The Green Gap

In the Cold War, we feared a Missile Gap was a strategic weakness. Nowadays, we must awaken to the fact that the Green Gap is true strategic weakness: the nations whose economies will thrive in the coming years will not be those with the biggest factories, but those with the most sustainable, efficient, and ecological markets. What we require is a Strategic "Green Reserve" of ecological design to weather the coming changes that both climate and resource scarcity will force on the international economy.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Subverting the Global Economy through Local Action Part 2

[part 1 here]

For a while, I had intended to write this post all by myself and make it a masterpiece of bloggery, so I started looking around for inspiration and links.

And I found others have already mastered this topic.

So I'm not going to write an article, post, diatribe, or paean: I'm going to stop right here and link to others' works that cover the topic far more thoroughly than I could in a single article. The overriding thesis: we don't need to do anything particularly organised to overturn the current economic order. All we need to do is reduce our overall need for money. That can be done through sharing, gifting, cooperation, crafting, making, and swapping - all of which is fun and builds community, which is far more useful than money. But don't take my word for it:

The concept of Earthship Village Ecologies links ecological concepts by creating work and resource flows rather than currency flows, and creating community instead of economy.

This is a good core article on the economic underpinnings of the Sharing Economy, and how we can resuscitate it for the modern age.

The Creative Commons is a global open-source style movement that gives a legal basis for sharing IP without giving corporations or individuals the opportunity to monetise or acquire the rights to an idea, product, or piece of work. A good example is this website for the sharing of free designs for 3d printing, in this case featuring designs for how to print an entire flying quadcopter. It's quite simply a fact that IP stifles small-scale economic development and in many cases is counterproductive. The people who realise this can share their concepts and code through these above movements so that their ideas serve the greater good of the community and allow small-scale economic development to expand.

The anti-colonial and anti-enclosure movement rising in (primarily) the third world seeks to defend cultural legacy from corporate patents.

The Transition Towns movement seeks to create regional and local economic autonomy and development from the "great powering down" that is starting now. The link is a practical primer on how to get local research to assist in economic development on a local level.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but countless groups are looking at a less cash-intensive future that is more community-based, sustainable, and happy. Less money can mean less security in these cash-intensive times, but less need for money means greater security, more community, and in the end, more happiness for all concerned (except the bankers, who might actually have to learn to work for a living).

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