For a broad social consensus


A global social and worldwide system change represents a process that not only requires a wide time span but also builds upon already existing approaches and initiatives of social change, and is being carried by their respective dynamics.

Those local, regional but also national approaches oriented towards a relativization of (and finally overcoming) primarily materialistic and profit oriented parameters in social and economic domains, are already today present in many countries. The centre pieces are hereby in general terms, aspects of ethical perception/behaviour, protection of the natural environment and resources, and social justice. These include, at local and regional levels, the different forms of community economies and autonomous ways of living together that are mostly based on grassrooted democratic decision making. The wide spectrum ranges from changes in the personal behaviour of the individual, the local commune or initiative and the association, to the cooperative, the non-profit banks and insurance companies, or even the internationally operating enterprise of the solidarity economy, as well as autarkic island projects that apply for instance cohabitation on a lowest consumption level and without money.

At the same time there are the many groups, movements and initiatives of civil society including trade unions that are engaged politically in an emancipatory manner. They provide an indispensable contribution inter alia in the areas of objective information/news services, ecological and social renovation of our society, or for local up to international solidarity. To those also belong political parties that – independent or not from their representation in parliament – provide important impulse for social enlightenment, system critique and for improving reforms.

All those manifestations of economic and social behaviour that do repel the diktat of profit-oriented competition, as well as the engagement of the above mentioned social and political actors are important and have already contributed to the fact that things are moving in many countries and that a public debate has been created about the ideal social model to be aspired towards.

Nevertheless, although these approaches and initiatives, in particular at local and regional levels, are highly welcomed, they socially however represent still marginal appearances in a world primarily dominated by individualistic orientation towards profit. They alone will therefore not be in a position to trigger a fundamental and sustained change of our social and economic systems at the global level worldwide. Apart from our social conditioning (at any place on the globe) by a commonly accepted individualistic and materialistic orientation of values, this is rooted in the inert dynamics of our capitalist and prestige-oriented system of competition to which our material standard of living is chained. The other reason constitutes the unbalanced distribution of resources of any kind that only allows sustainable changes towards a non-materialistic and solidary economic and social transformation in some privileged regions[1], if at all.

For a global system change it is therefore indispensable to work in an emancipatory way at all levels simultaneously. In this respect, it is important in the medium term to overcome the current segregation and lone-fighter attitude of precious initiatives and actors. Only if all those different forces representing a solidary, altruistic and non-materialistic world vision unite and form a large social front, will there be a chance to sustainably transform the economic and social systems worldwide, thereby generating a globally renewed society on planet earth.

[1] Alternative and grass-root based approaches for social change are always welcomed wherever they may achieve an acceptable standard of living for the local population. However, this is rather possible in places such as Germany (good climate, high soil fertility, abundant water resources, high technical standard of education and good access to capital) but is globally speaking in many countries and regions illusory. This is why, from an evolutionary and planetary and thereby solidarity perspective, a system change based alone on local initiatives and grass-root approaches is not possible.