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(en) Spaine, CNT #431 - Critical and transformative consumption - OTHER LOOKS (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 15 Sep 2022 09:48:14 +0300

The constant persecution of trade unionists in states of the global south for defending their territories against the barbarity of our consumption models must lead us to a trade union response proportionate in solidarity. ---- Avoid nutritionism, gastronomic hedonism or environmentalism as objectives in themselves, a constant to take into account in the search for the improvement of our occupational and community health, prioritizing the radical humanization of exchange relationships and creating broad, diverse and emotionally safe dialogue forums. ---- For years we have been clear that our structure of production, distribution and consumption must be overcome qualitatively and quantitatively -including the existing model in agroecological consumption groups- to avoid dynamics that once again reproduce the precariousness of workers from the countryside, from the sea and from broad sectors of sustainable agri-food transformation (for the LIFE they generate). In these alternative contexts, in some cases, class inequalities are also aggravated and the broad participation of neighbors is not achieved, either due to disconnection with the discursive framework, or due to priorities of each other or due to conditions of structural poverty of the homes.

The conventional production and distribution model consciously makes us sick, attacking the public health system.

To talk about critical and transformative consumption, we must also highlight that the concept of sustainability -Slow, Km0, ecological, natural, sustainable tourism- is being radically engulfed by the capitalist framework and by privileged socioeconomic sectors, which hold individual discourses of consumption, but also supposedly alternative health or education. All of this supported by the multiplication of sustainable technicians, making it difficult for us to discern between their priorities -that of the technicians- and those of the group, through subsidized organizations that are presumably at the service of global productive responsibility. We have a clear and doubly fraudulent example in the conceptual framework of rural and sustainable tourism stimulated by a university, institutional or employer discourse that ignores, for example, the legalized exploitative and precarious working conditions that we cannot understand as sustainable for life, as well such as turning the destinations of this type of trip into an elitist and unaffordable context for the working class, also creating serious problems of access to housing.

It is no less true that in our organization and as a result of complex circumstances, we have gradually abandoned the agri-food industry and the rural environment, these being directly linked to the concept of environmental health that has historically been present in CNT. That is why the reconstruction of solid information and distribution networks, with efficient logistics tools and fair prices, but also with community control of the entire production process and not only of the properties or shortcomings of the final product, forces us to seek a breakdown of the consumer/producer dichotomy. In this way we will be able to strengthen the ties of solidarity, of human and trade union confluence in our places, also counting on a reflexive local business that integrates community discourse, democratizing in practice access to a consumption model that improves the lives of all, not only of an elite, and fleeing from the paternalism of the state, a solution that the structure of social services has prepared for us in the face of the poverty that they themselves generate.

Yes, it roams freely, however, in our towns, the exploitative agro-livestock bosses, ecologically and disguised as progressive unionism, unionism linked in some cases and demagogically to international networks that fight for Food Sovereignty. It is thus that our small villages and rural unions should be pampered to the extreme, with the fundamental objective of building sustainable productive identities, the exclusive productive and cultural identity being the alibi under which the economic and political control of our regions is coupled, with fine patronage networks in which everyone wants their piece.

We are clear that the conventional model of distribution -supermarkets, large distribution markets, small franchisees from the towns... - in which we actively participate is criminal and is making us sick, millions of euros of public money being injected through the PAC, generating in society a misleading view of cost prices, unaffordable for people who try to work in connection with their natural and human environment outside the subsidized circuit.

There are already advanced models, such as that of some French AMAP (Association for the Conservation of Peasant Agriculture) in which the search for overcoming this producer/consumer dichotomy is consolidated, also taking into account what they have to say people who get their hands dirty on land or in the sea, people who are not always listened to in order to integrate the needs that their difficulties demand. It is also convenient to remember the model of Agriculture Sustained by the Community (Urgenci) or the enhancement of those Community Participation Systems (SPG) as a practical example of good work, integrating in the process tools as useful in pedagogy as community kitchens (nursing homes, schools...) with educational projects in themselves.

We must create real and democratic alternatives in the conditions of production and access to food and the goods necessary for life, just as our organization has been doing historically.

In another order, the immobile sentimentality or the inactive nostalgia about the rural environment and its bucolic productive tools of yesteryear, lead us inexorably to the paternalism of the subsidized state, to representative and patronage clientelism. In another, the dogmatism in which in many cases we settle allows us to rest placidly in inaction, but facilitating the establishment of the neoliberal structure and the disappearance of dozens of interesting incipient projects that are already spread throughout the territory, projects that lack of support in everyday life: financing, logistics, human support...

That is why we must create real and democratic alternatives in the conditions of production and access to food or goods -to their property- necessary for life as our organization has been doing historically, alternatives that make palpable a more necessary proposal than ever in a context where food and energy sovereignty are non-existent, seriously endangering life. We cannot continue to make use of a production model in which we use the land as an extractive matrix, tearing everything we need from it without reflecting on the damage we cause in our purchases and the superfluous needs we generate.

We must wrest from the productive power the coverage of vital needs with the political struggle, but also with logistical and economic proposals. Individual and collective responsibility must lead us to progressively abandon financial entities and conventional production and marketing networks in all areas, since there are already real alternatives to which we have something to say.

Our model of the Various Trades Union (SOV) is an optimal model to break with corporatism and the compartmentalized vision that exists in the face of consumption habits, historical and organizational potential that we must take advantage of to raise awareness of these problems, in which the agri-food sector It should function as an educational tool in critical and transformative consumption of the first order, taking care in our organization of those nuclei or small unions of the towns that undertake trade union work at the service of a productive and sustainable consumption model and, as a consequence, of a society rural respectful, diverse, free and egalitarian.

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