chapter  4
18 Pages

Firms, farms and factories

In Part I we have explored the theory of bioregionalism and considered how we might apply that particular Weltanschauung to the economy and to economics. In this chapter and the one that follows we move on to more bread-and-butter concerns: how will we produce and distribute the goods and services that we need and expect; how will a bioregional economy provide? I look at these questions from two differing perspectives: those of the old and new paradigms of economic life. In this chapter I consider the question from within the mental framework of the existing economy. I thus discuss issues of production and the ‘factors’ that are required to enable that production. This includes a discussion of the nature of organisation of the firms within which that production takes place. I then move to an initial brief consideration of exchange – that is, exchange within the bioregion. (Consideration of exchange on a grander scale must await Chapter 9, which includes a critical discussion of trade as currently undertaken – and theorised.) Although the nuts and bolts of the bioregional economy are discussed in this chapter it cannot really come to life until we shift our attention away from the central concerns of capitalism – exchange, profit, and capital accumulation – towards the central concerns of a human-focused and sustainable economy. Hence in Chapter 5 I address the same questions from the perspective of a provisioning economy.