The right path
>Date: Wed Dec 30 02:37:38 1998
>From: (Norman Samish)
>Subject: [SystemPolitics] Re: (System Politics) re: the right path
>> From: "Attillio Castellucci" <>
>I think Thomas may be saying something like "From each according to 
>his ability, to each according to his need." There's a web site that 
>seems to reflect pretty much what MTG and Thomas have been telling 
>me. It's at
>>So what you are saying is that we should not trade goods and 
>>services, but somehow exchange them, like exchanging gifts maybe?
>>Maybe you're on to something. Maybe like Religion. The flock gives 
>>the church what they can and the church gives the flock spiritual 
>>direction with no set price tags. In time, relationships develop 
>>and the members donate directly to other church members in their 
>>time of need. This occurs, in varying degrees, out of a sense of the 
>>joy of giving with no payment expected and a sense of what goes 
>>around comes around. 
>>This kind of system does not take kindly to dictatorial decrees 
>>however. It the kind of thing that starts in the heart. It is built 
>>one clan at a time. It is always voluntary. You can't legislate 
>>away the market economy. It would go underground. You can't just 
>>take away property. Do you want to start WW3?
     JCT: I think the LETS Local Employment-Trading System comes 
closest to this but without inhibiting the capitalist urges in all of 
us to work harder, earn more and get to keep it. 
     "From each according to his ability, to each according to his 
need," the famous Communist motto has shown the weakness of expecting 
people to produce their maximum when they don't get to keep it. 
     The better system, LETS, works more on the principle "To each 
according to his want and from each according to his abundance." It 
allows people to produce the maximum, consume what they want but lend 
their only their abundance to the community while retaining the credit 
to exact from the community what they've saved. 
     The LETS motto is best described in Paul Corr II 8:14: 
     "Your abundance should at the present time be a supply for their 
want so that later their abundance may be a supply for your want and 
in that way, he who gathers much doesn't have too much and he who 
gathers little doesn't have too little, that there may be equality." 
     Notice that the ones who work harder or more efficiently and 
harvest much have more than those who work less or less efficiently 
but the abundance is made available, and only the abundance. This 
allows a market economy with the natural capitalistic impulses in all 
of us and still permits the care of the needy on the promise to be 
helped back should our need ever arise.
     Notice that this law of abundance is in direct contrast to the 
law of abundance defining interest rates which take from the poor to 
give to the rich, Reverse Robin Hood, in Matt 13:12:
     "To those who have abundance will more be given and from those 
who have no abundance, even what they have will be taken away." 
     You can find many references to how the LETS banking system's 
interest-free currency acts like a gift economy starting your search 
>Date: Fri Jan  1 05:57:31 1999
>From: ("Thomas Lunde")
>Subject: [SystemPolitics] Re: (System Politics) re: the right path
>First, I did not write any of the below statements so they do not 
>reflect my thought. Look, let's be a little reasonable here. In a 
>manner of speaking the current economy is much like a monopoly game. 
>The longer you play, the more luck rewards one of the players at the 
>expense of the others. Soon someone has to drop out, another has to 
>attempt to borrow to stay in the game, finally the winner collapses 
>the loans and there he sits with all the properties and all the 
>houses and all the money. Is this sane?  
     JCT: This is one of the uglier aspects of how a usurious economy 
where those who are positive get more from the negatives causes the 
wealth to centralize in the hands of the winners. This does not occur 
in a LETS economy.  
>Does this have anything to do with the exchange of goods and 
>services? Does this have anything to do with children crying because 
>they have no food, because intelligent people cannot express 
>themselves because all their efforts are directed towards survival in
>a world in which the game is set up for a single winner to emerge. 
>(Individual, corporation or nationstate - it doesn't matter)  
     JCT: Good point. It doesn't. But children have no food because 
they have no credit. LETS provides that "your excess food production 
should at the present time supply the children's want so that later 
their excess food production may supply your want." 
>There is nothing wrong, in my opinion with the socialist or the 
>communist creed of "each according to their ability, to each 
>according to his need", but it is not what I am striving for. I may 
>not be able to totally articulate what I am striving for in all the 
>small details or large philosophical statements of great authors. 
     JCT: I'm sure you feel the same dislike of a system that doesn't 
allow you to work harder to get more as I do. I would guess that you 
would find the idea of LETS quite satisfying. 
>Mine is a more humble description. I want people to smile, to excude 
>confidence, to be creative and joyful, whether building a bookshelf 
>or taking a kid to the museum.  Iwant a floor on poverty so that no 
>one can or should be too poor that life is suffering and I want a 
>ceiling on wealth accumulation and I am willing for that to be quite 
>high but not unlimited. I want to see personal security for all. I 
>want a government that governs for the good of all the people and 
>that has among it's highest ideals the continuation of the species by 
>conserving and protecting the planet and all it's resources to the 
>best of it's abilities. I want businesses to be interesting and 
>rewarding places to express human aspirations - where business is 
>interested in durability, fairness, quality, not necessarily growth 
>and profit exclusively. My way is not the only way and I'm willing 
>to compromise on many things, learn and change my opinion, for life 
>should be a growth, not a defense.  
     JCT: Once governments start LETS for their citizens, that's what 
you'll get. 
>Humans have choices, government and businesses have choices and then 
>there are realities within which those choices have to be made. We 
>are probably overpopulated - we certainly are not distributing equity 
>in the current world situation. We have shortages looming - it may be 
>cement, it may be oranges, it may be penicillin, when they happen we 
>will all feel that shortage and have to adapt. We have energy 
>crisis's looming, they may be solved - they may not. We are at the 
>cusp of many potential futures. 
     JCT: But the best future is where everyone can hustle for all 
they can but their abundance is borrowed from them and efficiently 
allocated to those who can make best use of it. The real destructive 
nature of usury is that so much is hoarded and not put to most 
efficient use. 
>I am reposting on this list today, the future of the mega 
>corporation, is this the world we want to live in? Maybe 1% of the 
>population does but I think most of us would find it a little harsh.  
     JCT: I read it and I think it's a horrible view of the future 
that people who don't know about LETS could hold. It boils down to the 
law of the jungle where the fittest survive and the weakest are left 
to die out. I'll probably do a greater analysis on it at the listserv Join it for some pretty interesting upcoming 
>We all need to back off a little. We, are getting to be zealots, 
>defending our point of view, scoring points, taking shots, making 
>assumptions about anothers motives. There is a lot to explore, some 
>of it requires taking positions, defending or promoting ideas - but 
>thats all objective. It's the subjective stuff that damages 
>learning, and yes, I have taken my share of shots too and do not 
>claim any moral high ground except to say I have noticed it and I 
>will strive to change. Respectfully, Thomas Lunde
     JCT: Seems to me you have a right to claim a moral high ground. 
All your vibes are right on the money short of knowing about the 
better system just around the corner. There are now thousands of LETS 
around the world and it's been endorsed as an "anti-poverty" 
"lifeboat" by the UK, Australian, New Zealand governments as well as 
state governments supporting Timedollar systems in the United States. 
>Date: Fri Jan  1 06:10:45 1999
>From: ("Thomas Lunde")
>Subject: [SystemPolitics] Re: Was taking the West an atrocity?
>I didn't denigrate their accomplishments.  I wrote a metaphor.  
>I want to extend this a bit.
>Let us postulate that this successful apple tree grower and 
>harvester, secure in his knowledge that his larder was filled was 
>confronted by a hungry man, a traveler perhaps, or an outcast, or one 
>who had no land of his own to plant his own apple tree. Should he 
>give him some apples for his hunger? We would call this charity - 
>that one who has gives to one, who for whatever reason at that point 
>in time doesn't have but has a need. 
     JCT: Better to lend him some apples rather than give. Isaiah said 
it best: 
     "You who are hungry and have no money, come buy and eat." This 
is not charity. In a LETS, the children buy on credit and are expected 
to repay you when they grow up." It's just their debt does not grow 
with interest though their increased technology would provide you with 
more for your money when you choose to call in and spend their LETS 
IOUS which you have accepted. 
>I think there is a different answer. In all that growing and 
>harvesting, the enterprising man had a partner, an unseen partner.  
>That partner was the Earth, it gave the climate, the seed, the rain 
>and the sun provided the energy and all these resources were given 
>and man added his labour. And the Earth exists for all life, the 
>apple tree, the worm, the grower and the traveler. And so I would 
>say there are times when we should recognize that what we have is not 
>the results of our own labour but came as a blessing from Earth and 
>Sun who support all life. And that in an act of gratitude, the 
>individual should share as he has been shared with.  And that sharing 
>is a dividend paid to a fellow shareholder of the planet, not 
>charity. Respectfully, Thomas Lunde
     JCT: How true. It was a pleasure to read your thoughts. 

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