File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 304

Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 19:14:29 -0800
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Gift Economy

As an aside to this conversation, the Dutch at one time provided a  
living stipend and housing for artists, in exchange for a percentage  
of their annual production. The end result is that the Dutch  
government became caretaker to an enormous amount of warehoused  
artwork which it could not afford to store, maintain or exhibit. Nor  
could it legally or ethically destroy the work. It had no mechanisms  
for determining relative worth or cultural significance. There is  
little doubt that a high percentage of the work was worthless crap  
made by slackers that became artists to avoid the necessity of gainful  
employment. Anyone who's ever been to art school knows the drill; the  
creative life adopted as a strategy for extending dependence on one's  
parents. The Dutch experiment eventually collapsed of its own  
ponderosity, leaving the Dutch government with warehouses full of  
meaningless shit that they don't know what to do with.

-Bill Elston

On Nov 18, 2008, at 6:34 PM, Mathieu René wrote:

> This whole talk is fascinating!
> For another alternative economic syste, which might actually work,  
> given
> enough motivated people and enough isolation (no government  
> interference)
> for enough time: the Ghand way.
> It was introduced in a short story by Eric Frank Russel,
> titled: And Then There Were None.
> Here's a link to the full short-story:
> Their economy is based on barter, and their mentality is based on
> self-expression, self-administration, and peaceful resistance, to  
> the max.
> They use the "only weapon in existence which cannot be turned  
> against its
> user." (I may be paraphrasing).
> Do not be discouraged by the science-fiction genre it is part of, if  
> you
> think you don't like that sort of thing. It is foremost a study of  
> human
> society (or societies), in a foreign environment which distances us  
> enough
> to be a bit more observant. Which I think most good science fiction  
> is, no
> matter how many aliens or robots we encounter.
> That story fueled a hidden rebel in me, and ever since I read it  
> (twice in a
> row, so strongly I felt about it), I get to be an original and  
> choose my own
> ways, when others might go the robot way.
> F-IW!
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