Redefining Concepts in Terms of Solidarity Economy: Questions to be asked

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From Pacheco Community, as well as from many social organizations, we believe that some terms and concepts must be questioned and resignified: economic growth, progress, development, just to mention a few.

These terms are usually defined by the capitalist system and in their definition explain the goals to be achieved. These goals, are a direct path to the extermination of nature and societies; a social and environmental genocide.

In Pacheco Community, we build a solidarity economy that redefines these words.

How do we understand progress in terms of solidarity economy?

We work on growing and multiplying the meeting spaces, the assembly meetings, which allow diversity, in the exchange of knowledge, needs and interests (personal and collective), build for our territories and, ultimately, for a world.

Where are we going? Towards a different form of progress. Our idea of ​​progress is to help-advance with others.

For workers in the solidarity economy, the values ​​of progress are: equity, sustainability that respects nature, solidarity, cooperativism as a form of work and community lifestyle. Healthy and community food. Meanwhile, the capitalist economy produces, consumes and accumulates in the opposite way. The capitalist system accumulates dispossessing others and converts land, roof and labor into merchandise, ignoring that these are basic necessities and, therefore, human rights.

What kind of consumption encourages solidarity economy?

Consumption should be rethought from reflecting on the excesses that go beyond needs and generate unwanted consequences.

Rethinking food consumption means consuming nearby and seasonal products that are sustainable (socially and environmentally).

We can also buy products from local artisans and entrepreneurs. Similarly, many necessary services are offered in our own territories and we must make their existence visible.

The economy in our communities must be an integrating and circular element. A tool for community formation and self-management.

The excess, disintegration and fragmentation of our communities begins when we consume in isolation, which cuts off communal communication and generates damage to nature and disasters for society.

We must demand that companies and governments that are involved in any productive process include their externalities in their cost matrix to discuss their true profitability.

Demand and regulate that the obsolescence programmed in the designs of the products generated by the industry is finished, to reduce waste and resource depletion.

The solidarity economy redefines in its actions what is possession, leaving individualism and placing it in a collective key. From there, we rethink what we understand by development and progress, where it is not a simple increase in consumption to the detriment of the environment and therefore also society, but of a richer life that allows us to approach each other and build common spaces to meet the interests of all.

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Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.


Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

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