Ethics & Contemporary Capitalism: Critique & the Imagination of Alternatives

  • Groundswell 566 Powell Street Vancouver, BC, V6A 1G9 Canada

Understand how the economy works - and doesn’t work - and together let's explore solutions we can take action on now. 

Many of us today feel that our economy does not serve our values of strong communities, a healthy environment, and social justice for all. Beginning with the argument that in order to critique our economy we need to understand it, this workshop provides specific language to our feelings of injustice, working through the ‘story’ of capitalism in order to open space for imagining how to organize our economy otherwise. 

Rather than suggesting an ‘all or nothing’ solution, this workshop begins where we are, showing how alternatives to capitalism are being lived every day in various forms. Concretely, this workshop will show how critique can lead to creation of alternative organizations, drawing from inspiring examples in Vancouver and beyond

Date: October 29th, 2016
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Venue: Groundswell Grassroots Economic Alternatives | 566 Powell Street, Vancouver
Instructor: Chris Nichols
Registration: $100 - all proceeds go to Groundswell's bursary fund.
* Sliding scale pricing available: contact registration@groundswellcommunity.ca if the registration fee is a barrier to attend.

This day is split into two parts. In the morning, we dive into the 'story' of capitalism - what narratives hold it together, and what relationships are assumed between humans, the state, labor, and the environment. We endeavor to understand concepts such as exchange value, the commodity, money, the market, and labor power – concepts that are essential to the workings of capitalism. We follow this with a critique of capitalism that offers a counter to this narrative, flipping the very concepts of capitalism on their heads, and opening space for the imagination of alternatives. 

In the afternoon, we discuss specific alternatives to capitalism being lived today, and how these alternatives are partial and limited, but nevertheless effective. We look at how these alternatives can be articulated within Mission, Vision, and Value statements, as well as other organizational mandates. We end the day with the inspiring story of Recycling Alternatives, a Vancouver-based business that is an exemplar of current efforts to make meaningful change in the city.