Economic Democracy in Latin America and the United States Dada Maheshvarananda www.priven.org
“At the risk of sounding ridiculous, I would say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.”
Yoga and meditation me, 1976
Prout = Progressive Utilization Theory socio-economic model: • economic self-reliance • cooperatives • environmental balance • universal spiritual values. 7
Brazil: Prout: alternative to global colonization. Economic democracy with cooperatives. Basic necessities for all. Capitalist greed is destroying our planet.
Responses to Exploitation Silence Reform Revolution
END OF GLOBAL CAPITALISM?
Conservative Frank Luntz fracking = “energy exploration” healthcare reform = “government takeover” government spending = “waste” capitalist = “job creator” CEO bonuses = “pay for performance” global capitalism = “economic freedom”
RIGHT TO LIVE! Guarantee five minimum necessities of life to all: • food • clothing • housing • education • medical care
Jobs with fair wages guaranteed to all.
2. Cooperatives • Base of “economic democracy” • workers own their enterprises
3. Strategic Key Industries • public utilities • belong to society, never privatized
Different Governance 1. Council of respected elders 2. Wise leader 3. Political democracy 4. Participatory democracy
Minimum necessities for all 3. Economic Democracy in Latin America
VenezuelanEconomy Poverty reduced 50%. Extreme poverty reduced 70%.
66,000 functioning co-ops in Venezuela 2nd highest after China!
Community empowerment 33,000 communalcouncils
CECOSESOLA Food Co-op Barquisimeto, Venezuela Open 4 days/week 450 tons of produce weekly 30% off supermarket prices 55,000 families shop each week!
Co-op hospital Co-op funeral service Many small co-op producers
Workers takeover failed enterprises Argentina: 250 with 13,000 workers – only 2 failed. Brazil: 174
Moral Leadership moral force, spiritual vision, courage to fight injustice. Anyonecan become a moral leader. Marina Silva Rigoberta Menchú
What we do Why How Raise consciousness Strengthen cooperatives Promote economic democracy Transform lives Empower communities Welfare of all Publishing Education Research Prout Research Institute of Venezuela Independent, not-for profit foundation since 2007. 38
Training courses Prout Projects in Venezuela
Dada: “Every morning I wake up in paradise!” Prout Projects in Venezuela
Prout Projects in Venezuela Yoga classes
Prout Projects in Venezuela Centro Madre: Prout Community Center in Barlovento Didi Ananda Sadhana
Prout Projects in Venezuela Centro Madre: empowering self-reliance through education, sustainable agriculture, holistic development and ethical leadership.
Neohumanist Education "The practice of love for all creation including plants, animals, and the inanimate world." 1000 schools Prout Projects in Venezuela
4. Economic Democracy in United States
Minimum wage: $7.25/hr.Maximum? US federal employee starting salary: $17,803. Maximum salary: $179,700 (10 times higher). (Source: General Schedule Grade 1 & Senior Executive Service).
Cooperatives: did you know... 1 billion+ people are co-op members? Co-ops provide 2 million jobs in USA, 100+ million worldwide (corporations: 80 milion)? 1st year, 40% new U.S. companies fail (10% co-ops fail)? By 5th year, 60% U.S. companies fail (12% co-ops fail)? [World Council of Credit Unions, Statistical Data: United States Credit Union Statistics, 1939-2002.]