Mystic Mountain - I am absolutely fascinated by this mountain.
In the last week it has been almost impossible to look at a clock without seeing double digits. Seriously, 11:11, 14:14, 20:20, you name a double and I have seen it this week. I do have witnesses for this, Hella, Sam, Evelyn and Aumji, all had to witness at various occasions.
It eventually stopped tonight, just looked at the clock and it is 18H00, thank goodness for that, things were getting just a bit too weird and warp zone.
Samantha and Shine started a LETS (Local economic trading system) here in the Dargle area. There is a market at the Dargle Trading Store once a month, Sam normally sells some Muesli and other stuff there. People sell all kinds of produce and products, from Duck eggs to Organic seeds.This is where they started introducing the LETS system. At least this is a serious attempt to get away from a complete monitory system and it is surprising to see how many people and businesses are interested. Obviously there are no taxes paid, because no money is exchanged, this makes me happy, but sooner or later our greedy government is not going to like this, because they are not getting their share, but for the moment this whole movement is not much of a threat, let us watch it grow. There is also the CES (Community Exchange system), which is more of a national exchange system. It work on much the same, no monies is exchanged.
At the Dargle market
There is a town in Germany, I forget the name now, but in this town both systems co-exist quite nicely, you can pay or barter.
This is very much uncharted waters in South Africa. It basically works like this; you have a meal at a local Restaurant and instead of paying for the meal, I “pay” in goods, we have lots of fresh herbs and veggies and this is something any Restaurant always need. So, instead of paying in money, we pay in goods or services. This whole process also encourages local trade and it goes a bit further and deeper than just bartering; I will explain more later on.
Why am I so happy about not paying taxes? Do you know what really happens to the tax money you pay? If you are still under the impression that your taxes pays for schools and roads and feeding the poor, think again, that is not what happens to your tax money. Tax money is more regularly spend on paying back huge loans (and interest on those loans) from mostly places like the World Bank (another seriously corrupt bunch) and the corruption politicians lines their own pockets with this “load” money, but the sucker sheep keep on paying. Because there is actually a law that says they can lock you up (punish you by taking away your freedom) if you do not give them your hard earned money; how is that for law protecting people?
I also have a friend in Cape Town, his name is Aidin and he is doing a whole experiment with living without money and he has come to the same conclusion that I made a while ago, as long as there is such a thing as a monitory system, this is basically impossible. The same as being totally self sustainable, it is very hard, but this does however not mean we have to stop trying. If you can achieve a degree on self sustainability you are making a difference.
The fact remain that not everybody is open to this exchange idea and for a lot of people it simply boggles the mind, because they cannot even imagine a word without money, but then you can’t really blame them, it is all we have know for at least 2 00 years, that is what I use to think, but that is not true.
I thought about this last night and came to the realization that what we are doing here is basically what our great Grandparents where doing a mere 150 or so years ago, we do not actually have to retrace out step too far. People produced a lot of their own food and exchanged good between them. Then suddenly everybody moved to cities and were not able to supply their own food anymore and the Supermarket became the “garden” and gardens became lawns…… and we gave control of our basic needs away. You go work at some stupid meaningless job to keep our pyramidal system going nicely and we will give you money and you will give it back to us when you have to pay for your (even) basic needs like food and shelter and off goes the shopping sheep. This is insane, yet we fall for it because it is all we know.
Enough ranting and raving about taxes and other atrocities. Let me explain a bit more about how exactly an exchange system works. When you provide a service or product to a person in the exchange program that person does not always return a service or goods immediately, they might also not have what you want at the time, then you simply receive what we call Lets (credit in the system, which you can then exchange for whatever you need). As I said this is very much trial and error and the last thing you want to do is create another system that is open for abuse and hostile take-over, but criticize all you like, at least we are not just bitching and moaning, we are trying something.