Sunday, January 29, 2006
"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.