Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is There Any Alternative to Wall Street, Globalization and the Savior State?

An alternative economic ecosystem based on local enterprise and building community resilience is slowly self-organizing.

Any attempt to separate Wall Street from the Savior State will necessarily be misleading, because Wall Street and the State are two sides of one coin. The State enforces cartel markets and profits and buys complicity of the masses with bread and circuses. Everything else is window-dressing.

Since capitalism has been on a trend of increasing globalization for the past 700 years, and the central state has been the ascendant model of global power for almost as long, Wall Street and the Savior State cannot be separated from globalization.

Is there any alternative to the Wall Street/Savior State model of consolidation and distribution of power and wealth? Yes, but it is still in its infancy. In general, alternative systems are expressions of two related trends: relocalization and resilience.

As I noted in Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change, there is a deeply political aspect to resilience and complicity: in depending on the neofeudal financial sector and State, we lose our liberty and independence. Our sense of self-interest is distorted to the point we identify with Wall Street and the Central State as "being in our best interests."

Eric Stewart of recently described his group's efforts to establish an alternative economic ecosystem based on local enterprise and building community resilience:

I agree with you assessment of where we are headed in our collective human journey, but prefer to imagine new choices as well and initiate them locally.

I refereed a lot of friends to your blog post about A Non-Corporate Model for the Localized Economy: Guilds (October 23, 2012) and really think those types of scenarios are far more interesting to think about. How can we use this remarkable tool the internet to develop a sustainable local economy that bypasses this entire roadblock of human journey?

I am very aware that we could if we motivated ourselves move trillions of dollars from Wall Street into main street businesses after reading a fellow named Michael Shuman. I had the opportunity to meet him last year at a small farms conference in Florida. 12 ways community can become economic resilient.

The YouTube is from my website I founded to connect people locally where I live surrounding sustainability, permaculture, and transition towns. I bring my local area lots of information and we all communicate on a regular basis hundreds of us in our metropolitan area of Tampa bay, Florida.

Our YouTube channel Code Green Community lists over 100 videos of local people focused on transitioning our local economy in Tampa Bay area. In 2011 I went to take a permaculture design course and the bulk of the message of Permaculture is that the current system is designed with bad values and ethics.

If we can channel capital to new business with good value and ethics locally we could re-develop the local economy and move towards doing a lot more with a lot less using the new production technologies that are developing. We have a large amount of studying going on in Tampa regarding Nano-technology as well.

I'm 28 years old and when I first found out about the eventual downfall of this economy I was very sad and disappointed, but now years later I've grown into maturity of accepting its eventual demise. We have to get to the next level of using our intelligence and creativity to adapt to the situation and thrive from the shift of resources that is occurring and can occur.

I'm developing a local shift where we a group of us founded website calledSuncoast Co-op using a format that allows local growers to post available produce and we arrange weekly pick-ups from the growers. We have now 45+ people working at their homes doing cottage industry (a new Florida law allowing cottage industry passed recently) and gardening to grow food for the local community.

We are working with the local schools developing gardening programs and developing several community gardens in the New Port Richey area with dozens of people showing up to preform a covering of the ground of top soil to make victory gardens.

Peace Hall Garden (1/10th of an acre)

The vast majority of new media seems to be about "Covering" what is going on around the country. What I attempt to do in my new media is entice more new actions. What if we used the new media not only to educate but to get people to act. People need the self efficacy to stand up and say yes I can do that too, that is the essence of a movement.

The trick for any emerging new industries would be to link the networks of needs and wants and maximize them for customers using less resources via cooperation. With the ability to instantly communicate you can create your own just in time delivery system of goods we have been finding. With people living all over hubs and networks begin to form where the flows of materials get more efficient and useless resources overall as people pool together what they want.

We use lots of volunteers for our work and we recently are partnering with a Time bank. The time bank allows us to put a value on people's time they volunteer allowing us to entice them to show up more often. They can use that time bank and trade it with others in the network who are willing to trade their time for a time bank hour as well. Voluntary participation of the masses towards societal goal of community sufficiency.

What we are selling to our customers is that we are working towards these goals together and that we will cooperatively reap the benefits and profits of doing so. We ask others to become leaders and have autonomy to seek how our co-op can improve. Our customers end up becoming our growers and want to make goods themselves and turn around and sell them on our market. Then when their products get sold the online market allows them a credit which they can use to trade with other growers implementing an online barter system among several dozen people producing things. We try to bring up the want by all of us for another victory garden movement from the 1930's where we used to raise our own food.

We have it in our mythos to work together cooperatively we just have to re-affirm those old cultural backstories into the new future economy that people can imagine away from status quo together en mass.

The question I have for you to answer possibly in your blog is: How do we make going local viral? How do we use open source information of the internet to collaborate and all get something out of the endeavor with a successful human journey?

Thank you for sharing your excellent work, Eric. As for your question: it seems to me that as long as the Wall Street/Federal Reserve/Savior State is distributing "free money" to banks and corporations and to individuals via entitlements, the vast majority of recipients of this swag have little incentive to invest time or money in alternatives. Only when the Savior State fails will people be motivated to participate in alternatives.

Those establishing the initial models and organizational framework are performing an essential service: once centralized authority and money distribution begin to unravel, these models can be quickly adopted/adapted by thousands of communities.

The ability to share local resilient-community models globally is a game-changer. The neofeudal/neocolonial model of parasitic extraction by the Corporate State depends on the unimpeded flow of centralized capital. The alternative global system relies on the free movement of decentralized capital invested in practical models of opt-in, self-organizing locally resilient structures.

Here are some resources: there are some permaculture links in the right sidebar of the main blog page (www.oftwominds,com/blog.html) as well.

The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition(Michael Shuman)

Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity--A Community Resilience Guide (Michael Shuman)

Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It (Amy Cortese)

Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered (Woody Tasch)

From my book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change:

This is the basic credo of liberation:

“I no longer care if the power centers of our society--the distant, fortified castles of our financial feudal system--are changed by my actions, for I am liberated by the act of resistance. I am no longer complicit in perpetuating fraudulent feudalism and the pathology of concentrated power. I no longer covet signifiers of membership in the Upper Caste that serves the plutocracy. I am liberated from self-destructive consumerist-State financialization and the delusion that debt servitude and obedience to sociopathological Elites serve my self-interests.”

As an example, nothing is more apolitical than food, according to the Status Quo. Yet this is entirely backward; nothing is more political than food, for it either sustains us and our freedom or it indentures us to disease and dependence on the Savior State’s immensely profitable sickcare system, i.e. the abomination known as “healthcare” that profits from chronic disease, not health.

There are no apolitical “personal choice” acts; there are only profoundly political acts of resistance or complicity. (pages 205-6)

Things are falling apart--that is obvious. But why are they falling apart? The reasons are complex and global. Our economy and society have structural problems that cannot be solved by adding debt to debt. We are becoming poorer, not just from financial over-reach, but from fundamental forces that are not easy to identify or understand. We will cover the five core reasons why things are falling apart:

go to print edition1. Debt and financialization
2. Crony capitalism and the elimination of accountability
3. Diminishing returns
4. Centralization
5. Technological, financial and demographic changes in our economy

Complex systems weakened by diminishing returns collapse under their own weight and are replaced by systems that are simpler, faster and affordable. If we cling to the old ways, our system will disintegrate. If we want sustainable prosperity rather than collapse, we must embrace a new model that is Decentralized, Adaptive, Transparent and Accountable (DATA).

We are not powerless. Not accepting responsibility and being powerless are two sides of the same coin: once we accept responsibility, we become powerful.

Kindle edition: $9.95       print edition: $24 on
To receive a 20% discount on the print edition: $19.20 (retail $24), follow the link, open a Createspace account and enter discount code SJRGPLAB. (This is the only way I can offer a discount.)

Thank you, Kevin K. (excellent kitchen knife), for yet another outrageously generous and useful contribution to this site -- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.Thank you, William W. ($10), for your splendidly generous contribution to this site --I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

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