- privilege connectedness and relationships over consumption and transactions
- encourage social organization and democratic participation in decision making
- decentralize governance so that people taking part have control
- value the labour of growers, makers, and thinkers and eschew the accumulation of capital as a goal.
Solidarity-based systems already exist in many forms – community-supported agriculture (CSA), mutual assistance networks, worker-owned co-operatives.
A fuller description from RIPESS (the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy):
the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is an alternative to capitalism and authoritarian, state-dominated economic systems. In SSE ordinary people play an active role in shaping all of the dimensions of human life: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental. SSE exists in all sectors of the economy: production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption and governance. It also aims to transform the social and economic system that includes public, private and third sectors. SSE is not only about the poor, but strives to overcome inequalities, which includes all classes of society. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals. SSE seeks systemic transformation that goes beyond superficial change in which the root oppressive structures and fundamental issues remain intact.
In short, solidarity economies are a commitment to community, to localized economies focused on mutual benefit, sufficiency for all, and frugal yet radical abundance for everyone.
Catch AFSA’s fortnightly online Solidarity Economy Sessions to explore the many existing examples of social solidarity economies for discussions, resources, and ideas about how to grow more.