I am writing to offer up an idea that I have been sitting on for quite awhile.
First, here is the problem I have identified:
Let’s say your local Papa John’s is on strike. You want to stop by the picket line to drop off food for the striking workers. One problem: That food probably also came from a corporation, so while you are helping those Papa John’s workers fight against THEIR boss, you are also making them (indirectly) dependent on other bosses.
My idea is what if we built some productivity infrastructure outside of capitalism (I’m thinking a series of worker cooperatives) with the express purpose of growing and cooking food (and other basic commodities) for striking workers. (and maybe other political goals)
I love these ideas, it really makes me feel far less alone.
I have literal had that same idea. Mine had a bit more to it. You basically had grandmas take farm goods grown by collective / co-op and preserve them. That would then volunteers would store them and drop at food banks and deliver to striking workers.
To be clear, I wasn’t suggesting that people do this for free. I was imagining that you get a discount off current market prices for being a member of a union, a bigger discount for being a member of a union currently on strike, and a really big discount for being a member of a worker cooperative. Also, vertical integration is really important here because it helps us to replace corporate labor even more with each sale.
I agree with establishing parallel social institutions. The good example of well functioning and properly oriented institutions also helps clarify political issues within capitalistic society. I’m reminded of the Black Panther school meals (see link below).
Personally, I feel a tad pessimistic about how much of these types of things we could do, or how soon we could do them. Though, I’m also not well informed on these types of things. I also think sound macro economic policy, (whenever we eventually get job guarantee and UBI passed), would greatly expand the space for non-profit oriented organizations. Not to say I would wait for those to pass first. And not much else I think I could add.
This idea is excellent and in my opinion represents a way forward for community building outside of the classic American social structures that many younger generations want to avoid. I also agree with the need for this to be functionally non-free, but would love to see the integration of bartering in it, I think Vertically integrating labor and political support systems outside of capitalism - #2 by enduser was implying it.
Might have to be non profit to work since they do tax barter agreements federally. Sorry if this is trailing away from your original idea @occ42
I actually have work in this area but I should say this should be done with care. If this is tool is captured it is a problem. If it has failures they will likely to influence other systems. There is a scale issue with currency ossification of the dollar. This could compound with crypto currency obfuscation of the dollar. That isn’t to be taken lightly when considering this direction.
This would likely be a catalyst for corruption if misused.