At the close of the twentieth century, corporate capitalism extended its reach over the globe. While its defenders argue that globalization is the only way forward for modern, democratic societies, the spread of this system is failing to meet even the most basic needs of billions of individuals around the world. Moreover, the entrenchment of this free market system is undermining the foundations of healthy societies, caring communities, and personal wellbeing.
Humanizing the Economy shows how co-operative models for economic and social development can create a more equitable, just, and humane future. With over 800 million members in 85 countries and a long history linking economics to social values, the co-operative movement is the most powerful grassroots movement in the world. Its future as an alternative to corporate capitalism is explored through a wide range of real-world examples including:
Emilia Romagna’s co-operative economy in Northern Italy
Argentina’s recovered factory movement- Japan’s consumer and health co-operatives
Highlighting the hopes and struggles of everyday people seeking to make their world a better place, Humanizing the Economy is essential reading for anyone who cares about the reform of economics, globalization, and social justice.
“Humanizing the Economy by John Restakis is an excellent, easily accessible read, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in the movement towards an alternative and equitable economy. Restakis, the Executive Director for the British Columbia Co-operative Association, is a researcher and educator on international cooperative economies and is highly regarded as a pioneer for economic democracy in Canada and abroad. His book provides a rich and well-researched account of the failures and inhumane realities of the dominant capitalist economy and how communities are forging together in the vision for economic justice in advanced industrial societies as well as in developing countries.” (Crystal Tremblay, Community Development Journal, Oxford Journals)
“Humanizing the Economy is a profoundly readable and accessible book in spite of its sweeping scope. Cooperatives read like a forgotten chapter in our economic history. I found the early part of the book, in which Restakis reviews the intellectual and practical history of cooperatives as a reaction to the excesses of early capitalism, particularly fascinating.” (Marc Lee, Policy Note)
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Richly researched and a grounding eye-opener
This book has changed the way I see the world. Its rich exploration of cooperatives across the globe is handled with an accessible and always deeply human perspective. It is balanced and thorough but never closes its eyes to the fact that these stories are about real people and their experiences. It travels across continents with its rigorous and thorough analysis of each case explored and gives a clear history of the ideas building into cooperative economies and suggests limitations and possibilities to be explored in the future.
Despite being totally new to economics, I found this book fully accessible; wise and insightful without being preachy.Thanks John Restakis, you've given me new eyes. This is a discussion of economics with a soul.
The performance was clear, strong and easy to follow.
Bit too heavy for only one sitting, but a book I was keen to tear through.