Democratic by Design: Why Co-ops, Credit Unions and Communes Are the Only Path to an Equitable America by Gabriel Metcalf
Co-ops. Credit unions. Communal work space. These are all familiar concepts to most Americans, and alive and well throughout the country, yet their potential to challenge the status quo of corporate and government bloat is rarely discussed.
Such ventures have long appealed to the “practical dreamers” — people who want to promote a vision of big social change, while also accomplishing something concrete. At last, their moment has arrived in the ascendance of the so-called “sharing economy.”
While the term refers largely to profit-making entities like car- and rent-sharing sites, it springs from the same impulse that has always prompted us to team up and work around the system.
In Democratic by Design, Metcalf looks at alternative institutions not only as a booming new reality but as an engine of social change, a key ingredient in solving large, intractable problems like housing, health and transportation.
Looking beyond – or beneath – the media analysis, Metcalf offers a brief history of a movement born not from increased efficiencies and better technology, as many assume, but of the fundamental desire to create a more equitable world.