Market vs. Community Based Economy

Stephen Downes posted a link to a Salon article on Community-based economy.

It strikes me that moving away from a market-driven economy (in whatever form that may take) would solve or at least alleviate many of the things that bug me about Modern Life. The omnipresent advertising. The insane bubble-and-burst stock market. TV being so dumbed down as to make the vast majority of it useless, or IQ-decreasing, or worse. The need to “monetize” everything. The resistance to making difficult yet necessary decisions (like, say, avoiding the Peak Oil crisis, for example).

How about a bottom-up, open-source-modelled community-based economy? It’s sure piqued my interest… Now, how to move large portions of North America toward that model?

10 Replies to “Market vs. Community Based Economy”

  1. Enjoyed the post. Practical issues aside, it seems to me that asking such questions is an important process. I have no more idea than you do of what an “open-source economy” would look like, but it’s certainly interesting to speculate. Where it all leads, nobody knows.

  2. you’ll take my iPod from my cold, dead hands! 🙂

    But, if our ingenuity leads to our extinction, I guess that satisfies Darwin. Let’s just party until the planet is a burned out and pillaged husk, and be content with knowing that it’s OK, because we were not evil – just impulse-control-challenged…

  3. what’s wrong with it? depends on whether you believe evolution is necessary and good, or the products of mankind’s capacity for ingenuity are evil. will you be the first to surrender your iPod? would you ever?

  4. thinly veiled ludditism, perhaps. but… what’s wrong with ludditism? if the Modern Way (with its wonderful economies of scale) is killing the planet, maybe we should take a step back. But, yeah. I don’t think I’d be too successful as a farmer either.

  5. i couldn’t find any explanation of how to create self-sufficient local economies in the context of Earth’s extreme variety of geography and resources. there are barren areas that barely allow life, but people live there. there are also fertile, safe, warm places saturated with food sources.

    besides which, balkanization like this is likely to kill any economies of scale we currently enjoy, right?

    i don’t want to farm, unless it’s visual data. is this a veiled luddite model? i like to wear black, but maybe not so much if that and a beard is the only style considered godworthy.

  6. Even though I support the idea of moving to a community based society it must be made clear that I believe there are problems that seem to appear in this concept of Mr. Downes One thing will be a problem. Money in any form must be allowed to enter into society. Even on a local level it will ruin the whole system. People should just do things because they need to be done. The more that people don’t do the more society will suck. The more that people do the more that a heaven on earth will be created. Their will be no need to create money to forward technology. All that is need is for someone to present an idea and then it is used successfully. If this happens others will adapt it because it is wise to do. If money is taken out of the equation people have no catalyst for greed. Without a catalyst for greed economies run on merit instead of supply and demand.

  7. A community based economy is essential to sustaining any eco-system that wishes to exist on a permanent basis. It seems that humans could learn a lot from animals. It seems the most simple and feasible concepts become those which are hardest to pull humans away from. People say money has done so much good for society and is neccessary for economic stability but, is it? One may venture to say that it is an evil thing that has intermingled dependencies over time and has caused billions to die throughout the ages. The need for money is the number one killer of people to this day. Economic structures need to be recalibrated to establish self sufficiency and that would mean the means of governing would need to be nearly de-centralized. This resolution may very well be close to what may be expected to happen after World War III. It is a beautiful notion but, our people and our governing bodies have grown to greedy to impliment this on a large scale basis.

  8. Perhaps this post is outdated, but I will just post here a reply to it anyway.

    I have designed a community-based alternative to the present economic-financial system.
    This alternative will provide the characteristics discussed in these posts.

    At present I am uing Drupal to implement the solution in a web-based socio-economic network.

    The only difficulty I am facing is finding enough time to use Drupal effectively. My expertise is in finance and economics not computer programming. A little help from a Drupal expert could help launch a sustainable economy in one month.

  9. I have mulled this issue for years and done nothing about it. It’s crazy that big retail chain stores who operate in “poor communities” plough little if anything into these communities. Imagine if all major businesses in poor communities had to plough back 30% of profits from those “community stores” back into those poor communities thereby improving these peoples lives, creating jobs and circulating cash in these communities as opposed to repatriating all their “poor community store” profits to rich shareholders or “rich community stores”. Is it possible to run a pilot of something like this? Have you seen something like this before? I think that it will be one way of changing our world,

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