Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Practical support for microenterprise

I've been featuring the 500 Friends of Reading Frenzy! Kickstarter project in the sidebar here since it was launched. It's now in its last week for funding, and 75% on its way to a goal of $5000. Reading Frenzy is a remarkable operation: a tiny shop which has been able to smooth the road for a lot of tiny projects, in an economic environment that tends to squeeze out human-scaled, low-overhead enterprises. There's something fundamentally upside-down about a system that selects against lean operations and personal commitment. We should fight the tendency, particularly since the resources required to launch and sustain these sorts of enterprises are minute in comparison with the average business these days.

If 1000 anarchists and libertarians, who cared about moving towards the next economy (or at least building means to lift folks out of the current one), were to pledge five bucks a week to funding individual projects by people equally committed to moving forward, we could do a kickstart of this sort every week, or we could do several at some more modest level. It would take less than $1000 to convert Corvus Editions to soy toner, purchase most of the binding tools I can anticipate needing, and lay in a good stock of materials. Launching an a micro-publishing operation on my current model could probably be done, from the ground up, for considerably less than that. $1000 could supply a good supply of professionally printed and bound copies of The Constitution of No Authority, in an edition that would let the C4SS or ALLied groups actually raise some money through their sale. And so on...

Laissez faire has its place, but social and economic change doesn't come without a lot of active making and building. We need more Faisons! (Let's make! Let's do!)

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