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Occupy the Resource Based Economy – Some Definitions from the Occupy Movement

Articles by Rene K. Mueller (RBE, Sharing, Gift Economy), Sushma Ramakrishna (Gift Economy). Permaculture is taken from Wikipedia and summarized.

The following article collection are some definitions of Resource Based Economy, Gift Economy, Sharing and Permaculture provided from an Occupy Movement wiki site Occupyconcepts.orgI think they are well worth looking at as they contribute to clarify some concepts, open the mind more, and take the discussion and development of a resource based economy further. They are all editable on the site.

 

Resource-based Economy

Introduction

The Resource-based Economy (RBE) concepts propose a way to abandon money and the speculation with it; and get back to resourcesdirectly without the involvement of money as a regulatory tool. It assumes that with today’s technology it would be possible to measure and store the quantity of a certain good, and connect with the demand or requirement side and share the resources, and skip the speculative and profit aspect in the exchange.

The term itself “Resource-based Economy” was introduced by Jaques Fresco, who also initiated The Venus Project (TVP), the term was then adapted by other groups, such as The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM).

“A Resource-Based Economy is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resources; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.”
— from The Venus Project (TVP): Resource-based Economy

Another key element:

Abundance, Efficiency and Sustainability are, very simply, the enemies of profit. This scarcity logic also applies to the quality of goods. The idea of creating something that could last, say, a lifetime with little repair, is anathema to the market system, for it reduces consumption rates, which slows growth and creates systemic repercussions (loss of jobs, etc.). The scarcity attribute of the market system is nothing but detrimental for these reasons, not to mention that it doesn’t even serve the role of efficient resource preservation, which is often claimed.
— from The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM): FAQ

Note: RBE is promoted by various groups and might differ in the details – for now various sources such as TZM and TVP are considered to protray and comment on it.

Pro

Resource-based Economy (RBE) emphasizes the availability of the resource itself and proposes to abandon money as a value system, and value the resource directly (how this is done in detail is not explained). It assumes all resource-based needs can be satisfied with the technological achievement we made as humans. It certainly addresses the issue of survival conditions which we as humans developed in early times, and which are now no longer useful; hence, developing an awareness and consciousness of sufficiency or even abundance and away from scarcity.

Note: Even though the “Pro” section is rather short, the shift within the value system is significant – a “Common Goods” approach. The “Contra” section below is more detailed and is also written out as a hint to refine the RBE concept further.

Contra

Missing Essential Details

One major critique on RBE is, that it is scarce in details, and skips the very detail of how resources are shared:

“A Resource-Based Economy utilizes existing resources rather than money, and provides an equitable method of distribution in the most humane and efficient manner for the entire population. It is a system in which all natural, man-made, machine-made, and synthetic resources would be available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other form of symbolic exchange.”

What is equitable method? What about demand? Demand as such doesn’t mean overreach or overuse, the demand or requirement is not equitable: it may be of some resource someone has no use for, or even more, doesn’t want. Demand cannot be neglected – sole focus on equitable sharing remains on the surface of the issue.

Value, Price & Costs

For example, quote from The Venus Project:

“The intents inherent within the monetary system are counterproductive and derive a strategic edge from scarcity. This means that depleted resources are actually a positive thing, as more money can be made from each respective unit. This is known as the basic law of “supply and demand,” and hence “value,” in economics. This creates a perverse reinforcement to ignore environmental problems, and perpetuates an inherent disregard for human well-being.”

Value indeed is derived from supply and demand – the assumption something with high demand and little supply has high value and therefore more money can be made from – and it further creates a reinforcement to ignore environmental problems is an oversimplification, let us look at the two aspects separately:

  • high value and therefore price to be paid (speak “money exchanged”) is the logic to weigh or qualify the use of a resource – that as such isn’t a problem (see money just as a value or a number, neglecting for a moment manipulation of supply and demand)
  • the problem neglecting environmental impact is the cost (or effect and overhead to resolve) of the pollution, hence, the requirement to make all costs known, so called “True Costs” which, if applied wholesomely, would counter-balance and make some practices impossible due to the high costs of the environmental impact.

In other words, it isn’t a problem that we assign price or a value to a resource, but the lack of a complete view of how much some influences cost: neglecting or having others (like the government and at the end the people as whole) pay the price (and this is the overall work required to perform) of cleaning up or re-naturalizing a place which has been (ab-)used – just this small example shows: the layer of money isn’t really involved here, but the value we assign to things we require; and how far we observe the impact of our actions, see also Permaculture.

The Zeitgeist Movement FAQ is more thorough:

You will notice the term “strategically best” was used … This qualification means that goods are created with respect to the state of affairs of the planetary resources, with the quality of materials used based on an equation taking into account all relevant attributes, rates of depletion, negative retro-actions and the like. In other words, we would not blindly use titanium for, say, every single computer enclosure made, just because it might be the “strongest” materials for the job. That narrow practice could lead to depletion. Rather, there would be a gradient of material quality which would be accessed through analysis of relevant attributes – such as comparable resources, rates of natural obsolescence for a given item, statical usage in the community, etc. These properties and relationships could be accessed through programming, with the most strategically viable solution computed and output in real time. It is mere issue of calculation.

Now, that calculation, that formula is the key of the entire concept, and it’s not developed and written out. The overall calculation of supply and demand and how the goods are shared, is omitted entirely.

In essence, RBE proposes a computer-based rational replacement of the otherwise tainted ingenuity of human survival instinct, which to some degree we have overcome as some aspect of it no longer serves such immanent purpose in a high resource availability – e.g. realizing there is enough for anyone. Since the detail which decision making aspect is relayed to a machine and a computer-based system (and what calculations/formulas are used), and what aspect remains in the hands of humans (e.g. analysts who suspect or speculate on higher demands based on current developments of a certain technology, something a computer-based system cannot do), one cannot determine how feasible such a proposed RBE actually is.

Underestimating Complexity

At the surface the sharing of resources looks simple, yet, in reality the resources availability is subject of fluctuations, long and complex supply chain to build products and on the other side the demand for resources and products varies as well. In the videos of the The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) it is suggested to comprehend all natural resources, and match the demand for those at a central hub or database, but the actual details as pointed out above, are not shared or communicated.

The Venus Project RBE Concept

However, for the sake of overview, it can be stated that the first step is a Full Global Survey of all earthly resources. Then, based on a quantitative analysis of the properties of each material, a strategically defined process of production is constructed from the bottom up, using such variables as negative retro-actions, renew-ability, etc. (More on this can be found in the section calledProject Earth in the ZM lecture called “Where Are We Going?”) Then consumption statistics are accessed, rates of depletion monitoring, distribution logically formulated, etc. In other words, it is a full Systems Approach to earthly resource management, production and distribution, with the goal of absolute efficiency, conservation and sustainability. Given the mathematically defined attributes, as based on all available information at the time1), along with the state of technology at the time, the parameters for social operation in the industrial complex become self evident, with decisions arrived at by way of computation, not human opinion2). This is where computer intelligence3) becomes an important tool for social governance, for only the computation ability/programming of computers can access and strategically regulate such processes efficiently, and in real time. This technological application is not novel, it is simply ‘scaled out’ from current methods already known.
— from The Zeitgeist Movement: FAQ: Technological Unification of Earth via “Systems” Approach

Regarding the enumerated issues:

  1. Available information at the time: the now time, what about forecasts for the next weeks or months or years? e.g. cyclic developments? That is very hard to guess by a computer, but human reason and experience cannot be replaced here by computers and sole mathematical calculations.
  2. This is a very dangerous argumentation, human reason and opinion rated lower than computers – computers can help to calculate complex formulas, but the final decision has to stay with humans – one does not want a computerized overlord.
  3. Computer intelligence, it’s rather computational ability, intelligence has not been implemented in computers, and artificial intelligence (AI) has been announced just to be 10-20 years away, and this since 50 years.

That quoted paragraph from the TZM FAQ above reveals a technocratic naivity and technology belief and diminishing the human ability in this context.

What TZM currently calls “System’s Approach” is a broad conceptual framework, with little details, whereas Permaculture formulates truly a (w)holistic way to handle resources and the relation with Earth – and, there are existing communities applying those concepts in real world, and thereby verifying and refining the concepts further.

It is clear, that RBE addresses core issues and the core value system, and The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project, who first worked together but now go separate ways, have stirred up the otherwise dormant discussion about a possible resource-based economy.

Competition vs Co-operation

RBE suggests to move away from competitive behaviour to a cooperative behaviour – as pointed out in Income, in order to overcome competitive behaviour or also the influence of pure greed, another ideal has to move up the priority list or in the common value system:

  • due proven example, e.g. Open Source has shown its success (Linux, Android, Firefox web-browser to name just three), but also areas of failure (fragmentation and failure of the Open Source Desktop).
  • understanding where competition helps to sort out variants or sorting options, and where cooperation is prefered to succeed.

It has been in the past one major factor why many socio- / political concepts and thought-out systems have not worked, as a doctrine was pushed from the top down and it was expected the people would follow, and neglecting old thought patterns in their consideration. E.g. the communism never really worked, as the human factor to accumulate power and rule over others counter-acted with the idealism of the idea itself. The best way to introduce a system is by the practice of it by those who believe in it (e.g. Open Source or Permaculture movements), not to push it onto people or a society as such – the resistance will come and the concepts, noble they may be, will fail to be adapted.

Humanistic RBE

As pointed out above, TVP and TZM view on RBE is a rather mechanistic and technocratic solution, and lacks some of the humanistic, spiritual and holistic perspective, fortunately there are also other groups who work on developing RBE further with a large scope, like The Resourcebased Economy.com:

As there is a lot of talk about technology, design, architecture and the like this website (TheResourcebasedEconomy.com) tries to discuss the term ‘resource based economy’ from a human perspective based on existing and possible future values on this planet. When this website was formed, one found almost nothing about a resource based economy online in spite of the websites of The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement. This site was made to remedy that. Still, the term ‘resource based economy’ can be replaced/overlapped by many other terms.
Resource based economy (RBE), Natural Resources Economy, Resource Economy, Moneyless Economy (MLE), Love Eased Economy (LBE), Gift Economy (GE), Priceless Economic System (PES), Trust Economy (TE), Sharing Society, Resource Based Society, Moneyless Society, Love Based Society, etc. etc. It is all the same thing. It doesn’t really matter what we call it, as long as it has the basic notion of an economic system where no money is used, ownership and trade is abandoned and replaced with usership and giving and all resources (both human and planetary) are shared and managed properly. On this site we will mainly use the term Resource Based Economy. We could add ‘Gift’ in the title (Resource Based Gift Economy), to emphasize that on a local micro level, we need to simply give and share our personal resources, while we at the same time, on a global macro level, manage global resources.
— from The Resource-based Economy.com: About

A simple definition for RBE from the same web-site:

“A resource-based economy is a society without money, barter or trade,
with the awareness that Humanity is One family and where technology, science and spirituality
is used to it’s fullest to develop and manage the planet’s resources
to provide abundance for everyone in the most sustainable way.”

It further addresses the mindset and the consciousness to live in such a RBE system:

RBE is not an ‘establishment of a system’, but rather the emergence of a system, coming from it’s citizens and not from any ‘rulers’, as there are no rulers in RBE. That it is an emergent system is crucial to understand. It is not a top down system, but a bottom up system based on a shift in mindset of the population.
— from The Global Gift Economy is Here: Comments

And specifically speaks of a continual emergence of a system of self imposed management of human and natural resources both locally and globally where following happens:

  • money is replaced by gratitude
  • trading is replaced by sharing and
  • ownership is replaced by usership

in a way where everyone’s needs are met.

Currently responsibility and ownership are tied closely together, in other words, you care about things you own; things you don’t own you don’t usually care, even avoid to get involved because it’s considered “none of my business”. In a RBE system, where there is no or little individual ownership but owned by the collective, the responsibility and the will to take care and maintenance for things would be entirely new: you care of things you use, but don’t personally own. As described in the Gift Economy, a sense of family and intimacy among those who share things to use and not own privately has to emerge.

Replacing Money

In order to replace money and trading with gratitude and sharing one has to look closely what happens now: there is no exchange of equal good or representation of thereof but just an acknowledgement of having received: gratitude and the actual act of sharing, handing over the resource. This is only possible, when the exchange is otherwise stored or logged: the party who shares one item has to maintain an inventory, since material resources are finite to one who gives has one less in his inventory, and the one who received has one more.

Inventory Aspect of Money

Inventory Quality of Money

Why is this important? As pointed out in Abundance, energy cannot be destroyed, only transformed in one form into another, and so also matter, it cannot be destroyed as such. When one good (matter) is handed over, it usually moves from one place to another, let us assume this is food: an apple, that apple is picked from the trees, stored in the RBE supermarket and leaves the facility and is shared (handed-over) to the one who desires the apple. This person eats (consumes) it, part of the food (matter) is transformed as nutrition into energy for the human body to function, another part leaves the body as feces. The feces once transformed into compost can be used as nutrition for plants, e.g. an apple tree again. Is it important to trace the goods? Yes, because as RBE suggests a high degree of efficency and that we actually are living in abundance as result of that efficency: having the things we need, where we are. In order to provide the resources where we are, we need to know where they are, and how big a required transportation vehicle is necessary to move them.

At best, the cycle of energy/matter is so small, that one lives on a farm, where one plants, reaps and consumes the goods, and the feces are transformed into compost and put back on the fields (see Humanure as holistic concept) – a closed cycle, with little transportation and requirement for inventory: the earth or ground is not moved or displaced, and the people consume what they plant, an almost closed system in this regard.

Transportation vs Locally Sourced Resources

Centralized Database in RBE

The larger the distance between sourcing resources and consumption, the greater the need to maintain an inventory, in order to organize the way back to establish a closed cycle – this leads then also to the abandonment of (the idea or concept of) garbage as such entirely – there is no waste as such to put aside, it is matter/energy which is necessary to stay useful in the cycle and not get lost, for sake of the sustainability.

So, money operates as anonymous inventory or regulatory tool for resources, without money the mechanism of the inventory aspect of money has to put forward to a storage facility, which traces or computes where which resource is; that is the reason why a central computerized database or cybernetic construct is required in a RBE system: the inventory is centralized, no longer anonymously reflected in the use of money.

Examples

Concrete implementations and description of such a RBE system aren’t available yet.

See Also

 

Gift Economy

occupyconcepts.org/wiki/Gift_Economy

 

Introduction

Gift economy is the idea of an entire economy, built up on and based on the concept of “gifting”:

  • we trade goods through the mechanism of money, but essentially we provide goods through an exchange.
  • is money really required to exchange things – goods, or services?
  • what is when we exchange things without money, and then a trade becomes a gift, given at the moment of giving we don’t expect something back except the acknowledgement of the giving itself: gratitude – then the trade or exchange is complete.

Examples of Gifts

  • The world as it exists, it wasn’t sold to us, but given
  • Life itself, we didn’t pay for it, we were given a life
  • Love, love by itself is cannot be traded, it surpasses material values altogether, it is either unconditional given, e.g. to a new born child
  • Wikipedia.org, the information and knowledgebase is given by volunteers, gifted by millions of contributors

further, there is a saying, best things in life are free.

Family Analogy

Think about, the members within a family. They do little things for each other, without “payment”, without “reciprocation”, without expecting anything back, whatever they do is just done, because, it needs to be done. And it is done out of love, so there is no need for “payment”. If we think of human beings as one big family, and that things have to be done, and, there is no “payment” or “reciprocation” needed when it’s done out of love, there is no need for barter any more.

Gift vs Trade

A gift focuses on the giving, a trade focuses on the exchange to maintain a balance of giving and taking. A gift perhaps only giving part at the receiver end is the acknowledgement, or further the appreciation.

When do we give something freely to others who might not be so close? When we have sufficiently, and do not require a trade or an exchange. We act out of abundance and not scarcity as we perceive it. Selfless giving might come from the understanding, that one is taken care of always and therefore an consciousness of abundance comes.

Transition from Money to Gift Economy

It may be difficult to implement this world-wide, unless it is done gradually; and in phases eg, forming small “gift-economy based” clusters or communities all over the world, which are founded on, built-up and sustained on some mutually agreed (both on a individual as well as collective) principles formed by the community.

Due to the vast differences and diversities in the way of living, living conditions, nature, geographical and climate factors, culture and beliefs, etc, the principles may have to be somewhat different for the various communities around the world.

It may not be possible to switch over to the gift economy immediately; perhaps, a mixture of gift economy and trade economy would be more practical, feasible and implementable. Within each of these little communities, the gift economy is followed, these communities interact with the outside world via the trade economy, and this may be able to gradually change the current disconnected and greed-and-selfishness based economy, to something more gift and share-based, selfless, connected and spiritual.

Practicability of a Gift Economy

Let us start with a simple example of a farmer who has an apple tree, which produces once a year 150kg or 300lb apples. How does the farmer give away the apples, if at all?

  • In a world of scarcity all goods are “priced” regarding supply and demand, the higher the supply vs the demand, the lower the price or value and so the lower the supply vs the demand, the higher the price or value.
  • In a world of abundance all good are valued independently of supply and demand, but valued as such. Given the apples aren’t life immanent, apples can be given to anyone. Let us look at the one who receives, out of which motive we demand, or do we demand at all? How are gifts shared? How do we know, as giver, who can use something we like to give or share?

Small Clusters / Communities

A gift economy may be possible to implement in small clusters, or communities, of people living maybe in close proximity, and seeking to function as a collective which has common ideologies and principles and tries to follow them. It may not be realistically nor practically possible to start off with a gift economy on something large scale. People might need to first live it out on a small scale, which comprises of a few people having ideals and perspectives in common, forming these clusters or communities. Within the cluster/community, it would be easier to live life on a day-to-day basis, following through and implementing some mutually agreed gift-economy principles.

These clusters/communities, might find it easier to practice a trade economy with either the outside world, or with other clusters/communities.

Community to Exterior Exchange

Taking the example of the farmer, given above. Let’s assume that the farmer belongs to a cluster/community which comprises a mixed bunch of people. Some have fruit trees, others grow vegetables, others grow flowers, etc. This community tries to share what it grows within themselves – each member helps himself to whatever is there, as per his needs and necessities, without greed, without trying to grab a higher share, etc. After everything produced has been shared among the members; the surplus of the produce, is then “traded” or “bartered” with the outside world, or with other communities, in exchange for something which this community does not have, or needs. The things thus obtained by the “trade” or “barter”, are then shared in a similar manner among the community members.

Motivation & Needs

The people within the community should be given the chance to do things they like to do and for which they have a deep interest and insight into. So, those who like to farm, grow the produce which is required for the community, those who like to cook and prepare food, work in the community kitchen, those who like to build/maintain buildings/community centers, are in charge of the maintainance and repair of everyone’s houses and the community centers, those who like computers/software look after everyone’s computers and so on. So, the community could be comprised of a number of working groups; each group working and focusing on a specific theme or target, eg, farming, cooking, maintainance, computers, etc.

When the people are given a chance to really do what they like to do, to follow their hearts in what they want to do, this is literally how the “gift economy” works. Each person has his own unique gifts, which he seeks to express or bestow or give. The community thus provides a space for him, to nurture and best express his gifts. He expresses his gifts, through the work he does for the community. The outcome or produce of this work, is then “gifted” to all the people of the community.

The expression of the innate “gifts” of the members are translated through work into “gifts” which are “gifted” to the community members; this is how the “gift economy” would work in a small community. And if the gift economy does not make the community self-sustaining; it tries to trade or barter its surplus produced “gifts” for whatever it is unable to produce on its own.

Responsibility, Discipline and Inter-Connectedness (Work Nobody Likes To Do)

Is there work nobody likes to do, like cleaning toilets, who does that?

  • Assigned on a rotational basis to each member, or each working group, in the community.
  • Right now the motivation to do things is about money to provide safety to provide provisions and perhaps even luxury – if one does get provisions within a gift economy and the exchange or giving is recognized and appreciated, the idea that the greater good comes stronger, and the idea of work one does not like might not even arise anymore.

Being a part of a community is not just about “feeling connected” and being supported and taken care of; one must also support the community back and take care of maintaining the “connectedness” and the community. This means feeling not merely the “connectedness” which people often like to talk about; it is having, truely, the responsibility, discipline and loyalty to work towards maintaining the community togetherness, harmony and functioning of the community as a whole. This would include tasks and work which nobody likes nor feels motivated to do, but realising and taking responsibility for the fact that it requires to get done, and everyone has to contribute their share towards it. Also, doing work the community members don’t like to do, could be their “gift” towards the community as a form of gratitude for what they receive from the community – belonging, being taken care of, feeling loved and connected, etc. here the family analogy could also be applied.

See Also

 

Sharing

occupyconcepts.org/wiki/Sharing

When there is a resource clearly in its quantity defined, and the demands are clearly known, sharing becomes a simple division: resource / demands, but in the real world this is rarely the case, instead the resource quantity is not known or volatile or influx (could be a little, a lot or unlimited).

There are two main procedures to share:

  • a) one gives each one a little, over and over until each one has enough or the resource to share is over
  • b) one gives each one sufficiently at a time, until all have sufficient or the resource to share is over

At first glance both the variants look the same, but in detail they are different:

  • Variant a) or “equal-slice” ensures all get something and with the enduring process of sharing all get sufficiently. When the resource to share is over all have the same amount.
  • Variant b) or “fulfill-first” one receives sufficiently regardless if it’s sufficient for all.

Currently we have sufficient or an abundance of eminent resources but share them with variant “fulfill-first”, additionally we do not consider all demands, and cast out others in the consideration of the demands. Result is, a few live in material abundance, whereas many live in scarcity: 1% of population having 50% of wealth in most countries, with tendency to increase unequal distribution or sharing of the wealth and access to resources.

Back to the variants, both variants have their application, e.g. variant “fulfill-first” can apply there when something requires sufficiently in order to complete a task, e.g. finish two houses completely (with roof) instead leaving 5 houses unfinished (without roof); one can pack material into the finished houses for shelter instead of exposing them to rot more quickly with rain.

This means, one has to weigh and consider the necessity to choose the variants.

Time Sharing Items

Even material resources become smaller when shared, we can respect the integrity of such resource, e.g. an item, a tool, an apparatus, whose material integrity is required to provide a functionality.

To have this work, the item is not owned by individuals who demand or use it – but by all or another party outside a community: you use something without owning it (e.g. car sharing).

See Also

 

Permaculture

occupyconcepts.org/wiki/Permaculture

Permaculture (perma = permanent + (agri-)culture) is a branch of ecological design and ecological engineering which develops sustainable human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.

The core values of permaculture are:

  1. Take care of the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.
  2. Take care of the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
  3. Share the surplus: Healthy natural systems use outputs from each element to nourish others. We humans can do the same. By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.

The 12 Permaculture Design Principles

Permaculturists generally regard the following as its 12 design principles:

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.

Patterns

Permaculture design focuses heavily upon natural patterns. All things, even the wind, the waves and the Earth moving around the Sun, form patterns. In pattern application, permaculture designers are encouraged to develop an awareness of the patterns that exist in nature (and how these function) and how patterns can be utilized to satisfy the specific design needs of a specific site. “The application of pattern on a design site involves the designer recognizing the shape and potential to fit these patterns or combinations of patterns comfortably onto the landscape”.

Ethics & Design Principles

Permaculture-Flower (BW).jpg

Applied in these 7 areas of life:

  • Land & Nature Stewardship
  • Built Enviroment
  • Tools & Technology
  • Culture & Education
  • Health & Spiritual Well-Being
  • Finance & Economics
  • Land Tenure & Community Governance

 

Permaculture movement brought back the importance to observe a system, an environment very carefully in order to know where, when and how to interfere, e.g. such as seeding, harvesting or planting new species in a garden. For example, it is said it takes about 10 years to get to know the land one farms on, to understand its quality and have an optimal and sustaining garden to live from.

See Also

 

 


The Occupy Movement is worthless, unless…

I just finished watching the documentary ‘Inside Job’. Recommended. It spurred me to write something. This. Yes, I chose a bit provocative title, but only to make you read the article.

Up through history, there have been several demonstrations and revolutions, small and big, in almost all countries around the world. We have the French revolution, the English revolution, the Moscow uprising, the Haitian revolution, the Greek war of independence, the October revolution, and now the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Together. There have always been uprisings and demonstrations against ‘the ruling class’.

Still, not much have changed. Why? Because we, the people, have always gone back to the ‘monetary mindset’ ourselves. And, it is the monetary mindset that lies behind so to say all borders, which are economically drawn, all governments, all corporations, the Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, The Federal Reserve and all banks in the world. Thus, it is the monetary mindset that drives this world and will continue to drive it into bigger and bigger inequality and crisis, unless we, the people, abandon this mindset.

THIS WORLD WILL NOT BE FREE BEFORE WE, THE PEOPLE, ABANDON THE MONETARY MINDSET.

And what do I mean by ‘the monetary mindset’? Well, it is very simple. It is the mindset that says ‘we need money’. It says ‘we need money to exchange our goods and services with each other’, ‘we need money to make this world go round’. And on a personal scale, it says ‘I need money to pay my bills’, ‘to buy my food’, ‘to pay for my education’, ‘to pay for my car’, ‘to pay for my house’, and so on.

Of course, all these statements seem very obvious when you read them like that. Of course we need money. How can we live without it??? Money has ‘always’ been around. Money is like air…and water…we can’t live without that!?!

Well, money isn’t actually like air and water. In case you didn’t know, ‘money’ hasn’t always been around. In ancient cultures, a resource based economy was much more prevalent. Human resources was used to do the planting, or rather ‘aiding’ of nature in a permaculture way, the natural resources of food was harvested and distributed to those who needed it.

What I am referring to when I say this, is the Vedruss people described in the books of Vladimir Megre about the russian recluse, Anastasia. Anastasia claim do be the direct decedent of an ancient group of people, called the Vedruss, living over 10.000 years ago.

In contrary to ‘common history’ when trying to describe ancient history more than a few thousand years ago, they were not hunter gatherers only, but also ‘helped’ the earth produce what they needed from it and created beautiful gardens for themselves. Gardens that also provided food, much like what we today would call ‘permaculture food forests’.

They lived in highly developed societies with lots of celebrations and festivities, sharing of all of the natural abundance around them. And if a traveller came along, it would be considered an honor to take care of that person. A great generosity and hospitality was the norm.

They were also highly skilled craftspeople living in wooden timber houses with detailed ornamentations and decorations. They also made clothes both of natural fibers from plants and from animal skins. Though, only from naturally dead animals. They were mostly vegetarians and meat was eaten only in small amounts.

All handicraft that they produced was mostly given away. Sometimes they got something back for what they gave, as a natural reciprocity. The bonds between people was strong and gifts were given frequently in joy.

All of the above can be confirmed from studies of ancient Russian history, while seeing it in a different light.

This history has be very distorted, though, by the ‘men behind the curtain’, making the ‘stone age man’ seem like a savage barbarian, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The term ‘stone age’ is blurring the values and social systems that really existed in those times, making people believe that we actually have experienced ‘progress’ in today’s world, and that what we have today is much better than the awful ‘stone age’.

My source is basically from the The Ringing Cedars Series, but the information can be confirmed when reading ordinary historic documents, like the Bible’s Old Testament, in this light. And that’s the whole point of ‘historic research’, trying to see history in different types of ‘light’ and perspective, thus taking on a whole new meaning. What you are left with is what perspective feels right in your heart.

All societies might well have been like these Vedruss societies before religion, kings and kingdoms, borders and money came around and claimed the land for themselves and started taxing the ones who had lived there for millennia before. These were gift economies. What was needed of food and such was distributed freely, and handicrafts was used to make things that enhanced their lives, and these products were always given away.

And when everybody gave, they also got from each other, which of course sometimes for an outsider could be seen as trade. Still, it was no more trade than when someone brings a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates when invited to dinner by some friends. In that light, we still have a gift economy in parts of our society. We still give each other things and services a lot of  the time, even today.

So, you see, it is possible to have societies without money. Now, do we have to go back to these old times to do that? No, we don’t. And actually, we can’t. We’ve come too far in terms of development. We can of course take on elements of those societies, but that doesn’t mean we have to abandon everything we use today. Today we have the ingenuity, knowhow and technology to build a 100% sustainable and abundant society for everyone, with no one left out. Of course, everyone can not have 5 mansions, 3 islands, 10 SUVs, 6 jets and 2 helicopters each. Neither can everyone have gold plated toilets.

BUT, we can all have very high standard roof over our heads. We can all have unlimited transportation to wherever we want to go. And we can go wherever we want to go when all borders are wiped out. Borders that was economically drawn in the first place. We can all eat healthy, nutritious and good food, and so on and so on.

It becomes clearer and clearer to me. Unless this world shall revert back to the same old ‘financial crisis’ and inequality, pollution, over exploitation, etc. etc. we can not go on with any kind of monetary system. Of course, we can try. We can try and regulate more. We can try interest free economy. We can try all kinds of monetary systems. But unless we, the people, realize that money doesn’t matter, and realize this in our hearts, we will revert, revert, revert, and we will see no major change. We will still have those borders and passport controls. We will still have military and police. We will still have corruption and crime.

So, to everyone who is a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Occupy Together, or any other movement in that regards; Think about it.

Simply think.

Can we have a property- and moneyless society? How will it work?

But more importantly, think about you. Your self. Ask yourself this:

Will I be doing what I do today if I didn’t earn any money on it? 

What will I be doing if I didn’t have any monetary incentive? 

What would my incentive be? 

What is my life’s purpose? 

And then go on and try to think about the consequences of a society where buying and selling is abandoned, where we simply don’t trade anymore, but distribute the goods and services to each other for free, and do what we do for reasons of joy and companionship (which of course can include doing what ‘has to be done’).

A society where we can change the place of living as easy as the rich people today move from their condo in NYC to their house in Paris. It is mind-blowing. Our possibilities would be limitless when we abandon property and money and simply share and develop what we have in this world.

Would all the ‘needed tasks’ be done in a moneyless society? Quite clearly, the answer is NO. But, only when you look at the ‘needed tasks’ from a monetary perspective, from the perspective of today’s society.

All of what is needed today will clearly not be needed in a moneyless society. For example, today, 50% of all food is thrown away, and new food is shipped in every day from all around the world. Thus, when we really look at that particular area, it should be quite obvious that we can half the amount of trips the trucks take to the stores, as long as we actually eat all the food that is driven there, instead of throwing half of it away.

Voila, we’ve halved the need for transportation in one field in one swipe.

Even though this is but one small example, can you see how the ‘needed tasks’ would be much fewer and less frequent in a moneyless society? In one swoop, I think we could easily half or more all needed tasks that are performed in the world today. And then I’m not even counting in all the un needed tasks, such as all bank, insurance, financial, stock brokers, accountants and other ‘money related’ people, who would have to find new interests and would make up a huge new pool of people that can actually contribute to society.

Ok, but what about other jobs, like plumbers, dentists, doctors, etc. etc. Would they still do their ‘jobs’? I see only one answer to that; Ask them. Ask yourself. Are you a plumber? Or what are you? Would you still do what you do? Or what would you do?

If I was a dentist or a doctor and I liked what I was doing, I can’t see any reason why I would suddenly stop doing that, as long as there still was a need for my services. Personally, I would feel an obligation to help the ones in need. I think many doctors feel that as they work today as well. Still, again, in a moneyless society where we wouldn’t need half the people to do half the jobs (and that’s without changing anything, only abandoning money and property), there would be much more time to actually take care of each other.

Much more people could actually take time to help each other in all kinds of matters. Be it health, plumbing, teaching, massaging or what have you. And instead of ‘serving the system’, we would serve each other and society. No money filter between us. All tasks would be meaningful since they would actually be needed.

Possession vs. Property

I think many people start to shiver when they really go into the thought of not owning anything, and I understand them, as this thought has for millennia been equivalent with poverty and destitution.

That is when it is time to sense the distinction between property and possession. Property is, and has been the most important tool for the capitalistic socio-economic system to build itself up to what it is today. And today, the term property is almost synonymous with possession. Still, they are not one and the same. Far from it.

Even today, something that you don’t own can be in your possession. If you borrow a car, it is in your possession the time you use it. And you are not feeling any fear about loosing that possession, are you? No, you know you have borrowed that car for a certain amount of time, and as long as you have it, you have it. And when you’re done with it, you turn it back. The car was never your property, even though it was in your possession the whole time you were using it.

No insecurity there. Borrowing a car. The same, of course, goes for everything else in your life that you use and have use for. If you own an apartment today, and you live in that apartment, you obviously have use for that apartment, since you live there and possess it. It doesn’t really matter if the apartment is yours or not. You live there, thus it is your apartment. But again, it being your apartment, doesn’t have to mean that you need to own it.

So, in a property- and moneyless society, what would happen to everything that we today own? This is very easy to answer, when considering the above; If we possess it and have use for it, we would simply keep using it, and no one else could claim it (unless, maybe if you unrightfully stole it in the first place) until you leave it.

In a property- and moneyless society (maybe we shall start to call it PAMS…?) possession and usership would replace property and ownership. If you have use for something and need it, you can use it for as long as you need it, as long as it exists and is accessable.

It is actually how this work today as well, except that the terms ‘property’ and ‘ownership’ came in some millennia ago and changed the whole game. We can’t really own anything. We can only use it and possess it for a certain time. When that time is over, it is and can not be ours anymore. It is only the system that lives in our minds that grants anyone the right to ‘own’ anything.

It is only the MONETARY MINDSET that has prevailed for so long that has indoctrinated us into believing that we actually can own something.

And of course, this is very good for those who want to control the world.

So, as an end note, the secret….(whispered)…:

When we realize that we can’t own anything, not us, not the rich, not anyone, well then, the system that is in place today will simply seize to exist. It will vanish like the apparition it has always been. It can not control us anymore. Because, the only means it has ever had to control us, has all this time been our mindset.

 

Peter Joseph is articulating my point very well:

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What is Directivism?

DIRECTIVISM

-NOUN
1. A theory or system of social organization that advocates the elimination of all forms of currency as well as advocating the Direct and Proportional Democratic management of resources as common heritage of all children of mother earth; creating abundant automated distribution of all commodities and services to all people equally.
2. The creation of a resource based economic system built around the model of a national consumer cooperative.
3. (in Directivist theory) The Dharmic stage of society following the Capitalist and Communist Monetary societies that dominated The Age of Pisces. Directivism is a transition from Monetarism towards The Dharmic, Enlightened, Ascended, and Transcended Societies.

DIRECTIVIST

-NOUN
1. An advocate of Directivism.
2. A Directivist is a member of a group that advocates Directivism.

-ADJECTIVE
3. Of, promoting, or practicing Directivism.
4. Directivist Of, belonging to, or constituting a Directivist group.

Directivism in detail; Directivism as stated is a new theory that favors an end to Material Obsession and Attachment. In the current Aeon of Pisces we see a sickness that has over taken humanity. This sickness is materialism, and the symptoms are attachment to things that are temporary and not long lasting. In this Aeon people are more concerned with obtaining material things and temporary material satisfaction then developing their consciousness. Further this rampant materialism symbolized by money and banking has cut us off from our natural connection to each other and to mother earth. Directivists believe that we are all one people who are children of a great mother the earth. We believe the earth has given us many gifts which have been stolen from us by politicians and sold to individuals who horde them for personal gain. For example food is constantly being horded, supermarkets are filled with food yet there is still people who go hungry. When food goes unsold it is simply thrown away, it doesn’t go to feed the hungry because they don’t have a piece of paper called money in hand to get it. Directivists believe as long as money exists things like Homelessness and Hunger will always exist. For Directivists the solution is to simply eliminate the banks, corporations, financial institutions, and money and create an economic system based on the DIRECT and INTELLIGENT management of RESOURCES.

Under a Resource Based Economic model such as Directivism all the resources of Mother Earth shall be managed in a Direct and Proportionally Democratic manner. Meaning that all production would occur in relation to the actual demand of what is wanted. All citizens would hold Direct Democratic Authority over the means of production. Production itself would be automated in a way that’s in harmony with the earth and facilitation committees would act as the ultimate oversight to keep automation and cybernated systems under control. All Input, Output, Distribution, and Recycling process of production would become automated with machines crunching the numbers with human oversight. With society as a whole oriented towards a state of harmony with one another a new set of social priorities would set in. Humanity would once again be free to pursue Higher Knowledge and Quest for Enlightened Consciousness an eternal search that has always been the characteristic of humanity as a whole. Our nature is curiosity and it is modern day materialist society telling us to shop, Shop, Shop that has convinced us that we don’t need to seek higher knowledge. A Directivist advocates this pursuit of knowledge and self betterment over a consumer mentality. A Directivist seeks answers beyond just what things like the Scientific Method can provide. For Directivists The Scientific Method can only provide answers based on what we can see. For The Directivist the Intuitive Method of actual and direct experience leads to Rationalization, Understanding, and Conclusion. Just as the Scientific Method of Observation, Theory, Evidence, also leads to Conclusion its probably for this reason that in India The Intuitive Method was used to discover Gravity centuries before it was discovered by The Observed (Scientific) Method. For the Directivist the ideal future is an enlightened one that is free of all the monetary ideas such as Monarchy, Capitalism, Mercantilism, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, etc. which governed The Age of Pisces. For The Directivist dreams of the next Aeon of Aquarius being the Age of a Dharmic Directivist society which can give rise to an Enlightened and Ascended Age of humanity unified and seeking Global Transcendence. The Directivist believes Money creates Hate, Fear and Envy, while the ideal Directivist Society creates Loving Compassion. The Directivist seeks to nurture the positive emotions of humanity and divorce all the negative emotions which are characteristic of this Aeon. If this sounds like you then perhaps you’re a Directivist!

www.TheResourceBasedEconomy.org