In a previous post, I discussed my ground rules for thinking about a transition from capitalism to a more equitable economic system. Today, I want to discuss what I see as the significant challenge for non-violent change, access to capital.
If we acknowledge that we won’t vote out capitalism and agree that violence isn’t acceptable - a good option could be to build a series of parallel societal structures. These parallel structures would be owned by the community of interest - the workers, the residents, the patients, etc. However, creating such organizations requires capital, both human and financial.
One option I’ve been exploring is a credit union whose charter includes giving loans only to worker-owned businesses and mortgages to cooperative living structures. This credit union would allow supporters to help create a better world, by being depositors, while acknowledging that they still live under capitalism and need a traditional bank.
In my experience, credit unions discourage members from participating in the democracy required by their structures. Our credit union would necessarily be the different, active membership would be encouraged. Encouraging participation would help build a community and help account holders make the connection between their deposits and the new world they are helping build.