Open Access Economy

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Open access economy

An open access (or free access) economy is a proposed alternative method of organising resources and services in human society.

Rather than access to the things we need being constrained by the ability to trade or pay money, an open access society promotes a mutual understanding that everyone in that society is fully supported with (at least) their basic living requirements unconditionally.


  • Open - Shared, transparent, decentralised
  • Access - Unrestricted
  • Economy - Management of resources

Note: The term open access is often used to describe an initiative to publish scholarly research under an open (free) license. An 'open access economy' extends this philosophy to wider socio-economic theory.

Mutual support

In its most basic form, all citizens who engage in an open access economy understand the following two fundamentals:

  1. That they are fully supported by their community
  2. That they participate in supporting their community

Clearly, one cannot happen without the other, but central to the philosophy is the movement away from explicit trade towards implicit trade, where reciprocity (or trade) is not expected uniformly, but rather within a much larger circle of mutual support.

So for example, if someone cuts your lawn, there is no expectation that you must reciprocate some equivalent task or resource with that person. Instead, the other person understands that you will reciprocate in some other way, with some other person at some other time. This works for the other person as they too enjoy the benefit of others' reciprocal behaviour at other times. This is called implicit trading.

It could be further summarised as replacing trade with trust.

Trust over trade

The principal reason we currently engage in trade is to enable us to exchange goods and services with strangers. Because we do not trust them to reciprocate. We know this because we tend not to request exchange within close-knit groups or families. These 'micro-cooperatives' work on trust.

If this level of trust existed in the greater community, it could operate on the same principle. And there are ways we can do this through re-education and awareness campaigns, social incentives, or even tracking reciprocal acts in the community.

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open_access_economy.txt · Last modified: 2022/02/25 20:50 by freeworlder