It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Bartering systems and local currencies are just one possible step in the slow subordination of market activity to social activity, and corporate behavior to human behavior. After all, we don’t spend time volunteering in our public school because we want to earn local credits; we do it to make the place better for our kids. The psychological hurdle to cross is the inability to accept that $10,000 worth of one’s time spent making a local school better will create more value than $30,000 of one’s money spent on a private school. The money guarantees a great education for our own kid; the time improves the school for everyone’s kids. Still plagued by internalized competition and self-interest, most of us are not quite ready to choose the better path or to convince our neighbors to join us in the effort. Luckily, a desperate lack of funds and employment opportunities can help nudge us toward the more socially beneficial choice.
But the more social we get, the more one voluntary act will encourage another one, and so on. We learn that it’s more fun and less time-consuming to provide real help to our local elementary school than to take on an extra corporate job to pay for a private school. We reverse the equation through which we calculate how much money we’ll need to insulate ourselves from the pitfalls of modern life, like diminishing real-estate values, stock-market collapses, and layoffs.
Instead, we could calculate how much we can get from and give to that world with no money at all. Reciprocity is not a market phenomenon; it’s a social one. And when the market is no longer functioning properly, reciprocity is a necessary life skill.
Originally posted by icanhaz
reply to post by randomtangentsrme
...however, I cannot convince my neighbors to fair trade for made goods...Independent artisans cannot sustainably compete with corporations
I think many successful independent artisans can prove you wrong, including someone on this very thread, many who are everywhere online, and many whom I know in my own city.
Check out craigslist, trade shows, flea markets.
Find your niche and know how to work it; know your product(s) and where to market them.
Check out the post by reficul for tips.
The difference between success and failure depends on creativity, quality, innovation, hard work--but most of all, the willingness to keep trying until you get it right, rather than giving up after only a few times.
Many others have done it, you can, too!
Originally posted by Xoanon
...I started a small tidy chainmail manufacturing operation in my basement because when the SHTF and everything goes totally methane farms, dirt bikes and dune buggies, I am going to be right there with a hot commodity.