|by Flemming Funch|
I was looking at a page about "Creative Resourcing" at the changemakers.net site. To answer the question "What is Creative Resourcing?" it says: "Creative Resourcing describes an ability to find new ways of engaging the resources in the local environment (i.e. funds, people, goods and services) to support an organization and make it self-sustaining". Which is a great thing, of course. And my first thought was: "Great, that's exactly what I'd like to have happen". But my second thought, after looking at the examples, was that what I'm really interested in is something more pervasive.
I'd really like teams of people doing good things to be self-sustaining. I'd like that to happen by some kind of networking of resources.
But within the framework of our current civilization, that mostly means either that one appeals to the charity of people who have an abundance or money, or that one sets up some other clever fund-raising mechanism, like a bake sale or a car wash or something.
What bothers me is that organizations doing things that need to be done have to tap into the profit driven mainstream society in order to be funded. There's something there I really disagree with. The whole idea of being "funded" bothers me.
The concept of "funding" builds on the idea that, first of all, we need money to do things. And, secondly, the source of all money is some agency that is beyond the need for doing anything useful or valuable. A bank, for example. Or somebody who's made so much more money than they need that we can appeal to them to share some with us. Or somebody who's made so much money that they carelessly have bought a lot of resources they didn't need, and then conveniently forgotten about them, so we can then go and use them.
Either way, the basic idea seems to be that all the power is somewhere else, but that there's enough of it, and that if we're a little clever, we can sneak it away from those who hold it.
Now, what I would rather hope for, might at first glance sound very similar, but is fundamentally different, I think. The networking of resources itself being the basis of all economy.
Here we have a planet. A lot of stuff is naturally going on on it that we might participate in and take advantage of. The sun is shining, plants are growing, the ocean is moving around, etc. And we've developed some resources on top of that. Skills we've developed, stuff we've built, and methods of doing things.
In the bigger picture, the issue is just how we network all of these resources in a way that works well for most of us, and in a way that ensures that more and better resources keep becoming available.
A big hindrance is the fact that most of the world is operating on an economic model that is trying to do something quite different: to extract a profit out of everything that is done. Not a benefit, but a profit. I.e. you put in 2 cows and you get 3 cows back. A sustainable system is not possible based on such a principle. Within such a system, indeed, the most promising source of sustenance is the guy who got an extra cow for nothing, and who maybe can be persuaded to share it.
Even though that system has most people's attention, and most people are very concerned about making a living, or making a profit, and planning for your retirement, and paying your rent, etc., I think it is quite reasonable to build up another system next to it.
The system I'm interested in would be the networking of resources, not just within the gaps of the capitalistic system, but by and of itself.
To make anything happen, you need to bring the resources together that makes it happen.
Our mainstream capitalistic system has an addition to that: "... and you need to come up with something extra to make a profit for the bank or the investors, and maybe for yourself". And our socialist police state system has another addition to that: "... and you need to pay some taxes for the right to do this".
It has been explained elsewhere, but it is important to understand the math of this. What has happened is essentially that somebody has messed up the math of equations. In a resource economy, the point is to add everything up so that all the resources are accounted for, so that the natural cycles of thigns will continue, but arranged in such a way that we get maximum benefit from it. The equations add up. The amount of sunlight received by the planet equals the amount that the earth's surface receives, plus the amount that is absorbed in the atmosphere. The amount of water in a river equals the amount that enters into it, through rainfall, through the streams leading into it. And the water flowing into the ocean at the other end equals the amount that flowed into it, minus the amount that evaporated and the amounts soaked up by plants or by the earth. That's all obvious, albeit over-simplified, of course.
But the economic system we've somehow accepted says something quite different. It says that there is no (economic) point to merely exchange or network resources. If you have an extra apple tree and I have an extra cow, and we feel we can just swap, with equal benefit to both of us, that transaction would have no economic value. But, worse than that, if we actually told the government about it, it would want to have us pay taxes on it. Which makes it no longer make sense. Suddenly it isn't enough to just have a cow and and apple tree. We need to come up with some extra money from some kind of other source in order to pay for the right to do such a trade.
Anyway, my point is that it is entirely possible for us to arrange a network amongst us that gets around all this artificial profit, interest, tax, financing, funding kind of game. It is not easy, but it is possible.
I think it would take an attitude of deliberately ignoring the money economy, but continuously confronting the nonsense that comes with it, and to focus instead on the resources that exist. And, even better, figuring out how to arrange things so that most of us will continously have the resources we need for what we want to do.
Yeah, yeah, I know a lot of people will say I'm dreaming, or that it is unrealistic, or they will start explaining to me why I've misunderstood the money system and it is perfectly fine already.
But, no, what would truly change the world would be the establishment of a system that steps over that, and that manages to successfully network the resources available to people who are working for the benefit of the world. Radical Creative Resourcing.
I think it is inevitable, because the capitalistic money system is doomed in the longer run. It is based on bad math. It is a pyramid scheme.