By Michel Seyrat
The history of mankind is punctuated by resistances, inventions and co-operations: resisting to powers, inventing new solutions, co-operating in implementing them. The periods of great changes, and we are living one of them, do not escape to that process. This reality is reflected by the projects, reported in this issue of the magazine.
Besides the global economy, monopolistic and more and more detached from social concerns, everywhere countless “resistants” are struggling for their life or survival. Small producers who are looking for outlets, self-entrepreneurs who are starting their business from their own experience, activists who are fighting for implementing initiatives shared with others.
But to be able to resist, people always need to invent new ways of working, to launch new initiatives, to be inspired by utopias. In 1844, in Rochedale, an industrial suburb of Manchester, twenty-eight weaver workers decide to put in common a pound each in order to create a cooperative store, the Rochedale Society of Equitable Pioneers. In order to address their poverty, they invented the principles of consumer cooperatives. Human societies still need Equitable Pioneers who, even if they do not play in the category of the all-powerful, are able to change the lives of their fellows. In a global world, local action invents innovative solutions.
“Woe to the man alone” proclaims the Bible. Acting together makes people more efficient and helps them become more human. Workers from Manchester stated they were “equitable”: free choice, equality, democratic decision-making, fair distribution are the necessary conditions of co-operation. Thanks to the current means of communication, co-operating without borders is possible ; distance is no longer an obstacle. With a few clicks, people can communicate and any action can become global.
From sharing goods to sharing ideas
What is true in economic area is true also in the area of ideas and human rights. Goods are circulating more and more quickly, ideas as well.
Today we can hear simple men and women of all cultures and we see the beauty and correctness of their reasoning. Indeed, as Descartes said, common sense is the best shared thing in the world. Against fanatics of all stripes, this fact is a hope to be shared.
To resist, to invent, to share: here are three action verbs for INDABA!