Solutions and possibilities for pandemic times and beyond
LHA1148: Introduction to Workplace, Organizational, and Economic Democracy ("the COVID-19 edition")
An OISE/University of Toronto graduate seminar
Week 6 (June 8-12, 2020) - Expanding Workplace, Organizational, and Economic Democracy: Contesting COVID, Envisioning the Future (Modules 11 and 12)
“From each according to their abilities,
to each according to their needs.”
~Traditional socialist and anarchist
Module 11 of Week 6 begins by
reconsidering our current economy
of crisis, the plight of the most at-risk
workers today, two clear proposals for
an accessible and near-future project of
economic democracy, and the possibilities to transition to an “economy of care.”
Module 12 finally ends our journey together by turning to your ideas for addressing the previously existing crisis, heightened now by the socio-economic ills wrought by COVID-19. To do so, we will conduct a virtual World Café collective visioning exercise where we imagine together and debate the potential for the proliferation of workplace, organizational, and economic democracy today: Is economic democracy a real possibility or an imaginary utopia? And how can what we have learned in these past 6 weeks address the current COVID-19-induced crisis and provide roadmaps towards rebuilding and rethinking in the aftermath of the pandemic? Here, our course readings, your virtual World Café video pitch, and your final project contributions to the class blog/website will guide our closing discussions.
Module 11 - Pathways of Hope: From a Crisis Economy to an Economy of Care
Mason, Paul. (2015). Ch. 10, Project Zero. In Postcapitalism: A Guide to our Future. New York: Farrar, Straus & Girroux (pp. 263-292). [NOTE: Read only Ch. 10.]
Malleson, Tom. (2014). Conclusion, Toward a Feasible Socialism for the 21st Century. In After Occupy: Economic Democracy for the 21st Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press (pp. 198-217).
Letters & Handshakes. (2017). Take Care [introductory comments to a year-long critical art exhibit on “care work”]. Blackwood Gallery, University of Toronto at Mississauga (pp. 4-5).
Required COVID-19 Reading
Gaztambide-Fernández, Rubén. (2020). What Is Solidarity? During Coronavirus and Always, It’s More Than “We’re All in this Together.” The Conversation Canada. (Apr. 13).
Star Editorial Board. (2020). Caremongering: A Movement that Amplifies the Best of Us. The Toronto Star. (Mar. 22).
Pohler, Dionne, Kourtney Koebel, Rafael Gomez, Marc-Andre Pigeon, & Murray Fulton. (2020). Targeted Basic Income: An Equitable Policy Response to COVID-19. Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.
Dennis, Subin. (2020). Coronavirus Pandemic Brings to Light the Need for a Stronger Public Sector. The Bullet. (Apr. 25).
Themes Covered in Stanford Text (for Modules 11-12)
Stanford, Jim. (2008/2015). Part 5, Challenging Capitalism; Conclusion, A Baker´s Dozen: Key Things to Remember. In Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism. London: Pluto (pp. 361-402).
Standing, Guy. (2011). Ch. 7, A Politics of Paradise. In The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. New York: Bloomsbury Academic (pp. 267-315).
Van Osch, Thera. (2013). Towards a Caring Economic Approach.
Sas, Jonathan. (2016). Progressives and the Guaranteed Income Debate. The Broadbent Blog. The Broadbent Institute (Mar. 2016).
Smith, Matthew. (2020). Universal Basic Income Could Improve the Nation’s Mental Health. The Conversation UK. (Apr. 27).
Activities and Assignment
Assignment: Final project outline due at the end of the Module. Preparation and submission of a 2-3 page paper (double-spaced) outlining and summarizing what you plan to produce for your final project blog post.
Activity: Listen to Prof. Pat Armstrong on CBC Radio 1’s The Sunday Edition (April 26, 2020).
Module 12 - Economic Democracy Now and After Corona: Prefiguring a New Workplace, Organizational, and Economic Democracy
Vieta, Marcelo (2020). Ch. 9, Recuperating Autogestión, Prefiguring Alternatives: Some Possible Conclusions [on crisis as openings]). In Workers’ Self-Management in Argentina: Contesting Neo-liberalism by Occupying Companies, Creating Cooperatives, and Recuperating Autogestión. Leiden: Brill (pp. 517-520; 529-539).
De Sousa Santos, Boaventura. (2014). Manifesto for Good Living/Buen Vivir | Minifesto for Intellectual Activists. In Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide. London: Routledge (pp. 2-17).
Vieta, Marcelo. (2016). Autogestión: Prefiguring the “New Cooperativism” and “the Labour Commons.” In C. DuRand (Ed.), Moving Beyond Capitalism. London: Routledge (pp. 55-63).
Raekstad, Paul & Sofa Saio Gadin. (2020). Prefigurative Politics: Building Tomorrow Today. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Keynes, John Meynard. (1930). Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren. [An essay on an economic future of hope for times of despair.]
Kolbert, Elizabeth. (2014). No Time: How Did We Get So Busy? [reflection on Keynes’ “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” for our times]. The New Yorker. (May 19).
Wilkinson, R. & Pickett, K. (2010). Ch. 16, Building the Future. In The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books (pp. 235-272).
Wolff, Richard. (2012). Part III, Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises as a Cure. In Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism. Chicago: Haymarket Books (pp. 115-116, 139-144, 155-183).
Parker, Martin, George Cheney, Valérie Fournier, and Chris Land. (2014). Horizons of Possibility: Challenge, Co-optation and Transformation. In M. Parker, G. Cheney, V. Fournier, & C. Land (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization. London: Routledge (pp. 359-372).
CrimethInc. (2011). II. The Resistance. In Work: Capitalism, Economics, Resistance. CrimethInc CrimethInc. (pp. 327-371).
Virtual World-Café video pitch of your final project.
Post a 3-minute video pitch to the Quercus Discussion board class space, summarizing your final project on the second day of Module 12.
Then comment on two other pitches from your class colleagues other than members of your group for our World Café by the last day of Module 12.
Saving the Hotel BAUEN cooperative (Buenos Aires, 2009)