Another different economy from the current one is not only possible but also indispensable for countries to shelter and encourage everybody; economies that do not generate the many outcasts and persecuted that today imply the large majority of humanity. Such other economy and those other countries are not achieved by avoiding the dismantling of the most critical aspects of the prevailing socioeconomic order. Which are some of those critical aspects? Why are they so decisive?
Despite being denied by the self-imposed helmspersons of the economy, humanity faces a trajectory of blind alleys with alienated minorities in a merciless cult of money and power. Severe social and environmental tensions announce storms. Submission through colonization of minds or (open or concealed) repression is not able to contain the reaction against received punishments and the absence or loss of rights. The attacked nature adds its discomfort, overflowing limits and territories.
Another better economy
Little is made explicit and plenty is concealed regarding how the economy conditions the course that humanity and the planet suffer. Very different economic theories appear to sustain privileges and value appropriation that is produced with the peoples’ efforts. As it is impossible to openly defend punishments and indignities that are unleashed over majorities, dominators need to conceal and falsify what happens. Entity is denied to other options. There is where lie and concealment begin.
Another economy is not only possible but also indispensable for sheltering and encouraging the entire humanity: an economy not conformed to secure profit for the few but rather the general wellbeing and protection of the environment. These are very different types of economy. There is where other institutions will emerge, as well as other development strategies, other public policies, other regulations, other structures for public income and spending. This type of economy falls within the permanent search for justice, equity, dignity, sustainability and decisional sovereignty.
It will be necessary to distant ourselves from the fable that justifies the process of concentration of wealth and decisional power. On the contrary, it will be imperative to dismantle the mechanisms that generate concentration, not only economic engines but also social, political, media, judicial and educational engines. When transforming the concentrating preeminence, beware! We should take care of not falling into new fundamentalisms imposing recipes equally applicable to all. Quite the opposite, it will be necessary to design differentiated approaches, singular strategies according to the particular circumstances of each time and territory.
Thus, in these lines we only present areas of strategic challenges; what is extremely important because it has always been the dominant order who decided the challenges to address and the questions to ignore, hide, belittle. Will it be necessary to make explicit that there are other challenges than those presented here? No one ignores the multiple dimensions in which realities are expressed and diverse perspectives coexist, particularly including those of common citizens that live the everyday-nature of events.
Critical challenges that should not be ignored
- Profiling a referential utopia that, from foundational values and principles, outlines the type of country, society, economy we long for. It will be useful, as guide and reference, to identify the consistency of mandates and actions.
- It is critical to definitely solve poverty and indigence. It is a lie that there always be poor and indigent people; in another economy there will be no lack of resources, strategies, and opportunities to eradicate such social affront. These will include providing universal coverage in terms of health, education, housing, environmental sanitation and other basic needs with excellence.
- It will be necessary to defend and extend popular rights conquered with great effort, including labor and social-security rights.
- It matters and a lot to define the normative and value framework that regulates the markets’ functioning; it is decided by the citizens through the State with their public policies, regulations, and the assignation of resources.
- It will be necessary to eliminate current huge inequalities through regulations and active polices that enable a patrimonial distribution and a non-concentrated income generation. It is not the same to redistribute income than patrimony because if patrimonial inequality is not reduced, income will continue to emerge concentrated in the hands of those who have the most. This is one of the issues that dominators eliminate from the national agenda.
- When necessary to secure a fiscal restructuring, it should be addressed with justice and equity; never with adjustments that weigh over those who have the less. Responsibility for restructuring public finances must fall on the wealthiest that evaded taxes and flight capitals abroad. It will be indispensable to establish progressive tax structures as well as optimize the allocation of public spending in social and productive infrastructure.
- It will be necessary to exercise a very prudent sovereign indebtedness, destining it not to finance running costs but to strategic social and environmental investments.
- Democratizing access to land is another issue that dominators try to keep off the development agenda; very high priority should be given to this issue.
- Urban income generated by the valorization of urban plots cannot be appropriated by someone who has done nothing to generate it. It is the community with its activities and expansion that makes it possible and thus it is such community that should be benefited with it. There are several modalities and instruments for democratizing such income.
- Concentrated economy advances with so many disequilibria and recurrent crises because it was structured based on decisions adopted by investors only interested in assuring profit (both legitimate and illegitimate). It will be necessary to gradually transform this productive matrix with a comprehensive vision, promote labor-intensive activities, less dependent on imported supplies and with strong support from national science and technology.
- The oligopolistic nature of the majority of markets enables innumerable abuses of market power. Many of them occur within value chains where leading enterprises appropriate a good part of the value generate by the rest of the participants. There are several modalities for securing the implementation of ways for distributing productive process results with equity. In the case of monopolistic enterprises providers of essential public services or critical supplies, their ownership and functioning should be regulated.
- It will be necessary to hierarchize real economy and eradicate financial speculation. State must firmly regulate financial entities to materialize the orientation change. There is no lack of monetary-policy instruments but rather determination to apply them in support of a sustainable, inclusive, real economy that combines equity with enhancements in competitiveness particularly in relation to the rest of the world.
- Local, national, and international decisional sovereignty makes for a full democracy, liberated from the submission to groups or creditor entities that impose policies that do not respond to the interests of our communities. Its exercise will come in hand with a firm, fair, and sustainable national development.
- It is crucial to liberate public opinion from submission via colonization of minds and format of subjectivities. A fundamental base for establishing another economy is the development of popular clarification and strengthening of social and political organization. We will need to secure transparent electoral processes without being left at the mercy of the media capable of imposing agendas and candidates.
- Justice and the systems that administer it have lost credibility; complicities with power groups have transformed it in judicial trenches of the prevailing order in detriment of the rest of the population. A deep transformation is required; one that democratizes justice and holds it accountable regarding its procedures and sentences.
- A less known challenge is transforming the meso-economy, a larger space of the economy than that of each productive venture. It is referred to productive fabrics of each territory and how they are inserted in larger chains. This includes promoting that domestic savings be channeled to solidarity banks and other entities that invest it mainly in the own territory where it was generated. New entities include trust funds and developers specialized in developing local medium-size enterprises, such as popular franchises, locomotive agro-industries, first and second-degree cooperatives, and community supermarkets, systems where producers participate in stockpiling, processing, and transport of local productions.
- It will be necessary to coordinate and complement diverse types of investments; public investment with well-chosen national or foreign private investment. Not any investment, rather those that generate dignified employment, that locally reinvest good part of their profits, that are not simply extractive investments leaving only scarce resources in the country; investments inserted in regional promissory value chains with low importing intensity . In short, investments that are both successful and that respect and do not antagonize with the orientation of serving the general wellbeing and the protection of the environment.
It is not simple to address these or other strategic challenges. There are many conditioning factors and a diversity of strategies and sequences to materialize solutions. Each challenge does not appear in isolation and, though operationally we must tackle each one in its specificity, the group of challenges emerges from one complex process that requires actions in many fronts to transform it.
Are we building new paths or retracing existent ones? Will we follow courses that are not our own or will we elaborate our own trajectories? There is no place for ingenuities and voluntarisms. The correlation of forces that prevails in each country and situation will always be a critical factor but, at the same time, its transformation will be part of the own process of generating another economy, another country. It is clear that in our perspective there are no fatalisms or determinisms but, instead, a free though conditioned will.
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