Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,
Guilds offer a dynamic, flexible model for relocalizing and reinvigorating local economies.
The primary reason the U.S. economy is stagnating is that it is dominated by an increasingly dysfunctional Central State and the private cartels it protects. The solutions, therefore, cannot come from State central-planning or from global corporate cartels. The solution is to develop alternative models that reinvigorate the local, community-based economy and that leverage the new tools of productivity: the Internet, freely available software tools and new technologies such as desktop fabrication.
An important result of the guild framework was the emergence of universities at Bologna, Paris, and Oxford around the year 1200; they originated as guilds of students as at Bologna, or of masters as at Paris.
Thank you, Mike, for sharing your experience in building and expanding a local guild model that can be copied in other locales. Guilds, like co-operatives, are an extremely flexible model that could be extended beyond craft guilds.