Cooperative Commonwealth and the Partner State

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* Report: Cooperative Commonwealth and the Partner State. By John Restakis. Next Systems Project (Volue 6), 2017



"In Cooperative Commonwealth & the Partner State, John Restakis advocates for a “pluralist, cooperative commonwealth based on the principle of economic democracy.” As defined by the author, his model represents a civil socialism in which states act as “partner states” but “democratically structured civil institutions make up the organizational basis of the economy.” For economic democracy to thrive, Restakis contends that social control over capital is required, and cooperatives and collectives should be the dominant enterprise model. As a result, “employees gradually become owners and shareholders in the enterprises in which they work.” Restakis also outlines a number of other institutions that need to be restructured and democratized to fully realize his model, including social care, the social economy, and social markets. Restakis is hopeful about the future as new information and communications technology can play a key role in enhancing more participatory and democratic forms of information sharing between citizens and the Partner State. In fact, as he concludes, “the society we wish for is being built every day.” (