Confessions of a Recovering Capitalist

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As I continue to learn more about gardening and realize, with each step, that I’m producing a “product” with value, the thought that I should market and sell this product continues to pop into my head. I find myself always looking for ways to make a profit off of all of the the various aspects of gardening: seeds, worms, information, etc.

When I started this blog, I dreamed of giving away everything I learned and any excess I produced to help out with some social issues I’ve observed in the world around me. Now, I’m arguing with myself at every step about whether or not to give away anything for free. I keep thinking that I could get more money and get closer to living a life of financial independence by selling ideas, worms, and seeds from my indoor vegetable garden successes.

The part of me that was raised poor in a capitalist society thinks the socialist part of me that wanted to give away the information is stupid. I’ve taken economics, accounting, and small business courses. I’m also realizing that other people are profiting off of this kind of information. However, the socialist part of me realizes that there are other individuals, like the ones with the seed swap and who are producing how-to videos on every topic for free, who are apparently overcame their capitalist nature and seem to be more peaceful and happy because they did.

I’ve decided to reach a compromise: I will give away the information for free. The hard goods, like soil, castings, and seeds bred for adjustment in an indoor environment, will be sold for the most part. However, I will put aside 10% of everything to give away to those who need, are serious, but can’t afford the goods. I will ask that these people give away their excess as well. I’m looking into contracts for these free exchanges to ensure that anything I give away will also be passed on for free. I do not want what I give away to end up in the hands of someone who would then turn around and only sell their excess, thereby undoing what I’m trying to do and also swindling me.

To summarize: if someone obtains products from me for free, I want to be able to require them to only give away what they produce in excess. This is because they did not start with a capital investment: they started with a socialist donation and therefore, have an obligation NOT to partake in a capitalist system of exchange, but a socialist one. If they obtain goods from me in a capitalist exchange, then it makes sense to allow them to turn around and continue to partake in the capitalist exchange. In this way, I can meet my capitalist and philanthropist inspirations.

Update: This has been plaguing my thoughts all day: I am always thinking about buying things, about moving up, dreaming of what I want. Every now and then something goes wrong in life and I melt down and admit that I have been the happiest when I was scooping horse poo working at a barn in my teens or playing in the woods and gardening as a kid. But my thought process wants to *win* this capitalist game!!!!! It wont STOP!  I want MORE! I want things that make no difference in my happiness (I’ve been very fortunate in that I discovered at a young age what did).

The capitalist addiction is very overwhelming, to be honest. I can be “good” for a while and then I break down and swindle my money away on shit.  I can only think of one solution (because I can’t turn this off)- I have to change rules of the game in my head slightly. I need to start keeping track of how much I give to others instead of what I get.

2nd update: Today I’m pissed off. I’m noticing a huge gap in the “organic farming” community; namely those who don’t have enough money to own land. What are those people supposed to do for themselves? I keep seeing all of this survivalist stuff all over the place- “have your own homestead” “be totally self-reliant” “Prepare for economic meltdown”. Awesome. Except that all of these plans require farm land. How the hell are all of the apartment dwellers across America supposed to prepare for this “economic meltdown”?

The “homesteading” community, which prides itself on being a community effort, seems to be comprised entirely of middle class white people. I have nothing against that, except that they don’t seem to realize how exclusive their community is to the rest of the world.

There is not enough land on earth for every family living in the modern world today to own their own family farm, much less any land at all. Of course, that’s why I made this blog. I just didn’t realize how few people participating in the organic farming community thought about apartment dwellers until today.

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