Here are links to non-partisan, non-commercial organisations that are doing things which look as if they might be moving in the right direction.
These organisations have new or different approaches; they may be running on a break even basis or be charities, they all represent some aspect of the change that holistic political economy seeks but may not be full exemplars. All organisations can have weaknesses and I'm not claiming any of these are perfect. They all have something to contribute. Imagine of all these organisations (and all the ones I don't know about) were loosely coupled; anyone seeking hope, inspiration or help, would get a sense of the scale of what they represent. It would be clear that together they are more than the sum of their parts. I have a specific proposal about this in Part 4 - Tactics - Information, HoPEdia
Throughout this ebook I have stressed that the world is complicated and that power needs to be treated with circumspection. Where these organisations are having success they are on a small scale. We need to reinforce success, instead of being isolated examples they need to become exemplars that point to wider adoption. The same applies to the political alternatives, if these approaches can work on a small scale then the templates for success at a larger scale are lying around, ready to be scaled up.
Civil Society Organisations
I don't want to create a catalogue of the big charities that everyone has heard of. Many of these have a corporate look and feel which is out of step with the modes of operation of I envisage in holistic political economy. Being a large charity organisations is no guarantee of internal democracy and charities are just as vulnerable to poor administration and power seeking behaviours as traditional businesses. This weakness has been highlighted by recent cases of exploitation and lack of due process in the field, as well as dubious fund raising practices in the UK. Furthermore whilst the risk of abuse increases with size, small organisations are not exempt either; what I want to highlight are aspects of what good looks like, sticking with the themes of just getting on with it and empowering people.
- Leeds Food Aid Network https://www.leedsfoodaidnetwork.co.uk/social-enterprise/
- St Georges Crypt https://stgeorgescrypt.org.uk/uncategorised/mission-statement
- The Big Issue https://www.bigissue.com/about/
- The Trussel Trust https://www.trusselltrust.org/about/
- Social Enterprises Umbrella Organisation https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk
- Civil Society Futures https://civilsocietyfutures.org/about/
Some success stories in the press
- I found Aditiya Chakrabortty's columns on the The Alternatives in the Guardian to be inspiring https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/series/the-alternatives
- There are business men who convert their businesses to coops rather than just selling up and walking away https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/14/workers-bosses-new-economics-series-employee-ownership
And experiments in politics
These work on a small scale, they can become templates for larger scale implementation.
- Citizens Assemblies (a form of Sortition) https://citizensassembly.co.uk/democracy-matters/
- Frome encourages independent councillors - http://iffrome.org.uk
- Totness has its own currency https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/they-dont-just-shop-local-in-totnes-they-have-their-very-own-currency-818586.html
- Prestons regeneration- https://www.preston.gov.uk/thecouncil/the-preston-model/
- Planning how to take on power https://www.powercube.net
- New ways of organising when trades unions are weak https://www.organise.org.uk
- Using the power of the net https://www.change.org/about and https://home.38degrees.org.uk/about/
For holistic political economy to get a foothold at some stage it has to get enabling constitutional change onto the agenda. See Part 4 Act for the ways in which political action can be taken outside the party political framework. These organisations have constitutional change high on their agendas and it is for that reason that I am including them here.
Extinction Rebellion https://rebellion.earth/the-truth/about-us/
From their site "At the core of Extinction Rebellion’s philosophy is nonviolent civil disobedience. We promote civil disobedience and rebellion because we think it is necessary- we are asking people to find their courage and to collectively do what is necessary to bring about change". The mission is to leave a world fit for future generations, to mobilise enough people to start a perception change (3.5%), look for regenerative approaches, challenge comfort zones, learn as they go, mitigate power, avoid blaming individuals, total commitment to non-violence, autonomy and decentralisation.
The emergence of this organisation with such clear goals and focus is, to my mind, one of the most encouraging recent developments for our future development.
Compass started life as a Labour Party pressure group but realised that the logic of its position was really non-partisan. It became open to anyone in 2005. In 2016 it campaigned for an electoral alliance in order to increase the chance of a left of centre person being elected (as a tactic to overcome first past the post). It is trying to establish a common platform for such an alliance in the future which would include constitutional changes such as proportional representation. It has also suggested a citizens assembly (randomly selected citizens presented with all sides of the argument) to resolve the Brexit deadlock.
DiEM25 https://diem25.uk -
DiEM25 is a campaign group set up by Yanis Varoufarkis and others to bring about democracy in the EU by 2025. Although DiEM25 has now set up some national political parties this is a tactic to achieve influence in campaign to get change within the EU. It is a strong advocate of cross party cooperation. Some of its aims get into traditional areas of politics such as advocacy for Green New Deal and Universal Basic Income. It is here because of its advocacy of democratisation in the EU.
See Part 4 Act for the ways in which political action can be taken outside the party political framework.