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"Gift Economies?" hmm... - Printable Version

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"Gift Economies?" hmm... - NonEntity - 07-12-2010 07:01 PM

Tharrin (and everyone else, of course),

Pay attention now. This may just be what you've been talking about. I don't know...

I just stumbled across this article on "Gift Economies."

Quote:In its purest form, a gift economy is about the collective, allocation based on need, and abundance. Behind gifting is human relationship, generation of goodwill, and attention to the nurturance of the whole society and not just one’s immediate self and family. Maintaining economic and social relations outside of the market keeps respect, cooperation, and ethics thriving.

My first, gut, reaction is, "Well this is just some form of collectivist, socialist bullshit." But the article is interesting. Keep reading down further into the piece and listen to some of the ideas.


I've finally come, after many years of belief in property rights and the libertarian ideal in general, to consider that the idea of rights is not the be-all end-all panacea we (those few of us who DO believe in them for real) think them to be. As I've said elsewhere, I find that the idea of rights - any rights - to be more of a unilateral claim than something which is automatically reciprocal.

But I don't want to get into all of that here, or at least not at the moment. What I want to do is to offer this article up for your consideration, and to suggest that it may really be worth some consideration instead of an automatic turn of the page.

I don't know that it does, but perhaps, maybe, just possibly, this could be a third avenue, a move beyond the socialist/capitalist dichotomy we seem to be currently mired in, and from which we seem not to be making any progress.

- NonE


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - WorBlux - 07-13-2010 10:10 AM

Justice is focused on an individual, his rights and dignity divorced from any other. It provides peace and the means of cooperation without conflict.


Charity on the other hand is focused on a man's place in a community. It affirms the the fraternity of all men and the inherent worth of any individual.

While justice is the only virtue or topic on which the use of force necessarily arises, charity has as great as claim for being necessary for a flourishing society. A libertarian society which in not charitable is unlikely to remain libertarian as more and more people are marginalized.

But I believe one of the most destructive violations of justice are those frauds that rely on charity as a guise.


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - NonEntity - 07-13-2010 10:18 AM

Interesting post, Wordblux.

I wonder if you'd care to expand/expound a bit on it.

- NonE


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - NonEntity - 07-13-2010 10:54 AM

To add a bit of context to the post here, I recalled a wonderful conversation with a young woman on FreeTalkLive from February 27, 2007 wherein she describes the functioning of the Rainbow Family. The nature of the economics and social structure of the gatherings that she describes are fascinating. The discussion starts at the 80 minute mark in this MP3 file.

Enjoy.

- NonE


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - WorBlux - 07-16-2010 03:50 PM

For charity, at minimum there are those who by circumstances outside their control or by forgivable mistakes find themselves impoverished. To help these people is to affirm that we genuinely want the good of others. It's what separates libertarianism from nihilism. Both deconstruction the current power systems, but one recommends hedonism, the other rational self interest. That we should temper our own desires and ambitions so that others may pursue their own. In knowing and condemning corruption we seek just not our own good, but that of others as well. This also may be a thought of as a thin/thick issue, with thin requiring justice, and the thick implying charity as well.

Ya, the rainbow children are pretty interesting.

I do expect quite a bit of this going on is a free society. Especially once you get rid of a lot of the zoning and housing regulations. Living together like this can provide certain efficiencies, and minimize externalities. (Child care, pollution, time wasted in transit) It can provide security and a stronger base for negotiating wages. If you're familiar with some of Robert Heinlein's novels and the larger family units described there.

The traditional family unit is a grandfather, his sons and their spouses and children. There is a lot more potential for internal division of labor. Now while I don't expect this type to re-emerge, I do expect more artificial and planned variations on this model to do so. Some may be buy-in, some require particular skills, while other may be more like the rainbow family and accept all comers.


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - Marc Stevens - 07-16-2010 05:25 PM

The more I study and learn, the more the concept of property diminishes. Thanks to you guys, NonE and worblux, it's a little more after reading this thread and the article.

This is what I was talking about with Wes on the show a few weeks ago, the concept of property ownership seems to have an inverse relationship to the size of the property in question. The larger the piece of land, the less credibility the concept has. I think it's tied to the practical aspect, how much land can one man use?
[move]Brickwall Brickwall Brickwall Brickwall[/move]


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - inertia - 07-16-2010 09:24 PM

The more property one man owns the more resources they need to keep it. Force becomes an attractive "tool" to retain on to large properties. But don't let past sins influence your understanding about the legitimacy of holding large properties in a voluntary society.


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - NonEntity - 07-17-2010 03:42 PM

inertia Wrote:But don't let past sins influence your understanding about the legitimacy of holding large properties in a voluntary society.

This sentence doesn't speak to me. Would you be willing to try and analogize it or something so I can try to grasp your point?

- NonE


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - inertia - 07-17-2010 04:15 PM

NonEntity Wrote:
inertia Wrote:But don't let past sins influence your understanding about the legitimacy of holding large properties in a voluntary society.
This sentence doesn't speak to me. Would you be willing to try and analogize it or something so I can try to grasp your point?

- NonE
Well, the current system doesn't work so we have trouble imagining how people could hold large properties in a voluntary society. We superimpose our current situation into that one.


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - eye2i2hear - 07-17-2010 04:21 PM

inertia Wrote:...the legitimacy of holding large properties in a voluntary society.
Is said legitimacy based upon fact or [strike]legal[/strike] [strike]religious[/strike] opinion? >Big Grin


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - inertia - 07-17-2010 05:03 PM

eye2i2hear Wrote:
inertia Wrote:...the legitimacy of holding large properties in a voluntary society.
Is said legitimacy based upon fact or [strike]legal[/strike] [strike]religious[/strike] opinion? >Big Grin
Insofar as my agency deems it legitimate.


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - NonEntity - 07-27-2010 11:38 AM

Quote:For the past two years, the Concord Free Press has been publishing books and giving them away for free.



Read HERE

Quote:For the past two years, the Concord Free Press has been publishing books and giving them away for free.

Writer Stona Fitch, the founder of the press, shows a reporter around the headquarters in Concord, Mass., just west of Boston. The tour takes less than a minute: It consists of two tables in an office.

Fitch says he’s proud that one of his novels, Senseless, was judged by a critic to be “one of the most disturbing books ever written.” His business plan isn’t quite as disturbing, but it is radical.

Books from the Concord Free Press are available free at several dozen independent bookstores across the country or online. But customers are asked for something in return.

A Book In Exchange For A Donation

“We just ask people, one, make a voluntary donation to a charity or person in need; two, chart your donation on our website,” Fitch says. “And three, pass the book along to someone else so that this project keeps going.”

In the last two years, Fitch says readers have donated more than $142,000 to charity.

The tiny nonprofit relies on donations, and it has published four books, which look and feel like those you’d find at any bookstore — except for a sticker that says: “100 percent off.”

So, why give books away for free?

“You know, we’re not saying all books should be free,” Fitch explains. “We’re just saying this is one way to put out a book.”

- NonE


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - NonEntity - 07-30-2010 02:10 AM

Kindness Breeds More Kindness, Study Shows

Quote:In a game where selfishness made more sense than cooperation, acts of giving were “tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more,” wrote political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and medical sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University.


Their findings, published March 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are the latest in a series of studies the pair have conducted on the spread of behaviors through social networks.

...

- NonE


Re: "Gift Economies?" hmm... - NonEntity - 08-10-2010 08:56 AM

From an article at Lew Rockwell about a man building his own house:

Quote:There was something else at work here. Our house became a group project of a sort. Maybe it was because of the sheer madness of it, but whenever I put out the call for people to come out and help they came. On one early Saturday I had 16 people on site building and flying the beams and building the walls. It became an opportunity for an old friend and me to rectify a regrettable alienation as well as a chance to help another who was between jobs and needed both a sense of purpose and some cash. It was beyond humbling and every time I look at the center 6x10 beam running through the middle of my house, I think about everyone who was there that day.
[right](empahsis mine)[/right]

Money can't buy you this.

- NonE