The FRACTAL ECONOMY CO-OPERATIVE LTD, or FEC, is a startup cooperative and communal venture which intends to displace the current dysfunctional and unsustainable economy with one which is fair and sustainable, vibrant and productive, participatory and inclusive. We shall refer to such an economy as simply the NEW ECONOMY, although this term may have a very different meaning to when others use the same term..
As our name suggests, we practice a ‘FRACTAL‘ economy – an economy which, though run at the grassroots level, contains all the key features required of the national new economy. In a FRACTAL, the part exhibits exactly the same features as the whole. We take what we believe are the systemic changes required in our economy which people usually believe to be the reserve of national governments, and rather than try to get them implemented by pressuring political parties to support them, we just do it. Therefore, our prescriptions and practices are not only workable at the grassroots level; they are, without any major changes, workable at the national and international level. Our prescriptions include: a heightened form of participation and inclusion of members (Core practice 1 – direct democracy); a new taxation system (Core Practice 2 – a transaction tax); and a radical new kind of banking we call commons banking which has never been practised by governments or credit unions, mutual banks and the like (Core Practice 4). Our practices will work synergistically, which is to say, that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
We at FEC believe that the new economy can be achieved through a grassroots project. As the above quote from Buckminster Fuller says, we will not attempt to fight the existing reality but will instead build a new model which makes the current model obsolete. We do not believe that only governments have the power to achieve such an economy. We believe in fact that powerful vested economic interests will not allow governments to do this; and that our ‘FRACTAL ECONOMY’ can outperform the capitalist economy in open competition and without government support – even in spite of the fact that the rules have been established by capitalist elements over a long period of time.
For a simple explanation for what the FEC does today, please read our Hands On Guide to the Fractal Economy Cooperative. To get an idea what our vision for the future entails, please read Our Six Core Practices below.
When the wealthy elite make more money than they need to survive, their surpluses are usually plowed into unearned income producing assets such as interest on loans, corporate profits, rent, and the exploitation of natural resources.
Starving the real, productive economy of useful capital in this way leads to unemployment, poverty and homelessness, loss of political participation, inequality, debt, and environmental catastrophes. Read More
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
- R. Buckminster Fuller -
In the Fractal Economy, the assets that are the sources of unearned income for the wealthy elites are retained in community or commons ownership. The commons retains the monopoly right to banking. The commons retains ownership of land, and leases it to private parties. Through its banking system, the commons fosters and supports profit sharing cooperatives as the corporate form to displace share ownership. This will give three enormous sources of commons revenue – interest on loans, land rental and transaction tax revenue. Read More
Our 6 Core Practices
Please note that although there are six core practices, the FEC is currently only using the first three. Core practices 4-6 can only start when we have a banking license in the future. Practices 1-3 constitute our current goals. Practices 4-6 constitute part of our vision of the future.
On the page 6 Core Practices we explain the radical practices that will set the FEC apart from any previous attempts to tackle capitalism. A short summary of these practices is as follows:
- Direct democracy allows members to participate directly in making rules and policies. Members’ participation and inclusion in policy making is very important to us.
- A transaction tax – a tax on sales of goods and services between members – will generate a lot of co-operative revenue. This transaction tax should be the national tax. This revenue will be critical for carrying out the other Core Practices described below.
- Gift money to support not-for-profits. Our tax revenue, along with future loan repayment interest and land rental revenue, will be given away to support any number of not-for-profits. Amongst other things, through this action we strive to strengthen a sense of community in our society (as against the ‘hyper-individualism’ of capitalism) and also to fund things which cannot be done via ‘the market’ (such as environmental regeneration).
- A commons bank will be unlike any kind of public or community banking practised before. Backed by the revenue from the transaction tax, this bank does not have to turn a profit (from interest payments) on its loans – not singly nor in the aggregate. Thus we could, for instance, make zero-interest and no-collateral-required loans. We will also take externalised cost* into consideration in our loans.
- Co-operative workplaces will get a huge amount of support though the commons bank with its no-collateral-required loans. Only with the support of a commons bank can cooperatives gain traction against, and eventually displace, the share owned corporations.
- Land purchased to become commons property in perpetuity. The future revenue of the co-operative, plus loans from the commons bank, will enable us to buy land offered on the market. The land will be commons owned in perpetuity.