Communes sprung up where people shared and traded. Communes were generally thought to be wacky, hippy based nonsense but some worked well and have continued to do so. Now the principles are being used as a necessity.
Not everything in the past is bad. Utilising the old barter system could be good for the people involved. It means that governments can print as much money as they want and devalue currencies but you will not be affected. Bartering pre dates the creation of currencies when all is said and done.
In real terms though it is a sad and sorry situation. People living in supposed civilised countries have to revert to age old, forgotten practices, just to survive.
As the global financial crisis deepens expect more Time and Food banks to be created. They may be organised or simply vague arrangements between like-minded individuals, but revenues will be lost by governments. Ultimately though it is their fault.
The two-tier system of life, between the 1% and the rest of us, means that austere times hit those who can ill afford to be hit. Perhaps at last we are fighting back.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog