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Becoming a non-capitalist business

Becoming a non-capitalist business

In which I get radical and make some announcements…

Ever since I started the business that is “the Verdant Mystic”, I’ve struggled with conventional business models and practices. There seemed to be a lot of shoulds and oughts and expectations that didn’t sit well with me. I don’t mean book-keeping and paying tax – I’m fine with those! (Really!) I mean things like how to market, what kind of processes and systems to have, how to interact with customers clients people….

This wasn’t really a surprise to me: what the queer, pagan, cat-loving, non-binary spirit worker isn’t conventional?! Yeah. Fancy that?! 😜

I want to share my gifts will all those who need and want them, not just those who can afford them. After too many years working as a good little productive unit (GLPU), I’m ready to buck the system where I can… So, non-capitalism.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how this is going to work – or even if it will work! But if you’re interested in my possibly-bonkers economic experiment, I’d love to share this journey with you!

What’s this non-capitalism thing?

Let’s start with capitalism.

Capitalism is the economic ideology that is at the heart of our Western society. Essentially, capitalism is about building ‘capital’ (money & resources) for the folks at the top. The rest of us are expected to be good little productive units (GLPUs) and churn out lots of widgets, so that we can earn some money to buy other widgets, and make even more capital for the people at the top.

Non-capitalism is about stepping out of this system that leaves most GLPUs underpaid, undervalued, and over-widgeted. There are lots of different ways of doing this: collectives and co-operatives are two well-known versions of non-capitalism.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to step entirely outside capitalism unless you go off-grid and entirely self-sufficient. Which is not my plan – I do like my citified comforts! I like the ease of electricity and laptops and the internet. I like being able to connect so easily with you wherever you are.

So, my non-capitalism is going to be more about subversion.

What I’m thinking & planning

Capitalism is based on exchanging money for widgets and services…

So, is it possible to separate out the production and the money?

At the moment, this business is set up so that if you want something I offer, you give me a set amount of money for it. I choose how much money it costs. You choose whether or not it is worth that much to you, and thus whether or not you will buy it.

To subvert this, I am looking at three things:

  • Patronage via Patreon

I have set up a Patreon account. If you choose, you can become my patron by sponsoring me an amount each month. You’ll receive rewards for doing so. I have rewards set up from $1 to $15 (I’m open to suggestions for more tiers and rewards). You choose how much you want to pledge to me each month.

If you would prefer to offer your patronage without going through Patreon, please get in touch. I am sure we can work out an alternative arrangement.

  • Angel donations

This is when you like what I do so much that you make a donation so someone else can receive the service. I don’t have this formally set up yet, but if you are keen to be an angel, please contact me.

  • Pay what you can/want

This is what it says: instead of a fixed price for a service, you pay what you choose: what suits your budget, what the service is worth to you.

I’ll be setting this up in my shop once I can afford the plug-in… In the meantime, you are welcome to contact me to place your order, and I will send you my PayPal details for you to pay what you will.

This does feel like a leap of faith – but I trust you to not rip me off 😘

This is all definitely an experiment and an exploration. Some things may work. Some things may not. I expect this to evolve and change over the coming weeks and moths and years. This is the start, not the end!

What this isn’t about

This isn’t about doing cash jobs and avoiding tax. I will continue to keep accurate accounts and file my returns. I regard tax as an essential part of living in a civilised society, and I am quite happy to pay my share (I like having free/cheap education & health care, decent roads & all the rest).

Here goes!

Please join me on this adventure!

Smashing the system is much more fun with friends 😉 Let’s see what we can do together!

I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback, and I am very keen to connect with others interested in this kind of thing. Please get in touch!