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Solidarity-based Economy: Answers to Questions on a New Governance

Romain Biever, settembre 2009

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Governance is a political issue. In our democratic society, it deals with shared responsibility, different decision-making levels, and even with the contribution of the civil society to the proposal and decision-making process. Representative democracy is not called to question; instead, attention is focussed on the shortcomings of that system. Economy can no longer be satisfactorily organised along the lines of the nation-state or of Europe as a political power for the good of the general public. In this connection, history shows that enterprises gained increasingly in importance in the course of the industrialisation age, and as multinationals, ultimately becoming real policymakers. The accompanying momentum entails that such multinationals are geared only to the expansion of their power and the control of any kind of competition, i.e. alternatives, without taking the real needs of people into consideration. They become not only a state within a state, but they also lever out any democratic mechanisms. To get these mechanisms to function properly again so as to be able to enter the real age of the knowledge society, the construct of the corporation must be replaced by the concept of territory. A modern society must consequently put its territory, its setting, centre stage of economic activity as the point of departure for the production of goods and services, so as to be geared to the real needs of people.