The Solidarity Economy: A Way Forward for Our De-Futured World
Julie Matthaei, Wellesley College
Matthew Slaats, University of Virginia School of Architecture
As society contends with the ongoing economic, environmental and political crises perpetuated by racist patriarchal ecologically-destructive capitalism, there is a need to look beyond forms of inequality to the opportunity of solidarity. While histories of mutuality and reciprocity have long been present in economies around the world, it is in the last thirty years that global movements have begun to coalesce under the framework of the solidarity economy. This framework asserts a path forward towards a just and sustainable post-capitalist future, based in cooperation and care. We begin by exploring how the solidarity economy framework and movement have been making already-existing alternatives to capitalism visible. Then we consider the values, practices and institutions that have come to define the solidarity economy, and the vital role social movements have played in creating a politics and culture of solidarity. We then look at how the solidarity economy movement is growing and solidifying the solidarity economy through education, incubation, and establishing networks at multiple scales. The article concludes with a consideration of present challenges, including capitalist competition, dealing with competing frameworks, inclusion/exclusion, and overcoming conflict.
Download and read the full article in the Journal of Social Encounters – an open source global journal of Peace & Justice Studies – in their special issue on solidarity.