Practicing Cooperation: Mutual Aid Beyond Capitalism
Please join us at the MSSP Social Policy Speaker Series featuring Dr. Andrew Zitcer, an associate professor of Urban Strategy at Drexel University, to discuss his recent book publication. He studies cooperative social and economic practices as well as the arts as a vehicle for community transformation. He is also the co-founder of the Rotunda, a community arts venue, and Kol Tzedek Synagogue, a progressive Jewish congregation.
From the crises of racial inequity and capitalism that inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and the Green New Deal to the coronavirus pandemic, stories of mutual aid have shown that, though cooperation is variegated and ever-changing, it is also a form of economic solidarity that can help weather contemporary social and economic crises. Addressing this theme, Practicing Cooperation delivers a trenchant and timely argument that the way to a more just and equitable society lies in the widespread adoption of cooperative practices. But what renders cooperation ethical, effective, and sustainable? Providing a new conceptual framework for cooperation as a form of social practice, Practicing Cooperation describes and critiques three U.S.-based cooperatives. Through these case studies, Andrew Zitcer illuminates the range of activities that make contemporary cooperatives successful: dedicated practitioners, a commitment to inclusion, and ongoing critical reflection. He asserts that economic and social cooperation must be examined, critiqued, and implemented on multiple scales if it is to combat the pervasiveness of competitive individualism.