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(en) Italy, Sicilia Libertaria: VIRTUOUS COMMUNITIES (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 5 Apr 2024 09:51:40 +0300

Energy communities represent a model of alternative society, very dear to anarchists, since they combine production, distribution and consumption (separate economic sectors in the capitalist world) and present glimpses of life potentially alien to the protection and control of states. ---- However, as happened in the past with mutualism, trade unionism, cooperativism and communalism that arose from below, from the real needs of the popular masses and from the aspiration for a free and egalitarian society, energy communities also risk be totally entangled in the statist swamp and recovered, in one way or another, by the mechanisms that regulate current political and economic inequalities.

Regulation, in fact, is the main vehicle for this recovery. With the excuse of "giving a line" and "creating order" the potential development, self-centered, coordinated and as free as possible, is limited, as well as of every source of life, including community energy.

This is the meaning of the first and last of the government decrees, which claim to limit and bring back to the control of the State, with the aid of considerable funding (certainly attractive but which we can also do without), an area of the new protean economy, fluid, elusive, but also generally opposed to government plans. "Energy community" essentially means rejection of the logic of the mass-produced, standardized, scale-based, predatory, colonial economy, of the cartels and multinationals, dominated and above all complicit, like the governments that support them, of the oil companies and the local entrepreneurs of fossil fuels and polluting production.

"Compatibility" with the national energy system: this is the watchword of the latest government measures; we could add another: "integration" to market logic; and end up with "growing economic profitability", but always a niche one, if compared to the billion-dollar deals guaranteed by a "green" reconversion totally subservient to large industrial and commercial groups, and to international geopolitical interests.

Yet "energy communities" could allow us to experiment with economic realities completely free from bureaucracy, managed directly by citizens (with participatory and transparent decision-making processes), supported by technological innovations that partly already exist, which make it possible, with limited expenditure and ease of use, not only producing energy on its own but exchanging it from below, in a virtuous circuit of territorial reciprocity. Without unnatural connections with the current masters of energy and without pro-institutional interference.

This will certainly trigger new generation struggles to build and maintain management autonomy and control of the plants. It will probably be necessary to connect with the ongoing struggles against invasive mega-plants, environmental devastation and the wild exploitation of the human and material resources of the territories. You cannot win alone and without the help of local populations.

As was the case with those forms of mutualism, trade unionism, cooperativism and communalism that have emancipated themselves, energy communities too will have to make room for the awareness of their otherness to the dominant system and the vision of a viable social alternative, participatory, part of a large and supportive human community which, despite everything, grows with every passing hour. Even though we often don't realize it.

Natale Musarra

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