Mining riches from the grassroots
The UK publication Morning Star recommends a book with an innovative approach to reviving austerity-stricken local economies: The Case for Community Wealth Building, by Martin O’Neill and The Democracy Collaborative’s Joe Guinan.
Among the deluge of tweets, think pieces and hot takes from commentators and hacks after December’s heavy election defeat, more sensible observers called for Labour to become an active presence in the communities it needed to win, or win back, next time round.
An organised force providing grassroots help for people in the — surely grim — years that lie ahead, it was sensibly reasoned, was a better route to power than bussing in legions of canvassers, however well-intentioned, every five years.
It’s timely, then, that political philosophers Martin O’Neill and Joe Guinan have produced a slim, digestible argument for a such a form of local organising.
Community wealth building (CWB) seeks to rebuild those areas which have suffered from economic decline, serial underinvestment and high rates of unemployment by, in their words, “reconfiguring the core institutional relationships of the economy in order to produce better, more egalitarian outcomes.”