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11/30/2010

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Morocco Bama

*****The worries about things falling apart stem from the sense that we haven't really fixed anything******

See, therein lays the rub for me. I don't want to fix this Beast. I don't think it needs mending. I think it is functioning exactly as intended and is achieving its intended purpose and conclusion.

The only way out is to starve the Beast. We have to develop a robust informal economy and sidestep the Beast. Easier said than done, I know, but it's our only chance. Just ask Teodor Shanin:

http://www.mail-archive.com/futurework@scribe.uwaterloo.ca/msg04564.html

"Researchers began to notice that there was no economic
explanation for how the majority of the population survived. They
didn't own land. They didn't seem to have any assets. According to
conventional economics they should have died of hunger long ago,
but they survived. To understand this, researchers looked at how
these people actually lived, rather than at economic models."

"[The peasant's] way of life was completely the opposite of how a
human being in an industrial society survives. They didn't have a
job, pension, steady place to work or regular flow of income...
Their aim was survival rather than the maximisation of profit."

"[In the former S.U.] there are no signs of mass hunger and the
services by and large have not collapsed. Considering the chaos of
the formal economy, this is remarkable. Teachers still go to teach
and scientists go to their laboratories even though they may not
have been paid for six months. Under normal economic rules, there
is no explanation for this. Why would they go? The answer is that
their 'jobs' help maintain social and family networks that allow
them to survive outside the collapsed formal economy. They might
grow vegetables in the institute gardens, use laboratory equipment
or run their own small businesses, run taxi services with company
cars or just trade in skills and goods among their fellow workers.
Sociologists can understand this, economists cannot."

"We find in the former Soviet economies that while officials are
trying to privatise the economy, most people are living in the
informal economy that is neither communist nor capitalist... [T]he
peasants survived not through socialism, but through the informal
economy."

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