Saturday, December 06, 2008

Upton Sinclair and EPIC

I'm going to have to write a substantial post about it one day. The EPIC movement, End Poverty In California, advocated forming agricultural cooperatives and workers' cooperatives based on the principle of production for use as opposed to production for profit as a way of providing jobs and saving the economy during the Great Depression.

The idea of a Cooperative Commonwealth, which EPIC is a representative of, was a home grown socialist idea in North America that had a big following---including in the Seattle area where the Commonwealth Builders advocated something very similar before being absorbed by the Popular Front Communists. It has had lasting influence in that the New Democratic Party, the NDP, the leftist Canadian political party that used to rule British Columbia and still has much power on a country wide scale, partially came out of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation.

It's something that can be followed today, and that people in the U.S. could benefit from researching and connecting with. The book "The Cooperative Commonwealth", by Gronlund, the book that coined the phrase, is worth looking up. The Canadian movement itself has tons of information available. Also, you might as well throw in a search for books about "Industrial Democracy".


Nicholas R said...


great post, am really interested in these topics.

am working on a media cooperative project and a permaculture cooperative project

KZimbelman said...

Be sure to check out the novel that Upton Sinclair wrote about the EPIC campaign. Called "Co-op." Can be a little hard to find but it puts his and the campaign's ideas into a readily accessible format.