Positioning of the association Minga
adopted by the general assembly on 20th October 2013
» Because of the diversity in its member’s professions and backgrounds, Minga is an organization that builds alliances, balances power and allows compromise. It is a space for reflection, debate, action and economic cooperation, in order to develop a more democratic, socially fairer, more ecologically responsible and energetically efficient economy.
Since its creation, without advocating a local and nationalist protectionism, Minga challenges the ideology that states that the free movement of goods and capital is a prerequisite for all human progress. For Minga, promoting a fair economy starts with deconstructing the consumerist fantasy that the consumer or entrepreneur thrives when freed of all constraints, be they physical, geographical, climatic or material. This globalizing ideology leads one to believe that a unique development model is desirable everywhere and for all, in a world governed by algorithms claiming to know our tastes and needs in advance.
Considering the issue of fair trade without questioning anew our modes of production, the organization of work, the sharing of knowledge and our lifestyle, makes no sense: it would only maintain the colonial legacy of globalization. Equally, committing locally without taking into account this legacy, and its long rooted history beyond the 80’s, would be denying the real economic challenges we all face.
The first injustice of all is to face unemployment because of one’s age (too young or old), wealth (too poor to be mobile or have access to suitable working tools), believes (such as refusing to be competitive at all costs, to sell oneself to replace a colleague or by being too slow because one loves a job well done, a nice gesture or a beautiful work).
Minga wishes to place itself in the world of business and work, by being relevant to all those who have to face, on a daily basis, our global economic system, that is increasingly ruled by finance, turned towards an economy of profit and is wrecking democracy, social progress and the environment.
To promote a fair economy, one has to think about how to adapt production and trade to the society, while still keeping in mind that not all sectors are intended to be merchandised, such as education and health. But it is also creating new ways to organise work in order to better share responsibilities and control, and thus allow fairer distribution of profits. Then, it’s also campaigning so that all citizens are aware and understand the economic realities they face.
To promote a fair economy, one needs to challenge technical choices when they no longer improve work conditions or avoid tedious, distressing and alienating tasks, but only create profits for the benefit of a few, perpetuate and accentuate the domination of social classes and gender, and produce goods that don’t last or are harmful to health.
To promote a fair economy, is to challenge industrialism and productivism as they pull us away from the meaning of global living or the meaning of a task and why we do it; it dissociates thought and action, manual labor and intellectual labor; it justifies two sides: those who design the work and who answer the question “why”, and those who carry it out and are confined to the question “how”.
To promote a fair economy, is to act together to gain new social rights for all, that will allow everyone to blossom in their work, whether manual, intellectual, scientific or artistic, without social recognition being only driven by the professional activity.
Minga fosters links that build an interprofessional solidarity that integrate all workers, including those without a job or in training, working independently, taking on employer’s responsibilities and those who are driven by doing their job well, living with dignity off their activity and transmitting their skill and expertise.
Minga advocates a high quality, universal system of social protection for each and every one whether employed in the private or public sector, independent, artisan, farmer, trader, student, retired or unemployment.
The world is undergoing huge changes, history is accelerating and we face multiple crises (food, ecological, economic, financial, climatic, energetic …). The challenge is to ensure these changes will eventually strengthen democracy and not the opposite. For, in the name of emergency, the temptation is strong to avoid the challenging debate and strike minds with simple formulas and miraculous solutions, and thus allow class leaders to justify an exceptional regime. Indeed, the public debt crises gives them this opportunity.
We believe that the challenges of a fairer economy and a more democratic society are set by bringing to the front stage the debate around the way we produce, exchange and share goods and services locally and worldwide. »