Free to … Agree with our Lords and Masters

Social Capital or Social Capacity, as a (re)posting posed it a while back)? You are welcome to create “social capital” up until the point you resist the plans of your betters. Then you magically become ‘trouble-makers’.

In local neighbourhoods alternative forms of voluntarism are being posed, as was demonstrated by the local campaign to prevent the closure of a swimming pool in Govanhill, Glasgow. This represents a type of social capital without official virtue, what we have termed recalcitrant voluntarism. This voluntary local campaign ostensibly had many of the hallmarks of social capital so lauded by New Labour. Present throughout were community networks, co-operation, and civic engagement. Nor was this an insular mobilisation, confined to some homogenous idea of the bounded community. It involved people of different age groups, men and women, black, Asian and white, from difference (sic) religious and cultural backgrounds, cemented in a class-based campaign to defend an important publicly provided amenity. However, the Govanhill Campaign/South Side Against Closure was not legitimated as such. It was not ‘approved’ of sanctioned as genuine community protest, we would argue, because as an active movement from below it transgressed the notion that social capital is dependent on conformist voluntarism,under the leadership of responsible authorities, whose actions are sanctioned by local or national elites.

Social Capital and Neo-liberal Voluntarism
Alex Law and Gerry Mooney
Variant 26

As a commenter put it on the post linked to above,
“This is such an important distinction! This goes to show that capital is capital, whatever its form. Looking at our relations with the world and our fellows as capital leads to the strip-mining of systems to accumulate “wealth” at the cost of their necessary complexity. Social capital is “who you know.” Social capacity is knowing that you need others.”

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Below the surface...
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