Co-op Development in Salinas, Ecuador

"There is something intriguing in Salinas, and that is that you do not know when capitalism ends and commonism begins . . .and viceversa. You feel definitively the presence of both and this is unsettling and make someone like me nervous. But I promised myself to keep an open mind, I am travelling to understand commons, the mechanism of their coupling with capital and the limitation of this coupling, as well as the lines of struggle and power relations that emerge in various context of commons.Forty years ago, this was a very very poor town. A salt mine still visible from our hostel room, was the only source of employment. A Columbian family, the Cordovez ? who reached the area few centuries earlier with guns and strange pieces of paper with stamps from the Spanish crown saying the common land around Salinas belonged to them ? was the only boss employing the locals for miserable wages and forcing them into a state of servitute and semi-feudal dependence. Now, all that land that we could see belongs to the community by means of the ?organization?: 33000 acres of it, taken from the church and from the Cordovez!"

       The above paragraph is a selection from Massimo De Angelis' piece at The Editor's Blog at www.commoners.org (

http://www.commoner.org.uk/blog/?p=239), and referred to by Kevin Carson at the P2P Foundation (

http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/cooperative-economy-in-salinas/2010/04/02

        Both De Angelis and Carson are concerned about several of the dynamics perceived by De Angelis in the co-operative network there.  Among issues of industrial and scientific education which occur to me upon reflection, I did not note an involvement in the solidarity economy networks that have become so dynamic in the founding and expansion of the World Social Forum process.  Here in Brazil, for example, I have noted an exceptional television channel with substantial science and math content, including ecological subjects.  In my comments at the P2P site, it occurs to me that a combination of existing efforts can be combined to create first a vision of social and environmental sustainability, and foundation for a plan to advocate reforms.  

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