Monthly Archives: December 2017

What if We Treated Land Differently?

“Solving the land question means the solving of all social questions.” – Leo Tolstoy Having studied sustainability for some 25 years, I’ve had the opportunity to examine many so-called “intentional communities.” These are typically founded by groups of people that, for various reasons, decide to try and create their own community from houses, to land, to businesses. However, most are lacking a solid economic component (called the working environment). Having environmentally sound homes and surrounding yourself with people who love the earth as much as you do will only accomplish so much. In the end, it only serves to create …

Can We Balance Ecology and Economy?

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller What good is it to gain control of the economic rudder and have lots of locally controlled capital generated by accountable, sociocratcially operated, employee-owned companies, if we continue to devastate the environment and build more of the same awful subdivisions and sprawl? Surely someone has devised a better plan than hacking land up into small pieces, surrounding it with concrete, building houses and selling them for as much money as possible. In my own town, …

Is Money Working for Us or Against Us?

“The economic revolution will be moral or it will not succeed. The moral revolution will be economic or it will not succeed.” – Father Don Jose Maria Think about it. A democratically operated and sociocratically organized, Mondragon-styled cooperative, would have the advantages of a corporation, but geared toward positive contributions to the community, and would be able to replace imports and create exports to stabilize, expand, and diversify a local economy. Such an enterprise would truly be a boon to any municipality and a great opportunity for the employee-owners that worked there. However, creating such a thing requires money. I’ve …

What Makes a City Grow?

Ever wonder how cities, towns, and villages are created in the first place? Do towns spawn companies or do companies spawn towns? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Obviously, a company requires employees, so having a town with potential workers in it is beneficial. On the other hand, people will only live where they can find work, so businesses must be operational in order to provide employment and attract inhabitants in the first place. Is it then necessary to have a company in order to create a community? Or, does the community create the company? You’ll recall from …

Detroit’s Food Revolution

As Devita Davison notes in the video below, Detroit is in a unique position to make the most of urban agriculture. However, this is more than a trend. As populations continue to increase and arable land becomes increasingly scarce, all communities will have to being growing food within city limits. By the end of this century, no one will consider building a subdivision without including space for food production. No developer will erect a high rise without a green roof and at least one floor dedicated to growing food. This won’t be a choice. It will be a necessity.

Isn’t Cooperation Better than Competition?

As has been noted, the corporate system is based upon a well-defined, top-down hierarchy. Large, powerful corporations can (and do) exert influence on communities and countries. Corporations exist to make money for their stockholders and owners. If they don’t, they won’t be in business very long. None of that makes corporations inherently evil. They’re just playing the system to their greatest advantage, just as anyone would do, and must do, in order to compete in a fierce global marketplace. Corporations are much better equipped to create money than are cities, states, and even nations. Companies are started because the people …