The Next System: A Pluralist Commonwealth

A Pluralist Commonwealth

Six ways to build the pluralist commonwealth…

Many years ago—and especially while researching the history of the U.S. decision to use atomic weapons on the people of Japan—I came to understand that there was something deep at work in the American political and economic system driving it toward relentless expansion and a dangerous informal imperialism.

Could we imagine a system that undercuts the logic responsible for so much suffering at home and abroad?

It was reflections like these that brought me to first sketch the idea of a “pluralist commonwealth” in 1972—an economic and political system different from both corporate capitalism and state socialism grounded in democratic ownership, decentralization, and community.

While progress is never strictly linear, I believe that we are beginning to see an accelerating development of the foundations for a system that looks a lot like the Pluralist Commonwealth, and a growing recognition of how they begin to fit together. Here are six areas where it’s particularly strategic to be organizing and building institutional power in the current moment…

Gar Alperovitz


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