Tom Lloyd Goodwin discusses the “community paradigm” and how we are seeking to challenge the ideas that underpin it in our new publication: An economy for all: the role of community power.
Inclusive economies are about growing community and democratic ownership forms within the private sector economy.
Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of ideas that see a greater role for the community in commissioning and delivering public services. The central claim is that the state and the market are both discredited and are unable to tackle injustices and stem rising public service demand. As such, it is proposed that communities are best placed to “take control”, leading to the emergence of a new “community paradigm”. Echoing ideas reminiscent of David Cameron’s “big society”, this has been posited as a solution to the conjoined issues of less public money and growing social need.
“The ideas posited by the community paradigm have dangerous flaws.”
While it is true that we must genuinely empower citizens and communities and that they must have a decent say in how our public services are run, the ideas posited by the community paradigm have dangerous flaws.