VOL. 1, NO. 1, PGS. 40–52


The Impact of the “Solidarity Economy” on the Working Class
An Analysis from the Brazilian Experience
Henrique Wellen

This essay is based on the book Para a crítica da “economia solidária”, prepared by Wellen, H. (2012).

Henrique Wellen is a Professor at the Department of Social Services of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte.

This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy.

The economic and political changes of recent decades, especially those that took place at the beginning of the last quarter of the last century, brought with them the loss of rights and gains of the working class and had a negative impact on its identity and consciousness and on the structure of its representative bodies —trade unions and political parties. This fact, together with the debacle of the experiences of so-called real socialism —the prevailing socialism in the Soviet Union— led to the emergence of an ideological and cultural environment in which two central positions coexist: adherence to the fallacious end of history, characterised by an exacerbated defence of the bourgeois order, and the defence of social projects charged with a high subjective content, dominated not only by voluntarist elements, but also by old moralistic attitudes towards social struggle.

With the exception of those who have been ideologically co-opted or those who have chosen to discard old yearnings for social change in order to adopt resigned discourses that can guarantee them good financial remuneration, many social activists have been faced with a difficult historical dilemma: to choose between continuing to close ranks around revolutionary projects embedded in an increasingly uncertain context or to identify with social phenomena closer to the political and cultural canons of our time.

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