The concept of Community Supported Manufacturing, means taking back the means of production in a socially and environmentally responsible way. It means we must return to a reliance on local production systems as the primary source of our basic goods. It means we have to resurrect the traditional production and distribution knowledge that has been eroded by our dependence and support of global corporations. It means that communities must work together to overhaul their infrastructure in order to support community based manufacturing.
CSM is an extension of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, where local production is basically extended from the farm to the workshop. These production systems will likely have multilayered ownership, where municipalities, co-operatives, family businesses and local firms mutually support each other. The primary focus of CSM is to Relocalize production and manufacturing, in order to reduce the environmental damage and the cultural erosion that has occured from our reliance on a cheap energy source, that may soon be unavailable.
As I commented at their site, my main reservations concern the role they envision for local government in owning enterprises and overhauling infrastructure. The best way to reverse economic centralization is not through new government intervention, but to eliminate the forms of current intervention that subsidize the consumption of transportation and energy, and subsidize the concentration of capital. That means running highways and airports entirely on a user-fee basis; eliminating the corporate depreciation allowance, R&D credit, and interest deduction in a revenue-neutral way; and radically scaling back or eliminating the patent system. Locally, it means an end to cutting special deals with big business, like expanding utility and road infrastructure at subsidized rates in return for their locating facilities there.
The seeds of a decentralized local economy already exist. All that's necessary is to let them grow without interference. The main function of political engagement is to eliminate the existing structural supports of state capitalism, so that the alternative economy itself can get to work digging the grave of the old system.