Solidarity reconstruction in Rio Grande do Sul

Image: Dibakar Roy
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By RENATO DAGNINO*

The tragedy increased the perception that the quickest and most effective way to rebuild the state is to mobilize Solidarity Economy networks.

As expected, complaints about the political causes of the catastrophe that afflicts the people of Rio Grande do Sul have been growing, especially on the left. In parallel with the effort to alleviate the pain of the poorest people, who are those who suffer most, these complaints will tend to lead to the punishment of those responsible and government actions to prevent its repetition.

There is also growing awareness that it is not those who belong to the working class, but rather those who make up the property class, its politicians and its companies (particularly those in agribusiness and real estate speculation), who are responsible for worsening the effect of the rains.

The materialization of this awareness must prevent that, contrary to what normally happens, “as the water goes down”, companies benefit, through the exploitation of the working class, from the reconstruction process.

We know that, every time a war ends, it is those who defeated the people who suffered from it, who benefit from the profit that reconstruction provides them.

Many continue to believe that it is through processes that succeed the “creative destruction” caused by the war between companies, that the innovative ones, by placing on the market the goods and services that the less capable stopped producing, are the ones that profit from the reconstruction that exploits the working class.

It is unreasonable that at this moment of painful awareness in society, the left is exempt from implementing an alternative reconstruction that materializes everyone's desire, of favoring those who are suffering most, those who, literally, “lost everything”. They are the ones who best know how to identify, especially because, unlike what happens with the ownership class and their companies, they still know how to operate in a supportive, self-managed, participatory way and in the interest of the collective, which needs to be prioritized.

And, also, judging by empirical data, such as that 70% of the cement produced in the country is sold “in mincemeat”, that is, to joint efforts, those who can with advantages in relation to companies (which take over the almost 18% of GDP from public procurement), participate in reconstruction.

Which must be carried out as is already the case in family farming in which the MST, with its exquisitely qualified staff, has been redesigning capitalist technoscience in the direction of Solidarity Technoscience.

Generalizing, it is worth mentioning many advantages that the Solidarity Economy has. On the one hand, those associated with limiting abusive profits, tax evasion, corruption, waste, disrespect for technical standards, etc. that characterize business behavior.

On the other hand, those that, by privileging the production, consumption and financing networks of the Solidarity Economy, the State could reorient its purchasing power, provide society with: those of a social, economic, environmental nature, etc. Not to mention those of a political, ideological nature, governance of the elected government, etc.

It is unreasonable for this awareness to be wasted and for the public resources destined for reconstruction to flow towards those who already absorb 6% of GDP from public debt service, 5% from tax waivers, 10% from tax evasion, etc.

It is unreasonable that at a time when good people are still focused on alleviating the pain of the people, the powerful are allowed to be free to, as they did during Covid, “pass the herd” to profit from the misfortunes they helped to cause. .

Support is growing for the immediate creation of a task force made up of government agents and members of the Solidarity Economy movement to formulate and implement a Solidarity Reconstruction Plan.

Its first activity, formulation, will be: (i) the identification of goods and services whose production and distribution can be carried out immediately by Solidarity Economy networks and (ii) that which, in the short term, can occur with the participation of female workers and workers from public teaching and research institutions (in particular, due to the engagement they already have, from the Federal Institutes).

At the same time, implementation activities will begin through the mobilization of government agents, members of the Solidarity Economy movement and organizations willing to participate in the activities to be carried out. To facilitate the direct allocation of public resources to workers involved in the production and distribution (when applicable) of goods and services and, in many cases, their immediate consumption, the network of community banks will be used.

The perception is growing that the fastest and most effective way to rebuild is to mobilize Solidarity Economy networks to, through public purchasing, produce the necessary goods and services.

The Solidarity Economy can be decisive for the reconstruction of Rio Grande do Sul. For the creation of a task force for the Solidarity Reconstruction of Rio Grande do Sul!

* Renato Dagnino He is a professor at the Department of Scientific and Technological Policy at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of Solidarity Technoscience, a strategic manual (anti-capital fights).


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