Friday, February 1, 2013

What is "A Sustainable Transition"?

A Sustainable Transition (this blog) is the story of one family (my family) and their journey out of the cash economy or wage slavery and into a life of direct work.

Wage slavery is not all that far off from chattel slavery.  In chattel slavery an individual has no rights and no freedom of movement.  All of the worker's activities are meant to enrich the owner.

In wage slavery some rights and freedom of movement are afforded the worker and all of the working hours are still meant to enrich the owner of the means of production.  The worker receives a wage which represents a fraction of the value of the work accomplished.  This wage is then paid out to bill collectors, creditors, and others who supply the life needs of the worker.

When the worker earns more of a wage than necessary to fulfill the basic needs of life, the excess may either be spent on frivolous desires or saved against the possibility of a disability that prevents the earning of the wage.  The ultimate goal of many workers is to save enough excess wages to start a business of their own in which they will employ other wage slaves who will in turn work to enrich them.

In a life of direct work the worker plants, makes, builds and repairs all that is necessary to supply the basic needs of life.  The proponents of the cash economy like to refer to this type of work as drudgery.  But, planting a seed, helping and watching it grow, and eating the food that the seed produced is hardly drudgery.

Similarly, clearing a piece of land, making a dead car run, or sewing a new dress gives a worker a sense of deep sense of satisfaction that is rarely found in the world of wage slavery.  And, sharing work with family, friends and neighbors provides the workers with a community that can weather difficult times.

This life, the life of direct work, is what we are working toward as a family.  We understand that as long as the cash economy exists we have little choice but to take part in it on some level.  After all, there are taxes to be paid to avoid losing our land and there are still things we feel a need for that our immediate community does not currently provide.  But, through organic and permaculture principles, and by using alternative technologies we will continue to provide for ourselves to the greatest extent possible.

I hope you will join us in our journey even if only as a spectator and commentator.  As a matter of fact I warmly welcome all comments and advice.

This, I think, speaks for itself: if you are dependent on people who you do not know you, who control the value of your necessities, you are not free, and you are not safe.
Wendell Berry
Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community
Pg. 128


  1. Girl, I'm SO down with that. I'll be calling you soon, I think. The Lord is moving us...

  2. This is it in a nutshell, well said. It is certainly more rewarding to just be home, to be WITH your family, to grow together, to really know each other. I learn so much from you and your family and the journey has just begun, I am blessed to live here, near you to share in it all.

    1. We're also very blessed because we are no longer alone in the work. A wonderful greater community is unfolding around us of which we are grateful to be a part!