Little Free Press 117 food for thought simplicity
|January 30, 2006||Posted by Staff under Banneker, Progress Report, The Progress Report|
tained by selling pieces of our all too short lives away), to buy enough toys and gadgets and wonderful “time-saving” devices to show others our place in the pecking-order of society. Thus we have people with two homes while others have none. We have parents who can buy their kids an excellent education, though they may be idiots, while children from the other side of the imaginary borders are kept from school simply because of where they were born, though they may be geniuses. We have the rich paying $1000 for a plate of food to get their favorite politician into office while a child dies from hunger every 8 seconds. This simply will not do.
In a world without money you own what you can use. If you are a single mother currently trying to fit 4 kids into a two bedroom apartment, you may safely expect to receive more adequate living conditions. If you are the CEO of a huge corporate “farm” you may safely expect to see a good portion of that land be taken over by those who need it. If that sounds bad to you, consider this; why would that CEO wish to continue handling all that land if there was no longer any profit in it, and no more need to make any profits?
In a PES ownership will be determined by usage, not purchase.
The second issue, that of proof of ownership, is slightly trickier. While it is certainly true that in a PES there will be very little theft, simply because there will no longer be a need for it, there will always be the occasional kleptomaniac or that unique item which the neighbor kid just can’t resist making his or her own. Also, there are always cases where the same property is claimed by two individuals.
For large things, such as a house or car, proving ownership is easy enough. No one lives in a vacuum, so there will always be witnesses to verify that Tom had only gone on a vacation and his house is not, in fact, up for grabs. People will help one another, if such an instance should occur, because each of us would wish that same help in return. Though I have trouble picturing such things as becoming a problem when everyone can acquire what s/he needs without stealing it from another, such as in a bank foreclosure in the current system.
But what of smaller items, such as that hand-carved heirloom or book? Again, the primary proof will be witnesses and the claimants’ knowledge of the item. If that should fail, then hopefully the original owner had enough foresight to mark the item with a symbol of their name. That way, even if the thief removed the mark the true owner can show where it had been, as removing such a mark will also scar the area.
If these safeguards against theft seem inadequate, I ask the reader to compare them to what we have now. What recourse do you have now if an unmarked item is stolen from you? None, of course. As the safeguards against theft are equal in both systems, we must look at which system discourages theft better. The PES system which gives each of us what we need and therefore takes away the need for any of us to steal.
And what of disputes where both parties feel they have a legitimate claim? First determination will have to be need and usage. Dick may well have laid claim to Anytown’s water source, but the common need negates that claim, and prevents him from gaining the horrible power of controlling Anytown’s drinking water. Given equal need, (such as two families claiming the same house), the next, (and sometimes first), consideration will be seniority. Whomever laid claim first is the rightful owner. In the extremely rare cases where equal need can be demonstrated and the claim was laid at about the same time, then an impartial 3rd party will have to be called, who can flip a coin, (we’ll have to keep a few coins around for this purpose). If this seems like a flighty way to settle such an issue, compare it to now. Is it better to let money determine what one receives, regardless of need?
When you are pondering the PES and come up with an apparent problem, take the time to compare that problem with it’s counterpart in the Profit System. Most problems will in fact turn out to be improvements when that is done, and as for those problems which the switch-over will present, humyn ingenuity can take care of those. There is no problem that cannot be worked through. It’s just not always profitable to do so under the Profit System.
In this article I would like to address the issue of distribution under a Priceless Economic System. This is another of those issues which can be called a detail rather than integral to the whole theory, but one which still needs to be addressed before it is discovered that people are starving because they had no food.
Let me start out by stating that in a PES there will be a greatly diminished need for distribution. Without the greed and gluttony of the government and corporations, and without the voracious wastefulness of today’s convenience-driven society most of our needs will be produced closer to home. This is because with less production (as much as we need, not as much as we can be sold), there will be no need for the huge centralized factories. Small collectives and artisans will do much better.
If we stop spending all of our time working to afford “time saving” devices, we will have no more need for them or the life-draining convenience they represent. We will do away with, by far, the majority of the need to move things. Imagine if you could get your steak right from the farmer, or from a local co-op slaughterhouse. Compare that with the Profit System. First the farmer brings the animal to the slaughterhouse, where the animal is killed, (often cruelly as that is more convenient and profitable), there the meat is treated with chemicals to make it seem the right color and consistency, and to retard the growth of bacteria as the meat still has quite a journey ahead of it. From there it is shipped & warehoused in any number of locations, where it receives more treatments to make it seem like every other piece of meat out there, sterile and unliving (not just dead, but as if it had never been alive). During the last parts of it’s journey it may also receive treatments to disguise the spoilage that has occurred because so many people want to make their profit off of the same piece of food. By the time it reaches you in the supermarket most of its nutrients have broken down, either through time or chemical sterilization, and what little flavor it has is artificial.
Remember, they don’t have to put ingredients on something that isn’t supposed to have any. And it’s not just meat, either. That apple you bought at the store has been dyed red, (it’s best to peel the shiny ones before eating), and has been given so many herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and growth inducing chemicals that it is almost laughable to call it food. Oh, and let’s not forget genetic engineering, (what do you mean my tomato is half fish?). Considering that their primary function is not to improve our lives but to make a profit, do you really trust them?
But back to the subject at hand. There will still be a need for distribution, even if a lessened need. Who will take care of this? The optimal answer is people who would enjoy the work. Who among us has not had the wanderlust? Who has not heard the call of the open road? I think there will be no shortage of people to do the travelling. It must also be remembered that in the PES you don’t have to choose a career for life. You can do a job for as long as it appeals to you, and then move on to something else, (or take a break from working altogether. Isn’t freedom great!).
But for such an important issue we cannot trust to chance. What of those times when no one really wants to do the job but it still needs to be done? Then it falls in the category of needed but unpleasant jobs. Instead of forcing one person or a small group of people to give up their lives and do that one job no matter how much they hate it or what health problems they acquire through the years and decades (as it is now), the unwanted jobs will be split by those who will benefit from them. As there are few things that really NEED to be shipped other than food, how many people do you know that will starve themselves to death rather than drive a few hours to get food?
To think that humyn culture will collapse simply because we lose the money to motivate us or the “leaders” to herd us is ridiculous. Whenever you start to think in such a way, ask yourself how you would act in that situation, (and answer it honestly), and just remember that the vast majority of humyns are of the same mind. If you don’t believe me, go and ask some of them. I have, and you know what? I haven’t found a single one who wished to live a dormant life.
Greetings my friends, and the rest of you, too. In this article I would like to address the issue of unwanted jobs in a Priceless Economic System. These jobs will fall into 3 categories, the unwanted and unneeded jobs that will disappear, the unwanted but needed jobs that can be replaced by dead labor (i.e., machines, fences, etc., anything that can be built to save labor in the future), and unwanted but needed labor that will have to be split by many people, giving each person a small share of unpleasant work rather than a few people all of it.
As Ernest has pointed out many times, when we are freed from our wageslavery many of the unnecessary jobs that we are forced to perform now will become extinct. Things in this category would probably include most fast food places, (which is a good thing, when we’re able to retake our lives we won’t have to be in such a rush to end our lives and we can wait for food to be cooked well and healthily), most prostitutes, (leaving only those who genuinely enjoyed the work and also giving them total control over who and when they accept clients), and landlords, (who needs the headache of taking care of all those former rental units? The occupants can take care of needed maintenance themselves collectively, thereby still making it easier but not leaving one person to do the shitwork).
Dead labor will, I think, replace most of the unwanted jobs, simply because there will be so many people who will be able to devote time and thought to ways of making the jobs easier. This category will probably include sewage work (with the profit motive gone we won’t need to have toilets anymore but can switch to a clivus, which disposes of human and other organic waste without the use of any water, chemicals, or energy, and with rich fertilizer the end result rather than just dumping the sewage into our rivers), factory jobs (while it is now considered a bad thing to replace humyns with machines, when unemployment is no longer a problem the few factory jobs still deemed necessary can be largely automated), and many secretarial jobs.
That leaves only a few unwanted jobs to be shared by those who benefit. In this category would fall such things as distribution (dealt with in a previous article), dish washing (dealt with in a another article) and house building (for which we can take a lesson from Amish barn raisings). While the idea of doing a share of such jobs may not appeal to you, consider which is worse. Working 40+ hours a week at a job you hate or working a few hours a month at a job you don’t like but benefit from directly.
If I have made my point, you can now see that in a PES life will be easier and more enjoyable for everyone. When we interact as free men and womyn instead of bosses and wageslaves, we can set the terms of our labor and not be assigned menial and meaningless tasks to fulfill the terms of our own slavery.
In this article I will deal with service jobs in the PES, which to those of us in the U.S. is an issue that hits home with our new service economy. Before I begin I would like to comment on that. For anyone who has ever lived in an area with a service economy (i.e., tourist towns), the idea of the entire nation surviving in such a situation is ludicrous. A service economy means high unemployment to keep a steady supply of new workers to replace the high turnover in service jobs, and that means low wages and crappy jobs, because “there’s always someone willing to take your job.” Don’t fall for their bullshit lines. Remember this: If the owners of any given business were to fall off the face of the Earth, the workers could easily keep that business running, but if the workers were to all disappear the owners would no longer be able to make money off of YOUR labor. Don’t let them tell you we are all expendable. They can pick us off one by one, but if we recognize our solidarity it is we who hold ALL of the power.
Back to the service issue. Undoubtedly, a good portion of the service industry will be gone. No one likes working at McDonald’s or cleaning someone else’s house. But think of all we will get in return. Without wage-slavery sapping our time and energy (lives), we will not be too tired to take care of ourselves, like an adult should. The services that are left will be performed by people who enjoy the work, and view it as art rather than just a job. Imagine if every restaurant were a 4-star establishment and everybody could afford to eat there!
In this modern western world we have all been indoctrinated with a “Give Me Convenience or Give me Death” mentality (if I may borrow the line from the Dead Kennedys). But if you take the time to look at the situation objectively it can be seen that the convenience that is pushed on us is sapping the joy and activity from our lives. Ask some people if they know how to cook, and you will be surprised at the number of people who don’t. Do you? Doesn’t it seem ridiculous that so many people don’t know how to do that most basic of chores, feed themselves? And don’t forget, for all those “time-saving” devices you buy, how many hours of your life did you have to give up to make the wages to buy things? Did you come out ahead? Not likely. Is the thing worth that much of your life that you gave up to earn it? Not in my book. And what of the workers doing the shitwork for substandard wages to provide you with those cardboard burgers? It’s easy to ignore when it’s someone else. But what if it’s your son or daughter, mother or father behind that counter? What if it’s you?
It is time to open your eyes, my friend. If the PES seems like it’s a pipe dream to you, what do you suppose the U.S. Constitution would seem like to a serf in 1600? We have stagnated for too long. You can help in any of a thousand ways. Perhaps you will show workers how to demand what is rightfully theirs. Perhaps you will set up a community council so that you and your neighbors can start taking care of yourselves. Perhaps you will simply talk to people and expose them to the idea. Whatever you do, feel free to write Ernest or myself, and we will be glad to answer your questions, listen to your comments, or just be your pen pal.
Onward to Freedom!
I welcome questions, comments, ideas, or just new friends. Please feel free to write. Dryan, PO Box 640, Elk River, MN 55330.
Priceless Economic System
by Leland W. Ruble
Toward freedom from the awful, debilitating, and consumeristic mysticism of a society drenched in the impulse and enslavement of an economy that is based on monetary greed; we are hereby asserting our inalienable RIGHTS to be free and unencumbered by such a ludicrous scheme. We the uneconomic and unenslaved, will through individual pursuit of our own happiness, no longer become the victims and slaves of a pyramidical society. In blunt terminology: we will no longer build emporiums of wealth for the theological economists and soothsayers of Wall street.
We will henceforth become volunteers, craftsmen, artists, poets, engineers, etc. But we reserve the TOTAL RIGHT to voluntarily give our services FREE and disconnected from any imprisonment of our time and life. We offer free labor, and not enforced labor.
We intend to pursue an existence free of all unessential consumerism that is not beneficial to our LIBERTY-JUSTICE- and WELFARE. We intend to no longer join in the slavery of authoritarian factories and work places, where we are numbered, and treated as servile employees in the production of merchandise intended to enrich a few corporate CEO’s and their stock holders. We wish to be FREE PARTNERS in production.
We will pursue an existence of freedom from economic slavery. Our Liberty to exist independently, may require our no longer absorbing TV- radios- and newsprint that daily assault our senses with a media blitz of delusionary advertising. In this new renaissance of a PRICELESS ECONOMIC SYSTEM (PES) we will choose our own individual course of action; as to how we may achieve this objective.
Our LIBERTY from any future enslavement to an economic system that thrives solely on creating a false illusion for unneeded products, will no longer have any influence or affect on our personal well-being. The Pariah’s of economic greed will no longer influence our decisions. We will be able to use our energy-spirit, and creativity, unrestrained by the prescribed dictates of mercenary consumerism.
We object to any further authoritarian enslavement to a life disenfranchised, by the daily quest of acquiring money for others. Until we are considered as partners, and no longer as indentured slaves of a world economic system; our services, are NULL and VOID.
We will be free of all the totalitarian producers of gadgets and gimmicks that are unneeded; are destructive both to m/woman and the environment; that are detrimental both to m/woman and children. Products that do not in any way, make existence better, but which require more slavery to produce, and create more hysterical descension in the anxious consumer.
Our future is total liberation and freedom from the shackles that bind m/woman to a life of total degradation and enslavement; that prevents m/woman from realization of their own potential worth as a human being.
We will not subject our children to the confines of schools and compulsory education. To an atmosphere of enforced discipline that indoctrinates: does nothing for the creativity of children. A form of learning that replaces wit and ingenuity with nitwittedness; does not prepare children for critical and creative thinking. What is taught is: how to line up- sit down- shut up- obey- move at the sound of bells ringing- and memorization of facts and figures not essential to existence. And absolutely, acquiring the dumbness necessary for future enslavement in the work place. We refuse to allow our children to participate in the wasteland of educated dumbness that creates future victims of a thwarted consumeristic society.
Our welfare will consist of our being ourselves. We will become the regulators and masters of our own destiny. Each will find h/her way according to h/her ability and skill. We will find our own individual liberty in the pursuit toward a PRICELESS ECONOMIC SYSTEM.
We will frown on and no longer participate in the machinations and madness of war. Neither will we partake in the manufacture and design of killing instruments.
Our objective will be to realize a society based on Freedom to live in accordance to our needs, and not the needs of an economic system that daily churns out more slaves, to create an endless cycle of consumeristic consumption.
FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY are the motivation and concern for no longer wishing to become the pliable puppets of entrenched economic enslavement. To this end we will pursue our individual aspirations, and fervently hope that some day we will attain a (PES) that allows all people the freedom to be themselves. The objective of a free person, and not a slave to economic injustice: is worth that attainment.
Leland W. Ruble
833 Orchard Street
Toledo, OH 43609
To All Revolution Promoters
Try to understand the statement, “Those who ignore the mistakes of the past are bound to repeat them.”
Revolutions have never freed the slaves (wageslaves). We just got a new set of Masters. Is that what you desire?
If you are an agent provocateur for the rich guys, just look at what a revolution might do to you and your family. What will the rich guys do to you later to keep you quiet? Give you riches? Don’t kid yourself.
There is a way for the wageslaves to individually free themselves without any fighting. Check out the Priceless Economic System! Long ago they outlawed liquor. Then the bootleggers made a pile of money. Later they outlawed drugs. Now the drug runners are making a pile of money. They are threatening to outlaw guns. Now guns and ammunition are selling like hot cakes. They are making lots of money on guns and ammo. They will make even more if they are outlawed. But I don’t think they wish to really outlaw them. They may want the people to start a revolution, then they will make even bigger piles of money on guns and ammunition.
They may desire a revolution to get rid of radicals who are against slavery. Or as some people believe; they may just wish to keep us too busy and too scarred trying to survive in troubled times (or in hard times) to even think of the fact that we are all wageslaves. They may wish to keep us too busy, to discover a way to be Free. When you take pay, you must obey!
WANTED: More writers
More articles on the Priceless Economic System are invited, however they must be free of charge and with no copyright. For example: Tell us about the PES ways you are using in your own life. Tell us how you think we can inform more people about the PES. Tell us what you think life would be like in the PES.
If it is a long article and is done on a computer, I would appreciate receiving it on DS/DD; 5 1/4″ or 3 1/2″ floppy disks, besides on hard copy. Please format in ASCII or MS-Word v. 5.5 or less and MS-Dos v.5 or less. I can only handle IBM compatible on my XT.
If done with a typewriter or in long hand that is OK too, as long as I can read it.
Let me know if you want your name and address published along with your article.
COSTIGAN’S NEEDLE, a book by Jerry Sohl, Rinehart & Co. 1953. This science fiction novel is about a few hundred people who were transported into another world with nothing but their naked bodies. It tells how they survived and created a modern world with their talents and the knowledge they remembered.
They didn’t use money. They practiced the PES, only without a name for it and it worked splendidly. Besides that it was an interesting well-written inspiring story about what people can do if they have a goal.
DON WRIGHT’S GUIDE TO FREE CAMPGROUNDS, a book published by Cottage Publishers, 24396 Pleasant View Drive, Elkart, IN 46517. I don’t have this book, but was told it’s good.
LUNO, 31960 S.E. Chin St., Boring, OR 97009. 10 pages. ($1 + a stamp for a sample copy) This guy sure puts out a lot of good stuff in his newsletter about Freedom and alternative schooling. He even sometimes reprints from LFP.
Books by Ernest Mann are available from Marathon International Book Co., Box 32, Madison, IN 47250-0032
Issues of the Little Free Press, from #91 thru 116 are available. One of the LFP readers, Dryan, now has all of the back issues. He has composed a catalog sheet of reviews of these issues to make it easier to make a selection.
These back issues are just as current as the latest issue of the LFP.
Send Dryan a stamp and he will send you his LFP catalog sheet with reviews and prices of each issue.
Elk River, MN 55330
Free, but you pay for the delivery. Please send stamps, money or a check for the postage for as many future issues as you wish.
My subscription list is very small, so if you think these ideas are any good, please make copies of this paper and pass them along.
Reprinting Permissible FREE
8-25-95 Ernest Mann