017: Imagining Democracy In The Workplace


What would democracy look like if it first existed at the workplace rather than in the woesome consignment of America’s party-politics, which renders our dreams for The Golden Square into Squalid Shit-mash? For this episode of The Future Is A Mixtape, Jesse & Matt have a discussion about this paradise where workers actually experience freedom, equity and solidarity with two folks who’ve jump-started one of the first media co-ops in Southern California: Dan Nowman Niswander, co-creator of The Nowman Show and Dr. George Kallas, a political analyst and Political Science Professor at Miramar College in San Diego. We’ll learn about their chance-encounter and their epiphany to do the mind-meld by creating Arete Media Productions. Principally though, they will discuss why we mislabel democracy in Da Yankeelands, define what co-ops are, and also explain what makes worker-owned co-ops so very visionary in our Age of Workplace Tyranny & DollarDoom.

Mentioned In This Episode:

When We Recorded This Discussion, It Was Over 100 in Los Angeles But It Was Even Hotter in Record-Breaking San Francisco @ 106 F

Erick Olin Wright in Jacobin: “How to Be an Anticapitalist Today”

Jim McGuigan’s Cool Capitalism

How Neoliberalism Ramps Up Status-Games in University Life, and In Doing So, Creates Hierarchies of Abject Misery for the Rest of Us:

Mike Rose for Inside Higher Ed: “Who Is Smarter Than Whom?”

Benjamin Ginsberg in the Washington Monthly: “Administrators Ate My Tuition”

Academic Rankings for Various Teaching Levels of Status

Brandon Jordan in The Nation: “Building Student Power Through Participatory Budgeting”

Participatory Budgeting Project: What Exactly Is It?

Jason Rhode in Paste Magazine: “Kamala Harris Offers No New Hope”

David Graeber’s Legendary Haiku-Essay on Anarchy: “Are You an Anarchist? The Answer Might Surprise You!”

Sherwood Ross in Veterans Today: “U.S. Imperialism Abroad Creating Police State at Home”

E. Douglas Kihn in Truthout: “The US Is Not a Democracy and Never Was”

Naked Capitalism: Interview with David Graeber on Democracy in America

Does “UC” Stand for the University of California or the University of Capitalism?

Lawrence Hunter in Forbes: “Why James Madison Was Wrong About a Large Republic”

Ellen Bresler Rockmore in The New York Times: “How Texas Teaches History”

Gail Collins in The New York Review of Books: “How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us”

James W. Loewen: “Lies My History Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong”

RT America: Chris Hedges Visits Anderson, Indiana to Hear About Another “Sacrifice Zone” and How the Town Deals with the Loss of Thousands of Union Jobs

Peter Richardson in The Los Angeles Times: “Democracy's Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, the Great War, and the Right to Dissent by Ernest Freeberg”

Home of Eugene Debs: Terre Haute, Indiana

Biography of Eugene Debs: A Man Who Received a Million Votes for President While Still in Prison

To Paraphrase Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Real Duty in Gaining a University Education Is to Ask, ‘Why?’

David Graeber on Why Going to University Is About Returning to the Questions You Had as a Child: “Lecture by David Graeber: Resistance In A Time Of Total Bureaucratization / Maagdenhuis Amsterdam”

Is the Internet Killing Critical Thinking? If Not, What Is? Nicholas Carr in Wired: “The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires the Brain”

Dr. Paul Cartledge in BBC News: “Ancient History in Depth: The Democratic Experiment [in Greece]”

Joshua Kurlantzick in The New Republic: “The Great Democracy Meltdown”

The Nowman Show: KPFK Presents Richard Wolff at the Musician's Union, Hollywood

Democracy at the Work: A 501(c)3 Organization Created by Richard Wolff to Inspire the Growth and Expansion of Unitary Worker Co-Ops. This Non-Profit Educational Organization Was Inspired by Wolff’s Book, Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism

Matthew Snyder’s First Confrontation with Crunchies & Organic Granola: Bellingham, Washington’s Community Food Co-Op

Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, which details two well-regarded unitary co-ops: Alvarado Street Bakery and Isthmus Engineering

Living Utopia (Vivir la Utopia): A Documentary by Juan Gamero Who Interviews 30 Surviving Anarchists and Revolutionaries During the Catalonian Revolution from 1936-39.

Barcelona Was an Entire City Made Up of Worker-Controlled Co-Ops as Seen in Manolo Gonzalez’s Life in Revolutionary Barcelona

Noam Chomsky’s On Anarchism

Equality of Opportunity Versus Equality of Outcome: Dylan Matthews in Vox: “The Case Against Equality of Opportunity”

Matt, Not Michael Dukakis! It Was Vice-President Dan Quayle Who Flunked a Kid By Suggesting the Incorrect Spelling for ‘Potato’ as ‘Potatoe’

John Quiggen in Jacobin: “John Locke Against Freedom” {“John Locke's classical liberalism isn't a doctrine of freedom. It's a defense of expropriation and enslavement.”}

First Nations and the Indigenous Did Not View Land as Personal Property or an Economic Fridge: Woo Hoo! A Lesson Plan for 6th to 8th Grade Students

Europe’s Diseased Paperwork as Freedom: A Title-to-Land

A Historical Guide of Worker Cooperatives: Past, Present and Possible Futures

Dan Niswander’s Clever Lyrical Reference to Pink Floyd’s Song “Brain Damage”: “The lunatic is in the hall./ The lunatics are in my hall./ The paper holds their folded faces to the floor/ And every day the paper boy brings more.”

Mondragon Company: A Multi-Billion Dollar Cooperative in the Basque Region of Spain, Which Was Created and Conceived as Far Back as 1956

Mondragon’s Miracle Backlight: A Documentary About This Gift from the Basque Region

Gar Alperovitz’s America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, Our Democracy

WSDE Workers' Self-Directed Enterprises -- by Richard Wolff

Dan Nowman Interviews Matt & Jesse on The Nowman Show With a Later Panel Discussion with George Kallas