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  1. 28 Jul '13 19:50
    http://www.salon.com/2013/07/25/we_dont_want_police_here_land_of_the_real_life_robin_hood/

    "With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town
    described as a democratic, socialist utopia..."
    --Sophie McAdam (25 July 2013)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marinaleda,_Spain
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    28 Jul '13 20:00 / 7 edits
    Pretty cool. But it doesn't sound like a stable situation. Anarchist paradise.

    Potential Problem #1 - Italian Mafia decides to base operations there, or an equivalent Hispanic organization if one exists. Maybe American Mestizos...they are already checking out Spain and France or so I hear.

    PP#2 - Radical Islamists terrorize the town.

    PP#3 - Town collapses in bankruptcy like Detroit.

    PP#4 - Outlaw bikers? They got some in France I think, and definitely further north. IDK how far south their influence goes in Europe.

    PP#5 - GRAND THEFT AUTO VIDEO GAME SETTING

    Interesting FACT - Boko Haram act like a cross between Al Quaeda and outlaw bikers apparently
  3. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jul '13 02:07 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.salon.com/2013/07/25/we_dont_want_police_here_land_of_the_real_life_robin_hood/

    "With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town
    described as a democratic, socialist utopia..."
    --Sophie McAdam (25 July 2013)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marinaleda,_Spain
    Very interesting story. It seems there are also several Youtube videos about Marinaleda. I'll have to check those out tomorrow.

    Edit: I had heard of this mayor before in conjunction with the supermarket raid that happened last year:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4iV9V46DaM&list=TLYYyyCS9gw6Q
  4. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jul '13 13:42
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rlqT4NPM9E

    An interesting 25:00 video on Marinaleda. What struck me particularly is how the people there have rejected the tyranny of efficiency. Instead of using capital intensive, highly mechanized agriculture, they've "reverted" to a more labor intensive system of agriculture. By doing so they're reclaimed their sovereignty and made a system that works for the local people, instead of distant bankers and investors.
  5. 29 Jul '13 16:06
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rlqT4NPM9E

    An interesting 25:00 video on Marinaleda. What struck me particularly is how the people there have rejected the tyranny of efficiency. Instead of using capital intensive, highly mechanized agriculture, they've "reverted" to a more labor intensive system of agriculture. By doing so they're reclaimed their soverei ...[text shortened]... and made a system that works for the local people, instead of distant bankers and investors.
    I have an even better idea. Instead of reverting to a labour-intensive model, stick with mechanised agriculture, but ensure the machinery is owned and maintained collectively by the town. Then, ensure that available work is divided equally between able-bodied citizens of working age. This will mean, unlike the labour-intensive model, that no one has to work very long hours, and because the machinery is owned by the town, rather than by distant financiers, the town gets to keep the produce and profits!
  6. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jul '13 16:31
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    I have an even better idea. Instead of reverting to a labour-intensive model, stick with mechanised agriculture, but ensure the machinery is owned and maintained collectively by the town. Then, ensure that available work is divided equally between able-bodied citizens of working age. This will mean, unlike the labour-intensive model, that no one has to wor ...[text shortened]... d by the town, rather than by distant financiers, the town gets to keep the produce and profits!
    That would be ideal in theory, but in practice capital intensive ventures tend to end up being owned and controlled by the investors who paid for them, to the detriment of the people these implements were ostensibly designed to emancipate from having to perform labor. Instead of reducing the number of hours everyone has to work, the technology ends up merely reducing the number of people required. Thus places like Spain end up with enormous unemployment rates. It seems paradoxical, but they would be better off eschewing capital intensive, high end technology and doing things in a smaller, more local, more labor intensive way. Appropriate scale technologies for local economies. It flies in the face of everything the charlatan economists pontificate about, but it would serve local communities better in the long run.
  7. 29 Jul '13 18:45
    Originally posted by rwingett
    That would be ideal in theory, but in practice capital intensive ventures tend to end up being owned and controlled by the investors who paid for them, to the detriment of the people these implements were ostensibly designed to emancipate from having to perform labor. Instead of reducing the number of hours everyone has to work, the technology ends up merel ...[text shortened]... latan economists pontificate about, but it would serve local communities better in the long run.
    Seriously, are you BF Skinner?
  8. 29 Jul '13 19:01
    Originally posted by rwingett
    That would be ideal in theory, but in practice capital intensive ventures tend to end up being owned and controlled by the investors who paid for them, to the detriment of the people these implements were ostensibly designed to emancipate from having to perform labor. Instead of reducing the number of hours everyone has to work, the technology ends up merel ...[text shortened]... latan economists pontificate about, but it would serve local communities better in the long run.
    Yeah, that makes sense. I guess places like Norway and Switzerland have such low unemployment rates because they live simple subsistence farming lifestyles.
  9. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jul '13 19:12
    Originally posted by dryhump
    Seriously, are you BF Skinner?
    The standard economic and developmental models are clearly a failure. Everything about them. The people of Marinaleda have come up with an alternate model that serves their interests much better. It's something that should be emulated by communities around the world. Part of that is a relocalization of economies and a move toward projects that can be implemented and maintained on a local scale. A top-down implementation of mega-projects ultimately disempowers local communities and leaves them vulnerable to the caprices of bankers and other crooks. To quote E. F. Schumacher, "Small is beautiful."
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    29 Jul '13 19:14 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yeah, that makes sense. I guess places like Norway and Switzerland have such low unemployment rates because they live simple subsistence farming lifestyles.
    It's borrowed time. The carrying capacity of the Earth is being exceeded by a wide margin. The impossibility of "permanent growth" in a finite world is about to become manifest. And industrialized agriculture is one of the top culprits.
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    29 Jul '13 19:16
    Originally posted by rwingett
    "Small is beautiful."
    Thats what she said
  12. 29 Jul '13 23:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett to dryhump
    The standard economic and developmental models are clearly a failure. Everything about them. The people of Marinaleda have come up with an alternate model that serves their interests much better. It's something that should be emulated by communities around the world. Part of that is a relocalization of economies and a move toward projects that ca ...[text shortened]... to the caprices of bankers and other crooks. To quote E. F. Schumacher, "Small is beautiful."
    'The standard economic and development models are clearly a failure.'
    --Rwingett

    In many ways, I am inclined to concur.

    'Everything about them.'
    --Rwingett

    But that seems too dogmatic.

    '...a move toward projects that can be implemented and maintained on
    a local scale.'
    --Rwingett

    Unfortunately, there are some important projects that cannot 'be
    implemented and maintained' with only the resources available 'on a local
    scale'. In order to have a realistic chance of success with some projects,
    one needs to bring together enough capital and capable people in order
    to achieve a 'critical mass'. A solitary genius in a garret seems unlikely
    to be able to find a cure for cancer. Also, keeping everything upon a
    disconnected or loosely connected local scale means that an enterprise
    loses the benefits of 'economy of scale' when mass production is required.
    Let's suppose that your society was threatened with invasion by an enemy
    that aimed to commit genocide. Would you prefer to have weapons being
    made by local workshops in many villages or in large modern factories?

    "To quote E.F. Schumacher, 'Small is beautiful.'"
    --Rwingett

    An amply proportioned Wagnerian soprano can have much beauty too,
    at least in her striking voice.
  13. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    30 Jul '13 00:21
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    'The standard economic and development models are clearly a failure.'
    --Rwingett

    In many ways, I am inclined to concur.

    'Everything about them.'
    --Rwingett

    But that seems too dogmatic.

    '...a move toward projects that can be implemented and maintained on
    a local scale.'
    --Rwingett

    Unfortunately, there are some important projects that c ...[text shortened]... Wagnerian soprano can have much beauty too,
    at least in her striking voice.
    I'm not talking about localizing everything under the sun. Nor am I raising the bogeyman of autarky. But there are certain things that would be very beneficial to localize as much as is practical. The production of basic foodstuffs is no. 1 on that list. Certain basic manufacturing would be another; items that would be covered in the 'Global Village Construction Set' (see my post on open source ecology).

    Generally, I have little interest in the supposed benefits of 'economies of scale'. It should not ever be a decisive factor in planning or organization of any society. It is certainly one factor among many to consider, but it is often the case that the benefits gained are offset by the sacrifices needed to achieve it. I refuse to acknowledge the paramount necessity of prostrating oneself before the "tyranny of efficiency."
  14. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    30 Jul '13 01:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Pretty cool. But it doesn't sound like a stable situation. Anarchist paradise.

    Potential Problem #1 - Italian Mafia decides to base operations there, or an equivalent Hispanic organization if one exists. Maybe American Mestizos...they are already checking out Spain and France or so I hear.

    PP#2 - Radical Islamists terrorize the town.

    PP#3 ...[text shortened]...
    Interesting FACT - Boko Haram act like a cross between Al Quaeda and outlaw bikers apparently
    PP1 - who are they going to steal from?
    PP2 - how is that more likely than anywhere else?
    PP3 - why should they care about the financial system? Really, default isn't a problem if you don't intend to borrow again (d.k. whether this is realistic in this case).
    PP4 - bikers can be quite well behaved sometimes.
    PP5 - well yes, but that's a game isn't it. In real life people steal from those they don't identify with, not from those they do.
  15. 30 Jul '13 01:17
    Originally posted by rwingett
    That would be ideal in theory, but in practice capital intensive ventures tend to end up being owned and controlled by the investors who paid for them, to the detriment of the people these implements were ostensibly designed to emancipate from having to perform labor. Instead of reducing the number of hours everyone has to work, the technology ends up merel ...[text shortened]... latan economists pontificate about, but it would serve local communities better in the long run.
    The problem with labor saving, capital intensive machinery, is that it works in economies of scale. The small family owned farm can't really use the capacity of large scale devices, or their capital expense. Transferring the cost to the collective, the town, the county, or even the State, leaves the problem of transporting the machinery from farm to farm, and some users having priority over others.

    I heard fairly recently, that Maine opted out of USDA regulations for dairy farmers, if the dairy products were sold inside Maine, making it not interstate commerce. The smaller dairy farmer could eliminate costs, and sell a healthier product to local people cheaper, than the big commercial dairy aiming at the larger market.

    Efficient equipment wherever it is used, makes money for the investors, but also increases the earnings of the laborer, however at the same time reducing their numbers. A worker running a bulldozer may replace a dozen or more workers with shovels, but he will be better paid. The upside is that the other workers replaced by the bulldozer are free to satisfy other desires of consumers.

    As far as the hours of laborers, some laborers want to work more hours than others. For workers with limited skills, laboring more hours may be the only way to increase their earnings immediately.