Surely not another third way

In a presentation, titled

Quines són les competècies qu l’alumnat universtari necessita per a l’emprenedoria social?

(Facultat Pedagogia. Universitat de Barcelona – November 2nd, 2011), another dimension of the globalisation and crisis challenge will be looked at – different from what had been presented recently in the “ten arguments” adopted by the scientific council of attac.

Many debates on Third Ways can be found, accompanying revolutionary movements, aiming on overcoming the need for revolutionary changes or seeing themselves as some kind of fundamental change itself. Leaving these debates aside, there are especially in the current crisis surely good reasons to think about the co-operative sector or social economy. And doing so surely requires taking a perspective that is going beyond the more traditional stance of seeing them as ‘entrepreneurs with a broader understanding of entrepreneurial goals’. Point of departure is not another look at the enterprises of the social economy. Rather, central point of reference for the presentation will be a look at the processes of societal (dis)integration and (de-)focussing, in particular

* the loss of the wider understanding of economic processes as genuinely social, including the reference to processes of relational appropriation as matter of working on “different goals” such as the provision of goods and services, social integration, environmental maintenance and others;
* the loss of an integrated understanding of the different stages of production: from generating raw materials to processing them, manufacturing, distribution, exchange and consumption;
* the loss of local reference of production and consumption (the well-known strawberries for Christmas dinner in Alaska);
* last but not least, the dissolution of use value and exchange value as integrated moments of the overall process.

In this perspective, the social economy (rather than primarily the enterprises of the social economy) may actually function as at least one facilitator for a new debate on perspective global for economic development, complementing other areas. Also, this may open perspectives for teaching that is not oriented along lines of moral commitment, pleading for corporate social responsibility. We need indeed a new perspective in economic development that focuses again on political economy rather than improved economics and management techniques.

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