Reciprocity and redistribution in an Economy of Solidarity (Reciprocidad y redistribución en una economía solidaria)
Ars & Humanitas
The 'Economy of Solidarity' is a proposal that appeared in Latin America in the last decade of the twentieth century as part of the global movement seeking alternatives to the market society model. The Economy of Solidarity suggests that society claims responsibility on the basis of solidarity in the production, distribution and consumption, and that the economic practice regenerates social life with models of reciprocity and redistribution outside the capitalist system. The first part of the
... first part of the text summarizes the historical circumstances of the emergence of civil society organizations in Latin America, whose various alternative initiatives came together in the so-called World Social Forum since the year 2000. The second part explains the proposal of the Economy of Solidarity as part of that movement by highlighting the role of the gift culture, and the concepts of reciprocity and redistribution, which are defined in detail due to their relevance in the alternatives to capitalism. The examples of both concepts are included; an example of reciprocity is the exchange of products at local markets, seeking a more balanced urban-rural relationship; a redistribution example is used in social or community currencies that facilitate the distribution of basic goods between local market's participants. Finally, we admit there is still some way ahead before the Economy of Solidarity becomes a reality, but its scope should be observed by social scientists.