Consumer society as a system of social organization appears to be in jeopardy on a number of fronts. First, populations across North America, Europe and most of Asia are ageing, and demographic change is shifting preferences away from lifestyles premised on material accumulation. In addition, millennials continue to face extremely precarious job prospects….
We seem to be at a juncture where we need to rediscover the lessons of mutual assistance. One option entails building on novel modes of cooperativism that meld production and consumption into a single organization…. There are also indications that the reticence that has traditionally marked the relationship between cooperatives and trade unions is giving way to a new spirit of collaboration supportive of this general idea.