From GAIL THE ACTUARY
The Oil Drum
[With Transition staring us in the face, we need to begin a fundamental discussion about our local economy. Where do we want to go? How do we want to do it? I favor what I’ve included in the title of this post: a decentralized agrarian society of local small farmers, small proprietors and cooperatives. Sustainable Food and Energy Security are the keys to local independence and prosperity. We have in place our Ukiah Co-op, Farmer’s Markets, CSAs, Credit Unions, and small businesses as models to build upon. -DS]
When I sat down to research this post, I thought I would write a post about barter, since it seemed like if our current financial system failed, barter would be one possible form of back-up. But when I started to research barter, the first thing I came across was this statement:
Contrary to popular conception, there is no evidence of a society or economy that relied primarily on barter. Instead, non-monetary societies operated largely along the principles of gift economics. When barter did in fact occur, it was usually between either complete strangers or would-be enemies.
So I decided to step back a bit, and look into gift economies.
It seemed to me that if our current system fails us, we should have at least some idea regarding what options might be available that could perhaps be pieced together into a new system that works. As I looked at gift economies a bit, I realized our current system has a substantial element of gift economics in it. Perhaps if our already functioning gift economy can be expanded,