Monday, 7 November 2011

Questions, questions

• How we can create enjoyable, socially-inclusive, democratically managed jobs, enterprises, co-operatives and other forms of formal and informal economic organisation in a climate and resource constrained world?

• How do we define what it means to live the sort of life we want to live, while understanding that climate change and resource constraint issues need to be recognised?

• How do we identify what we need and what we should produce?

• What is enjoyable, convivial, democratically-controlled work, as opposed to exploitative useless toil?

• How do we maintain and enable to flourish that which we hold in common and all depend on: wider ecosystems, social services, civic life, community?

• What does it mean to create wealth, to be entrepreneurial? How can we develop new, social and collective understandings of wealth creation?

• Are markets always capitalist, always illogical, prone to crisis and unequal rewards – or good allocation mechanisms? Can we reconfigure markets so they work to different rhythms?

• Can we change the world without taking power? What are the possibilities and limits of grassroots action? Is this a naïve suggestion?

• What is the role of the state? Can the state facilitate, rather than co-opt, grassroots action? Should we change the world by taking power? Do social democratic models in Scandinavian countries get the ballence beween civil society and a supportive state, underpin by public spending, right?

• Are social democratic governments better or worse at working with civil society, without co-opting them? Paradoxically, are there more opportunities for grassroots change under neoliberal governments where citizens are expected to fend for themselves more? Or in the latter case, is this just a cover for privatisation, with social/solidarity economy organisations being set up to fail?

• What are the best conceptual and theoretical tools for thinking these issues through?

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