Working Cooperatively — 4 Comments

  1. the NATIVE AMERICAN LEGENDS site u cite here..(pun?)….is lovely ! the parable is indeed wise and deeply optimistic……..thanks for the link!

  2. i understand cooperative community life as the origins of all human society….it was the only, and naturally satisfying way for survival, and often brought much thriving.

    i also sense that what caused (and still causes) people to abandon cooperation for competition was and is the loss of a strong basis for TRUST. (if you can’t trust the others in your community, how can you feel safe sharing, listening, and caring deeply for them?!)

    i believe it is the crux of the obstacle in the way to peace and harmony, and seeing how widespread mistrust is, and habitually, deeply psychologically ingrained, i’m not aware of any convincing solutions existing around me…..

    it’s especially painful because i see most people still longing and dreaming of the solid companionship that is part of cooperative communal living……. leaving us with a great contradiction of the human spirit……..

    • I’ve started reading Two Cheers for Anarchism, in which James Scott wonders if we have lived too long in a state to be able to live the cooperative lives anarchists envision (except probably the libertarian flavor, if they can even be called anarchists). Your comment seems to ask the same question: Can we restore the trust that is the foundation of cooperation.

      I guess maybe that’s where the stories could come in because maybe we trust each other more than we realize! When I go outside, I trust that cars won’t drive on the sidewalk, that they’ll stop at red lights, etc. When I go to a store, I trust that someone has unpacked their order and put it onto the shelves so that I don’t have to go through boxes.

      Am I being too optimistic here? Or is there really more trust to go around than we might think on first blush? Of course, there are oodles of counter examples (I look my doors for example because I don’t trust the anonymous mass of people to not come into my place and take stuff that I’d rather keep). So, maybe it’s a matter of which wolf we feed to stick with a story I was reading earlier today: The trusting one or the distrusting one.

      • i looked up the book you name here…..fascinating…..i found only bits of quotes, but i’m anxious to read more…..i want to scan the anarchy writings…..i sense there’s a lot of useful ideas there that address all our questions……we need all the help we can get….

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