With the acronym used in the title of this post (TAPAS), which is itself a very popular word in Spain since always and internationally for several years, the Austrian economist Christian Felber (born in 1972) refers in his book “La Economía del Bien Común“, to the fact that there are many alternatives to the current world situation. He not in vain studied philology, psychology, sociology and political science at Madrid and Vienna.
Tapas is used to summarize the English expression “There are Plenty of Alternatives” with which Felber seeks to respond to the position of Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) introducing neoliberalism in the 80s of the last century and also that of Angela Merkel (born in 1954) today defending the rigid policy of austerity prevailing in Europe for more than seven years ago. The two seem to take the position that there is no alternative to our financial capitalism, Thacher for promoting it years ago and Merkel for maintaining and defending it today.
The book first published in German in 2010, with an edition of 2012 translated into Spanish and a new edition of 2015 also in Spanish, which is what I use now, is more than a book. You could say it is a manifest for a new economy, a new world order based on what its title suggests: an “economy of the common good.”
There is indeed a movement around the world to disseminate their ideas and a number of partnerships in diverse countries and regions defending them. As well as groups of “Municipalities for the Common Good“. In Spain, for instance, a first Congress was held in November 2013 with the name, 1st Spanish National Meeting of Municipalities for the Common Good
All this may be a sequel to another global social justice movement of which Felber was also a founding member. It is ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens), an international association promoting democratic control of financial markets founded in France in 1998 and which is today present in over 40 countries.
Those movements are part of many other existing in the world today who wonder about possible alternatives to economic, social and political life of our world organization.
I’ll try to touch on this subject in future posts.