I think what was really important, at least for me, in having this discussion was the recognition that we always have movement economies. It’s just a matter of which movements are driving them.
So right now, if you want to name it, it’s the movement of the finance and developer class that is driving the economy. But in naming that, we can also articulate that there are other approaches to social movements that can drive how we envision, coordinate, distribute, [and] make sense of economic systems.
“We always have movement economies. It’s just a matter of which movements are driving them.”
Sign up for our free newsletters
Subscribe to NPQ's newsletters to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
So having said that, I do believe, and I do affirm, a movement economy—my vision is economic systems rooted in social movements that have an understanding about controlling the means of production, decommodification of all life and living. The idea of deploying economic resources from the bottom up, from below, community-driven, however you want to call it, versus profit-driven. The idea of democratically discussed and needs-based versus privatized and expert-based. More explicit progressive tax rates—I mean, many of us probably already know that all the way up to [the] 1980s, our highest tax rate was at 70 percent for the wealthiest, so things like that. Worker-run and -controlled shop floors. What some people called syndicalism in the past, through collective bargaining. Tenant-controlled housing, community land trusts, consumer cooperatives.
The funny thing is that a lot of these things we already have, but the reason why they are not as effective is because they’re not grounded or shaped by a broader political system of people’s control over wealth accumulation and distribution.
And that’s the problem. You have cooperatives. We have cooperatives for the wealthy, especially in New York City. And so, the point is: are these frameworks, are these approaches to redistributed wealth and economic transformation, are they grounded in a broader political system of people’s control over wages, wealth, and living? So, that’s my vision.