This isn't, of course, the way that it happened.
It wasn't one morning that I had the clear desire. I've been asking questions about the Handmade Economy for some time now. And I've heard Maker Friends ask them too. These are questions I've been chewing on like jerky for a few years now.
As a Handmade Maker, how do I increase my buying power?
[Current available answer from inside the structure of our economy: "You make a lot of stuff that you can sell at a high price, then get lots of cash for it, then take that cash to another maker and buy something 'expensive' with the cash you've landed."]
What would happen if we didn't have to include cash at our party?
Don't you just mean barter?
No. Take it back. I mean something different--very similar . . so similar that if you were at the grocery store and Barter was in the vegetable aisle and you were in canned goods you might look over and say to the toddler who was sitting in your cart, "Look Honey--that's Barter over there!"
But you would be mistaken. It would be Swap. not Barter.
I have yet to prove how these things are different, so I will have to check back in with you at a later time. Suffice it to say that I am not suggesting we Barter. There is something entirely too connected to some Revised Version of the Cash Economy that hangs around the edges of the idea of Barter.
[Insert assertiin of how we all feel here, even though you have no idea how we all feel--unless of course, you believe that we all feel like you do.]
Plus we all think of it as lame and unrealistic and we don't know how to try to find people to fix our air conditioner who will want to receive 32 jars of backyard-culled real live Bee Honey in exchange for his/her fixit services. And then if we go to a place hwhere they are listed, we think, "What kind of AIR CONDITIONING REPAIRMAN is going to be want to get HONEY for their work . . . They Must Not Be A Very Good Air Conditioning Repairman." And we decidedly slam someone who may, in fact, think like we do about not wanting cash to stand in the way of our needs.
That's as much as I'll say about that right now.
But believe me, I'm not talking about Bartering.
I'm talking about Swapping. Lots of Swapping. More Swapping. Friendlier Swapping. Easier Swapping Riskier Swapping. More Honest Swapping. The Sort of Swapping Where The People Swapping Both Feel Like They Got More Than They Deserved For What They Offered.
That Sort of Swapping.