There is a group of wealthy individuals and corporatist organizations exerting undue influence on our system of government, and on society in general. Because of the power and money at their disposal, they have been able to corrupt both major political parties, engaging is what is essentially a bribery scheme where politicians become dependent on campaign contributions, special favors, access, and lucrative jobs offered by corporations in a quid pro quo arrangement.
This is the root cause for many of the problems we face today, including wars-for-profit for the benefit of war profiteers, the de-funding of essential government services, an all-out assault on workers rights, the deregulation of markets, resulting in massive looting and pillaging (by Wall Street), and the degradation of the environment.
Because of the symbiotic relationship between politicians (across the entire country) and their corporatist paymasters, it is almost impossible for average citizens to influence our government when it comes to major policy initiatives.
And so, other alternatives must be considered. Yes, we have to remain involved in the political process, and do the best we can to work within the (corrupt) system, but we can also try to think outside the box, be creative, think about ways to sidestepping corporatist control over our lives.
There are many groups and organizations around the country doing just that. They are coming up with innovative ideas related to local food production and distribution, housing alternatives like co-ops and co-housing, environmental protection activism, and business and employment initiatives focused on local sustainability.
Joining that effort, I'm developing a "People's Market Initiative" based on the opensource concept.
The concept is based on the formation of a nationwide network comprised of concerned citizens, activists, artists, and small business owners who share a commitment to a sustainable future based on the belief that people can live in harmony with each other, trade in good and services in a responsible, non-predatory or exploitative manner, and safeguard the natural environment for future generations.
The objective of Market For The People is for it to be a hub (portal) dedicated to the promotion of sustainable living in every community. MFTP seeks to propagate a new ethos based not on greed or predation, but on community, justice, fairness, solidarity, sustainability, and respect for the environment.
To that end, MFTP will have sections dedicated to the promotion of locally-owned businesses, including employee-owned; housing, including co-ops and co-housing; and sustainable local food production and distribution.
One important aspect of MFTP is that it will take an active role at reaching out (advertising, marketing, public relations, counter-propaganda, education) to the general public in an effort to educate people about the importance of rejecting the ethos of greed and predation espoused by much of the corporate world, in favor of sustainable living.
How You Can Participate
Depending on your interest, there are many ways in which you can participate...
- Local MFTP Ambassador
You can reach out to individuals, businesses and organizations in your community and invite them to become members of the Market For The People Network.
If you are a freelancer, or own a small business, join the network and offer your products or services. You can add your listing to the business directory; you can also participate in forum discussions about issues related to your business interests.
If you are an environmentalist you can share important information about resources related to environmental protection. You can reach to other environmentalists and form MFTP "Groups" able to coordinate strategy, both locally, and nationally.
Share your passion about sustainable housing initiatives, including co-ops and co-housing.
- Food Production
Share information about your local farmers market, or urban farming trends, local food production and distribution, organic foods, etc.
Share Your Ideas
Again, following the opensource concept, go ahead and share your ideas about how you would use the website. Do you have ideas about what the mission and vision statements should be?
If you are interested in offering your products or services, what kinds of features would you like to see (other than the directory)? Should we add a barter directory as well?
Can we form groups (of activists) in different cities and come up with ideas to promote local sustainability initiatives, and then share what we learn, what works, with other groups within MFTP?
I just started working on adding content to the website. I'll be reaching out to small businesses (especially employee-owned) to ask them to join the network. I will also be reaching out to organizations that promote sustainability initiatives and see how we can collaborate...
Ideally, what I would like to see is for people, groups, friends, associates, to come up with their own ideas on how to utilize MFTP (in a true opensource fashion).