The origins of the next radical economy is rooted in a tradition that has empowered people for centuries and is now making a comeback.
A new feudalism is on the rise. From the Internet to service and care, more and more industries expect people to live gig to gig, while monopolistic corporations feed their spoils to the rich. But as Nathan Schneider shows through years of in-depth reporting, there is an alternative to the robber-baron economy hiding in plain sight; we just need to know where to look.
Cooperatives are jointly owned, democratically controlled enterprises that advance the economic, social, and cultural interests of their members. They often emerge during moments of crisis not unlike our own, putting people in charge of the workplaces, credit unions, grocery stores, healthcare, and utilities on which they depend. Co-ops have helped to set the rules, and raise the bar, for the wider society.
Since the financial crash of 2008, the cooperative movement has been coming back with renewed vigor. Everything for Everyone chronicles this economic and social revolution – from taxi cooperatives that are keeping Uber and Lyft at bay, to an outspoken mayor transforming his city in the Deep South, to a fugitive building a fairer version of Bitcoin, to the rural electric co-op members who are propelling an aging system into the future. As these pioneers show, cooperative enterprise is poised to help us reclaim faith in our capacity for creative, powerful democracy.