Sunday, January 29, 2006

Production by the Masses

"I must not serve my distant neighbour at the expense of the nearest."

This is Gandhi's definition of Swadeshi (well, he had a lot of definitions for it). What I want to mention today on this regard is the concept of production by the masses, not mass production.

The British believed in centralized, industrialized, and mechanized modes of production. Gandhi turned this principle on its head and envisioned a decentralized, homegrown, hand-crafted mode of production. In his words, "Not mass production, but production by the masses."

OK, make stuff. Make it yourself and sell or trade with your neighbors. How does this work in the global village? The internet gives us access to everybody wth a computer and a network connection. Still a lot of folks out that loop, but hey, we're getting there. So if everyone is making stuff, then maybe mass marketing needs to be replaced by marketing by the masses. If each individual, small business, artisan, guild of artisans, whatever, can create a balance betweeen making and telling, which is what marketing is, a conversation, right? Then, wow, new/old reality.


Marco Raaphorst said...

Neigbour can also be translated to friend I guess. Because of the Internet you can connect to people who are livin' far away from you but there's a connection. Depending on what you are creating, this connection might be helpful and might be first choice to make a deal with or to offer help etc. The Internet changes a lot of things, one of the major things is that the countru where we are located, no longer is an issue.

Debra said...

Interesting discussion. Glad to read your blog. Isn't the distinction between "telling" and "selling" important though?

I can tell you about my art.. or I can try to sell you my art... but which will be the most successful in the long run? and will the real trick of marketing to the masses be learning this balance?

Mad said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I like to talk, hence my blog. Most of my days are spent alone in the studio, so tellng some of my story in this context works for me, especially (thank you!) if someone is listening.

Marketing by the masses is what I am suggesting, not marketing to the masses. We are already being marketed to, on a massive level. Balance between telling, making and selling, yes, very tricky but achievable, me thinks.