The Latin American and Iberian Institute was pleased to host this virtual panel, The Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) Movement: Perspectives from the U.S., Spain and Latin America. Topics covered include: The Barcelona Experience with Local Economic Democracy by Dr. Santiago Eizaguirre Anglada; Latin American Solidarity Economic Circuits and SSE Networks by Euclides Mance and the Social and Solidarity Economy in the United States: Progress and Challenges by Yvonne Yen Liu.
We are seeing an inspiring resurgence of progressive action at the local level, even as reactionary nationalist movements in Europe and beyond seek to position themselves as the true voices of a renewed localism. What are the prospects for such locally centered political engagement in a time of rising political polarization and conflict? How can local action help advance personal liberation and social justice? More broadly, how can it further our goals for global transformation? The current upsurge of local action by both progressives and radical municipalists is fueled by several complementary impulses.
Fearless Cities describes municipal reform campaigns in fifty cities and 19 countries. Its contributors include activists and elected officials in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, England, Chile, Argentina, Serbia, Germany, Kurdish-controlled northern Syria, Canada, and the U.S. It contains a series of “organizing tool-kits,” which offer practical advice about rooting out political corruption, reducing pollution, protecting tenants and immigrants and creating opportunities for citizen engagement like "participatory budgeting."
The solution to the economic crises in Venezuela can be found at the very origins of the revolution: in bottom-up communalism. Venezuela has more than 1,000 communes: geographical areas bonded by their historical identity, and in many cases comprising indigenous communities. It seems fitting that before his death, Hugo Chavez said, "La comuna o nada", "the commune or nothing," to describe the future of the country. He created a rallying call for bottom-up leftists against the elites of Venezuela, be they capitalists or party officials. The contradiction goes a long way to sum up Venezuelan politics – for Chavez's call could also help stop the collapse of Venezuelan society itself.
Is the left today “woke,” i.e. is it self-consciously learning from the limits of the path it has been on to design a new systemic architecture based on alternative, networked institutions to challenge the status quo? New institutions are needed because in the past farms, labor unions, progressive churches as well as universities provided the institutional base for powerful social movements. Today, each of these institutional spaces is severely challenged or has reduced in size. As Gar Alperovitz explains...