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Re: Vertically Integrated Permaculture Mosaic


From: Ramana Kumar
Subject: Re: Vertically Integrated Permaculture Mosaic
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2012 14:45:34 +0100

On Jun 25, 2012 1:29 PM, "wayne, steve" <address@hidden> wrote:
>
> Ramana,
>
> "Also, what do you have to say about the normal way for people to own for-profit companies, namely by buying shares? If we organised to own most of an existing company this way could we not achieve our goals?"
>
> Buying shares in a typical corporation does give one -some- voting power, but the problem is that the bulk of this voting power is aggregated into the hands of a small number of financially privileged individuals.

That's only because they don't need to coordinate so many people to buy a large share. A large number of people with average wealth could collectively own a large portion of a public company. Would owning shares give enough control?

>The purpose of the VIPM that Patrick suggests, I believe, is to create a truly democratic model of ownership in a corporation and to protect both consumers and workers from the depravity of hierarchical, profit-driven decision-making.
>

One is free, when making a firm, to set up whatever contracts with users, members, investors, and the rest, as one wants. The usual trouble with non-profits is that there is no return on investment, so no incentive for investors, so they can't grow quickly. Patrick suggested offering product as ROI, which strikes me as interesting but suspicious because it's not going to be as fungible as plain old money. The cooperative model is similar, I think, but I'm not sure. Anyone have expertise here?

>
> Patrick,
>
> Ramana's email is the first one I have seen that I noticed the topic was switched over to gnu-misc-discuss instead of the libreplanet discuss (though for some reason the subject field still shows libreplanet-discuss). Here is the reply I wrote in private previously:
>
> Do you suggest that with a vertically integrated permaculture mosaic we do not need money, or that the only time money is used is when interfacing with the external economy? You mentioned building our own ISP...on multiple levels this requires interfacing with the profit-driven economy:

Why is there a suggested move away from money? It's a useful way to keep track of things.

>
> First, we need to purchase the components to build the services we provide to ourselves;
> Second, in order to connect with the wider existing network (initially, anyway) we need some entry point into that network which is likely to be a utility service provided by the extant capitalist system.
>
> But where does the money for interfacing in these ways come from? According to one of your statements, in the VIPM services and products are offered for the promise of future work. Yet such promises do not pay the utility or component costs of operating an ISP...and that is -just- the ISP. 
>
> What about other vital services and products? Such as those related to personal transportation; for instance, I ride bike everywhere I go and bikes are not, any more than computer equipment, exempt from the laws of entropy and will always on a long enough timeline require maintenance or replacement. What about healthcare? It is fine to suggest that someone with a degree in medicine -should- provide those services for the promise of future repayment from patients, yet this kind of promise does not provide any financial liability buffer against legal action involved in malpractice disputes. Even IF you manage to construct an effective legal barrier against such actions, what recourse is there for those who feel they have been wronged by those providing healthcare? Does the legal barrier allow any person claiming to have medical knowledge or experience practice without qualification?
>
> Don't get me wrong; I am all about owning the means of production. I am currently involved in an ongoing discussion with the owner of the company I work for, trying to convince him to turn the company into a democratic, worker-owned cooperative. I also donate time and money volunteering at my local independent media center: by the end of the summer, we hope to be hosting our own Diaspora server and community wiki.
>
> wayne
>
>
> On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 4:47 AM, Ramana Kumar <address@hidden> wrote:
>>
>> It seems like what you are describing is basically a cooperative (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative). How do your proposals differ from setting up a cooperative for, e.g., internet access, if they do? Would cooperatives be a viable option for achieving our goals and our freedom?
>>
>> Also, what do you have to say about the normal way for people to own for-profit companies, namely by buying shares? If we organised to own most of an existing company this way could we not achieve our goals?
>>
>>
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