What is the Solidarity Economy?
The concept solidarity economy has diverse origins and varied meanings, all of which revolve around the effort to root economic activity in principles of solidarity, participation, cooperation, and reciprocity as opposed to the competitive individualism characteristic of mainstream capitalist paradigms.
“Solidarity economy” names not just participatory budgeting but any economic activity—co-ops, fair trade, ethical consumption, credit unions, local currencies, micro-finance, socially conscious investment—that democratizes an economy, subordinating profit to human ends. It includes: ethical consumption, fair trade, local currencies, micro-finance and credit unions, socially conscious investment, and co-ops of all kinds.1
The Solidarity Economy is an alternative development framework that is grounded in practice and in the the principles of: solidarity, mutualism, and cooperation; equity in all dimensions (race/ethnicity/nationality, class, gender, LGBTQ); social well-being over profit and the unfettered rule of the market; sustainability; social and economic democracy; and pluralism, allowing for different forms in different contexts, open to continual change and driven from the bottom-up.2
“Solidarity Economy” is one of the terms used to describe all those economic activities and regulations which are based upon cooperation and solidarity, so as to place human beings and social relationships back at the core of the economic activities.3
Solidarity Economy News
Basque co-operative Mondragon defies Spain slump
Economic success stories are rare in recession-hit Spain these days but one can be found in the small northern Basque town of Arrasate, nestling in rolling green hills.