Valuing & feeling - Solidarity economy
Emotional traffic, emotional economy and the hands-on making of a new society
The banner of ‘solidarity economy’ has great value and appeal as a call to active production of a changed global society, through the remaking of local economies by their members. In a sense, the solidarity economy is an economy of society - made directly by members of society - as makers/cultivators/nurturers/animateurs/venturers of all kinds . . . and serving ‘social’, humane and environmentally respectful and wise purposes, rather than extractive commercial or national-financial purposes. Struggles for social justice - across divides of class, gender, ethnicity, poverty, tradition - are a characteristic dimension of the movement for solidarity economy. Compared to orthodox economics, this is ‘hot’ impassioned stuff.
There’s a lot of feeling in the solidarity economy and the movement for its ongoing making. There’s a valuing of face-to-face working relationship, bonds of affiliation, direct handling of matters in conversation and live debate, and trust generated in shared everyday realities and contacts; it tends to be a very ‘hot’ sense of belonging and of membership of a society. By the same token, quietly theorising (as distinct from ‘just knowing’ and ‘just speaking’ and ‘just getting it out in the open’ and ‘just getting on with it’) tend to be less favoured, and the workings of collectives through non-human ‘economies of material stuff’ - Including platforms, tokens and algorithms - may be less directly favoured: except when they are the favourite gambit of charismatic activists (blockchain addicts, free-code hackers and the like) who may succeed in gaining the deference of others to their superior capability with tech stuff.
There’s a need for a careful enquiry into how these modes coexist, and how very a-social mechanisms can be sensibly integrated, in a ‘dance’ of capabilities and emotional modes, with the hands-on, directly making and weaving of a fabric of lived life and manifest, gifted, well-provisioned, manifestly sufficient, well-moderated, equitable use-value.
Note: See ‘fragments’ in the outline ‘four blobs’ chapter
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