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Another Way Crisis Economy Center

Allan Carlson's Third Ways: How Bulgarian Greens, Swedish Housewives, and Beer-Swilling Englishmen Created Family-Centered Economies--and Why They Disappeared was enlightening, entertaining, and disheartening. Why, because he shows the promise of economic systems that aren't Capitalist nor Marxist that did work for a short time. He lays out the history of separate movements that were largely unconnected, yet were all very similar. I'll skip the synopsis and give you the bullet points of the systems.

OK, I can't find the "bullets" options here on blogspot, but you get the idea.
1) They all saw private property as the way to economic independence--limited though it may have been.
2) The family had primacy as the foundation of a good society and the local community ran a close second. The "State" was invited to stay out for the most part.
3) Agrarianism, traditional culture, and religion are all necessary in one form or another to the success of this system.

Whether it was the family wage or agricultural education for peasants these systems had promise (problems too, but I think less than our current mess--have you not read the headlines?) Most saw the rise of Industrial Capitalism as the death knell for traditonal ways of employment, family commitment, agriculture, and property ownership. We live in as Hillaire Belloc puts it, "the Servile State." We trade our economic freedom for mass produced goods and market efficiency.

In the last few years I've been surprised at my interest in economics, but it hasn't been in the lastest news from Wall Street. I'm more interested in how families and their local communities can create systems that are self-sustaining, free from the state or corporations, and work for the common good.

A friend mentioned today that I'm setting myself up for a political campaign based on where my daughter is attending school this year--she, unbeknownst to us, attends a school where the township bigwigs send their offspring. I told him I'm unelectable as my first acts would be to create a township-wide composting program as laid out by Sir Albert Howard and then a tax incentive for property owners who have fruit and vegetable gardens in their yards. My next act? Chickens and solar panels at Township Hall! Ha! Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (Look out, he's mad with power!)


Anonymous said…
Mad with power? And I thought you were just mad ...

Scot said…
I prefer seething.
Anarchrist said…
You or Carlson seem to be confusing capitalism w/ mercantilism. Your bullet point #1 is the very essence of capitalism. The protectionism and favoritism we have today in America is more aligned with mercantilism than capitalism. These systems worked because they had a base in true capitalism.

Marx defined capitalism as free market and free trade based in private property. He than redefined it to include politically privileged trade to the detriment of consumers. This is obviously contrary to the original definition (and cannot be sustained).
Scot said…
While private property may be a hallmark of Capitalism--it doesn't have a monopoly on the concept. Check yer OT for a much older example.

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