While talking to different people as I establish a new company, one of the points that, in my opinion, stands out as not having been clarified sufficiently is the relationship with money.
First of all, money is often confused with work, when actually the two should be kept separate. In fact, I believe that they are the antithesis of one another. For us humans too, work should be a spontaneous expression, just as it is for other living beings. It should aim to improve the surrounding environment and set its sights on the satisfaction of a job well done, with the resulting appreciation from the community. Commitment, discipline, time dedicated to it, where to carry it out and – especially – in which field, should all be purely individual choices, made to measure like a tailored suit. When we say that the “here and now” is an optimal condition, I think we should refer precisely to these conditions. During our lifetime, our work occupies the best time in the present moment of each day, week, month and, year after year, of our lives. Now, let’s insert into the concept of work the need for money imposed by the capitalist system as a means of survival and recognition of value. The “here and now” is removed and replaced by other thoughts and fears, and free will is superseded by obligation: I am obliged to spend little to equip myself with raw materials; I have to find buyers; I must add indirect expenses, such as taxes, rent, bank interest, management costs, etc., to what I create; and so on and so forth. And then, I turn a blind eye and see some damage to the natural environment as a necessary evil. In this way, work turns into alienation, as though while making love, we were thinking about the next thing on our to-do list: I have to go and pick my aunt up to take her to the hospital. The first step on the road to forming a new community, a new, intentional, human settlement, should be to avoid changing the value of our work, even temporarily, in response to a need for money. If every time I stepped foot in the garden, I found myself gripped by a misunderstood sense of realism and I saw it in business terms… well, Elementary Farming would never have been established!
12th January 2019
Gian Carlo Cappello