Co-operatives put businesses, homes and organisations into the control of their workers, residents, and other stakeholders: a powerful way to put decision making into the hands of those most effected, helping to carve out some breathing space in the neoliberal capitalist system. The solidarity economy, meanwhile, is a vision of another system. This economy is not something new, it predates capitalism by thousands of years, but has been stifled and is not always easily visible. Despite this, the most marginalised parts of our society still depend on the solidarity economy – from food banks, people’s kitchens and community allotments to free shops, base unions, and community-led campaigns.
What would it take to grow a solidarity economy capable of transforming our current system in Britain? The Solidarity Economy Association believe the answer lies in internationalist solidarity and grass-roots education.
With Jo Taylor & Colm Massey