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Monday, 16 June 2014

Will it work

A possible future sustainable moneyless network of communities
Ok, so, EOS proposes a socioeconomic system for a sustainable world. A moneyless, “Star Trek like”, system that builds upon communities that act like building blocks. Each community rules itself, manages its own waste and produces its own food and power. These communities then network together to handle projects that one community alone cannot. Experts manage the technical resources of the communities. All this works with in bounds such as basic human rights. This means we present a goal orientated system where power becomes distributed among the people and localised within communities with no centralised form of government. A sort of bottom up form of governance.

But I have a question:

Will it work?

Ultimately, building it represents the best way to see if such a system would work. Obviously, we cant expect to change over to such a system planet wide over night just to see if it worked. If it went wrong we could end up creating a worse disaster than we have now. However, we can build small parts and test them out. As things work we can then start adding to the system. That summarises the basic idea behind stepping tones as a plan to go from our current unsustainable system to a future sustainable system. We have started working on that with the bio-dome project but we have lots more to do.

Another way we could see if the ideas work involves looking at other societies in time and space and see if they have had something similar. I actually stumbled upon an article that Prof. Francis Pryor, the archaeologist, wrote that caught my eye as it talked about a similar bottom up form of governance:

“I’m fascinated by the extent to which we ordinary folk can govern ourselves without the top-down
A reconstruction of an Iron Age Celtic village in Britain
help of Big Men and leaders ‘up there’. And as a prehistorian, I have been given a unique handle on all this. Because before the Romans arrived (in AD 43) and gave us writing, we had to live our lives without written records. There were no bureaucrats, no civil servants and no politicians. Government was local and was firmly embedded within the community and its families. If you’re a chief or leader and you get big-headed, the family and the rest of the tribe would soon sort you out. It was an effective system and it gave us stunning monuments, like Stonhenge. It also oversaw the creation of the British landscape, our first road system, together with the foundation of many villages and towns, even if some of these were not fully urban, in the modern sense.

Put another way, bottom-up, family-based, political systems worked for tens of thousands of years and the proof is out there in the landscape. I’m not suggesting we should turn back the clock, but why have we thrown the baby out with the bathwater? Why have we abandoned localism entirely?” [Prof. Francis Pryor]

I'm not suggesting that we turn the clock back either but we in EOS do suggest a form of localism and the idea that early pre-Roman Britain worked with such a system does provide some evidence, although far from conclusive, that such a system could work. 

The Inca empire forms another example that shows something of our proposal could work. The Incas
Atahualpa, Inca Emperor
ran a moneyless empire in central America. They guaranteed a basic level of living with free clothes and food. Although they did expand through conquest to some degree they also persuaded other tribes to join their empire, which those tribes often did willingly. We have two aspects of our design here; moneyless socioeconomics and the idea of persuaded people through showing them something better.

Finding examples of communities could present a problem as the design allows for a variety of communities with their own culture and way of doing things; from religious to atheists or primitive to transhuman and much in between. However, we can find examples of communities that could fit in. Twin Oaks in the US could form one example. Set up in the 1960 and not only still around today but has sprouted a number of other communities to form a sort of network. Although not using energy accounting nor having experts managing the technology it does show some aspects of how a community could work and the idea of networking.

Although we don’t have anything conclusive, we do find bits and pieces here and there that suggest at least some of ideas could work. Enough to suggest that we present ideas worth investigating. It might work!

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