The new interactions we need to heal nature, end poverty and abate climate change
will not involve the exchange of money. Money fueled interactions are not bad. We have
neither the influence nor the desire to change the way money works. Money transactions
are just not suited to tap into the unrealized human and biological potential resident in
Money fueled interactions are market based. Markets are limited, by the law of supply
and demand, to those things that are relatively scarce to people with the money to
pay for them. The unrealized human and biological potential of a place is everything else.
The resources available to us are those things that have no niche in the market.
This is not communism . . .
The alternative is for groups of people to cooperate in developing the capacity
to produce things for themselves. No, this is not communism. Every business
corporation is a group of stakeholders who cooperate to develop the capacity to
produce something. The difference is producing for ourselves or producing for
the market. Producing for ourselves we can use the resources that have no place
in the market. All production for the market is limited by the law of supply and demand.
This is not barter . . .
Say that I have a pickup truck and you have automotive mechanical skills. If you fix my
truck and then I let you use it to do something . . . that is barter. Barter is a market based
system. My ability to barter for truck repairs is limited to the mechanics who have the
need to use a truck.
In a different scenario, you and I use the truck to salvage some building materials and
build a chicken coop. We co-own the coop, the chickens we raise in the coop, and all the
eggs produced. We allocate the cost, work and produce between us. Our investment in
the truck is not an exchange between us. It is an investment in the capacity to produce
chickens and eggs for ourselves.
Not everyone wants to grow food . . .
True. But every human wants to have food, among other things, and every
human has something to invest in producing those things.
Every human being has discretion as to how to use their time. With a job or investments
we may have discretionary money as well. Food is just the example. We all need food,
clothing, shelter, education and health care to thrive. If we pool our discretionary time and
money to produce those things for ourselves, there is less we need to purchase in the market
. . . we need less money. And not everyone has to grow food.
As an agent of habitat
you know that it is your responsibility to create the world we want for our great grandchildren,
that we all participate in a pattern of interactions within which we have influence, and that we
can use that influence to make our part of the pattern more welcoming.
We can obtain a return on our efforts by investing in the production of food, clothing, shelter,
education and health care. There are four levels as this idea scales:
1 – invest in the capacity to produce things for your family by your family.
This is known as self sufficiency. It may not seem significant. None of us wants to spend all
our time that way . . . Still, each of us can convert our landscape into a deep mulch system
(and spend less time and money than maintaining a lawn) . . . grow a few of our own vegetables
. . . maybe even have an aquaponics system in a greenhouse that provides salads all winter . . .
and still engage in all the diversions that please you.
2 – We call the capacity of our neighborhood to provide for itself community
sufficiency technologies . . .
Imagine the discretionary time and money available in your neigborhood. There is someone
in your neighborhood who would think of raising chickens as a pleasant diversion. There is
someone there who would think of raising fish as a pleasant diversion. For every task we can
imagine to improve the cycling of carbon in our neighborhood, there is a neighbor of yours
who would enjoy doing that . . .
Think of all the facilities you could build if all your neighbors kicked in a little of their
discretionary time and money . . .
and all of you can still engage in all the diversions that please you.
3 – We call the capacity of our town to provide for itself a community
investment enterprise . . .
Imagine all the people in your town or city that do not have the discretionary
money it takes to invest in producing for themselves. When you do not have enough money
all of your time is consumed with just getting by . . . what if our community invested
in the capacity to employ that latent human potential to produce food, clothing,
shelter, education and health care for the whole town . . . ?
4 – We call a group of people that begin pooling their resources to acquire
the capacity to provide for themselves a self help corporation . . .
We do not have to imagine all the different ways that people could organize
themselves to provide for themselves while healing nature, ending poverty and
abating climate change through carbon cycling. We just need to get the ball rolling
and people will figure things out as they go.
Some have more discretion than others.
Our discretionary resources are a consequence of the fortunes of our ancestors and
the results of our own choices. Those of us lucky enough to have both discretionary
time and discretionary money have the greatest responsibility to the future . . .
because we are the ones capable of investing in the future. The main thing holding
us back is the belief that solutions have to be market solutions or government solutions . . .
There is a third choice . . . as agents of habitat we can take matters into our own hands.
Learn more about Community Sufficiency Technologies.