Saturday, May 2, 2009

Give

I believe in sharing, in giving to others without requiring them to give back. People have given me so much in my life, and I am very grateful for everything I have received. I have a lot to deal with, as I'm sure you do too, and so I doubt you want to give anything at all to me. It's ok, you can if you want, I have a Donate button!








If you don't want to give anything at all, not even one dollar, fine, I won't push it. But I do have a number of issues I am having great difficulty dealing with, so I would be very happy to get any help at all. I am very glad I received an economic stimulus thingy, but the state wants half of that for taxes. :( The rest is going to have to go to bills. Which doesn't take care of much of my bills, believe me. I don't know what to do, and I'm only working 20 hours a week (officially), I'm taking home a very small paycheck. It's better than nothing, but still, absolutely not nearly enough.

I am a Gift Economist, I believe giving does more than just move money around, or redistribute resources, it brings people together and forges relationships. A gift economy can cause love and kindness to thrive and spread. But pure capitalism, in my humble opinion, fosters anger, distrust, selfishness, and can cause a lot of harm and poverty. Communism and Socialism are not the same thing as a gift economy, those are centralized systems that can quickly become horribly damaging repressive regimes.

A gift economy, or, as an economist guy I talked to calls it, a social capitalism, is not centralized, and depends largely on personal relationships, but does not necessarily require that. In any system, no matter what, there will be bad people doing bad things, and in a gift economy there will be takers who refuse to give for selfish reasons. But those people are dealt with, not with prison and other severe punishments, but with social separation, they generally will not have friends, will quickly lose friends, and therefore will quickly run out of resources. Theft, the taking of things that have NOT been given freely can still be punished more harshly, like with prison, but in a gift economy it seems to me theft would be very unlikely. There are people who will freely give to perfect strangers, just because giving feels good. There doesn't seem to be much reason at all for muggings or carjackings, in such a system.

I admit that a gift economy wouldn't scale up very well, too many people, too many strangers, not enough relationships forming in order to make the system work really well, but fortunately there is no need for any kind of violent revolution in order to get a gift economy up and running. All you need is liberty. The freedom to choose to give to someone, and the freedom not to give to someone, for whatever reasons you might have. As long as liberty lives and thrives, capitalism's damaging effects can be mitigated by giving. As long as people are giving, even if it's just a small thing that doesn't really matter to them, love and peace can thrive.

I believe in love, and I want peace for everyone.

.shorah b'shehmtee

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