How do we claim collective ownership of the economy and our future?
Two clear, conflicting trends are evident: there is both tremendous energy behind the idea of a solidarity economy (along with a parallel revival of the U.S. labor movement) and ongoing, corporate blocking of even modest federal policy reforms. In other words, we exist in a time of both extraordinary economic justice advocacy and intensified neoliberal capital resistance to that movement. Unions and worker co-ops, for example, have gained new visibility, as workers mobilize at a scale unseen in decades; but federal policy reforms that seemed possible at the beginning of 2021, such as “Build Back Better,” are stymied.
In this context, this edition of the magazine looks at the fundamentals of the concept of ownership across the economy—ownership of labor, business, technology, and communities—and asks: What does ownership mean, and how can ownership be structured to design a more democratic economy?