Our society needs a real conversation about the meaning and nature of economic growth. In a time of populist politics and rising regional discontent, it is more important than ever to examine new models and approaches of sustainable, equitable and just development.
In Part I, last week, I made the case for the over-riding importance for a major shift in the strategic focus for all democratic change movements, and especially for co-operative/solidarity economics. Here in Part II I sketch out how I think we can begin moving decisively toward community and regional networks with a cultural/structural strategy.
While Transition and other grassroots groups focus on the vital task of local resiliency, it is becoming clear to many of us that the demands of our time, and the transition now unfolding, also require us to think regionally.
The current system of aggressive nation states and trade blocks – largely subjected to still more aggressive corporate powers, such as Cargil, Monsanto and so on will prove easy to subvert, since they deal exclusively in price. We return to capital worth in labour and resource. Value has been resonant with social justice in all cultures, and I think most people have come to understand what “real economics” and valued capital might mean. Worth may be a potent social dynamo: both morally and by weight and measure. Corporations and trade blocks are exclusively oil powered, or oil-replacement (a fantasy) powered – not a durable foundation!
Localise West Midlands (LWM) has just completed some research which we wanted to share with those interested in the REconomy project. It is closely related to REconomy thinking, and we hope (have to hope) it has potential to increase how “reconomics” can be integrated into mainstream economic development.