Regional Councils of Economy

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 22, 2010

Up till now we have referred to the organization of industry and agriculture in a local sense. We have mentioned however that in modern economy there is no place for localism and emphasised the need for a competent inter-relation of all coordinated factors of production, distribution and consumption.

In Spain there are a number of regions with their own peculiar characteristics of dialect, history and geography. These regions will be the organised economic centres of the future. Local councils of economy in the city; and the municipal councils of districts and country combine to form regional councils of economy, with the same functions on a more extensive scale. Thus you will have the council of the Balearic Islands, the council of Catalonia, the council of the Basque Navarre, the Galician and other regional councils of economy. Every region will have perfect administrative autonomy and thus the statutes of autonomy, asked for in vain of the central capitalist government, will at last be realised. Autonomy however does not mean insolidarity or independence, because all regions in Spain are necessarily inter-dependent.

The advantage of a regional economy resides in the fact that the men of the region know better the problems of their own territory and would consecrate their efforts with greater interest and enthusiasm in their development. Culture would also stand to gain in values and significance. Kropotkin was right in exalting for example the arts in the free cities of the Middle Ages. You must not forget however that the results will be more fecund depending on the temperament, intelligence and regional spirit, not through isolation but through a mature and permanent contact with other regions and the outside world.

The regional council of economy through the medium of its council of credit and exchange will attend to the statistics of production, consumption, labor and raw material available. It will administrate public works on a large scale; it will create, in cooperation with all the federated local councils, research and scientific institutes. It will stimulate production and improve the modern methods of labor, intensify agriculture and redeem large arid areas and rocky land by irrigation, etc.

No other economic or political regime would respect so much the regional life, customs, language and peculiarities, as we propose to do. Under our plan the greatest coordination is based on the perfect autonomy of each federated member, beginning with the individual and going through to the local councils of economy.

The regional councils of economy would call assemblies periodically to elect or reelect their members, and with free initiative and opinion construct the programs to be realised.

The regional councils will constitute by delegations or through assemblies the federal council of economy, the highest organ of economic coordination in the country. The latter would be a permanent national unification and would counteract any possible regional localistic tendency.

Parallel to this structure is the national federation of branch councils whose mission is limited to the due coordination of all the branch industrial and agricultural activities of the country. Whereas the latter is organised on an economic guild basis, the federal council of economy would act as a social counterweight, which, in case of need, would restrict the corporative trade unionism which might manifest itself to excess, and vice versa. A mutual collaboration of information and initiative would be highly fruitful.

Nevertheless in the case of need of evaluating labor, and fixing a medium of exchange, it will be the local, regional and federal councils of economy which will have to resolve the norms to be followed. In this way will be avoided a possible overestimation of either the individual branches or the national federations of same with regard to their own activities.

Exchange of products will also be part of the mission of. the councils of economy and not of the national or local councils of industrial and agricultural branches.