SCI director, Ed Dodson, has
developed this Powerpoint-based course,
available here for study, including his lecture
notes, provided you have Powerpoint software
(save the individual modules to your computer,
then open the modules in "notes view")
encourage you to read through the INTRODUCTION
below as your first step to learning about the
School and its reason for being.
Cooperative Individualism is a school of thought
derived from the objective search for truth by
some of history's most thoughtful writers and
Thanks for visiting. I hope you will find your
stay informative and enjoyable.
Welcome to the School of Cooperative
Individualism. 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.
I thank those of you who have visited and
continue to return to the School, and I
particularly appreciate the comments and
recommendations received over these many years.
I will continue to add important material to the
School's library and will strive to provide
links to other websites that contribute to the
expansion of our knowledge and understanding.
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.
After Paine's death early in
the nineteenth century, the torch of cooperative
individualism fell to the ground, its fire
nearly dying out until the emergence of Henry
George in the final quarter of the nineteenth
century to relight the flame and carry the torch
into the global political arena.
In the twentieth century, the princples of
cooperative individualism were gradually
overwhelmed by the conflicts -- often violent --
between those who desired to remake the world
order and those who fought to defend the status
quo. In that environment, the philosopher
Mortimer J. Adler fought to preserve scientific
methods and the objective pursuit of truth. His
writings materially contribute to the
preservation of the principles of cooperative
Today, as in Paine's own time, constructive
change requires two things, essentially: an
educated citizenry and a core of teachers able
to distinguish between true and false moral
principles. Change will then flow naturally and,
on the whole, peacefully. This is the mission of
The School of Cooperative Individualism.