One of the hottest topics when it comes to a Resource Based Economy is exactly how close is it to communism, how they differ, and whether or not they’re essentially the same thing. This has been the subject of much debate and has produced some rather heated discussions in more than a few online forums, some of which you’ve probably been witness to if you’ve been around the community for any decent length of time. Since communism can be a very passionate subject for many individuals (and with good reason, considering its attempted implementation has literally killed millions of people in the past) we figured we would try to clear up a few things. And with the amount of misinformation out there regarding this subject, it’s about time someone gave a definitive, informative, and honest answer to this question.
So, the million dollar question – Is “Resource Based Economy” just a fancy, new-age way to say “Communism”?
Short answer: Yes and No
Slightly longer answer: It depends on who you listen to, what specific definition/form of communism you are talking about, and even your interpretation of some things.
And for those of you who simply have to know all the details…
What Exactly Is Communism?
While the idea of Communism itself has been around for quite some time, tracing its history back literally thousands of years, it became popular in modern day through the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who both lived around the middle of the 19th century and wrote the well-known, widely circulated “Communist Manifesto.” It was in this document, as well as a few other lesser-known works they produced around the same time, that the general ideas we understand as modern communism took shape.
It’s important to note, however, that this was only the beginning of what was about to take place. While they outlined the ideas of what communism was, how we might get there and the events that could possibly transpire, there was a great deal of room for individual interpretation and implementation, which has consequently made the subject much more complex. Their ideas were so widely adopted, adapted, debated, and built upon, that between what exists only in theory, what has existed in the past, and what actually exists today, there are about as many different forms of communism as there are different makes of cars on the highway.
This is why it’s difficult to pinpoint a single meaning of communism and exactly what it implies. It really depends on where you look and who you ask. Even the definition of the general term “communism” varies, simply depending on which source you go to, and it’s not easy to get a straight answer on exactly where they all come from. You almost have to be a scholar to understand all the details of this subject.
Go to one site and it sounds like an altruistic utopia. Read a bit further and it sounds like something out of an Orwellian nightmare.
For instance, take just what’s found on Dictionary.com
“1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.
2. (often initial capital letter) a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.”
And it continues…
“British Dictionary definitions for communism
1. advocacy of a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community
2. any social, economic, or political movement or doctrine aimed at achieving such a society
3. (usually capital) a political movement based upon the writings of Marx that considers history in terms of class conflict and revolutionary struggle, resulting eventually in the victory of the proletariat and the establishment of a socialist order based on public ownership of the means of production See also Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, socialism“
I could list many more short definitions from other sources that all sound different, but I think you get the point.
And this perfectly highlights one of the main differences between communism and a resource based economy. You understand why you get so many definitions when you understand…
“Communism, The Theory” is not the same as a “Communist Society”
And both of these are vastly different from the currently practiced “communist-state” – a variation of Marxism/Leninism.
This is the “ah-ha moment” you’ve been waiting for.
The main difference between a resource based economy and communism is that the idea of communism itself is a theory of progression of a society, and many varying details have to do with exactly where a particular society is along that progression, and also how exactly it ends up at eventual, complete communism, or what is known as a “communist society.”
In reality, when most people refer to communism, (especially when they say it still uses money, government, or social class) they are actually referring to a communist-state. This is what China, Cuba, and Vietnam are currently ruled under today. The problem with the communist-state is it lends opportunity for its leaders to take advantage of and abuse the system, and consequently, the modern communist-state is often characterized by massive corruption, poverty and wealth inequality, with the few in charge reaping most of the benefits.
In reality, this is simply more of a government-run form of capitalism, which is nothing like the actual “communist society” that the theory of Communism and the communist-state are supposedly aiming to achieve (and still haven’t, and probably never will – simply because of the inherent flaws in the communist theory’s design to begin with).
The Actual, Theoretical “Communist Society” is Very Close to a Resource Based Economy
– just with less actual planning, and the fact that the original idea was thought up over 150 years ago, so there are some different emphasis…
The endpoint of the theory of communism, aka the “communist society” – a classless, stateless, moneyless society is pretty close to what could be envisioned as the idea of a resource based economy today.
And yes, this is one of the generally accepted definitions of the communist society. While this definition is never stated verbatim by either Engels or Marx as far as I have seen – please correct me if you’ve seen it – it is generally outlined within their documents, as described quite nicely in this Reddit post:
“From Chapter II of The Communist Manifesto,
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
Engels writes on the stateless aspect in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific,
As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary.
The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society — the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society — this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production.
In Section 18 of Principles of Communism, Engels addresses the moneyless aspect,
Finally, when all capital, all production, all exchange have been brought together in the hands of the nation, private property will disappear of its own accord, money will become superfluous, and production will so expand and man so change that society will be able to slough off whatever of its old economic habits may remain.”
That sounds pretty close to a resource based economy to me.
And from Wikipedia:
In Marxist thought, communist society or communist system is the type of society and economic system postulated to emerge from technological advances in the productive forces, representing the ultimate goal of the political ideology of Communism. A communist society is characterized by common ownership of the means of production with free access to the articles of consumption and is classless and stateless, implying the end of the exploitation of labor.
Communism is a specific stage of socioeconomic development predicated upon a superabundance of material wealth, which is postulated to arise from advances in production technology and corresponding changes in the social relations of production. This would allow for distribution based on need and social relations based on freely-associated individuals.
The term “communist society” should be distinguished from the Western concept of the “communist state“, the latter referring to a state ruled by a party which professes a variation of Marxism–Leninism.
“Superabundance of material wealth”
“Advances in production technology”
“Corresponding changes in the social relations of production”
“Free access to articles of consumption”
Though… There Are A Few Differences
The differences may be viewed as trivial by some, and huge by others. Some say that both social constructs are great and either one is fine, while others say the differences don’t matter and either one of them will bring about untold suffering and misery. Others argue that some of the RBE ideas were intended/implied in communist society, but were simply not voiced, while others say that those differences are what make the two systems completely different. Either way, it’s interesting and informative to look at a few of these ideas.
The main (and indisputable) differences between the two economic systems, for the most part, are how this futuristic, post-scarcity society would be achieved. Many of the transitory systems that were implemented to try and reach the end-point of communist society resulted in disaster. Corruption, greed, forceful execution, the fact that the societies still had to interact with the capitalistic world at large, and the lack of a solid vision or plan as to what the communist society end-result would entail doomed the system before it even had a chance.
Eloquent as always, Peter Joseph sums up the flaws of the communist-state and its workings quite nicely:
In the earlier stages of the progression toward communism, many things are advocated to be literally implemented by force, and all-out “class warfare” is said to be utilized to literally eliminate (even by armed violence, if necessary) the status of the elite (the bourgeois) and achieve the endpoint of the eventual communist society. Obviously, this would be completely against the principles of a resource based economy.
Straight from the Communist Manifesto, here are some of the possible steps toward achieving a communist society:
- Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
- Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
- Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
- Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
- Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
- Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
- Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
- Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
- Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Confiscation of property? Heavy income tax? Abolition of inheritance? Industrial armies?
Are you kidding me? No wonder this was a complete catastrophe…
Did they think people would simply willingly hand over all they own and tell the government to put them to work in the fields until that mythical day when a communist society magically comes to life?
Another main principle of communism that seems a little different than a resource based economy is “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
According this rule, if taken literally, if society deems your utmost contribution to be sitting behind a desk, programming computer algorithms for resource distribution, you could very well be forced to work at this position, hypothetically speaking. And this, technically, could be an aspect of one of the stages that the theory of communism would use to reach the hypothetical communist society.
“To each according to their needs” probably wouldn’t include 24/7 access to jet-skis or unlimited round-trips to Tokyo, but in a resource economy at its pinnacle, not only is this possible but it is expected to be a general principle. In an RBE this phrase would probably resemble something more like “From each, a contribution of their desire; to each, according to their needs and desires, within the reasonable capabilities of our resources and production methods.”
However, for clarification, in a fully-developed communist society, you are free to pursue your passions and realize “self-actualization,” or in other words, you are free to pursue your own ambitions and desires, as described in Marx’s Theory of Alienation.
Another minor difference between communist society and a resource based economy that some have said exists, although this one may be debatable, is that in a resource based economy there seems to be more of an emphasis on utilizing the planet’s resources in the wisest ways possible to create access to all goods and services, not just based on needs, but on individual desires as well. It’s noteworthy that in Marx’s time, resource scarcity was not anywhere near as pressing an issue as it is today, and this is truly one of the hallmarks of a resource based economy, especially given our current dual plights with peak oil and global warming.
A couple other things to consider when comparing the two are the facts that the technology wasn’t yet available for much of the automation that Marx and Engels had envisioned in the communist society. Computers that could control and distribute resources via algorithms were science-fiction, electricity was in it’s infancy, communication was slow and laborious, and cars hadn’t even been invented yet, so there was no real plan as how this society would actually operate, or even be designed. In contrast, today we have all of this technology and more, giving us the capability to draft out and even implement such a society, designing in advance everything we could possibly think of, down to the types of materials that the walls of our 3D printed homes will be made of. We are much, much, more capable these days… to say the least.
Another aspect of the mindset that came with the communist platform to thoughtfully consider is the fact that it was written before the occurrence of two world wars, and before millions of people died under the rule of communist leaders, so there was far less of a concern with forcefully pushing communism on the world and what effects it could possibly have. Back then, people were used to forcing their will upon others, especially in a societal sense, which is quite different from today, and the goal was viewed as more important than the means by which it was achieved. Now, the complete opposite is true. Due to the neglectful actions of past leaders, many individuals are terrified of communism and see its only possible outcome as a complete totalitarian state that emerges after the unnecessary deaths of millions more – and with its history, they have every right to think that.
So, the RBE community and Communists/Marxists may have roughly the same end point in mind, but given the negative history associated with communism now, and how much fear and hatred exists surrounding the subject, we need a vastly different approach of how to actually get there, and a complete overhaul of the theory of what will actually work as a transition period. So…
How Will A Resource Based Economy Make The Transition?
For the most part, the main proponents of a resource based economy advocate a top-down approach. They say world leaders would come together some day in the future and agree (possibly after the general public is well-enough informed and demands it) that this is the best way for humanity to live and begin to implement a system such as this for all individuals to follow. Unfortunately, it has also been said that this will most likely only come after a total economic collapse, after which the transition to a resource based economy isn’t guaranteed (or even likely) and could be instead supplanted by a one-world government or New World Order. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Aside from not much getting done, the problem with this sort of implementation is that when you have leaders dictating what sort of economic system the world is to follow, not only will you have many people who will fight tooth and nail against it and do everything in their power to fight the system (especially those against communism, most likely resorting to violence and even possibly war), but you also have world leadership telling the general population what to do, which is by its very nature completely contradictory to the general idea of a resource based economy.
Therefore, the only way to transition into an actual resource based economy is completely and utterly voluntarily, from the ground up, and nothing else will work. Otherwise, it wouldn’t truly be a resource based economy to begin with, and there would be so much backlash during the actual transition period that it would be doomed from the start, just like communism. Leaders may come together and suggest it, but they cannot force it. To do so would violate one of the main principles of a resource based economy to begin with – voluntary participation.
Furthermore, our leaders probably wouldn’t even suggest it until they see that society is capable of working together and cooperating in ways much more harmoniously than the present, which is why we must do everything we can to build and implement as many aspects of a resource based economy into our lives as we can. To demonstrate that it is possible. To show there’s a better way of life. To wake people up and help them realize that they do have other options, that they have the power and wherewithal to turn them into reality, instead of the mindless zombie ritual of our 9-5 existence that is simply called life for so many of us.
While I know this post will anger some individuals, I also hope that it can help bridge the two communities, with a call for us to work together. Ultimately, even though there may be some minor differences in the end-goal of the two, I believe that many “true” Communists and Marxists have the same visions for a future society as the Resource Based Economy movement. And I also hope that this article can provide a forum for people to discuss and engage in ways to build this bold, new world.
In reality, it’s only by understanding each other’s point’s of view, overcoming our differences, building on our strengths and similarities, compromising where we must, cultivating and practicing these principles through living and working together, and building something greater than ourselves, that we will eventually be able to build a society that resembles an actual resource based economy.
This is why we are being called to build sustainable communities, powered with their own green technology, that produce their own food and water with technologies like FarmBot, aquaponics and permaculture. We must go local in production with many things, utilizing 3D printing, Contour Crafting, waste recycling, and further developing open source designs such as the Global Village Construction Set. Examples of places like Regen Villages and Tamera can be used as a blueprint and their successes built upon. It’s time to share our ideas and openly work together to achieve the highest good of all, practicing principles such as those that One Community Global has laid out. Much progress will be made when we start collaborating more via platforms like TheTransition.org, and supporting each other in our business endeavors to develop new technologies and work together in cooperatives like Mondragon and Evergreen.
The information and technology we need to do this is there – it’s combining it into solid ideas and living it in our own lives on a daily basis that will make the difference. There’s no time like the present to do this. The tools and resources we have been given in our present world are unprecedented in the history of our planet, and we no longer have any excuses to not create the world we desire.
As an end note – if there’s anything that you find to be incorrect about this article, please let me know by commenting below or sending an email to email@example.com. Please provide references to investigate, and I will do my best to revise it as necessary. However, I won’t change it just because somebody simply disagrees and say’s I’m wrong without any documentation to back it up. It is my goal and intention for this document to be as accurate, honest, and up-to-date as possible, and it’s definitely not here to simply please everyone.
So let us heed the warnings of our fathers and learn from their mistakes, but also let us not discount our true potential and stay stuck in the past, especially at the cost of our own peril, when we need to work together – now, more than ever.
Often times people note that multinational corporations have little regard for individuals, workers, the environment, and the common good of everyone and everything on the planet in general except for themselves and their shareholders. However, there are some companies coming about that are putting greater value in providing workers with more incentive to give more to the company and their local community. That incentive? – Ownership.
Usually the structure of most co-ops gives the option for some or all of its employees to participate in an employee-ownership program. This gives workers more incentive to produce better products and to also find ways to build them more efficiently. And since the owners are usually people in the local community, it gives the company more reason to preserve the immediate natural environment. In addition to this, it also promotes more equitable profit sharing throughout the company, higher wages, circulates and ultimately keeps more money within a community, and gives more incentive for the company to invest in and educate its members.
It’s also notable, that, in our exploration of ways to create a resource based economy and moneyless society, business structures such as the cooperative could provide a valuable framework to progress toward the goals and aspirations of the community in general and advance technology that could ultimately be a catalyst to eliminate the need for money in many circumstances.
Mondragon is one of the leading and largest cooperative organizations in the world. Headquartered in Spain, with 257 companies and cooperatives worldwide, 74,060 people, and $16 billion in revenue posted for 2013, they are a behemoth of cooperative organizations. From engineering and automation, vacuums, advanced car parts, meat, dairy, and much, much more, Mondragon has been building products and putting money back into local communities since 1955. They even have a university that educates its members so they can develop greater career skills and help themselves and the cooperative at the same time.
While they have suffered some criticism for not being as environmentally conscious as they could be, and not all who work for Mondragon are actually owners of the company, their typical CEO-to-lowest paid worker wage ratio is only somewhere between a mere 3-to-1 and 6-to-1, depending on the company, as opposed to the 250-to-1 or 300-to-1 income ratio that is found in many large, multinational corporations. This in itself is a huge step in the direction of worker equality and promotes a mindset that encourages greater participation, enthusiasm and cooperation between employees and worker/owners.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio and launched in 2008, the Evergreen Co-op is focused on creating living wage jobs in low-income neighborhoods in an area known as Greater University Circle. Not only has the cooperative managed to help residents of the community find meaningful employment, they are also focusing their efforts on businesses that create a more sustainable world.
The cooperative’s businesses are comprised of a commercial laundry facility which processes 10 million pounds of laundry per year with green technology to reduce waste and energy consumption; a commercial/institutional/governmental solar development, installation, production, and maintenance company; and a 3.25 acre hydroponic garden – one of the largest in the United States. Their mission lies in creating green collar jobs, recruiting and training individuals in impoverished neighborhoods, and helping them build equity in the company while keeping financial resources within the community. They also have the goal of being an example for other areas of the nation to adopt similar plans for economic and community reinvestment.
Organic Valley Family of Farms
Organic Valley is a perfect example of a trusted and well-known brand that is promoting a healthier lifestyle and more sustainable practices due to cooperative ownership (with relatively few people knowing about the co-op itself). Since their founding in 1988, they have blossomed to 1,779 families and have become a well-recognized provider of quality, organic food products throughout the United States.
Not only has the cooperative achieved an impressive stance in the marketplace, with consumers demanding their products even in WalMart but they have also gained political power and influence concerning improved standards in organic farming and the like. By protecting the health of the family farm and supporting rural communities they have built a considerable market share in the industry. In addition to this, in 2012 the cooperative as a whole produced 68% of it’s own electricity needs, reduced its water usage by 5 million gallons, and sourced 32% of their diesel fuel from bio-based material or straight veggie oil. They also aim to make that last number 60% by the end 2015.
San Diego Cooperative Charter School
A little less well-known but equally important aspect of the cooperative movement is education that incorporates parental participation. In San Diego’s Cooperative Charter School, parents are required to partake in school activities (not necessarily during school hours) that show that parents are interested and actively taking part in their child’s education. This not only provides parents with an opportunity to become more involved in the child’s schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but the child is also more encouraged to perform better because he or she sees that they are important enough for their parents to take an active interest in their education.
The school accepts students from anywhere in San Diego County and is located close to downtown, which is great for parents who commute to the city but still want to be close to their children during the day. Class sizes are small, diversity is embraced and each child’s unique learning style is respected. The school’s goal for each student is always the same: “to provide significant experiences that will begin a lifelong process of discovery leading to a richly rewarding and happy life.”
Housing cooperatives on Central Park West in Manhattan, New York City, from left to right: The Majestic, The Dakota, The Langham, and The San Remo. – Wikipedia
Most people don’t even realize just how many housing co-ops there are in existence today, and even more so the potential they have to dramatically change people’s quality of life. Housing cooperatives not only keep costs down by pooling resources for greater leverage and cutting out profits for landlords, but they also provide an excellent platform for people to get involved in the community in which they live and become part of the decision making process. It can also literally be the difference between being isolated among your neighbors or having a rich, quality social life.
Since many of us must, without much choice, still depend on and interact with the monetary system on a regular basis, it would seem to be in our best interest to utilize the systems and technology we have available to us to advance the goals supporting a transition to a resource based economy and an eventual moneyless world.
We could start to see many cooperative organizations combining cohabitative living situations and progressive work environments in the future. The combination of a cooperative organization in a cohabitative living environment like the Agora Garden Tower in Taipei (currently under construction), could have the potential to develop progressive technology in the fields of automation, permaculture, waste reduction, recycling, and more, all while providing living quarters, food, energy and even education to its members as part of the membership in the co-op.
As the general mindset of society continues to head in the direction of fairness and equality, more organizations like the ones above will continue to sprout up and change the landscape of our corporate world, and the framework of our society on both a small and large scale. Companies like these are pushing us in the direction of a more fair and just world, and without even knowing it much of the time, ultimately a moneyless society and resource based economy.
If you have a local co-op that you can get involved in, now is a great time! Or if you don’t have one close to you, maybe consider starting one with some other individuals in your community. Here is a great resource guide to help you.
Are there any other co-ops that you would like to add to this list?
One Community is regenerative world building through an evolution of sustainability that is open source and free-sharing duplicable and adaptable Highest-Good approaches to all aspects of living:
One Community’s physical location will forward this movement as the first of many self-replicating teacher/demonstration communities, villages, and cities to be built around the world. This is the August 15th, 2014 edition (#76) of our weekly progress update detailing the previous week’s development and accomplishments:
Regenerative World Building
One Community Weekly Progress Update #76
Here is the bullet-point list of this last week’s design and progress discussed in detail in the video above:
REGENERATIVE WORLD BUILDING INTRO @1:00
HIGHEST GOOD EDUCATION @1:35
HIGHEST GOOD FOOD: @2:51
HIGHEST GOOD HOUSING: @3:33
DUPLICABLE CITY CENTER: @5:16
- Completed another 30 seconds of the Duplicable City Center 3-D video (see below)
- Evolved the generator versus solar calculations for energy production phasing in (see below)
- Ben Pollock helped with cooking hood heat capture and recycling unit evaluation (see below)
- James Nance finished the next phase of venting and exhaust design (see below)
HIGHEST GOOD SOCIETY: @6:38
REGENERATIVE WORLD BUILDING SUMMARY: @7:44
CLICK HERE IF YOU’D LIKE TO RECEIVE AN EMAIL EACH WEEK WHEN WE RELEASE A NEW UPDATE
HIGHEST GOOD EDUCATION PROGRESS
One Community is regenerative world building through Highest Good education that is for all ages, applicable in any environment, adaptable to individual needs, far exceeds traditional education standards, and more fun for both the teachers and the students:
This last week the core team finished the first 25% of the Harmony lesson plan mindmap:
Harmony Lesson Plan Mindmap 25% Complete
On a light and fun note, we also created a new image and updated the header for our Highest Good Education open source hub:
Highest Good Education Header Image – Click to Visit Page
Behind the scenes we, wrapped up 2 weeks of interviews with Satyanna Luken (Author, Montessori Teacher, and founder of Imagine Wisdom Education ~ I-WE) who has been helping us with development of the open source Ultimate Classroom Component. We’ll be updating the page you see here with all the added details from her in the next week or so:
The Ultimate Classroom Page in progress – Click to Visit
HIGHEST GOOD FOOD PROGRESS
One Community is regenerative world building through Highest Good food that is more diverse, more nutritious, locally grown and sustainable, and part of our open source botanical garden model to support and share bio-diversity:
This last week the core team finished adding the diversity details to the Ulluco section of the large-scale gardening page. We added the 9 you see featured here plus 3 more for a total of 12 along with cultural considerations, planting guidelines, and purchasing details:
Ulluco Diversity Details – Click to Visit Page
HIGHEST GOOD HOUSING PROGRESS
One Community is regenerative world building through Highest Good housing that is artistic and beautiful, more affordable, more space efficient, lasts longer, DIY buildable, and constructed with healthy and sustainable materials:
This last week the core team inventoried all the pieces for the Murphy bed portion of the custom furniture designs for the earthbag village domes and dome home crowdfunding campaign. This is taking the amazing work of Philip Gill (Interior and Furniture Designer and Owner of Philip Gill Design) and preparing it all for the creation of complete do-it-yourself building and assembly instructions:
Murphy Bed Furniture Designs Inventoried – Click to Visit Page
We also created 3 different layouts for the crowdfunding campaign wet dome that includes a toilet, shower, stove, combo washer/dryer, refrigerator, and eating area. These domes will fit on a 150 sq foot footprint so that they can be built in many counties without a permit. We will also be providing a permitted version as part of our open source and crowdfunding campaign goals.
3 Wet Dome Layouts for the Crowdfunding Campaign – Click to Visit Page
We also finished the final 50% of the new open source plaster page formatting of Amira Kessem‘s research and finished the initial formatting of Scott Howard‘s input into creating your own natural plasters:
Open Source Plaster Page Complete – Click to Visit
DUPLICABLE CITY CENTER PROGRESS
One Community is regenerative world building through a Duplicable and Sustainable City Center that is LEED Platinum certified/Sustainable, can feed 200 people at a time, provide laundry for over 300 people, is beautiful, spacious, and saves resources, money, and space:
This last week the core team completed another 30 seconds of the Duplicable City Center 3-D video showing over 2 years of design work for this building happening in 3-D. Here is the most recent video showing more of the evolution of this structure over the past couple years:
[OH DEAR: responsive_youtube has some malformed syntax.]
We also put our diesel generator Macro to work evolving the generator details as you can see here. This image shows different generator efficiencies in the form of daily and annual fuel costs compared to different solar production estimates. The image at the top starts with all the areas proportionally representing their power needs. Below that are these needs divided into water heating applications and all other electrical uses.
Diesel Generator Macro – Click for Open Source Hub
In addition to all this Ben Pollock (Full Service Restaurant and Kitchen Designer/Senior Project Manager with Webb Food Service Design) is helping us continue to evaluate what could be possible with a cooking hood heat capture and recycling unit:
Cooking Hood Heat Capture and Recycling Unit Evaluation
James Nance (Mechanical Engineer and Project Manager with P2S Engineering) finished the next phase of venting and exhaust design for the Social Dome, Living Dome, and laundry areas:
Next Phase of Venting and Exhaust – Click to Visit Page
HIGHEST GOOD SOCIETY PROGRESS
One Community is regenerative world building through a Highest Good society approach to living that is founded on fulfilled living, the study of meeting human needs, Community, and making a difference in the world:
This last week the core team updated our final core value page covering Community and how we view this core value as a foundation of global transformation and use it in our decision making process. Having completed this final value, we also redesigned all our menus on the website to include and feature all our values. Here is a picture of the True Community page:
True Community Page – Click to Visit
FOLLOW ONE COMMUNITY’S PROGRESS
FACEBOOK: GROUP | UPDATES | FANS | 3-D ● LINKEDIN ● TWITTER ● TUMBLR ● STUMBLEUPON
OVERVIEW ● LOCATION ● FUNDING
CONSULTANTS ● WAYS ANYONE CAN HELP ● MEMBERSHIP
Green Haven (“GH”) is a non-profit, charitable organization, founded by Mr. Ravinraj Gopinath & supported by the Leela Vasu Foundation. GH was set up to fight challenges faced in poverty using means of living of-the-grid & self-sufficient systems. By means of building self-sufficient communities for those in poverty-stricken countries, GH is able to house as many as 1,000 people & children in an area as little as 1 Acre. Primarily focusing on India, the Middle East & South Africa, GH uses revolutionary means of sustainable living with Eco-friendly sources of sustainable energy, organic food & clean drinking water. This way minimal funds are needed to sustain the centres, if not at all, to end poverty one community / centre at a time. Before setting up our own centres, GH starts off with The Green Haven Project (“Project”). With the Project, we build, install & manage off-the-grid systems in existing orphanages (as well as other credible non-profits) worldwide. Our systems drastically minimize operational costs for these non-profit centres, furthering their ability to help those in need. No only are they very easy and cost next to nothing to manage, the systems have a lifespan of as much as 20-30 years individually. Our systems are in more details below. With the technology readily available today, the ideologies of GH are not only viable, but necessary as well.
Here’s a little bit more about the how we intend to house thousands of children in poverty in limited areas of land, with full access to sustainable energy, clean drinking water & organic food.
SHIPPING CONTAINER HOMES (SHELTER)
The main infrastructure of the our Havens are shipping container homes. Not only are they very affordable & easy to build up, design & engineer from scratch – they are very environment friendly as well. They also give our safe havens protection from the harsh weathers upholding a viable & proven standard of safety for the children. Given that all containers come with hardword flooring, erecting the containers require no piling work at all. Using safe means with the assistance of engineers & architechs, much can be achieved with very, very minimal costs. Even far less costs are required for the interior design of the container homes. Contrary to what it looks like, it is extremely easy to execute a shipping container home design. All you need is a shipping container, a construction company to assist with building it and an structural engineer for safety measures. You want to add doors or windows or need a stair case, simple enough. as we can simply weld furniture &/or staircases etc created from scrap metals before insulating them.
RAINWATER HARVESTING (WATER)
We build & install rainwater harvesting systems, where they collect on roofs of buildings & shed, into a collection tank, but not before being filtered by a BioSand water filter. This filter has been proven to eradicate up to 97% of all water-borne impurities. After which, our system collect the purified water into deep water wells, and storage tanks ready for consumption & other uses. Utilizing the rainwater harvesting system provides certain advantages to the community. First of all, harvesting rainwater allows us to better utilize an energy resource. It is important to do so since drinking water is not easily renewable and it helps in reducing wastage. Systems for the collection of rainwater are based on simple technology. The overall cost of their installation and operation is much lesser than that of water purifying or pumping systems, especially with the introduction of the Biosand water filters. Maintenance requires little time and energy. The result is the collection of water that can be used in substantial ways even before the purification phase. Water collected in the rainwater harvesting system can be put to use for several non-drinking functions as well. For many of our centres, this leads to a large reduction in their utilities bill, if not completely eradicating the water bills themselves. Rainwater is also free from many chemicals found in ground water, making it suitable for irrigation and watering gardens, and after purification, very much useful for every other need as well.
We build & install a vast collection of organic product, which includes fresh water seafood & plants (fruits, vegetables, wheat, spices etc), using a system called aquaponics. Not only is the system self-sufficient & requires barely any human interaction at all, the system proves to cultivate crop up to five times faster, and five times bigger compared to conventional farming & even hydroponics. There is no use of any chemicals in the food or water as well, making it completely organic, completely natural. With aquaponics you place plants closer together on a float system above the water, therefore it fits 10 times more plants in the same space. The roots of the plants are always in nutrient rich water so there’s no over-crowding. The system also removes the need for pain-staking and annoying weeding. The need for pesticides is eliminated, which makes it that much easier for you to have amazing plants and fruit without toxic chemicals and since the aquaponics system uses only 2% of the water normal gardening does and because the water is constantly re-circulated, you do not lose any nutrients to soil absorption. The roots of your plants are constantly submerged in nutrient rich water and you never have to worry about watering your plants again. Plant experts are shocked when they visit aquaponic farms at how fast plants grow. For example, lettuce which takes 60+ days to mature, takes only about 29 days with this system!
SOLAR PANELS (ENERGY)
There are many options to choose from when it comes to clean, green energy. Wind, wave, geothermal etc. But considering the universal application of solar power conversion anywhere in the world, GH chose to capitalize on Monocrystalline Solar Panels. After much use and research on the building of such an intricate & complicated system, we started to build solar panels of our own. Most common problems faced, are that of water egression in the panels to the cells itself. GH panels, have no such problem considering our effective encapsulation techniques – giving our panels a lifespan of at least 20-25 years. Monocrystalline solar cells are first generation solar technology and have been around a long time, providing evidence of their durability and longevity. Several of the early modules installed in the 1970’s are still producing electricity today. Single crystal panels have even withstood the rigors of space travel. Some other solar websites suggest that single crystalline solar cells can last up to 50 years. According to some solar engineers, there will only be a slight drop off in efficiency of around 0.5% on average per year. PV panels made from monocrystalline solar cells are able to convert the highest amount of solar energy into electricity of any type of flat solar panel. Consequently, if your goal is to produce the most electricity from a specific area, these are the best. Monocrystalline solar modules suffer a reduction in output once the temperature from the sunlight reaches around fifty degrees Celsius. This loss of efficiency is lower than polycrystalline cells. Also besides producing more electricity per sqm of installed panels, these reduce the amount of electricity needed if in grid-tie systems.
ORGANIC SWIMMING POOLS
As a bonus for the children, we also build organic, all natural swimming pools for them. These pools are filtered naturally using biofilters & oxygenated with plants and wildlife. The pools will be built with the highest safety systems & preventive measures for the younger kids.. Documented long term health effects of chlorine and other conventional pool cleaners include eczema, rashes, cancer as well as itchy and prematurely ageing skin. It’s also believed to cause asthma, an increased risk of allergy and breathing problems. Many sufferers of drying skin conditions actively seek out regular wild swimming sessions to alleviate unpleasant symptoms. These pools are highly attractive, consisting of a swimming area and a ‘regeneration area’. The swimming area could even be a traditional box rectangle shaped pool, it will look the same but the water will be untainted and far more pleasant to swim in. The regeneration area of the pool is often contained within a separate miniature pool and is responsible for cleaning, filtering and oxygenating the water that passes through here. The plants that form this cleansing arena acts as a filter. Animals and bugs will control any pest issues such as mosquitoes from laying their larvae into the water. Plants also serve you by consuming nutrients that could otherwise begin forming. However mosquitoes won’t be a problem if you circulate the water using a water pump that can be charged by solar energy. This in turn will clean, oxygenate and circulate the water from the swimming area to the filtration area of the system.
OUR VISION & MISSION
GH, was prematurely influenced by The Venus Project (“TVP”) & Mr Jacque Fresco’s idea of a world without money, along with Jacque’s “The Best That Money Can’t Buy: Beyond Politics, Poverty, & War”. After years of research & tweaking of the ideologies of TVP, Green Haven then devised a simpler, more immediate-application of a model. The skeleton of which is Eco-friendly, sustainable living, off the grid.
GH envisions a world where everyone has unlimited access to organic food, clean drinking water & Eco-friendly sustainable energy. Imagine a world that fosters hope and opportunity for everyone – where the cycle of poverty and financial dependence ends, and productive livelihoods begin for even the most disadvantaged.
To improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. To do this we will: Ignite a worldwide social movement, and thereby mobilize millions to action – to give, advocate and volunteer to improve the conditions in which they live; Galvanize and connect all sector of society – individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and governments – to create long-term social change that produces healthy, well-educated and monetarily-non-dependent stability to everyone; Raise, invest and leverage billions of funds annually in philanthropic contributions to create and support The Green Haven Projects to generate sustained impact in communities that need it the most; Hold ourselves accountable to this cause through our steadfast commitment to continually measure – in real terms – improvement in off-the-grid models. Capitalizing on TVP’s model of self-sustainable means of living & after years of research, GH began to design a self-sustainable & eco-friendly model to provide organic food, clean drinking water & Eco-friendly energy to their communities. We believe that living off the grid, without the use or need of money is the only viable option in sustaining a non-profit with all the essentials it needs. Instead of using the funds raised through donations and such for salaries, energy, food & water, GH models use their donations primarily for the expansion of the project instead. With a self sustainable system in place for food, water & energy, there aren’t much, if not at all, costs required to sustain the community. Whatever You donate, goes to saving another child out on the street, by welcoming them into our community. This is how you can be assured that your donations make an actual, direct impact in changing the lives of another. “Access to organic produce, clean drinking water & the sheer abundance of Eco-friendly sustainable energy sources should be made available to everyone. Especially, to those who lack such resources. This is what I hope to accomplish, one project at a time.”
-Ravinraj Gopinath, founder of Green Haven
This is a really interesting philosophy, where Michael talks about having Abundance for ALL and it’s based on Ancient Knowledge where every one contributes their natural talents or acquired skills for the greater benefit of all in the Community. Interestingly, it has African roots and is called UBUNTU. All ancient cultures shared this African system and they had different names for it, but it always comes down to the same thing. These ancient cultures survived for thousands of years NOT using money and they all had a similar philosophy – if it’s not good for everyone – it’s NO good at all.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did and it would be great if others could contribute and add to my notes!
We are born FREE on the Planet.
The earth has been abused by its people.
Control systems have been implemented to keep the people from a logical discontent- as soon as money is implemented that masonic design changes the calculus of human lifestyle.
Human nature should be free, and a moneyless civilization created. This is a lot because it entails a living revolution- and an effort of mass will to do away with systems which no longer serve us.
As John Rose put it in his excellent blog post (http://www.rawfoodsupport.com/read.php?11,235499): These Priest Kings created Money, Money was maliciously introduced as a tool of enslavement. Money did NOT evolve out of Barter and Trade. Remember, Money doesn’t exist.
These banking families own the world ***
They Control our Governments
We are all their SLAVES
***If you don’t believe that, than you also haven’t done your homework.
Remember, Money doesn’t exist. Money is just empty promises. There is no thing as Money. 1:27:03 MM
1:34:45 MM or JR’s Audio Tape
And this is linked to our Education System because most people are Indoctrinated into this way of thinking since childhood.
Our Education System has nothing to do with LEARNING. Developed and Funded by the banking families to condition humanity into following orders.
We don’t need jobs – busy-ness – to keep you busy running around forgetting what you should be doing – what kind of life you should be living. Jobs are an institution of the oppressor – being that at the end of the day, you are doing it for money. Ubuntu USA is that the tools are given to you, and the education for a trade. Often, to build it once provides a living freedom – a process and lifestyle of modification of nature and learning, tasks and life-affirming work and creation whereby an ant colony builds and the human race of the future.
So hopefully after 6,000 years we have now learned – don’t try and Fix the Current System – Change it completely.
UBUNTU Liberation Movement
A new social structure for a new world
Abundance for ALL – Based on Ancient Knowledge
Where every one Contributes their natural talents or acquired skills for the greater benefit of all in the Community. It’s a simple System. It comes with a lot of Questions because we’ve been so poisoned by Capitalism and Consumerism – raises many Questions instantly. But I’ve been through this thousands of thousands of times. I can already think or tell you what you’re thinking and I’m going to tell you what you’re thinking right now.
It goes back to African Roots called UBUNTU.
More from the post the ant’s bringing back:
Our Inalienable Rights
The country belongs to the people
The Land …
The Water …
The Minerals …
The Air & Airwaves …
The Forests …
It does NOT belong to the Government or large Corporations that have laid claim to it.
LOVE & friendship
Homes, tables, chairs, knives, forks
Technology & Healthcare
Arts & Culture …Everything we can imagine
We do NOT need Money!!!
Did you see Money anywhere in that list?
No, we don’t need Money.
Money gets in the way.
Money is an Obstacle.
Money does NOTHING
People do everything
People create the Art and the Culture
Money is the Obstacle to all progress.
So, then, as we develop cooperatively and strategically together away from capitalism and towards abundance, Tellinger says it is Not the Love of Money – it’s the mere presence of money that’s the root of all problems. Being taken out of the system will vanish certain social problems, or sins at which money is the root: Gluttony, greed, envy, pride, lust, wrath, sloth. The new system, is just a kind of thinking. Beautiful.
1. No Money
2. No Barter
3. No Trade
4. No Value attached
5. Every one Contributes for the greater benefit of all in the Community
Natural Order of things
Let us go towards this system as possible. Join us where you are – right now, freedom : When all you pay is rent!
Http://tinyurl.com/opalt-cta . Http://freedomnexus.zapto.org/
Freed, Dolly. Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money. Available online, free pdf: http://www.deeplyrootedorganics.com/downloads/PossumLiving.pdf
John Rose. “Michael Tellinger – Energy Regeneration & UBUNTU Contributionism…” (http://www.rawfoodsupport.com/profile.php?11,6035) http://www.rawfoodsupport.com/read.php?11,235499 January 27, 2014. Accessed July 6, 2014.
Jeremy Rifkin. New York Times. March 15, 2014. “The Rise of Anti-Capitalism.”
Accessed July 6, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/the-rise-of-anti-capitalism.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=1
“Capitalism is coming to an end says economist Rifkin.”
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-radio-and-tv-27222524 BBC News. 30 April 2014.
Michael Tellinger’s presentation of the Annunaki and more! MUST WATCH! [www.youtube.com] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ge7Xm-CfTY 2:02:36 Minute Video
Why we win and it happens really quickly? Is github. https://github.com/EM-Che/Appropriate-building-technology/tree/master/Free-Living
Grusauskas, Maria. “Hacker ‘elf’ Pavlik Connects the Moneyless World” March 4, 2013. http://www.shareable.net/blog/hacker-elf-pavlik-connects-the-moneyless-world
Seed library from here. http://justmap.it/map.do?mapId=APkhyt2Biuaz
Ubuntu USA – http://ubuntuusa.org/about-us.html
Share? Welcome to.
Tellinger, Michael. “Michael Tellinger -Ubuntu Party.” http://www.michaeltellinger.com/ubuntu-cont.php
One of the most significant developments taking shape when it comes to global sustainability and community resilience will soon transform a little-known community called Chuathbaluk, tucked away in a beautiful, yet completely remote and isolated, area of southwestern Alaska, along the 700-mile-long Kuskokwim river. If you like The Venus Project, The Zeitgeist Movement, One Community Global, New Earth Nation, or are interested in the viability of a resource based economy or a host of other projects and organizations taking us toward a more sustainable world, then you’ll love A.R.K. and what they are doing in Alaska.
On June 14th 2014, this practically unheard-of community consisting of 150 people, mainly composed of native Yupic Indians, made an historic decision and hired the Alliance Of Reason And Knowledge (A.R.K.) – http://a-r-k.us/ – to draft a comprehensive plan and help the community not only preserve it’s unique culture and heritage, but also develop sustainable systems and businesses to build the local economy in both the short and long term in order to provide a means for its residents to prosper and flourish.
However, this decision has not come lightly or easily to the villagers in this remote community. In an area where the term “sustainability” is often seen as something that can be damaging to local and historical culture and is also often driven by corporate interests, a re-vamp of many aspects of these people’s way of life has not exactly been the most welcomed thing since sliced bread.
In recent years, however, it has been increasingly apparent to the people of Chuathbaluk that they are going to have to make a rather uncomfortable decision – either adapt to the changing world, or leave, and find another place to live that will actually support their current way of life. And the main problem with the latter option is – there aren’t many of those places left.
Young Yupic Woman With Salmon
The people of Chuathbaluk, related to the Inuit and also technically Eskimos themselves, have relied upon a variety of local, wild game as their sustenance for literally thousands of years. They have hunted moose, geese, caribou, fished salmon, and generally caught whatever animals were available in the surrounding areas. This has been their tradition, their way of life, their heritage, and the very foundation of their culture, for as long as they have known, for generations upon generations. And it is also one of their deepest desires to continue to carry that heritage and culture into future generations to come.
In recent years, however, due mostly to overhunting and poor habitat conditions, moose and caribou are few and far between. Geese and other wild game have been steadily dwindling in numbers, as well. This year the king salmon run has been barely harvestable, due to restrictions imposed by the Federal Subsistence Board, since the run last year was the smallest ever on record and this year’s is expected to be just as bad, if not worse. In fact, the situation is so grim for the king salmon (also called chinook salmon, which is the largest, most flavorful, most nutritious salmon, and also a staple food of the villagers), that a total harvest of up to only 1,000 King Salmon will be allowed this year, and that harvest must be divided between a total of 32 villages, up and down the Kuskokwim River.
Elder Yupic Woman Drying Salmon
This in particular is a big deal, and a heavy blow to many people surviving off the fish in the river. King salmon are what they have been relying on for food every winter for as long as they can remember. Tensions were running high within the last few weeks as restrictions prevented basic subsistence fishermen from filling their nets with king salmon, like they normally would have been doing by this time of year. When restrictions were finally lifted there were so many fishermen eager to catch the prized salmon that boats clogged the river like a log jam, a situation which has never even been seen before. Tensions eased a bit as the smaller and less nutritious chum and sockeye salmon were still available for harvest, but the kings in particular were nowhere near as plentiful as many years passed.
Whether or not this is being caused by man or just a natural cycle is not 100% clear, although climate change is suspected in actually causing a drop in the temperature of the Bering Sea in recent years, which provides a less favorable condition for the kings to breed and inhabit.
Doug Molyneaux– a retired ADF&G Kuskokwim Area Research Biologist says:
“The Kuskokwim (and Yukon) are not due to overfishing, but fishing could protract or worsen the decline if public harvest expectations and practices do not change. There is debate as to the specific root cause or causes of the recent declines, but most accepted is climatic changes in the Bering Sea that are just not favorable for survival of kings salmon.”
However, the situation is made exponentially worse with recent, unusual increases in rain, bringing about warmer temperatures, sooner-than-normal ice-thaw, and disastrous flooding to some more unfortunate towns, one of the most recent being Galena, Alaska, located to the north along the neighboring Yukon River. Another little known fact is that Alaska’s climate is warming nearly TWICE as fast as the rest of the United States. This on its own should be enough for at least some kind of concern.
In addition to this, because the region is so remote and difficult to access, the diesel fuel residents use to heat homes and power generators now costs $12 a gallon after shipping. Ground beef tops $7 per pound or more. Bringing in food via barges and aircraft is expensive as well, and most of what is actually able to make it there is either packaged, processed, and practically devoid of nutrients, or old and on the verge of going bad. To make matters even more complicated, the indigenous Yupic population is not trained or experienced in agriculture in the slightest, nor is it part of their heritage, so without outside help and intervention, the people of Chuathbaluk are on the verge of becoming almost completely dependent on having nearly all of their food shipped in, at a cost they can’t afford, and without the resources to pay for it. Combine this with the fact that people keep leaving to go to other areas to find work, and now you have a town that might not even exist just 20 or 30 years from now.
Mike Williams, chief of Yupiit Nation, a group of 19 tribes, says:
“Living out here, the highest cost of living in the nation and poorest people in the nation, we depend on surviving on the fish,”
Indeed, storm clouds are on the horizon, and not just for the residents of Chuathbaluk, but for dozens of communities just like them, that survived off the local land and animals long before Christopher Columbus even set foot on what is now called The United States of America. Something must be done to preserve these communities and their heritage, and it must be done now, or these communities may not even be here for our children and our children’s children to see and experience.
Enter: The Blueberry Renaissance
Fortunately for the residents of Chuathbaluk, not all is lost. You see, one thing that the residents have going for them, is something that is naturally provided by the surrounding area, and that is blueberries. Chuathbaluk actually means “hills where the big blueberries grow.” And also fortunately for them, blueberries are a high commodity product and are consistently in high demand, and this can be taken advantage of and work well for the local village economy.
While the current blueberries that are found growing wild near the village are not enough to harvest and export, plans are being developed that will center the focus of the local economy around the production of blueberries. Not only that, but the community has formed a partnership that has drafted a vision statement providing high-level concepts as part of a master plan that will achieve on-site abundance of food and energy while also focusing on livability principles and the emotional and spiritual needs of those in the community, as well.
Robert Shields, Executive Director for the Alliance for Reason and Knowledge, says:
“The path we’re taking is one that focuses on the reality that truly prosperous and profitable communities are not built around lots of different things that have nothing to do with each other. In order to achieve the result of resilient and sustainable cities, communities, and even homes, you have to focus on all the systems working together.
Like growing a plant, if you want to have good fruit then you have to take everything into account. The soil, the water, the sunlight, the weather, and more. Communities are the same way. The needs and wants of the people within the community have to be taken into account, and all the different sectors are built to work together in synergy, such as waste, energy, food, commerce, and education, to create the vision the community wants. This is the approach we are taking in redeveloping this community.
They won’t ever need a strip mall, because that’s not what they want, and we’re not going to build it that way. Instead of just bringing in outside business and attempting to create random jobs that may or may not save the economy, we’re creating local, sustainable businesses, complete with spending plans for the community as a whole, while focusing on what they want and creating a resilient and adaptable living situation for the people involved at the same time. This is a whole new direction for communities.”
Robert Shields, Executive Director – A.R.K.
8 Critical Elements to Building a Resilient Community
Community is the first and most critical thing to be addressed, as decisions made in the community planning aspects drive most of the other decisions made in the other areas. This addresses important issues such as how people will treat and relate to each other, to their neighbors, their coworkers, other communities, and also includes things like resource preservation and environmental conservation. This gets to the core of what makes life enjoyable, and asks people what exactly they want. Do you want to focus on being an eco-tourism hub? Manufacturing facility? Technology development? Agriculture? Heritage village? Each one of these focuses requires different establishments and systems that can often be combined into the same building structures to save costs and materials. For instance, a community’s administrative offices, school, health clinic, and emergency services could all be located in a single building.
This also addresses the population issue. Chuathbaluk currently has 150 people but they have expressed interested in possibly expanding to 500. These are two vastly different numbers which effect everything else. Quantities of resources needed and the size and scope of different systems need to be established to ensure long-term sustainability, with consideration for expansion taken into account.
Once you know how many people are in community, it’s time to address the nutritional needs for those individuals. Since a high level of health comes from not only what you are eating but also having an understanding of nutrition, this covers nutritional education and production of foods.
One of the main issues in rural communities such as Chuathbaluk, is that food production and agriculture is quite a revolutionary concept. These communities are still somewhat nomadic, and their current food relies upon moose, salmon, and other wild game. Taking the step toward agriculture is a significant adaptation in and of itself for these people. And even though there is no shortage of land, a short growing season and hostile climate require utilizing technologies like vertical farming and greenhouses to be able to provide a stable year-round food supply.
3. Economic Development
Economic development is the heart and key for survival beyond food and shelter. A solid economic foundation is built upon the fact that people don’t want handouts. They want opportunities to meet their needs in a fulfilling manner and to be able to contribute to others in the community.
Going into these communities and setting up McDonalds isn’t going to help anybody. The main opportunities in Alaska are science and information technology, agriculture, and geo/eco-tourism. Because of the open space available, there is significant opportunity for testing rocket-propelled devices and other aerospace technologies. Also, the fact that people can now run huge multinational business from home with nothing more than good internet connection has opened doors for new business owners that can work from practically anywhere in the world. Exploring these opportunities is critical to producing an educated and informed populace. In the case of Chuathbaluk, the most likely means to supporting the local economy will be through the commercial production of blueberries and geotourism.
In the case of Alaska, implementing an effective, efficient means of transportation is one of the largest obstacles currently faced, and this is for multiple reasons. With wild game supplies in steady decline, people have to go further and further to find food. Another big issue is if you want to pay a dollar for something, it will cost you two dollars to get it there. Alaska has a great need to develop more cost effective transportation systems, and there are many, many things that a fast, efficient transportation system can be positively impacted by. A fast, effective, transportation system can bring in tourism, goods, services, and more. But with this in mind, there will also be a resolution to grow and manufacture more products locally, and subsequently have to haul in less. The most efficient means of transportation that are currently being investigated to integrate into Alaska’s economy are ET3 (Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies) and dirigibles (blimps & zeppelins).
If you want a community to grow and evolve, you must prepare fertile minds within that community and plant the seeds for growth. The more opportunities a community has, the more adaptable and resilient they will be, and the more they will be able to thrive. Also, just as important as technical and book knowledge is how to be a constructive, critical thinker. Educated people see beyond their own needs and are able to view larger perspectives and the implications of their actions, and as a result tend to be more responsible with their liberties. These are all necessities in order to facilitate an enlightened planetary civilization.
Core focuses will also include not only science and technology, but also engagement and getting people involved. It’s not enough to just read about how plants grow. People need to see it, experience it, and take part in the process. Another core focus will also be on running business, especially with younger individuals, with the goals of getting them into administrative policy work at a relatively early age, and teaching them skills that will enable them to run effective businesses for the rest of their lives. The goal is to inspire lifelong learners and critical thinkers that will become leaders in the community.
Society in general has huge disconnect from the natural world in that we try to perpetuate endless consumption without regard to how or where the resources are coming from. A linear consumption system cannot be maintained in a circular environment, which is what we all live in. We need to recognize that waste items also have value, and in many cases can be used just as effectively, if not even more effectively, than new resources. For instance, it’s possible to use waste plastic as a both a job creator and as an energy source. With a fractal distillation unit, heating up plastic gradually releases each type of chemical in a vapor form, one after another, which can then be harnessed and utilized. This method can take plastic trash and turn it into anything from motor oil to jet fuel. Waste plastic can also be used to create filament for 3d printers, or even make tourist souvenirs. The possibilities when it comes to waste recycling are truly endless.
Housing is one of last aspects to be considered, right before energy. This asks the main questions of basically what kind of structures people want to live in. Separate apartments? Communal type living in a large building with common areas? Individual houses with yards? This also looks at local styles while incorporating with modern efficiency standards (e.g., low-emissivity, triple pane windows being installed in a log cabin). This also extends to schools, government, recreational buildings, and businesses, among others.
Energy is one of the most critical components in modern society, but also one of the last things you deal with, because what you decide in every other category is going to affect the amount of energy you need. Redundancy and diversity are key components to establishing efficient energy production systems, as the more systems you have in place, the more backups you have in the event one system goes down. An inventory of possible methods of energy production must be taken, with consideration for environmental impact, as well.
Currently, the methods of energy production being explored for the community of Chuathbaluk are wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, and micro-hydro, such as stream-side turbines in the neighboring streams and rivers. This also includes the possibility of using hydrogen fuel cells or hydrolysis to store excess energy for winter months. For many the cost of these systems has been preventive, however, in the case of a full community backed by investors, they will have the leverage to buy these products in bulk and save a significant amount of money, while providing electricity for the entire community.
Current and Future Progress
A giant step and historic milestone, for both the city of Chuathbaluk and the state of Alaska, was achieved on June 20th, which was the adoption of a resolution to develop a master plan and build a truly sustainable community. The coordination and leveraging of federal policies and investments is also underway to procure funding and resources necessary to move forward with the development of the master plan.
Regarding sources of funding, Shields says:
“While we intend to work with local, state, and federal agencies on the exploration of options and development of the plan, the capital funding is expected to come from market driven investors. While all this may sound new and innovative only the location is. The idea of community ownership and community financing are leveraging the resources of small communities like Chuathbaluk in order to take successful business models and adapt them to serve Alaskan needs. These plans are being developed to be financially attractive to for-profit investors in the current economic system, even as we build a system that moves away from the current economic climate. This is the path that bridges the two worlds together.”
Robert and the Alliance of Reason and Knowledge are also currently in talks with another neighboring community to go down the same path. In the long run, he hopes to develop the city of Chuathbaluk into a model that can be followed for community development the world over. There are even overtures being made to encourage the city of Fairbanks, where Robert currently resides, to follow suit and join the Blueberry Renaissance.
With the advent of this type of community development, there is also the fact that new jobs will be created in the process, sprouting from developing communities searching for skilled individuals to install, operate, and educate others about these systems, including agriculture, energy, green housing, and more. Those seeking meaningful employment in the environmental fields will find an abundance of new openings in the remote parts of Alaska, and the state has the very realistic potential to become a mecca and model for a new breed of sustainable economy.
Many families, even some that I know personally, would love to take their children out of the chaos of modern society and be part of a peaceful, green revolution, especially as the towns and villages that are currently experiencing vast hardships are transformed into thriving, sustainable eco-communities. Opportunity abounds in situations like these for those that are interested in creating a more sustainable, prosperous world. And the prospect of being part of the change that you want to see in the world, well… there’s not much of a substitute for that.
Once the Blueberry Renaissance is in full motion it could spark a new era for Alaska’s economy and there could be a wave of people that will want to immerse themselves in this bold, new frontier and mindset, to take part, experience it, and help it grow. I see plenty of people relocating to Alaska and helping with this effort in the not-too-distant future, and a budding, new economy, and subsequent way of life, emerging, the likes of which we may have never seen before. And you never know… I just might be one of those people that joins the Blueberry Renaissance, myself. Maybe I’ll see you there…
Peace, light, love, and prosperity for Chuathbaluk. We’ll keep you updated.
For those that wish to participate or help with the Blueberry Renaissance in any way, shape, or form, please contact Robert Shields with the Alliance Of Reason And Knowledge (A.R.K.)