Starting Model

I just finished watching Robert Reisch’s film, Inequality for All, and I highly recommend it. It’s available on Netflix. It gives a wonderful insight into the issue of inequality, that is, the disparity between what the lowest and highest employees are paid. Interestingly, the only conclusion he comes to is that the system is really messed up and it’s going to take some real innovative thinking to correct, or perhaps, reinvent it. My fear is that the whole thing will collapse before there’s an opportunity to showcase what we’re trying to do. That’s why I’m thinking of trying this in Costa Rica, away from the divisiveness and political climate that’s appearing in the United States.

I’m finding the works of Reed Kinney and Thomas Greco are providing excellent guidelines in community building and economics, with many examples of successes and failures. So, let’s start building a model!

Decentralized Economic Social Organization …DESO Okay, now I see it! So here’s a fictional layout of the basic concepts:

Our landlord, Douglas, is a well-known restauranteur who, due to a drop in global tourism, was forced close his downtown restaurant. He has a beautiful piece of property comprising: several cabinas and multifamily apartments, a swimming pool/bar, a soccer field, several tilapia ponds, a conference area, and several citrus and banana plants. In addition, we have restaurant gear: refrigerators, freezers, tables and chairs, cooking grills, sandwich presses. This property is located near to a major city, and on several bus routes. What Douglas needs is capital.

Our first level comprises my landlord, myself and any other of the 5 or 6 residents of our compound who are interested. We can provide food, entertainment, meeting space, and the physical focus of a node. For we residents, it is the epicenter. We all have immediate contact with one another. Virtually everything we do impacts all of the other members of the family. Therefore, anything we do should benefit all members while disenfranchising none and, everything we do must be completely transparent!

For services we can provide the following:

  • Catering
  • Assisted Living
  • Convention Facilities
  •  Design/Build Services

We would like to get 10 investors at $10,000 each for a $100,000 base.

Proposals might include:

  • Production of All-Terrain Wheelchair
  • 3-D Printing Facility
  • Cabinetry Shop
  • Restaurant/catering facility

We ought to develop a type of pamphlet, if you will, to show clearly what we are trying to accomplish. The advantages and responsibilities must be clearly shown. We must also make clear that the process of “dialogue” is not simply complaining nor is it strictly majority rules. It is more an effort to find and fund projects which are to everyone’s advantage. I can see developing an app for use on cell phones, which could display the activity of the community as a whole.

Locally, Suzanne Smith (large family farm), Dr. Laura (Dentist/Cattle), Douglas’s brother (an Attorney), Betsy (Registered Nurse), Russ and Sherry, Sheila Rogers are all potential nodes. Each has their own extended family and desire to be free of centralized government and usury based monetary systems. I think we could easily build to 150 nodes within our region of Costa Rica. Additionally, if the first experimental projects proved successful, it could very easily spread throughout the country. A key feature of Costa Rica being the lack of expense of the standing Army, the government focuses more on keeping people employed. Much of the maintenance of infrastructure is still done by hand, including roadbuilding, plowing of mountainside fields, etc.

Other big advantages are a large, central downtown farmer’s market, adequate Internet/DSL, excellent medical system available to everyone and, an educational system capable of turning out qualified workers at all levels.

Next, we’ll consider the economic structure and see if we can’t extricate our local economy from the grips of an increasingly oppressive international banking system. Stay tuned!

8 thoughts on “Starting Model

  1. Dear Don,
    I applaud your project. I will need some time to think about the content of your proposition, and to compose my response. I will make the best contribution I can within my capacity. I will get back with you, by Wednesday, if not sooner.
    You’re good! Keep up your good work!
    Always yours, Reed & Maria Kinney
    P.S.
    I’ll look at that video you recommend.
    There is much to do for everyone involved in securing our continued existence as a species.
    Everyone interested in that project can contribute what they can within their capacities.
    Don, you good man, I’ll get back with you soon.

  2. Don, thanks for that comprehensive outline. It looks like an attractive possibility.
    One major concern is the ownership structure. He who owns the land has the ultimate power.
    That potential problem could be addressed by incorporating the community and obtaining a long-term lease. That would provide secure tenure for the community. Another possibility is for the community to acquire title in some way.

    I lived in community at the Yoga Center of Rochester for 5 years during the 1980s. There were between 7 and 8 residents at any one time. It worked very well for four reasons:
    1. the property was owned by another yoga center that left us alone, so we all had equal power.
    2. we had the common work of operating the center. we each had other interests, of course but we had to devote a few hours each week to running the center.
    3. we had no rules, but we had agreements that were always subject to renegotiation.
    4. one agreement was the weekly house meeting that we all were required to attend. That provided a regular opportunity to address the inevitable conflicts and issues that come up.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Tom. I hadn’t really thought much about the ownership issue, but, I can certainly see the relevance. I like the idea of the long term lease and will discuss this with some of the other people involved. I would like to have a coherent plan put together to bring with me when I return to Costa Rica.

      I’m finding your and Reed’s work providing many useful insights.

  3. I am discovering that the culture we are initiating will include components divergent from current cultural form, not by some creative whim, but because the permanence of the subsequent civilization depends on the organizational ability to share civic power-organization equally among all members. To do that will require two fundamental changes, 1) the democratization of money, yes, but more than that, the democratization of the vital sectors of the civilization’s economy, and 2) matrilineal control over the private sector of functional, private property.

    The model I am using, the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederation (1), contains the essential rules regarding woman’s control over the productive resources of her homestead. That, I think, is enough guidance that among a truly dialogical consensus-based Nuclear Group and community organization the folks will be able to form whatever concrete circumstances in their relationships needed to create a sufficient approximation.

    I don’t think that is such a tall order. The men will find themselves in a power sharing situation where in their individuated power will be amplified a hundred fold from what it is in this current “civilization.” And, structural accommodations are made socially so that each man is respected for his fathering function. A man owns his property and productive facilities until he marries and that homestead is bestowed upon his wife. Such a man would attract a wife, or so perhaps, whom he desires. And, if she disclaims him for whatever reason, he leaves her taking with him his personal weapons, tools of the trade, and his travel clothes.

    The question of money (central bank does not exist) is what the members must decide, how much of his saved exchange-value enters into his marriage, or whether that should even be considered. The reason being there is no fear of destitution. The minimum guaranteed standard of service is for all members should they need it. He can enter many places for lodging and occupational activity. He can remain inside the Nuclear Groups he grew up in, or he can move to another community where there reside members of his home Nuclear Groups who always accept him as family. His children belong to their mother, and he is always recognized as their functional father.

    The woman takes in another man. So long as his expected devotion to the family is what she and her sisters and nieces expect, then, the conjugal relationship perseveres. The mother allots her productive property to her daughters, nieces, or sisters. Many women receive productive property from their mothers, aunts, or sisters. It is a different culture. But, it must be like that.

    Due to all of the organization being dialogical, and because the vital sectors of the community economy are public property, then, all children grow up in their Nuclear Groups as well practiced orators. The Nuclear Group is where children learn self-control. DESO Nuclear Group dialogue for management of production engenders children who exercise the control of silence until their turn to speak, and the control of not reacting to statements that are irrelevant to the objective at hand, and they learn to deliberate their thoughts before they articulate their verbal contributions in dialogue. In addition, education is participatory and through all the arts. There’s more, but the point is that these people who create the next civilization will be highly individuated folks.

    All children and young adults are supported by the community to learn the chosen skills of their productive lives. Designated Nuclear Group women select men as candidates for community civic leadership and to represent the communities at the Confederation Council. The “Lords” of the Confederation Council may allow candidates to become Confederation “Lords,” or not. If not, the designated Nuclear Group women select another candidate from the men of their community. The designated Nuclear Group women are the “holders,” the “keepers” of the “Lordship” titles.

    I am explaining the structure of how all of that works in the manuscript I am currently engaged in. The scenario depicts gender role functions in civic organization, that are expressly gender roles with important, far reaching functions, which create a permanent society of power shared equally among all members.

    That is how remarkably different the civilization will be that we are bringing into concrete reality. We can but dimly imagine even a pale shade of what living in a sane society would be like, but we can be certain that if you structure an organization for particular results the results will approximate that objective, and that, my friends, is what we are striving to accomplish.

    Yours, Reed Kinney

    Note:

    1. Native Americans Six nations:
    http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/6Nations/EoL/chp8.html

    And
    The Iroquois constitution: http://www.iroquoisdemocracy.pdx.edu/html/greatlaw.html
    Education Link: http://www.iroquoisdemocracy.pdx.edu/index.htm
    The Iroquois constitution:
    http://www.constitution.org/cons/iroquois.htm
    Iroquois Constitution:
    http://www.greatamericandocuments.com/iroquois-constitution.html

    1. Thank you, Reed. I’m going to reread this post several times and dig some more into the Iroquois/6 Nation Constitution. I’ll also explore more of the relevant connections with the Costa Rican society. Additionally, I’m trying to create a 4 dimensional model comprising the many divergent concepts we’re trying to put together. Should keep me busy for the summer. 🙂

  4. Reed,

    Your comment brings up several interesting points:

    I can easily see these communities evolving over time and, we have to be careful to introduce certain features at the proper time. Also, in the case of Costa Rica, there is an interesting mix of cultures. For example; the native Costa Rican women, Ticas, are predominantly Catholic and very family oriented. Certain concepts may be easier or more difficult to introduce. It’s an area which will have to be explored much more deeply before attempting to impose constitutional restrictions.

    Additionally, references to “anarchy” and “anarchic organization” while well-placed in your description are certainly open to discussion and further clarification. Such terms can easily be taken out of context.

    That being said, I would like to hear any feedback.

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