Friday, January 23, 2009

A must-read!

An excellent essay (which I got onto via Ran Prieur) on why the current policies to combat the recession world-wide are doomed to fail, because the system they are designed to protect is finished: unsustainable. And then the essay goes on to give a very clear picture of what will replace the current system. No surprises here: it will be networked small business!

Our level of pain and suffering before we emerge on the other side of this disaster will be governed by extent to which resources are poured in to try and keep the current system of centralised capital-intensive large-scale production and distribution going. In other words, the more completely governments commit to subsidising the current system, the more complete and devastating the crash will be when it fails, because the alternative will not have had a chance to grow and take up the slack.

Enough of my talk. Read the essay (pdf warning!). It's long but every paragraph is a revelation. The fact is that hardly any of us understand the economic world we are living in, and those of us who do, don't know much. Read this essay and you will have elevated yourself to near genius level!

I'm adding something here after my original post: I think he does somewhat over-romanticise the life of the small manufacturer. Having been one myself for many years, worked my butt off and gone broke, it's necessary to point out here that every way of life has its own joys and sorrows. In small business, the learning curve is steep and it can be long. And to quote Tom Wolf, it can blow at any seam!

But whatever it is, it ain't boring. And we don't have a choice here, in the end. Unless we are prepared to go to some sort of neo-Feudal system. Or have it forced on us. I'll be publishing a novel dealing with a lot of these issues on this site some time in the next couple of months. It's set towards the end of this century, and while it's basically an entertainment I'm teasing out a few ideas in it about how a very different world could arise from elements which are present right now. Cheers!

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