- Politico Magazine
In this article, Politico Magazine writes about a socialist future, "What Would a Socialist America Look Like?" Peter Gowan—a fellow at The Democracy Collaborative—was interviewed about democratic ownership:
A democratically elected government should own natural monopolies such as utilities and rail transport; provide social services like health care, education, housing, child care and banking; and create a general welfare state that eliminates poverty through guaranteeing a minimum income, with assistance for people with disabilities, the elderly and families with children.
But we have to go beyond that. We need measures to establish democratic ownership over the wider economy, and eliminate our dependence on industries that rely on pollution and war for their existence. There need to be strategies to allow workers in the defense, aerospace and fossil fuel industries to repurpose their facilities for more socially useful production, drawing on the example of the Lucas Plan in Britain, where workers designed and published a viable “alternative corporate plan” that included funding for renewable energy, public transport and medical technology. We need a mechanism to transfer corporate equity into sector-oriented social wealth funds controlled by diverse and accountable stakeholders, which would gradually transfer ownership away from unaccountable elites and toward inclusive institutions.
A democratic socialist America would be a society where wealth and power are far more evenly distributed, and it would be less cruel, less lonely and less alienating. Democratic socialism aims for the liberation of human agency and creativity—not just in America, but in all the countries that capital exploits and invades for the profits of our nation’s billionaires.
Submitted by dylan on June 26th, 2018
Summer Resident Fellow
Peter Gowan graduated Trinity College, Dublin in 2016 with a dual-major BA in History and Political Science, and recently joined the Next System Project as a Summer Resident Fellow after completing the coursework on an MA in Political Communications from Dublin City University. This summer he will be researching "right to own" worker buyouts and contributing to the Next System Project's research on the political economy of decarbonization.
Peter's previous research focuses on political economy and alternative models of ownership. Last year he co-authored the "Social Housing in the United States" report for the People's Policy Project, which received positive coverage in The Nation, The Guardian, Jacobin, Mother Jones, and Current Affairs. He produced research on the Swedish Meidner Plan, plans for systemic economic transition, and decarbonization. He also worked as a researcher for Irish parliamentarians Róisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy, contributing to labor market and housing policy development.
Recent blog posts: