= an organization of organizations that aims to local institutions into collaborative economic networks
"Member organizations are local, place-based, grassroots institutions or institution-building movements who will constitute the decision-making body of our confederation."
"...our proposal is to organize practical community institutions of participatory democracy and mutual aid that can take root, grow, and gradually supplant the institutions that now rule ordinary people’s lives.
"By meeting communal needs and channeling our communities’ collective action through organs of radical democracy, we aim to develop institutions that can both build popular power against unresponsive oligarchy and be the very replacements for capitalism that the Left is so frequently criticized for failing to envision. This next system we imagine is a libertarian ecosocialism grounded in the direct participation of citizens rather than the unaccountable authority of elites; in the social ownership of the economy rather than exploitation; in the equality of human beings rather than the social hierarchies of race, gender, nationality, and class; in the defense of our common home and its nonhuman inhabitants rather than unfettered environmental destruction; and in the restoration of community rather than isolation. Above all else, our aim is to lay out a framework for crafting such a society from the ground up—to, as the Wobblies declared, build the new world in the shell of the old.
"...we are made dependent on capitalist and state institutions for access to basic survival needs and avenues for collective action. Transcending capitalism and the state thus requires having alternative institutions in place to meet those needs and organize people to act powerfully in concert with one another.
"The community institutions proposed here are modular. They can stand alone as individual projects, fine-tuned to solve specific problems created by the current system’s failures, but they are designed to be organized as a network.
"Particular institutional arrangements will likely depend on local needs and conditions, but possibilities include worker-owned cooperatives, neighborhood councils, community land trusts, local food distribution systems, mutual aid networks, community-owned energy, popular education models, time banks, childcare centers, community health clinics, and more. Specific institutions will be discussed as illustrative examples of political possibilities, but the understanding is that radical democracy means ordinary people possess the power to innovate, modify, discard, or replace them as they wish, as part of a global conversation of open-source experimentation. Underpinning this strategic vision is a spirit of pragmatism. If what a community builds works, it can be exported elsewhere with local adjustments..."
"One of the most promising worker institutions for achieving workplace democracy is the worker’s cooperative. Since worker ownership of the means of production is socialism’s central demand, transforming individual workplaces into sites of democratic worker self-management is a crucial step for creating direct democracy and socializing the economy at large.
"The major weakness of co-ops, and the reason for their scarcity, is the enormous difficulty of financing them.
"We propose a Common Fund, which would absorb the profits from a network of community-run cooperatives and pool money that communities could reinvest for economic development.
"The model proposed here does focus on the concrete practices of meeting community interests and does involve taking immediate winnable steps—but the focus is always on a larger vision of systemic transformation." (https://thenextsystem.org/sites/default/files/2017-07/Symbiosis_AtLargeFirst-corrected-2.pdf)
Directory of Member Organizations
Asamblea de los Pueblos Indígenas del Istmo en Defensa de la Tierra y el Territorio (Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oax., MX) Athens for Everyone (Athens, GA, USA) Carbondale Spring (Carbondale, IL, USA) Chicago Community Councils (Chicago, IL, USA) Coop Asbury (Asbury Park, NJ, USA) Cooperation Jackson (Jackson, MS, USA) Cooperation Metro Atlanta (Atlanta, GA, USA) Cooperation Northfield (Northfield, MN, USA) Flora Cooperative (Milwaukee, WI, USA) James and Grace Lee Boggs Center (Detroit, MI, USA) Kola Nut Collaborative (Chicago, IL, USA) LSC Bae (Democratic Socialists of America – Libertarian Socialist Caucus, Bay Area) – (San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA) Olympia Assembly (Olympia, WA, USA) Neighborhood Anarchist Collective (Eugene, OR, USA) Permaculture Action Network – California Bioregional Crew (California, USA) Permeate (Calgary, AB, CAN) Symbiosis Montréal (Montréal, QC, CAN) Symbiosis NYC (New York, NY, USA) Symbiosis PDX (Portland, OR, USA) Symbiosis Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA, USA) UpState Living Assembly (New Lebanon, NY, USA) Woodbine (Queens, NY, USA)
Directory of Partner Organizations
Black Socialists of America California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) – Department of Anthropology and Social Change DegrowUS Democratic Socialists of America – Libertarian Socialist Caucus Demand Utopia Humans United in Mutual Aid Networks (HUMANs) Institute for Social Ecology Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution Move to Amend Organization for a Free Society Permaculture Action Network Popular Resistance Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy Radio Fogata Cherán ROAR Magazine Solidarity Research Center Street Groomers Youth Partnership Uganda