CLIME: Community Owned Corporations
Since outlining the CLIME system in A Radically Beneficial World, I've struggled to find a way to describe its community economy and labor-backed cryptocurrency in terms that most people can grasp.
The first response of many is to dismiss CLIME as too idealistic to function in the real world.
What's interesting is that nobody says corporations are too idealistic to function in the real world, yet CLIME is a system of community owned and run corporations. The only difference between the two is the purpose and ownership.
Let's break down why corporations function so effectively.
They're voluntary. Nobody's forced to start / incorporate an enterprise. Nobody's forced to become an employee, supplier or customer. Everyone chooses to participate to further their own interests.
Corporations have a defined structure but are free to pursue just about any project. This structure institutionalizes a hierarchy of accountability and oversight.
Corporations have a single goal: maximize profits by any means available. This goal provides the purpose and organizing principle for everyone in the corporation.
CLIME groups have the exact same fundamental characteristics. They are voluntary, institutionalize a structure of accountability and oversight, and have an organizing principle: address the needs and scarcities of the community.
The only difference is corporations are owned by individuals, many of whom are investors, while CLIME groups are owned by the participants (members) in the community. There is no "ownership" that can be sold or transferred to outside investors. Other than this difference in ownership, a CLIME group is the equivalent of a conventional corporation.
The other difference is CLIME solves the problem inherent with profit-maximizing corporations. When corporations become monopolies, i.e. they gain control of supply and markets and use this control to increase profits at the expense of employees, suppliers and customers, they become exploitive. As we've seen, the most reliable way to become highly profitable is to establish a monopoly or shared monopoly (cartel).
This is a fundamental difference between the corporate dominated marketplace and the CLIME marketplace: the CLIME marketplace is protected from exploitation by monopolies. There is no way for an elite or corporation to gain control of CLIME’s currency, its marketplace or groups.
CLIME's community corporations institutionalize free enterprise, meaning participants, the
community corporations and customers all have choices on how best to get ahead.
Humanity desperately needs a fairer, more sustainable way of organizing human activity and my hope
is this book is a small step toward that goal.
Copyright 2020 Charles Hugh Smith all rights reserved in all media. No reproduction in any media in any format without written permission of the author.