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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Location: Northwest Arkansas, United States

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dan Crawford: Sustainable communities

Take a critical look at any town or city across Canada and examine how its basic needs are met. Electricity is transported by wire hundreds of miles, natural gas is piped even longer distances, and water comes normally from only one source.

Our infrastructure is very much based on a centralized model. This is a model that cannot easily be made efficient. Not only are there huge loses through the transmission of these resources but there is also little incentive to use any resources found locally. Think about how much waste occurs in your own neighbourhood. We use potable water to shower and flush with, never once recycling any of it for the lawn, for instance. Rainwater is discarded instead of collected and used. Waste energy from industry normally in the form of heat is dissipated to the atmosphere instead of supplying heat to our homes. There are many instances locally where resources and energy are not being fully utilized.

As the centralized infrastructure model becomes more and more obsolete, municipalities are slowly changing towards a de-centralized design. This type of design makes the most efficient use of all resources and wastes allowing for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and increases in both efficiency and local control. This transforms a community into being self-sufficient and sustainable—a looming necessity given shifting reality.


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