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Ideas for alternatives

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I'd like to post some ideas for alternatives that people might like to engage with or share around to see if others would be interested in them. By planting seeds we never know what might take root! I invite you to share any ideas you have. Here's my thinking on the challenges we face:

 

We are seeing the mega-corporations work hand in glove with the government to build a technocratic gulag around society. For this to work the technocrats must centralise all the wealth and the power whilst keeping everyone under 24/7 surveillance so that they can micro-manage us through our energy useage. Perhaps the answer then for anyone who disagrees with that totalitarian vision of society should be to go in the opposite direction! This means rejecting 'smart' tech of all kinds, wherever and whenever possible,  to prevent the construction of the 'internet of things'.

 

It means rejecting their big tech internet platforms which are really just spy databases that interface with the intelligence services. It means not allowing them to engineer our perceptions or impose their solutions on us. Instead we need to take personal responsibility and vote with our feet to shape the world around us with everything we do. Every pound/dollar/ruble that we spend is a vote for the kind of world we live in. If we give all of our financial support to the corporations who are behind this new technocratic world then we are empowering them. Our money is a like a vote of confidence and compliance but it also contributes to the physical construction of our world.

 

If the elites want to centralise power and wealth then maybe we need to look at how we can decentralise the power and wealth. Through engaging with alternatives to what the elites offer us our lives become a living protest which will have far more impact then a vote cast at the ballot box every 4-5 years for parties that are all controlled by big money. By embracing alternatives we can build a parallel system and become the change that we want to see.

 

 

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Debt jubilee:

On Contact: The history of debt forgiveness

 

 

 

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Decentralised internet:

The SAFE Network

The average internet user has no idea how the internet operates. They are generally happy to pay Internet Service Providers like Comcast to collect their personal information, assign it to their IP address and hand it over to the government whenever requested. Even those who are concerned and seek out a free speech-protecting, privacy-advocating ISP (should one exist) generally don't encrypt all of their traffic and/or run it through VPNs, meaning that Uncle Sam already has access to their data anyway (via the back doors the major telecoms have happily provided them).

The problem, as always, is the centralization of what was created to be a decentralized network. Rather than a decentralized, peer-to-peer, mesh network of computers around the world sharing data directly, the internet relies on a series of ISP nodes that give most of the users their "on-ramp" to the information superhighway. And those nodes, as students of the kakistocracy are all too aware, are easily controlled, disrupted, surveilled and co-opted.

As always, however, the problem may be easy to identify but the solution is difficult to construct. Although a server-based internet goes against the logic on which the internet itself was built, transitioning from a server-based internet to a decentralized peer-to-peer internet is an engineering problem of massive proportions.

So along comes MaidSafe with the SAFE network, aka "Secure Access for Everyone." SAFE describes itself as a "crowd sourced internet."

Rather than using data centers and servers common within today’s internet, which are prone to data theft and surveillance, the SAFE Network uses advanced P2P technology, that joins together the spare computing capacity of all SAFE users, creating a global network. You can think of SAFE as a crowd sourced internet. It is on this network that everyone’s data and applications reside.

Essentially, SAFE is a P2P program that encrypts data and then chops the encrypted data into pieces, distributing copies of those pieces throughout the network for storage and access. Users decide if, when and how that data is shared and accessed, or whether it is shared at all. The SAFE network will also contain programs and applications, meaning that users will be able to use the network for decentralized messaging, emailing, data storage, video conferencing, apps and whatever else people use the controlled and surveilled ISP-centralized internet for.

To access the network, users will create an account username (no personal details required) and allocate a section of their hard drive to the network. They are then rewarded in cryptocurrency for their part in helping to operate the network.

If this sounds like a massive project, it is. MaidSafe had been working on the technology for a full decade before they released their alpha version of the SAFE network (targeted at "very early adopters" and with limited functionality) to the general public last year.

As usual with projects like this, the alpha version is very much a work in progress and this is not yet a project for the casual user. But those who are inclined to dabble in it may be interested in any of the numerous guides to getting started that have been created by the technology's advocates.
https://steemit.com/technology/@corb...ized-solutions

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Alternative to centralised banking:

15 Things They Don't Tell You About Money
April 29, 2011 by Ken MacIntyre (Guest Author)

Inspired by Ha Joon Chang’s 23 Things They Didn’t Tell You About Capitalism (2010) (where you learn for example that the Nobel Prize for Economics is not really a Nobel Prize: it is awarded by the Swedish Central Bank).

1. Governments in full sovereign control of their currencies can create sufficient money to ensure full employment and to finance all their activities. There is no limit to money creation and to say that ‘there is no money left’ is as absurd as it is untrue.

2. Governments with sovereign power do not need to borrow either from private financial institutions or the IMF. That they borrow and then have to ‘appease financial markets’ is a self-imposed constraint, rather like tying your shoelaces together and claiming that you can’t walk (see Warren Mosler below).

3. Governments do not control the money supply but instead have chosen to subcontract the provision of the public money supply to private banks.

4. Governments voluntarily forego the substantial public revenue of money creation called seigniorage. In the UK this amounts to a subsidy to private banks of the order of £100 bn a year

5. Money is not a ‘ thing’ but a legal relationship, a creation of the State. It is a token (these days electronic) system which establishes claims over resources.

6. Money is not wealth. Wealth is land, natural resources and the products of human labour. Money is only a claim on wealth.

7. Real wealth comes from the production of socially useful goods and services and investment in infrastructure and skills. Property or share price speculation and the promotion of pyramid schemes (the process called ‘financial liberalisation’ or ‘deregulation’) are predatory and extractive activities which do not create wealth.

8. Banks are offspring of the State. They have a virtual monopoly of money creation and the legal privileges and protections of corporate personhood and limited liability. They pretend to be independent and self reliant but like spoilt teenagers, at the first sign of trouble, they run home crying and demanding unlimited handouts.

9. Banks do not lend anything. They create money as credit out of nothing and charge interest on something which costs nothing to produce. Credit creates an additional debt overhead in the form of interest which adds to costs in the economy but, as no additional money is issued to cover it, there is never enough money in circulation to enable debt to be repaid, causing bankruptcies, recessions and unemployment.

10. Bank credit does not go into productive investment but into asset price speculation and ‘loans’ to other banks. When commentators refer to the banking crisis they are referring to the ongoing collapse of this classic pyramid or Ponzi scheme.

11. Banks expand and contract the money supply creating booms and asset price bubbles which collapse into recessions. This is called ‘the business cycle’ but there is nothing inevitable about it.

12. There must always be a deficit in the private or public sectors for the money system to function – someone somewhere has always to be spending more than they are earning.

13. There are only two ways that money can enter the economy: credit issued by private banks or government spending. If credit dries up, only government can make good the shortfall or else there is a recession.

14. If you think that you have ‘money in the bank’, think again. Bank accounts are only accounting entries representing the bank’s promise to pay, not real money.

15. Expanding the money supply by government-issued money is not inflationary except in conditions of full employment. Unlike bank credit, there is nothing intrinsically inflationary about government-issued money. Money issuance can always be controlled by taxation.
Sources

C H Douglas Social Credit (1924)
Warren Mosler – The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy (2010)
A. Mitchell Innes – What is Money? The Banking Law Journal, May 1913: http://moslereconomics.com/mandatory...what-is-money/
Stephanie Kelton and others: Are There Spending Constraints on Governments Sovereign in their Currency? (April 2010)
NEF, Positive Money, Prof Richard Werner: Submission to the Independent Banking Commission (2010)
Prof Mary Mellor
Ann Pettifor (Editor) Real World Economic Outlook (2003)
Ha Joon Chang – 23 Things They Didn’t Tell You About Capitalism (2010)
https://positivemoney.org/2011/04/15...u-about-money/

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Posted (edited)

Shareholder v's stakeholder corporations...

CEOs are giving out one-time bonuses instead of the salary increases Trump promised workers
By Leo Gerard / AlterNet
January 19, 2018, 12:48 PM GMT

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced this week that the company would repatriate $252 billion, give or take a few billion, then create some American jobs and invest in America – for a change. This is a result of the massive tax cut Congressional Republicans awarded corporations like Apple that were hoarding trillions in profits overseas. Corporate lobbyists told Congress to lower the tax rate on those overseas caches or companies like Apple wouldn’t pay a cent of the taxes they owed on those profits. Congress complied. That is highly productive corporate extortion. The corporate extortion and maltreatment of workers defy the advice that BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink offered the CEOs of the world’s largest companies in a letter delivered Jan. 16. Fink’s words carry some weight since his firm is the largest investor in the world with more than $6 trillion. The letter described as flawed the CEO-favored philosophy of shareholder capitalism, under which corporations shirk responsibility to everyone but shareholders.

Fink said stakeholder capitalism, under which corporations are accountable to employees, customers and communities, as well as shareholders, is a more effective long-term strategy. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” he counseled. But CEOs at the likes of Apple, AT&T and AFLAC don’t want to hear that. These executives want their corporations to be considered people for the legal perks. But they don’t want their firms to assume humans’ citizenship obligations. These CEOs are trying to make Americans think corporations should get good citizenship awards because a handful of the nation’s 30 million employers are paying bonuses to workers from the gargantuan tax savings Congress gave them.
https://www.alternet.org/labor/there...-con-job-going/

 

 

Edited by muir

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Alternative internet platforms:

Service providers like facebook, google, youtube and so on all have their roots in the intelligence agencies and are data mining your personal information. Google for example records all of your searches enabling the intelligence services to build up a highly personal profile of you. Here are some possible alternatives:
 

 

steemit is a blockchain social media site

Liveleaks is a video clip platform

BitChute.com – From the FAQ: “Here we believe people should be able to express their opinions and choose their topics. If existing services cannot allow that, then let’s make some that will. The question is, how to disrupt a platform as well established as YouTube? It cannot be on their terms; we think we might have an answer, decentralization by torrents and tailored matchups for monetization.”

Dtube.video – From the introduction post on Steemit: “DTube is an application fully written in javascript, that runs in the browser, that allows you to upload and watch videos on top of the IPFS Network. Moreover, it uses STEEM as a database and enables earning rewards from your uploads.”

Minds.com – From the About page: “Minds (Minds, Inc.) is a free and open source social networking platform that rewards you for your activity online with revenue, digital currency and more views on your content. We are built on a foundation of freedom, privacy and democratization.”

vid.me – From the About page: “We’re a team of twelve humans and six dogs located in Downtown LA who are on a mission to build the world’s most creator-friendly video community. Over 25 million people use Vidme every month to upload and watch videos, and we’re just getting started.”

Duckduckgo is an alternative search engine to google which unlike google does not record all of your searches

 

seen.life is an alternative to facebook

Another social media site that might enable networking with people who are sympathetic to the ideas contained in this thread is the fullcircle project:

The Full Circle Project was conceived to engender unity, cooperation, communication and empowerment to all seeking for, or working towards, real solutions for living a decent life in a world gone haywire. While governments and corporations seek to throttle, sicken and dumb down their populations, it is even more so a time of great awakening to our potential in facing these challenges and in helping one another during these stressful times by sharing skills and pooling resources. Communication and community often act as a solution in themselves as those feeling isolated sense they have no alternative except perhaps finding kindred spirits online. It doesn't have to be this way. The primary intention of the project is to bring people together to bridge this gap of isolation via communication and by offering inspired forms of activism that will empower individuals and whole communities.
https://www.fullcircleproject.net/pages/about/

The conscious resistance is another network that advises people to form freedom cells with likeminded people so that you can share ideas and resources:

TCR is the moment you recognize that being free goes deeper than just seeing the problems in the political arena. Consciously Resisting means being willing to engage in self-reflection, and pursuing knowledge of the self. Without knowing our own doubts, hopes, fears, dreams, insecurities and strengths we can not truly know what freedom means to us as an individual. To become conscious, and aware of ones actions is one of the most important steps towards claiming your own freedom.

Motto: “Leading by example and helping others in their pursuit of Freedom.”

The Conscious Resistance Network is an independent media organization focused on empowering individuals through education, philosophy, health, and community organizing. We work to create a world where corporate and state power does not rule over the lives of free human beings. Originally this site and the name revolved around the work of community activist Derrick Broze. However, in November 2013 Derrick and Neil Radimaker relaunched the The Conscious Resistance Network. TCRN aims to be a unique network of entertaining internet broadcasts featuring music videos, how to videos, gardening tips, discussions on current events, Anarchy, community organizing, and many other ideas we are currently working on.’ TCRN is always looking to add new hosts and programs to our lineup. If you are interested in being a part of our network please contact us for more details.
http://theconsciousresistance.com/20...lcome-to-tcrn/

 

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Alternative currency not controlled by the central banks for example the bradbury pound which has been used before:

 

 

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Saying no to SMART meters:

InPower Movement

Get Episode 2 free: https://inpowermovement.com The InPower Docu-Series illustrates a powerful new method to restore social justice and accountability. Episode #1 focuses on solving the ‘smart’ meter problem: how we can prevent and reverse the installation of this dangerous technology, through holding corporate executives and government actors financially accountable — for the first time ever. And in so doing, we can restore safety in our homes, and bring balance to our world.

 

 

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End government spying on the general public:

Take Back Your Power - Full Movie HD [InPower Movement]

The 2013 NSA spying scandal exposed vast programs to monitor your personal communications. Now, energy utilities and governments are reaching into your own home, through fast-tracked "smart" meters and spy-ready technology. But what if you have a choice? At stake is in-home surveillance, increased bills, emerging health risks and more hacking vulnerabilities. With compelling insight from whistleblowers, researchers, government agents, lawyers, doctors and environmentalists, the award-winning documentary Take Back Your Power takes us on a journey to expose corporate and government corruption and erosion of rights in the name of "smart" and "green." What you'll discover will surprise, unsettle and empower you.

 

 

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Saying no to 5G:

Save Us Now

Getting our Story out.

The top 0.1% have all the wealth as the bottom 90% of us and its damaging businesses and employment. It’s the main reason that Rome collapsed. No real economy as the resources get funnelled up to an even smaller few. This is a threat to the nation and the reason it has happened is because of the Crony systems that have been set up that allowed it to happen. The Government seem to be gearing up to hand the NHS into private hands is it because it is the last thing to sell off? Student Debt is rising and University fat cats pay themselves more, disgraceful disregard for those who are paying for their education? The environment is under threat from a multitude of actions especially the ubiquitous roll out of telecoms transmitters. Greed and profit come before the environment and people’s health. 5G is an existential threat to all of us and our environment. this known cancer-causing radiation will make us ill and damage the country and the economy.

Social Media

The internet, Social Media is a controlled space and will become more controlled with the Governments control narrative, blocking stories that embarrass the Elites. Charles the First tried this by banning coffee Shops in London and look how that ended up. Make sure you follow up your posts share posts and post the imagery about the Microwave Radiation that is killing us slowly. Tell friends talk about this and make sure when we organise public meetings you attend with interested parties.
We can no longer rely on the established Political class to hold the executive to account. They ignore the rule of law and the system is set up to excuse and reward criminality. The future of our Country is at threat due to ignorance and self-serving elites we need to act within the law. The law is on our side here so “don’t get angry get even”.
https://www.saveusnow.org.uk/about/

EMF warriors
EMF Warriors is a global movement of concerned citizens who realise modern electronic devices produce electromagnetic fields (EMF) that are not native to this earth (nnEMFs). These nnEMFs are completely foreign to human biology and are wreaking havoc on the health and well-being of our families and our planet.
https://www.emfwarriors.com/about-us/

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Decentralised energy:

Peer-to-peer energy breakthrough could allow solar and wind energy sources to be shared across entire communities during grid down blackouts
Friday, October 06, 2017
by: Isabelle Z.

Some people who have solar panels on their roof are under the impression that they can use them to power their home in the case of an outage, but that simply is not the case. Homes do remain connected to the grid during outages, but the devices tasked with managing solar panels are normally turned off due to safety concerns. This permanent grid connection essentially prevents homeowners from drawing on the power that their own renewable energy resources generate.

This could be about to change, however, thanks to the efforts of a team of University of California San Diego engineers who have come up with algorithms that would enable homes to share and use their power in outages by disconnecting solar inverters from the grid. Their algorithms work with the existing technology and would have the added benefit of boosting the system’s reliability by as much as 35 percent.

The genius of their work lies in the ability of the algorithm to prioritize the distribution of power from the renewable resources in outages. Their equation considers forecasts for wind and solar power generation and the available energy storage, including batteries and electric vehicles. It combines this information with the projected energy usage of residents and the amount of energy the homes are able to produce. It can be programmed to prioritize in several different ways, the most vital of which is by favoring those who need power urgently, such as those using life support equipment. It could also prioritize those who are willing to pay extra or reward those who typically generate an energy surplus during normal operations.
https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-...blackouts.html

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Decentralise banking:

Shifting from Central Planning to a Decentralised Economy: Do we Need Central Banks?
15 January 2017
by Professor Richard A. Werner, D.Phil. (Oxon)
Paper presented at the 14th Rhodes Forum: Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute, Panel 2: Economic Alternatives when Conventional Models Fail, Rhodos, Greece, on 1 October 2016 and at the 4th European Conference on Banking and the Economy (ECOBATE 2016), in Winchester Guildhall, Winchester UK, on 12 October 2016

I. The Central Bank Narrative

For more than the past four decades, public policy discourse, especially when touching on macroeconomic and monetary policy, has been dominated by the views held and actively sponsored by the central banks, particularly in Europe and North-America, as well as Japan.

Their policy narrative has been consistent over time and virtually identical between central banks, which is why I shall refer to it collectively as the ‘central bank narrative’. It has been mirrored in the type of economics that central bankers have supported and that has indeed subsequently become dominant in academia and among the economists selected as the experts of choice in the major newspapers and television channels: the theoreticians advancing neo-classical economics.

This central bank narrative (and hence also the dominant neo-classical economics, also known as ‘mainstream economics’) has at least five major pillars, which I shall list briefly:

1. Interest rates are the main policy variable to move the economy
2. Markets are in equilibrium, thanks to price movements that have equated demand and supply.
3. Banks are just financial intermediaries, like other non-bank financial firms. They thus do not need to be singled out in the analysis or modelled explicitly.
4. We need to save in order to fund investments that are the precondition of economic growth and development. If domestic savings are insufficient, we need to borrow from abroad or attract foreign investment.
5. Both the foreign investors and the domestic goal of high growth require deregulation, liberalization and privatization, since only in such an economy can market forces deliver high and stable growth.

The truth of the matter is: We don’t need central banks. Since 97% of the money supply is created by banks, the importance of central banks is far smaller than generally envisaged. Moreover, the kind of money that commercial banks create is not privileged at law. Legally, our money supply is simply private company credit, which can be created by any company, with or without banking license.

Eurozone countries, having given up the right to their own currencies, can still create money and reflate the economy: the government, for instance in Spain, simply needs to stop the issuance of government bonds, and fund the entire public sector borrowing requirement from the domestic banks that create it out of nothing – and can do so at more competitive rates as the bond markets: this policy of Enhanced Debt Management (Werner, 2014b) not only would make it obvious that Spain does not need the ECB, but it would also put the national debt profiteers – the bond underwriting firms such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – out of business.

This reality of private money creation also means that we can, without legal obstacles, create a decentralized system of local currencies, without central bank involvement.
read full article here https://professorwerner.org/shifting...central-banks/

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5 Steps to end tax havens

1. Stop public councils from issuing public contracts to companies operating out of tax havens

2. Create public registries of beneficial owners of companies, trusts and foundations

3. Introduce full transparency of deals and secret agreements between companies and government

4. Introduce public country by country reporting by multinational companies

5. Introduce automatic information exchange between all countries

From 'The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire' (Documentary available on youtube)

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Joseph stiglitz's solution to inequality...i would go much further than this, but I'll post it just to help get us thinking about these issues and what sorts of options are out there for society:

6 Ways to Reform Our Corrupt Financial System
We must tame the growth of wealth among the top 1 percent and establish rules and institutions that ensure security and opportunity for the middle class.
By Joseph Stiglitz / W. W. Norton & Company
March 24, 2016

The following is an excerpt from the new book Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2016):
End “Too Big to Fail”
Regulate the Shadow Banking Sector and End Offshore Banking
Bring Transparency to All Financial Markets
Reduce Credit and Debit Card Fees
Enforce rules with Stricter Penalties
Reform Federal Reserve Governance
https://www.alternet.org/2015/12/6-w...ancial-system/

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Community Food Growers Network
a London-based support network of food projects putting land into community use

Manifesto

Who We Are:

We are a network of community food growing groups launched in London in 2010.

Food growing: We are actively engaged in growing food plants and supporting others to grow food, in healthy, sustainable ways.

Community: We are not-for-profit(1), collectively managed initiatives. We exist for the benefit of group members, local communities, their economy and environment.

Network: The network is a horizontal association; a “group of groups”. We connect and cooperate with each other, within and beyond our local neighbourhoods. We meet every season to celebrate our yields, share skills and decide on the next practical steps for the network.

What We Believe:

That Community Food Growing Projects have a number of important benefits:

Community development and social cohesion: creating vibrant spaces for diverse individuals and communities to meet, on a level playing field, on the common ground of food.
Physical health and mental well-being through exercise, fresh air, improved diet and direct contact with soil and nature.
Environmental: reconnecting people and nature; creating and maintaining green, breathing spaces in urban and rural landscapes; enhancing biodiversity and contributing to reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other atmospheric pollutants.
Economy: promoting individual and community self-reliance by helping people take a step towards taking control of their food, and fostering micro-enterprises.
Offering a challenge to current highly unsustainable food production practices.
Given these benefits, and the exuberant joy that can be experienced from working with others to grow food, we believe that Community Food Growing Projects have a vital role to play in improving our current society; in the transition to a future sustainable, just society; and as a permanent feature of that society.

That the open air testing and commercial growing of genetically modified (GM) crops is a serious threat to sustainable food production, and that the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops is untenable.

We Exist To:

Provide a space for Community Food Growing Groups, to provide moral and practical support, aid and inspiration.
Create and control our own food systems by reclaiming enclosed land for common use.
Facilitate the exchange of ideas and information.
Promote more sustainable forms of food production and ultimately to grow food organically(2).
Join together in defence of any member whose legitimate activities are threatened : “an injury to one is an injury to all”.
To increase community food growing activity, through education, awareness raising, lobbying, campaigning and direct action, at a local, regional, national and international level.
To raise funds to further these activities and following demands.

We Demand:

Security of tenure for all bona fide Community Food Growing Groups: a minimum of ten year contracts for rent/ lease of land; ultimately resulting in collective ownership by the group/groups/network.
No Group to be evicted from their land without a full local referendum, unless they consent to the offer of alternative premises.
Statutory bodies to make appropriate land available to Groups on demand, if necessary by compulsory purchase, or allowing the occupation of open land serving no other socially useful purpose
Priority for sustainable food solutions:
Land redistribution
Employment and training
Freedom from contamination by GM pollution.

1- ‘not-for-profit’: any surplus income generated is fed back into the initiative, not taken out as profit.

2 – That is, in accordance with Garden Organic’s Organic Gardening Guidelines or Soil Association’s Organic Standards.
https://www.cfgn.org.uk/manifesto/

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Posted (edited)

Some examples of ongoing community growing projects:

 

Why Are the Residents of This Small Village So Happy? They're Managing Their Farmland as Commons
Their fundamental premise is that the value of farmland lies in its contribution to food production, lasting ecosystems and human life—not financial gain.
By Véronique Rioufol, Sjoerd Wartena / Levellers Press
November 18, 2016
A feeling of joy and achievement runs through the group of ten people gathered in Robert’s kitchen. After three years of planning, they have come to celebrate: Ingrid and Fabien will soon be able to settle down and develop their farming business. The farm is theirs! In this small, pastoral village of the French Pre-Alps, establishing young farmers is an act of will. Everywhere, small mountain farms are closing down; work is hard and the business not deemed profitable enough. When aging farmers retire, they do not find a successor. The best land is sometimes sold off to one of the few more or less industrialized farms that remain. Overall, villages are progressively abandoned or become havens of secondary residences. In Saint Dizier, a small village of thirty-five inhabitants, local people have decided differently. Municipality members, local residents and farmers have decided to preserve agriculture as a component of local economic activity and lifestyle. They also view farmers as young, permanent residents for the village. So they keep an eye on land put for sale, and have contacted farmers and landowners to learn their plans for the future. The municipal council has sought public subsidies to acquire farmland and rent it to young farmers, but with no success.
https://www.alternet.org/2016/11/why...mland-commons/

Homeless Activists Go Organic, Feed an Entire Shelter with Rooftop Garden
By WakingTimes December 11, 2016
Steven Maxwell, Contributor
Every activist has read the increasing number of stories where homelessness is being criminalized, as if simply being homeless isn’t punishment enough. However, there is a rising tide among all walks of life that is beginning to view homelessness in a very different light. As a sinking economy and the criminal actions of the banking elite are leading many middle class, stable families into abject poverty, it is becoming much easier to identify with the less fortunate the closer their plight appears to be. Defenders of the homeless are becoming much more vocal now. We have seen some amazing examples recently of people moved to help those in need through programs such as an artist who paints and sells portraits of the homeless and gives them the profits; a former homeless man who gives back to the homeless by selling book reviews and buying food to share; or the inspiring story of a community organizer who used his own faith to connect with those from other faiths in a common cause of feeding those in need.
https://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/12/...ooftop-garden/

New sustainable agriculture development in Detroit feeds 2,000 households for free
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 by: D. Samuelson

Michigan-Urban-Farming-Initiative-Garden

Urban renewal on a couple of acres in a northern section of Detroit, Michigan doesn’t mean fancy street signs, sprawling apartment complexes or bicycle lanes. It means a vision for clean food and sustainable agriculture to create a new kind of urban development called an “agrihood.” Parcels of land formerly in disarray are being dug up and retrofitted as an urban farm and more under the direction of the 501 (3) (c) group called the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI).

As reported by Crainsdetroit.com, since 2011, when this all volunteer organization was started, 8000 volunteers have put in a total of 80,000 hours on their urban organic farm and produced over 50,000 pounds of free produce to “neighborhood residences, area churches and food pantries.” Trueactivist.com reports that plans are also in the works to build “3,200 square foot Community Resource Center,” which will serve as volunteer headquarters and a place to teach interested parties, especially children, about health, clean food and sustainable agriculture. A 200 tree orchard and a health food café is also in the blueprints.
https://naturalnews.com/2016-12-27-n...-for-free.html

 

Football Field Farm Turns Around College And Builds Community With Organic Produce
Posted on October 17, 2016
By Brianna Acuesta
The We Over Me Farm has completely transformed the community. When President Michael J. Sorell took over at Paul Quinn College, a private, historically black college in Texas, the school was just barely getting by. Sorell knew he needed to make some serious changes if the college he now ran was going to succeed once again and continue to make a name for itself. For him, that meant making some really tough choices. Since college football has such a strong fanbase in America, it was difficult for Sorell to make the decision to cut the entire team. What the college was left with was an empty sports field and lots of ideas about how to put it to use. After three years of mulling over their options, Sorell collaborated with Trammell S. Crow, a local real estate agent who was also a philanthropist and looking to add a community garden to the area. The football field was the perfect locale, and what started out as a few raised beds with some small crops quickly turned into so much more. With the help of Crow and a sponsorship from PepsiCo’s Food For Good Initiative, the We Over Me Farm became a reality. Today, the organic farm boasts an annual yield of 30,000 pounds of food, 15-20 percent of which is donated to local food charities. The farm has also gotten the college back on the right track and it’s now listed as a local food producer.
https://www.naturalblaze.com/2016/10...c-produce.html

Edited by muir

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''Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design which develops sustainable architecture/human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems. [1][2]

The core tenets of permaculture are:[3][4]
• Take Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.
• Take Care of the People: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
• Share the Surplus: Healthy natural systems use outputs from each element to nourish others. We humans can do the same. By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.

Permaculture draws from several disciplines including organic farming, agroforestry, integrated farming, sustainable development, and applied ecology. "The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms. The design principles which are the conceptual foundation of permaculture were derived from the science of systems ecology and study of pre-industrial examples of sustainable land use."[5]
Permaculture design emphasizes patterns of landscape, function, and species assemblies. It asks the question, “Where does this element go? How can it be placed for the maximum benefit of the system?" To answer this question, the central concept of permaculture is maximizing useful connections between components and synergy of the final design. The focus of permaculture, therefore, is not on each separate element, but rather on the relationships created among elements by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Permaculture design therefore seeks to minimize waste, human labor, and energy input by building systems with maximal benefits between design elements to achieve a high level of synergy. Permaculture designs evolve over time by taking into account these relationships and elements and can become extremely complex systems that produce a high density of food and materials with minimal input.[6]
It is worthy of note that Permaculture is a system of design only, and as such it can be applied to anything that requires design. Permaculture has been applied most commonly to the design of housing and landscaping, integrating techniques such as agroforestry, natural building and rainwater harvesting within the context of Permaculture design principles and theory.'' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

Via Campesina (from Spanish la vía campesina, the campesino way, or the Peasants' Way) describes itself as "an international movement which coordinates peasant organizations of small and middle-scale producers, agricultural workers, rural women, and indigenous communities from Asia, Africa, America, and Europe". It is a coalition of over 148 organizations, advocating family-farm-based sustainable agriculture and was the group that first coined the term "food sovereignty".[1] Food sovereignty refers to the right to produce food on one's own territory. Via Campesina has carried out several campaigns including a campaign to defend farmer's seeds, a campaign to stop violence against women, a campaign for the recognition of the rights of peasants, a Global Campaign for agrarian reform, and others.'' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_Campesina
 

Slow Food
''Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. The movement has since expanded globally to over 100,000 members in 150 countries. [1] Its goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses are paralleled by a political agenda directed against globalization of agricultural products.'' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_food

Community gardening can also be a form of direct action taken to use land for the benefit of the community:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_gardening

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Grow Your Own Food: thehortchannel.com

 

 

Grow local http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/1...cal-go-hungry/

10 ways to commit nutritional anarchy
http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/10-w...archy-07252013
Anarchy is defined as the non-recognition of authority. If nutrition becomes regulated by a bunch of bureaucrats who, at best, don’t really care about people, and at worst, hope to depopulate the globe, you must have the plans and weapons in place to live a life of nutritional anarchy. Take these steps to prepare for the day when real vitamins might be completely inaccessible without a prescription.
1. Educate yourself on which foods provide the most nutritional bang for the buck
2. Plant nutrient dense flora in your garden
3. Learn to identify edible plants and locate wild sources of nutrients, like a field of dandelions (make sure they are not sprayed with pesticides)
4. Learn small space gardening methods to make the most of urban locations
5. Consider hydroponics and/or aquaponics
6. Purchase heirloom seeds to put aside for the future, when they may no longer be available
7. Learn how to properly save and store seeds from your own plants for future gardening endeavors
8. Learn how to harvest and preserve the bounty from your own property
9. Practice preparing delicious meals using the most nutritious foods available
10. Experiment with multiple ways to use the in-season bounty from your garden to prevent boredom
These are the actions that will provide our independence from those who would have the audacity to regulate good nutrition.
Utopian ‘Harvest Your Own’ Groceries Coming Up
August 3, 2013
Heather Callaghan
Places like Wal-mart brag that they eliminate the middle man; but they haven’t seen the likes of The Farmery.
What if your food was grown at your store – and it’s not even picked yet until you come by to cut the plants. You’re not a shopper, you’re a harvester. Better yet, what if Farmeries come to urban neighborhoods – both high and low end?

 

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Cooperatives

The International Cooperative Alliance
(ICA): http://2012.coop/welcome
An example of a large cooperative is: ''The MONDRAGON Corporation is a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain. Founded in the town of Mondragón in 1956, its origin is linked to the activity of a modest technical college and a small workshop producing paraffin heaters. Currently it is the seventh largest Spanish company in terms of asset turnover and the leading business group in the Basque Country. At the end of 2011 it was providing employment for 83,869 people working in 256 companies in four areas of activity: Finance, Industry, Retail and Knowledge. The MONDRAGON Co-operatives operate in accordance with a business model based on People and the Sovereignty of Labour, which has made it possible to develop highly participative companies rooted in solidarity, with a strong social dimension but without neglecting business excellence. The Co-operatives are owned by their worker-members and power is based on the principle of one person, one vote.'' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondrag...ve_Corporation

Another example is: 'Suma is the UK’s largest independent wholefood wholesaler/distributor, specialising in vegetarian, fairly traded, organic, ethical and natural products. We are a workers’ co-operative committed to ethical business.' http://www.suma.coop/about/

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA): http://2012.coop/welcome

 

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How Julius Nyerere’s Ujamaa idea could form the basis of a new global political system
Posted May 12 2015 by Dave Darby

How it worked

The system started with 17 villages in 1961, and by the 70s, 20 million people out of a total population of 24 million were living in Ujamaa villages. The average size of a village was around 3000, and each group of ten households elected one of their neighbours, who obviously they knew well, to sit on the village committee. Each village committee elected one of their members to sit on the district committee; each district committee elected one of their members to sit on the regional committee; and each regional committee elected one of their members to sit on the national government. That was it. That was how Tanzania was run from the sixties to the eighties. I have much more information about the development of this system, which I will make available online soon.

What happened to the Ujamaa system

I was told that the World Bank (representing the corporate system) pressured Tanzania to dismantle the system. The first demand was that Tanzania have multi-party elections. Their response was that the Ujamaa system is actually more democratic than a multi-party system, because representatives were known personally by their electorate, and there was no party line or any avenues for corruption (by money, at least). But their pleas fell on deaf ears, and because they required World Bank funds for things that needed to be imported, like oil or machinery, they had to give way and hold multi-party elections. Chama Cha Mapinduzi won the election, and so the Ujamaa system was saved. This wasn’t enough for the World Bank, who demanded that the system be unhooked from the governance of the country – and of course they got their way.
https://www.lowimpact.org/how-julius...itical-system/

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Local Communities Dismantling Corporate Rule, part 1

 

 

Part 2:

 

 

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Degrowth
''Decroissance or ''Degrowth is a political, economic, and social movement based on Ecological economics, anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist ideas. Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption—the contraction of economies—as overconsumption lies at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. Key to the concept of degrowth is that reducing consumption does not require individual martyring and a decrease in well-being. Rather, 'degrowthists' aim to maximize happiness and well-being through non-consumptive means—sharing work, consuming less, while devoting more time to art, music, family, culture and community.''
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrowth

Using vacant spaces to grow food: http://sowandgroweverywhere.org

Community gardening can also be a form of direct action taken to use land for the benefit of the community https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_gardening

Reclaim the fields http://reclaimthefields.org/fr

Edible park feeds 200,000 each month http://www.trueactivist.com/this-edi...e-every-month/

Floating farms https://www.minds.com/blog/view/4474...bles-every-day

Waste not, want not! Morrisons to become the first supermarket to donate all unsold food to community groups
By Imogen Calderwood For Mailonline
Published: 19:02, 31 October 2015
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ty-groups.html


• Morrisons will donate all discarded food that is safe to eat to local projects
• Food kitchens and community cafes will make meals for those in need
• An estimated 15million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year
• Some retailers have been accused of deliberately sabotaging unsold food
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...-10276028.html

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How to move away from multinational corporations
https://www.noncorporate.org/what-non-corporate-means/
This site is for people who don’t want to support multinational corporations any more. We’ve put everything in one place and made it easy to switch for (almost) everything you need.

What non-corporate means

Although all companies (including co-ops) are ‘incorporated’, what we’re talking about here are the huge and damaging multinational corporations that dominate the global economy. It’s becoming more difficult to obtain the things we need from anywhere else. Most mortgages are with corporate financial institutions, and most people get their food, energy, cars, fuel, holidays, entertainment, banking, software, telephony, clothes and almost everything else from giant corporations. But there are alternatives. Capable and committed people are already building a non-corporate sector comprised of the types of organisations outlined below – and we can all help them, by giving them our custom:

Co-operatives

Co-ops are businesses / organisations that are owned and controlled by their members. They can be comprised of just the members, or involve other stakeholders such as customers or supporters. They are non-hierarchical, democratic institutions. The ‘Co-op’ is a giant co-operative organisation, but the Co-op Bank is no longer a co-operative, having been bought out by a hedge fund after the crash of 2008. The co-operative sector includes worker co-ops, housing co-ops, retail co-ops, land co-ops, consumer co-ops, community energy schemes, credit unions, wholefood co-ops, the Phone Co-op, and now platform co-ops are being developed to provide an alternative to the ‘sharing’ economy (think Über), which is nothing of the sort.

Mutual societies

Mutuals are looser organisations than co-operatives, but they are still member-owned, they pool resources and share risks among members and profit isn’t extracted to pay external shareholders. The best-known example of the mutual model is a building society.

Partnerships

A partnership is a business in which two or more individuals share ownership, and make decisions in a non-hierarchical way. Partnerships are unincorporated (unlike co-ops and mutuals), which means that liability lies with the individuals involved – the partnership itself has no separate identity. There is a legally-binding partnership agreement in which details of how the business will operate and how monies will be shared. There are no external shareholders. GPs often form partnerships.

Employee-owned businesses

Employee ownership can involve co-operative, mutual or partnership structure, or it may just mean that the company was set up (or bought out by employees) with all shares held only by employees, not externally. The John Lewis Partnership, which includes Waitrose, is the largest employee-owned company in the UK. The board is elected and there are no external shareholders.

‘Community-supported’ schemes

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is the most popular and successful example of this idea. CSA schemes link up small farmers with local consumers who pay up front for produce from the farms. Consumers then know the name of the person who produces their food. In the US, there are also community-supported fisheries, and a handful of projects have started in the UK. Consumers pay up front for weekly deliveries of fish from small fishing boats to local collection points. Although not part of a CSA, direct sales of food by local, small farms and smallholdings to the public include farmers’ markets, farm shops, pick-your-own and veg box schemes.

Trusts

Trusts separate legal ownership from economic interest – i.e. they manage assets but don’t distribute profits. Community land trusts are set up by local people to hold local assets such as housing, community buildings, land for growing food etc., and to keep them affordable.

Social enterprises / not-for-profits

Usually set up to tackle a particular problem or fulfil a particular need in the community, there are various ways that social enterprises can incorporate (including some of the other structures outlined on this page, plus community interest companies, community benefit societies or charities). The key is that there are no external shareholders taking profit from the organisation – any surplus is used for the benefit of the community.

Free / open source tech

Free software (well, usually software, but it can be other things too) – free as in no cost, but also free to do what you like with, so you can change it and to pass it on to others. It’s the opposite of ‘closed source’, or proprietary software such as that produced by Microsoft or Apple.

Blockchain

Blockchain technology is usually thought of as a way of creating cryptocurrencies – money that operates outside the corporate banking system. However, it can be used for many other things – like land registries, to secure land titles against unscrupulous land grabs. Now, Holochain is being developed to support mutual credit schemes.

Other complementary currencies

Money / exchange systems other than cryptocurrencies are developing that steer trade towards community businesses and individuals and away from the corporate sector, including collaborative / mutual credit schemes and local / independent currencies.

Social clubs

Unincorporated associations usually set up for mutual benefit / shared interest. Usually governed by a management committee, they don’t distribute profits.

Self-employment

Becoming a sole trader is an easy way to start a business – no incorporation (which means no external shareholders), no requirement to register and file accounts and returns with Companies House, and no need for a constitution. Sole traders can come together – for example in community-supported agriculture schemes that link local people with local small farmers. Sole traders can also form the basis of farmers’ markets and veg box and other food box schemes (but not the bigger ones, some of which are well on the way to corporate status).

DIY

Of course one way to avoid the corporate sector is to provide things for ourselves. This probably isn’t going to involve laptops or TVs (yet – let’s see what 3-D printing will deliver), but it’s very possible to provide our own food, craft or bodycare products, clothes and textiles, or even housing and energy with the right skills.

Downshifting

And finally, an important question is whether we need all the stuff we’re told we need in the first place. Can we do without it, or obtain it by sharing with others?

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7 Good Things That Happen Every Time You Decide to Buy Local
Shopping local will help you live longer—and better.
By Valerie Vande Panne / AlterNet
September 15, 2017, 7:50 AM GMT

The impact of this simple action is so profound you might add years to your life, and to your neighbor’s. Here’s what happens when you buy local.

1. You live longer. Every time you walk into a local store, you see people who live in your community. Over time, you get to know these people—even a simple daily smile or hello can foster feelings of comfort and be good for the soul. This, in turn, curbs loneliness—a condition affecting nearly 60% of the U.S. adult population that is as harmful to your health as “smoking 15 cigarettes a day” and can shorten your lifespan by eight years. So skip Amazon and go to your local store. It might cost a few dollars more, but you’ll be adding years to your life.

2. You support a local family—and they support you. Each dollar you spend in a local store helps them pay their bills and stay in the community. If you spend your dollars at the local hardware store and not at Home Depot, what do you think will happen? You’re helping put food on their table, pay their bills and stay in the neighborhood. They, in turn, get to know you. Those few extra dollars overall you spend in your neighborhood are goodwill. One day you might forget your wallet, or your car might fail to start. Your local shopkeepers and their families will know who you are and will care—they might let you run a weekly tab, or help you carry purchases home, or do some other small kindness Walmart would never do, because it’s just not in their rule book. That kind of support is priceless—it's a reciprocal kindness you will not get from a big-box store.

3. Depositing money into your community is better than paying to advertise a brand that sucks money away from the community. Why pay $150 to advertise Adidas? Or Nike? Whether you’re paying $20 or $200, the bulk of that money is going to corporate salary, expenses and shareholders, and a tiny bit to cheap labor. Keep your community unique and special by purchasing brands produced locally and products made with local pride (and think the little guys or hyper local teams, not the big leagues like Cleveland Cavaliers or the New York Jets). This way, you are promoting your own neighborhood and the people in it, and you are helping to keep your community special. After all, a Starbucks cup from Boston is the same as a Starbucks cup from Miami.

4.You support local prosperity and justice. Chain stores and brands pay notoriously low retail wages and often produce products overseas where labor is cheap. Even big brands like Forever 21 that claim their products are American-made are using undocumented labor that pays below minimum wage. Plus, many big corporations use prison labor. Why pay to promote a store that uses prison labor? When you buy at the local store, the bulk of that money stays with the owner and employees who live in that community, generating local prosperity, creating more local jobs for more people in your community, keeping the community healthy and the kids out of prison.

5. Quality. What tastes better: McDonald’s or a burger from your local mom-and-pop restaurant? You know it’s the local burger. Sure, mom-and-pop might not have a dollar menu, but what’s going to be healthier for you in the long term? It might not be as fast, but consider the benefits of slowing down and eating a good meal with people you care about, including healthier food, better academic performance, and again, less loneliness.

6. You are voting with every dollar you spend. If you think of your dollars as votes, every time you spend money someplace you are affirming you support them and their business practices. Do you really support overworking and underpaying employees? Prison labor? Donald Trump? If the answer is no, turn your attention to your local stores.

7. Local peace. It’s that simple. Shopping local cultivates community health, and that in turn, cultivates global health. That’s a little less sweatshop labor, a little less taking advantage of already vulnerable people, and a little less stress on the planet and your fellow humans.

The bottom line is the cost of sickness and loss of identity and loneliness is exponentially more expensive over the course of your lifetime than a few extra dollars here and there, deposited regularly into the account of community kindness.
http://www.alternet.org/local-peace-...cide-buy-local

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