Cecilia Gingerich joined The Democracy Collaborative as a Research Associate with the Next System Project in October 2014 having completed a Master’s degree in Politics from New York University in 2013. Her thesis argued that capitalism is, at a structural level, incompatible with ecological sustainability. She is an activist and organizer who has worked on a variety of social and economic justice campaigns.
- The Democracy Collaborative
The inability of traditional politics and policies to address fundamental U.S. challenges has generated an increasing number of thoughtful proposals that suggest new possibilities. Individual thinkers have begun to set out – sometimes in considerable detail – alternatives that emphasize fundamental change in our system of politics and economics.
We at the Next System Project want to help dispel the wrongheaded idea that “there is no alternative.” To that end, we have been gathering some of the most interesting and important proposals for political-economic alternatives – in effect, descriptions of new systems. Some are more detailed than others, but each seeks to envision something very different from today’s political economy.
We are in a time of deepening systemic crisis. Throughout the world, we see staggering levels of economic inequality, unchecked extractive behavior by corporate-dominated industries, overt attacks on civil rights, massive and ongoing violence against women and people of color, deteriorating democracy, heightened militarization, endless wars, rapidly advancing climate change—and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, the system that has produced this crisis isn’t “broken.” In fact, the mounting challenges we face are to a large degree its natural byproducts and intended outcomes. Therefore, we cannot simply wait for the system to correct itself, or hope that by working at the margins for piecemeal reforms we will alter its fundamental outcomes. Instead we must think deeply about what we want to replace the current system with, and then work to establish the new institutions, practices, and customs required to make this vision a reality.
Wiping the Slate Clean: Quantitative Easing, “Cancelling” Student Debt, and the Latent Power of the FedSubmitted by john on October 26th, 2016
The monetary policy known as “quantitative easing” has been grabbing headlines recently. For months it has been at the center of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s platform, where it’s cited as a way to “cancel student debt” and “bail out” a debt-shackled generation of former students who are suffering due to the excesses of Wall Street. Read more about Wiping the Slate Clean: Quantitative Easing, “Cancelling” Student Debt, and the Latent Power of the Fed...
- Submitted by violeta on April 20th, 2015Next System Co-Chair Gus Speth advocates for systemic changeBy definition distinct from the status quo, radical ideas must always evolve. Still, Gus Speth has had a particularly unusual evolution to his current role as Co-Chair of The Democracy Collaborative’s Next System Project, which launched on March 31, 2015 and seeks to build upon our work on community wealth and take it to scale by opening up a broad national debate in the United States about much-needed systemic change. In his new memoir, entitled Angels by the River, Speth recalls some of the people, places, and events that took him from a sheltered, conservative upbringing in the American South, through a variety of prominent positions as a mainstream environmentalist, and finally, to his present role as a leading advocate for system change.
It is undeniable that the United States is currently in a period of social, political, economic and environmental crisis. And indeed, average Americans are not trying to deny it. In fact, they have been voicing their discontent through an array of recent social movements: from the Occupy movements, to the massive climate marches, to the protests against racialized police violence in cities like Ferguson, Missouri. The reality that the issues raised by these - and the nation's many other social movements - are interconnected is also apparent to many Americans: The country is not only in a period of crisis, but is now in a very serious, and deeply-rooted, systemic crisis.