School of Cooperative Individualism

where the idea of liberty thrives

Linked on our blogs with On the necessity of a land tax.

“The grey heads and bald heads are in the majority. The problem that confronts those of us who want the torch held up in the future, is to fill up the ranks. In order to do that many things must be done, but we must not depend on the old or middle-aged. Somehow or other we must devise a way to reach the minds of the young people – when their minds are open, when they are ready for new truths” … (full text A Biographical History of the Georgist Movement).

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WELCOME to the School of Cooperative Individualism: (excerpts): … The School was established in January 1997 as a place where thoughtful persons would find meaningful — and sometimes new — insights into the long and tireless search for a socio-political philosphy that, if implemented, would nurture the development of just societies … //

… The School offers visitors what I believe is a unique opportunity to explore the quest for first principles begun by the ancients and elevated to the realm of scientific investigation by the classical political economists of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cooperative individualism is an activist philosophy, a set of principles upon which to base activism, and many of the classical political economists were activists in their own times. The one person who most fully serves as the architect of Cooperative Individualism is Thomas Paine, although he never referred to his principles and proposals by this term. The first consistent use of the term I have found is by one of the founders of an experimental community called Fairhope, in Alabama. E.B. Gaston’s essay on cooperative individualism is included in the School’s libary.

Thomas Paine had both an extraordinary intellect and a deep conviction to truth and justice. His writings and his deeds speak of someone never afraid to challenge conventional wisdom when observation and reason directed him to do so. Although Paine never used the term cooperative individualism to describe the socio-political philosophy to which he subscribed, this term is quite appropriate as the basis for just relations between individuals, between individuals within groups, and between groups. Paine was also an activist. He fought to end privilege, despotism and monopolistic behavior … (full text).

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