This presentation by John Clark will be an introduction to the history, theory and practice of cooperative community. The central focus will be on the importance of primary communities, or, as I call them in my recent book The Impossible Community, “communities of liberation and solidarity.” “Liberation” means liberation from the forces that do harm to and limit the development of the person, the community, and the Earth, and liberation for personal, communal and planetary flourishing and self-realization. “Solidarity” means the practice of mutual aid and cooperation in pursuit of our common social and ecological good. Primary communities include such forms as affinity groups, base communities, and intentional communities. The philosopher Martin Buber in his book Paths in Utopia, writes about four types of co-operatives: consumer co-operatives (like food co-ops) ; producer cooperatives (like worker co-ops) ; living cooperatives (like intentional communities and community land trusts); and what he calls “full cooperatives,” in which people produce, consume, and live together. I want to talk about the importance of all these forms of cooperation and related forms of community, and about how they are all crucial to the future, and even to the very survival, of the human and Earth communities.
John Clark is a philosopher, writer, teacher and community activist in New Orleans, where his family has been for twelve generations. He has been active in the cooperative, communitarian, and ecology movements, and has worked with child care co-ops, alternative schools, worker co-ops, food co-ops, community education projects, community gardens, alternative publishing, and support for indigenous and traditional communities. Since the early 90’s he has worked on an ecological restoration and community-building project on 83 acres of land on Bayou LaTerre near the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He is a Curtin Distinguished Professor, Professor of Philosophy, and a member of the Environment Program at Loyola University, where he is soon to be Professor Emeritus.
This event is sponsored by the Curtin Distinguished Professorship and Gumbo Housing: The Next Step, (A Growing Playce for Collaborative Community) a coalition of people exploring intentional community in the urban environment of New Orleans, and is free and open to the general public. For more information, please call Jean[masked]-9265. -