Deze ‘charter’ over solidarity economy is een vertaling uit het Portugees naar het Engels via Google Translate. De Engelse grammatica en zinsopbouw klopt vaak niet helemaal, maar het gaat om het krijgen van een indruk van solidarity economy. Op de site Forum Brasileiro de Economia Solidária kun je het origineel in het Portugees lezen.

1. Origin and current scenario

The Solidarity Economy emerges today as rescue of the historical struggle of (the) employees as a defense against the exploitation of human labor, and an alternative to the capitalist mode of organizing social relations of human beings with one another and with nature.

In the early days of capitalism, the relations of wage labor – the main form of work organization that system – led to such a degree of exploitation of human labor that (the) employees organized themselves into unions and cooperative ventures. Unions as a form of defense and conquest of rights / the workers / the ventures and cooperative, self-management, in order to work alternative to wage exploitation.

The struggles in these two fields have always been complementary, yet the expansion of wage labor in the world led to this form of capitalist relation became hegemonic, transforming everything, including human labor, merchandise.

Other forms (Community, handmade, individual, family, cooperative enterprises, etc..) began to be treated as “remnants backward” that would tend to be absorbed and transformed increasingly capitalist relations.

The current crisis of wage labor, bare once the promise of capitalism to turn everything and everyone the goods to be offered and consumed in a market equalized by “competitiveness”. Millions of workers are excluded from their jobs, expands increasingly precarious labor without rights guarantees. Thus, the forms of work called “backward” that should be reduced, if the absover extend this whole contingent excluded.

Today, in Brazil, more than 50% of workers are surviving work outside the hegemonic capitalist sector, the relations employed and “protected”. What was to be absorbed by capitalism, becomes so large that it is a challenge which can only be overcome by facing a movement that combines all these forms and to develop an alternative project of solidarity economy.

In this scenario, under various titles – solidarity economy, social economy, fair economy, humanoeconomia, popular and solidarity economy, economy of proximity, economy of communion, etc., have emerged practices of social and economic relations that instantly provide survival and improves quality of life of millions of people in different parts of the world.

But it goes beyond their horizon. Practices are based on relations of collaboration with others inspired by cultural values that place the human being as subject and purpose of economic activity, rather than the private accumulation of wealth in general and capital in particular.

The experiments, which feed on sources as diverse as the practices of reciprocity of indigenous peoples from different continents and principles of cooperatives generated in Rochdale, England, in the mid-nineteenth century, improved and recreated in different socio-cultural contexts, and won multiple forms ways to express themselves.

2. Convergence – What is the Solidarity Economy

General principles

Despite this diversity of origin and cultural dynamics, are points of convergence:

  • the social value of human labor,
  • full satisfaction of the needs of all as the axis of technological creativity and economic activity,
  • recognition of the fundamental role of women and the feminine economy based on solidarity,
  • the search for a respectful exchange relationship with nature, and
  • values of cooperation and solidarity.

The Solidarity Economy is the foundation of a humanizing globalization, sustainable development, socially just and facing the rational satisfaction of the needs of each and every citizen of the Earth following a path of sustainable development in the intergenerational quality of your life.

  • The midpoint of the solidarity economy is labor, knowledge and creativity and not human-capital money and your property under any of its forms.
  • The Solidarity Economy is founded practices in collaborative relationships solidarity, inspired by cultural values that place the human being as subject and purpose of economic activity, rather than the private accumulation of wealth in general and capital in particular.
  • The Solidarity Economy seeks unity between production and reproduction, avoiding the fundamental contradiction of the capitalist system, which develops productivity growing sectors but excludes workers from access to their benefits.
  • The Solidarity Economy seeks other quality of life and consumption, and this requires solidarity between citizens of the center and the periphery of the world system.
  • For Solidarity Economy, efficiency can not be limited to the material benefits of an enterprise, but also defines as social efficiency, depending on the quality of life and happiness of its members and at the same time, the entire ecosystem.
  • The Solidarity Economy is a powerful tool to combat social exclusion, as it presents a viable alternative for the generation of employment and income for the direct satisfaction of the needs of all, proving that it is possible to organize the production and reproduction of society so as to eliminate material inequalities and spread the values of human solidarity.

Specific principles

For a system of solidarity finance

For Solidarity Economy central value is the right of communities and nations to sovereignty of their own finances. Are some of the developers of a policy of self-managed investment financing from local to national level:

  • Locally, micro, territorial: cooperative banks, ethical banks, credit unions, microfinance institutions and solidarity enterprises borrowers, all with the purpose of financing its members and not concentrate profits through high interest rates, are components important socio-economic system supportive, encouraging popular access to credit based on their own savings.
  • At the national level, macro, structural: the decentralization of responsibility currencies circulating national and encouraging fair trade currencies using; consequent financial empowerment of communities, the control and regulation of financial flows to fulfill its role as a means and not the purpose of economic activity, the imposition of limits on interest rates and the extraordinary profits of monopolistic basis, public control of the exchange rate and charge of issuing domestic currency to avoid any speculative activity and defend the people’s sovereignty over their own market.

The development of productive chains Solidarity

The Solidarity Economy allows jointly articulate the various links of each chain, in networks of agents that support and complement each other:

  • Articulating consumption solidarity with the production, marketing and finance, in an organic and dynamic, from local to global, solidarity economy expands opportunities and exchanges for each agent without economic activity away from your first order, that is to meet production and reproduction of society and own economic agents.
  • Conscious of being part of an organic system and comprehensive, each economic agent seeks to contribute to the progress and the set itself, enhancing the cooperative advantages and systemic efficiency that result in better quality of life and work for each and for all.
  • The sharing of decision with community representatives on the social efficiency and uses surpluses, allows you to make investments in the general conditions of life for all and the creation of other companies solidarity, giving a dynamic character of social reproduction.
  • The Solidarity Economy proposes to economic and social activity rooted in its more immediate context, and has territorial and local development as benchmarks, maintaining links with networks of strengthening the supply chain (production, marketing and consumption) spread over many countries, with based on ethical, supportive and sustainable.
  • The solidarity economy promotes the development of trade networks at fair prices, looking for the benefits of productive development are shared more equitably between groups and countries.
  • The solidarity economy, in its various forms, is a development project to promote people and communities subject to social media, tools and resources to produce and distribute the wealth, in order to fill the needs of everyone and genuinely sustainable development.

The construction of a policy of Solidarity Economy in the Democratic State

  • The Solidarity Economy is also an integral development project aimed at sustainability, economic justice, social, cultural and environmental and participatory democracy.
  • The Solidarity Economy stimulates the formation of strategic alliances between grassroots organizations to the full and active rights and responsibilities of citizenship, exercising its sovereignty by democratic and participatory management.
  • The Solidarity Economy requires respect for the autonomy of enterprises and organizations of workers, without the tutelage of the United centralizers and away from bureaucratic cooperative practices that suppress the direct participation of citizens workers.
  • The solidarity economy, firstly requires the responsibility of national states to defend the universal rights of workers, that neoliberal policies intended to eliminate.
  • Advocates a state democratically strong, empowered from the society itself, and it placed the service, transparent and reliable, able to orchestrate the diversity that constitutes and ensure social justice and the realization of the rights and responsibilities of each citizen and everyone.
  • The central value is national sovereignty in a context of respectful interaction with the sovereignty of other nations. The strong democratic state is able to promote through dialogue with society, public policies that strengthen participatory democracy, democratization of public funds and the benefits of development.
  • Thus, the Solidarity Economy may be in the economic sector of society, distinct from the capitalist economy and state economy, strengthening the democratic state with the eruption of new social actor autonomous and able to advance new rights rules and regulation of the society in their benefit.

3. The Solidarity Economy is not:

  • The solidarity economy is not geared to mitigate the social problems generated by neoliberal globalization.
  • The Solidarity Economy rejects the old practices of competition and maximize profitability individual.
  • The solidarity economy rejects the proposal of commodification of people and nature at the expense of plundering the earth’s environment, contaminating and depleting natural resources in the North in exchange for reserve areas in the South
  • The solidarity economy is faced against the belief that the market is able to self-regulate for the good of all, and that competition is the best way relationship between social actors.
  • The solidarity economy is faced against the logic of the capitalist market which leads to the belief that human needs can only be met in the form of goods and they are opportunities for private profit and capital accumulation.
  • The solidarity economy is an alternative to the world of growing unemployment in the vast majority of workers do not participate in management or control of the means and resources to produce wealth and a growing number of workers and families lose access to compensation and is excluded the capitalist market.
  • The solidarity economy denies competition within the framework of the capitalist market that throws worker against worker, company against company, country against country, a war without truce in which all are enemies of all wins and who is stronger, richer and often more rogue or corrupt and corrupting.
  • The solidarity economy seeks to reverse the logic of capitalist spiral in which the number who gain access to material wealth is increasingly reduced, while rapidly increasing the number of those who can only share the misery and hopelessness.
  • The solidarity economy challenges both the concept of wealth as indicators of their evaluation that reduce the productive and commercial value, without taking into account other values such as environmental, social, cultural and economic activity.
  • The solidarity economy is not confused with the so-called Third Sector replacing the State in its social obligations and inhibits the emancipation of the workers as protagonists rights. The Solidarity Economy states, the emergence of new social actor workers as historical subjects.