If none of us ever purchased another new manufactured good from The Corporation, we would be just fine. Everything anyone needs has already been purchased--multiple times over. Our garages, attics, sheds and out-buildings are full. We are tripping over our own stuff. If we just stopped buying stuff and re-inhabited the thriftiness for which Vermonters are famous, we wouldn't go without a thing. We would lack nothing--because so much has been manufactured and sold to consumers in the past few decades, that it's all already out there somewhere.

We could trade and barter with each other. If I don't have what I need, it's probably in your garage. We could free-cycle. We could buy each other's used stuff with local currency--and we could, by doing so, lessen the noose of The Corporation around our necks. This, though, begins by changing our ideas--and our relationship--with money. Because it is our relationship with money that is eroding community. We have been so lured into the "convenience" of money that we've forgotten how to be neighbors. We've forgotten how to share, trade, barter and give to one another. In the Ascent of Humanity (Panenthea Press, 2007), Charles Eisenstein demonstrates that our money system has developed to such a point that people no longer feel a need for others. No relationship. No community. Just money--which is rapidly becoming devalued.

Anonymity and competition are intrinsic to money. The anonymity of money is a function of its abstraction. The history of money is the story of a gradual abstraction of value from physical objects. As society specialized and trade flourished, more abstract forms of money developed that had no dependence on inherent value, but merely on collective belief in that value. Money, thus, has reached a crisis point in which it is becoming nothing more than pieces of paper. And, at that, pieces of paper that cause immense amounts of stress and dysfunction for those who still believe (because if really is nothing more than a belief) in the importance of money.

Money is also abstract with regard to people. Anybody's money is the same. It is no accident that our monetized society is increasingly generic and anonymous. When we pay professionals to grow our food, make our clothes, build our homes, clean our houses, treat our illnesses and educate our children, what's left? What's left on which to build a community? Communities are inter-dependent.

Enter barter, trade, freecycling, and using local currencies to buy second-hand products. Suddenly,  my "money" is potatoes, or maple syrup. It's firewood. It's child-care....and the list goes on. I am no longer anonymous nor generic. I have value and the fruits of my labor have value. Your "money" is wheat berries, pressing cider or cheese-making. It's herbal medicines. It's wild-crafted greens. You are no longer anonymous nor generic. You have value and the fruits of your labor have value. And, we begin to build community.  We rekindle our need for each other. We re-value each other. And, we remember how much we enjoy interacting with one other! 

And, as an important spin-off, The Corporation takes back seat. It's power is curbed. We, The People create sustainable, vibrant lives instead of being cogs in the ever-grinding cycle of industrialism. Freedom. Value. Meaning. A Good Life!

Views: 10

Tags: Ackerman, Good, Life, Sherry, The, food, permaculture, simplicity, sustainability

Comment

You need to be a member of Ashland Source Center to add comments!

Join Ashland Source Center

Spotlight Features

Eco-News Sources

Environmental and Food Justice

According to reports appearing in the Mexican print media, a federal district court judge in Yucatán yesterday overturned a permit issued to Monsanto, the U.S.-based multinational corporation that is a leading purveyor of genetically modified crops (GMOs). The permit, which had been issued by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food on June 6, 2012, allowed the commercial planting of GM soy bean in Yucatán. The ruling was based on consideration of scientific evidence demonstrating (to the judge’s satisfaction) that GMO soy crop plantings threaten Mexican honey production in the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Yucatán. An op-ed piece appearing in yesterday’s La Jornada (July 23), applauded the decision with insightful commentary suggesting that the federal agencies involved in this dispute are guilty of corruption and collusion with the transnational Gene Giant.

Obama Just Did What No Other President Before Him Has Done | Mic

Obama will bypass Congress with a plan forcing power plants to cut their emissions by 30% (from 2005 levels) over 15 years. Coal produced an estimated 74% of total CO2 emissions in the U.S. in 2012, compared to other forms of electricity generation like natural gas and petroleum. The plan represents one of the biggest actions taken by the U.S. government — and the biggest taken by any U.S. president — to slow climate change.

The Solar Technology That Could Solve California’s Water Problem | EcoWatch

The founders of a California company are gearing up to make a difference in their state’s future—about 2 million gallons worth of a difference. As the state battles a lengthy drought and considers spending $7 billion to $9 billion to produce, transport and store fresh water, WaterFX, a San Francisco-based, independent water producer says it has been testing a potential solution for the past year.

A Simple Solar Oven Makes Salt Water Drinkable | The Mind Unleashed

It functions by filling the black boiler with salty sea water in the morning, then tightening the cap. As the temperature and pressure grows, steam is forced downwards through a connection pipe and collects in the lid, which acts as a condenser, turning the steam into fresh water. Once Diamanti established the fundamentals were sound, he experimented with a series of concepts for the aesthetic of the object.

National Geographic Photojournalist Captures Images of Critical Pollution Problems Worldwide | EcoWatch

When U.S. photojournalist Peter Essick visited India and China for the first time, he was struck by how different life there was compared with American cities. But when he returned almost two decades later, he found the changes “staggering.” Bangalore now reminds him of the Silicon Valley, and Beijing and New Delhi are smoggier than anything he had ever encountered at home.

Featured Partners

Featured Books + CD's

© 2014   Created by Ashland Source Center.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service