Remunicipalisation as a Response to Privatisation’s Failures

Even where corporate power is entrenched people can reclaim and improve services.  Remunicipalisation is an acknowledgement of the falsity that private is best or most efficient (except possibly in the support of hoarding wealth), and thus moves to return services to the public sphere.  This aims to make the services accountable to more than a motive to increase profit/power, emphasizing the needs of the community rather than the wealth of a few. This enables a focus on supporting the needs of all members of  the public, the environment and engagement with other similar projects in a reinforcement of solidarity:

 

https://www.tni.org/en/publication/here-to-stay-water-remunicipalisation-as-a-global-trend

http://www.municipalservicesproject.org/

http://www.remunicipalisation.org/

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Alternative Avenues: The Pluralist Commonwealth

Here’s a video and website that explains another alternative economic model that looks to explain an alternative to corporate capitalism and authoritarian state socialism, focusing on sustainability, democratic and community engagement and equality and liberty. The commonwealth denotes that the economic foundations of society are broadly spread and democratized, and the pluralist emphasises its concerns with the resilience provided from a variety of types and sizes of institutions rather than overbearing monopolies provided in the two other mentioned alternatives:

 

http://www.pluralistcommonwealth.org/

Windows on a New World

“If you’ve been told your whole life that things are the way other people tell you they are, to be able to think ‘No, well I can make it different’ is quite a big deal.”

Here’s yet another example of the difference people can make when they choose to come together and organise. What starts off as a sit down strike in Chicago, demanding that workers are paid their wages, eventually culminates in a new cooperative run through democratic processes:

http://www.newerawindows.com/

Raising Capital for Community Projects

Direct Public Offerings offer the opportunity to raise money that will support community projects without having the domineering requirements of quick profits or loss of control that might come with the usual funding opportunities. Read here for more:

https://www.cuttingedgecapital.com/direct-public-offering/

Communities Rather Than Investors, Developing Rather Than Siphoning

Here’s a video that has a great brief explanation of how economics and power are interrelated in responding to the parable about teaching a man to fish.  As a suggestion off the back of this the article draws your attention to how a community can, through its governmental resources, enable an enterprise that benefits the community.  It does so through creating an investment cycle that cuts out any rentier investment entities (private investors who draw off the profits for themselves, meaning the money leaves the local community) and so passes financial benefits through members of that community (by giving them the opportunity and the profits in a more spread out way, making it more likely each will spend them within that community in some form).  This then serves to retain the benefits within the community and the extra income that is spent there offers opportunities for other people to develop other opportunities to the benefit of that community:

https://f4dc.org/2013/economic-incentives-yes-but-directly-to-the-community/

 

Chitsvachirimurutsoka Cooperative Farm

Chitsvachirimurutsoka (meaning nothing ventured nothing gained) farm in Zimbabwe has grown from a simple cooperative to playing a much larger role in supporting the local community through a number of initiatives and investments.  It’s development has included not only providing practical infrastructure (such as roads, sanitation, education, etc) for the local community but also encouragement to others to form cooperative models in different areas (such as housing, retail, savings, etc).  Within the video it’s revealed that there is a law in Zimbabwe that before a company folds it must offer the workers the opportunity to form a cooperative from it first, have a read/watch:

http://unsdn.org/2015/10/01/cooperative-newsletter-september-2015-activities-of-cooperatives/

Sumak Kawsay / Buen Vivir (Living Well Together), Not “Development”

Here is a set of sources that speak of a way of thinking and living in relation to development that focuses on well balanced relations between people, and with nature as a whole (on the video you can skip to 9.35 for an explanation of what the term means).  It attempts to move away from a growth orientated extractive model, and more toward a participative model that emphasizes equality and sustainability for all those involved (not just people), as well as suggesting use of open knowledge models.  It focuses on understanding the individual as situated within the context of their community and environment rather than as distinct:

http://www.resilience.org/stories/2013-12-17/ecuador-open-knowledge-and-buen-vivir/

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/buen-vivir-philosophy-south-america-eduardo-gudynas

 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fdev.2011.86

Global Village Construction Set

Here’s a 2 minute video about a project by Open Source Ecology, a group of farmers, engineers and architects to create a set of fifty different industrial machines that it takes to build a small civilisation with modern comforts, all rooted in open source design and aimed to build them at the cost of materials with zero waste:

http://opensourceecology.org/