Solidarity Economy

The Solidarity Economy utilizes sharing, barter, exchanges and cooperatives to provide a diverse set of compensation.   It's participants and members focus on strengthening relationships over competitiveness.  Goods may be exchanged for services and visa versa. All members of the community are open to participate.


One of the earliest social "solidarity economies" began with 28 individuals who started the  Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society in the United Kingdom in 1844. As the industrial revolution was pushing a number of weavers into poverty, these people pooled their limited income  to open their own store selling, butter, sugar, flour, oatmeal, and a few candles.  This was one of the first Mutual Beneficial Societies providing "mutual aide." 

During the 1980's, the idea of a global economy based on Solidarity was taking shape independently by academics in Europe and Latin America by Luis Razeto (1998) in Chile and Jean Louis Laville (2007) in France.  Throughout the years, Civil Society organizations around the world have continued to form membership associations through cooperatives and mutual benefit societies forming schools, creameries, day cares, housing units and utilieis.  Their intent was to put people and the health of the planet ahead of maximizing profit. 


The Solidarity Economy has been dominated by people of privilege who have the economic means to trade and barter…  Criticism has occurred because the solutions have not been perceived as real to scale up.

The economic system currently dominating the United States is Capitalism. Its origins began through trade and evolved to the place where some individuals wished to control the means of production, which subjugated the workers.

Throughout our shared history, those afforded access to the legacy of wealth through heredity and privilege have had the means to improve their social status and position.  The most basic right to owning land itself and the ability to profit from it was a great advantage.

At the same time, for century's, millions of Indigenous Peoples lived in North America. Their oral history and traditions told them this was their traditional homeland but did not own the land. Within their tribes and between other peoples they did participate in many forms of trade and exchange of foodstuffs, baskets and material culture. While enslaved, millions of African Americans had not the means to acquire any wealth towards securing their own future.  

Capitalism is dependent on global extraction of resources that has impacted the climate, the land, the animals and the people. Capitalism as it has concentrated wealth in 1 % of the people.  

The impact of Capitalism on the world can be viewed through global trade and industrial revolution.  Where a financial system based on market economy where goods and services that are produced, bought and sold.

The impact of Capitalism has exposed disenfranchisement, worker abuse, unsafe labor practices, racialized work tasks. Responses to the concentration of wealth and disenfranchisement of millions of people have occurred all over the world. When people could not afford the price of fuel for transportation or heating, store shelves were empty, millions were unemployed.Over 20 years ago in 1999 some of the first protests began in Seattle Washington against the World Trade Organization and International Monetary fund.  Other protests happened in Ozlo and Prague. 

Following that was the Occupy Movement September in 2011. By 9 October, Occupy protests had taken place or were ongoing in over 951 cities across 82 countries, and in over 600 communities in the United States.  Wiki


Our present and future is about building on this country’s long history of barter that has manifested into cooperatives, mutualistas and alternative methods of exchange.  To support neighborhood self-reliance and ongoing maintenance, local governments and non-profits all over the country have instituted tool lending libraries accompanied by how to workshops.

In 1979, in response to bad economic times, the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs produced and distributed "People Power" which highlighted on the ground successes of "What Communities are Doing to Counter Inflation."  It highted the efforts of non-profits all over the country that had formed to address the needs of their communities in the areas of Food, Housing, Energy and Health.  Then in 1996, the Robert's Foundation produced "The New Social Entrepreneurs: The Success, Challenge and Lessons of Non-Profit Enterprise Creation.


Examples include land takeovers by Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), factory take-overs in Argentina, the autonomista movements in Chiapas, Mexico, and the Popular Economic Organizations in Chile.7

Authentic Voices

Video              Cooperation Jackson  Kali Akuno  Worker Owned Cooperatives

                        US Social Forum  Jerome Scott  Post Capitalist

Peak Moment  On Community Rights US

Audio             Community Rights US

                        Solidarity Economy 

Groups           (The People’s response) 

Community Rights US  Paul Cienfuegos

Essays            Community Rights Papers


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