Peter Gowan joined the Democracy Collaborative in June 2018 and now works as a Policy Associate. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin with a dual-major BA in History and Political Science, and recently completed an M.A. in Political Communications at Dublin City University.
Peter’s research focuses on housing, political economy and alternative models of ownership. He previously interned with Irish parliamentarians Róisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy, contributing to labor market and housing policy development, and also contributed to the People’s Policy Project, producing research on codetermination, the Meidner Plan, and social housing. His work has been cited in the Washington Post, The Guardian, Politico, Mother Jones, The Nation, Jacobin, and elsewhere, and his current research focusses on right-to-own worker buyouts and the Inclusive Ownership Funds proposal.
- 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.