Ten Ways We Can Build a Better Economic System
Ten Ways We Can Build a Better Economic System
By Gary Engler / commondreams.org
Sep 3, 2014

For the numerous readers who asked: "But what can we do?" after reading my "10 reasons to smash capitalism," here are ten ways we can build a better economic system:

10. We can elect governments that represent people rather than corporations. This will require serious electoral reform and include laws to make it clear corporations are not people and therefore cannot participate in the political process. A government representing all the people would regulate corporations to ensure socially responsible behaviour and transform psychopathic capitalist monstrosities into democratic, social enterprises that benefit all.

9. We can build communities and organizations that encourage solidarity, compassion and altruism. These will include worker, consumer, housing and producer cooperatives, as well as institutions of government. People must always remain vigilant, especially while capitalism continues to exist, about the pervasive power of greed to destroy these communities and organizations.

8. We can promote and build a democratic economy in which social ownership replaces private ownership of communities’ means of livelihood. The people who work in them and the communities in which they are located should control economic enterprises.

7. Since authentic freedom for any of us can only come when all of us are free we must create enterprises, communities, forms of governance and institutions that respect the rights of everyone and encourage the creativity of all. Socially useful individual enterprise should be encouraged but everywhere people work together we must create effective forms of democratic decision-making to promote creative input from all involved.

6. Everywhere we work we can organize in ways that become the building blocks of a new, democratic economy. Sometimes this will be through existing unions but often we will create new organizations that defend our day-to-day interests while self-consciously preparing to replace capitalist minority rule with democratic social control of all enterprises.

5. We can work to undermine capitalist, consumerist propaganda whether it masquerades as news, entertainment or advertising. We can create forms of newsgathering and information-exchange that challenge capitalism while building the self-confidence of people everywhere to democratically manage our economy. Rather than spend countless empty hours consuming mindless advertising-driven "entertainment," we can relearn the myriad forms of healthy social interaction that brought joy and solidarity to generations past. Millions of us can discover the fun in making a better world.

4. We can rebuild a progressive taxation system in which people with extreme incomes pay very high levels of taxes. We can promote a one person, one vote system of decision-making everywhere we work together, whether in the political, social or economic realm. The means of bringing about such fundamental change may, in part, come through existing political structures, but will also include diverse forms of mobilization as workers, residents, concerned citizens, producers and human beings supporting a healthy planet.  

3. We can speak up for our planet as one community with intertwined interests that can only be satisfied through mutual respect and cooperation. We can learn from indigenous communities to respect the earth. We can act on the principle that an injury to one anywhere and everywhere is an injury to all. At a minimum this requires an end to war and environmental destruction of every sort. We can work together in enterprises and organizations that exist in local communities, but which also connect with like-minded regional, national and international groups to accomplish the changes we need.

2. Through our words and actions we can demonstrate that the realistic alternative to capitalism is an expansion of democracy. In order to build the peaceful, ecologically sane world we desire, our tactics are non-violent, but we understand that people under attack have a right to self-defence.

1. We can replace capitalism with a system based on social ownership, equal human entitlement and workplace democracy. Building an economic democracy is the key to human survival. We can exist in harmony with our environment if we get rid of capitalism and promote respect for nature and understanding the interdependence of all forms of life.

 

Gary Engler, vice-president of CEP Local 2000, is a delegate at this weekend’s Toronto founding convention of Unifor. He is also a co-author The New Commune-ist Manifesto — Workers of the World It Really is Time to Unite (www.newcommuneist.com) about the future of unions and the left.

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 17,701 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Before He Was Assassinated, MLK Jr. Was Advocating For An End To Income Inequality
10 min · 13,473 views today · We can honor MLK Jr. by pursuing the causes he was advocating for before he was killed.  ​​ Part 2: The Basic Income, A New Human Right (3 minutes) MLK's idea of a basic...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 6,934 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Watch How Europeans Carved Up African Land They Never Owned
56 min · 5,697 views today · Watch how Europeans gave away African land they never owned, then expressed anger when Africans resisted. The film is called Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, Episode 6: The...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 3,653 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 2,572 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
#ReclaimMLK Seeks to Combat the Sanitizing of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy
Danielle C. Belton · 2,441 views today · Martin Luther King Jr. had more than “a dream,” but you might not notice that on Monday during observances for his birthday. Somewhere between his assassination and today...
What Martin Luther King Jr. Can Teach Us about Nonviolence
John Dear · 2,289 views today · I've been reflecting on the principles of nonviolence that Martin Luther King Jr. learned during the historic yearlong bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala. After Rosa Parks refused...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 1,326 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,102 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,036 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 391 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 384 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 358 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 353 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 329 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 300 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 296 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 274 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Stunning Photos By Alexander Semenov Showcase The Alien Beauty Of Jellyfish
Earth Porm · 274 views today · Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Ten Ways We Can Build a Better Economic System