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solidarity economy and star trek

I did a project last year in Germantown, Philadelphia where I learned about Solidarity Economy and Time Banks from an organization called Germantown Residents for Economic Alternatives Together (GREAT). Often, in my interviews with people about imagining a U.S. without racism, I ask where, if anywhere they see hope. They often tell me about work being done in the small spaces, in neighborhoods, in community groups. If they bring that up, I tell them about Solidarity Economy. One interviewee smiled slyly when I shared all this and said:

I'm a huge Star Trek fan.

It comes up throughout those shows, the books, the movies, the TV shows, everything, of a future -- in fact in Star Trek: First Contact where Jean-Luc Picard and the team goes back in time to -- it's actually a little bit in our future where World War III had happened and they're trying to rebuild. They ask what do you do for money. He says, "We don't have money in the 24th century." We focus towards building ourselves as human beings and our society and helping one another. Boom. Bam. On target.

As long as everyone is playing like that, it can work.

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