nico (v3g4n) wrote in mutual_aid,

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investing for ourselves vs. investing for community

I'm having difficulty articulating this. I want to talk about investing for ourselves vs. investing for community.

I dream of living in a world that, among other things:
-is income-sharing
-makes decisions by consensus
-needs work done only because it is necessary for community survival or because someone wants to do it
-meets regularly with other similar communities in order to mutually support

When I think of investing, I think of time and money. I think of investing to make things better.

When I think of individualistic investing, I think of mutual funds and landlording. This investing trys to guarantee happiness and health particularly for the individual and their family by stockpiling money which can buy goods and services in the future. The wealth comes from the exploitation of others within the capitalist system.

When I think of community investing, I think of income-sharing, non-profit housing co-operatives and non-profit co-operative grocery stores. This investing trys to guarantee happiness and health for the entire community by sharing income and purchasing things in common in order to provide their own goods and services. The wealth comes not from the exploitation of others. How do I explain this? The wealth comes from the self-sustainability of the community... less reliance on structures out of your control, from intensely strengthened community bonds, from working to support your community directly...

I like thinking of the money that I obtain as not my own, but that of my community. I don't think that I deserve to have more money (and thus goods) than someone else in my community. If someone in my community was to be selfish and try to live by exploiting the labour of others, that would be a different issue. I'm not sure how communities deal with this, but I am sure there are many healthy options.

It's just that I've grown up in such an individualistic culture, where people are often scared of eachother. So I am faced with these questions: Am I really truly prepared to deal with the compromise and stress of community? Do I trust that I will be taken care of when I need care (old age, etc) or should I hoard my money to myself in order to ensure my future (at the expense of other people)?

I guess I know what my answer is. If I want to truly love and be loved, I should invest my all in community. If my dreams and ideals are community, I should invest in that. If I invest in it, I can't just walk away from it.

* This post tooks me hours to write (revision after revision), and had me crying. Any comments you have would be greatly appreciated.
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