This is an important social innovation,…

This is an important social innovation, because, unlike classic non-profits or non-governmental institutions, they do not operate from the point of view of scarcity. Classic NGOs still operate much like other industrial institutions, such as the corporation and the market state, as they believe that resources need to marshalled and managed. By contrast, the new for-benefits have only an active role in enabling and empowering the community to co-operate – by provisioning its infrastructure, not by commanding its production processes. These associations exist for the sole purpose of benefitting the community of which they are the expression. This is good news, as they are generally managed in democratic ways. And they have to be, because an undemocratic institution would discourage contributions by the community of participants.

Here is the kicker. What would you call an institution that is responsible for the common good of all the participants? I would argue that this type for for-benefit institution has a very similar function to what we commonly assign to the state.

h/t +David Guthrie

The 'welfare state' is dead – long live the 'partner state'?

As the welfare state declines, what's needed are democratically-run, civic institutions that protect the common good.

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