The list of factors behind the crisis is long, from the corruption of democracy by corporations and elite plutocrats to the steady advance of robots and automation, widespread ignorance of our impact on nature and climate, and inherent flaws baked into capitalism’s foundations. It’s easy to feel confused and overwhelmed. And we’re not alone: In Germany, 88% of respondents to a survey expressed a desire for a new economic order. In Austria, the desire was 90%.1 Similar desire for a new way forward surely exists elsewhere.
Where are the enlightened leaders and economists to guide us to a new future, the way Roosevelt and Keynes did in the 1930s after the Great Crash? It’s almost as if economists and politicians live in a different world.
But without a solid analysis of what’s gone wrong, we risk crafting a new economy on a flawed foundation that stands no chance of being realized. In that spirit, here is a start.