Select Page

What If We Owned the Internet Together? It’s Time to Bring the Co-op Revolution to the Web
by Nathan Schneider and Trebor Scholz
Posted November 23, 2015

Internet is a community resourceOver and over, this is what happens with the most promising new technologies. From the telegraph to radio and television, early adopters imagine a coming reign of freedom and democracy. But then investors buy in and monopolies rise up, extracting profits above all and suppressing the next generations of innovators, at least until the next “disruption.”

A different online economy is possible. Especially since the onset of the Great Recession, we’re living through a renaissance of solidarity economies in the United States and around the world. The flourishing of farmers markets, benefit corporations, credit unions, and fair trade demonstrates the longing for enterprise that serves the common good, rather than merely rolling in profits for the few. A bedrock of any solidarity economy is the old idea of cooperativism—sharing ownership among those affected by an enterprise and governing it democratically. More…