By Yiteg team
THE STATE OF THE ART
“Capitalist society forces us to sell many parts of ourselves” says Silvia Federici, feminist philosopher and writer. The neoliberal economic model imposed worldwide from the West brings with it severe violence and oppression that attacks the survival of people and the environment all over the planet.
In this context, many struggles are taking place all over the planet, each in its own way, but all of them are challenging the current system and demonstrate that there are other possible ways of living in a fairer, more egalitarian and environmentally friendly world.
“By transformative economies, we understand all proposals for socioeconomic reorganization that bring elements of criticism of the dominant economic framework into play, and that formulate schemes for socioeconomic change – both in theory and in practice − that endeavour to alter this framework, and to prevent or alleviate the adverse effects generated by it” (Surinyach, 2019).
THE DIFFERENT EXAMPLES OF TRANSFORMATIVE ECONOMIES:
Defining and mapping the Transformative Economies is not an easy task, in this sense, Alvaro Porro points out that there are three criteria for delimiting which practices to include within them:
- It is important that they have developed a certain paradigm-conceptual framework.
- They must have a certain vocation for social movement, for influencing society, political debate and public policies.
- That it implies a set of practices, projects and experience of doing economics in a different way from the hegemonic one.
For this reason, although there are many different experiences that could be grouped under this concept, from the YITEG project, we have decided to focus on the following, as we consider them to be the most important for their contribution to social transformation: social and solidarity economy, commons, food sovereignty and agro-ecological practices, feminist economies, and communitarian economy.
Social Solidarity Economy:
The Social Solidarity Economy proposes a system that is not only economic, but also socio-political and cultural, basing life-sustaining processes at the centre of socio-economic activity, placing people, communities and the environment above capital and its accumulation, and rejecting relations of inequality and exclusion based on gender, sexual orientation and identity, age or origin through values related, among others, to cooperation, reciprocity, self-management and solidarity.
Economy based on the commons, with three major subgenera: urban, natural, and digital commons. The commons are based on community management, breaking the duality of the state-market as the only clear and legitimate space for the production, management, and allocation of the resources of the economic system. They seek direct sovereignty and control over spheres of life that matter to them: their cities, neighborhoods, food, water, land, information, infrastructure, credit and money, social services, and much else as a systemic way to reclaim social, ecological, and ethical values for managing our shared wealth.
Agroecology and food sovereignty:
The agroecology and food sovereignty movements entail the reconsideration of our relationship with the Earth and the natural cycles, and therefore connect all struggles in defense of the earth with its own, most prominently those of social ecology and the likes of the degrowth movement. Food Sovereignty includes the necessary discourse about power, freedom, democracy, equality, justice, sustainability and culture. Food is taken out of the realm of being primarily a market commodity and re-embedded in the social, ecological, cultural and local contexts as a source of nutrition, livelihood, meaning and relationships.
The neo-liberal system has constructed a mode of organization of society that develops/goes against the material bases which allow life to be sustained. Regarding this, feminist economics allow us to take an exercise in recognizing/into account something that capitalism has always denied:
- That we are interdependent as human beings.
- That we are eco-dependent with nature.
- The recognition of care work and the people who do it. In other words, all the tasks that go beyond the productive sphere, beyond the mere production of money, traditionally occupied by women -especially migrant women from the Global South- (care of the elderly, childcare, housework, cleaning, etc.).
The Communitarian Economy refers to all activities that are developed without depending on the state or the market, i.e., through self-management. We refer to all those collective attempts aiming to satisfy needs and where the idea of belonging and participation in a community or group prevails. In short, the main idea is to fulfill the function of ensuring the material bases of life without any economic benefit. For example: a community garden, a food network, a time bank, a popular school, mutual support network etc.