GreenStar Community Cooperative is one of a series of divisions of the Foundation CIC which would round out its most important development functions. Starting initially as ‘departments’ of the corporation, they would develop with the growth of TMP related communities into largely independent divisions with independent facilities within and without TMP communities and may eventually even evolve into separate subsidiary corporations as part of a Foundation CIC Group.
GreenStar Community Cooperative would be tasked with the role of providing a diversity of community services in support of a high standard of living, the enhancement of quality of life, universal access to health care, universal access to education throughout life, and encouraging cultural development for all the communities developed in TMP. The CIC would basically try to replace a need for local service fees, condominium fees, taxes, or the like by using portions of CIC stock dividends and rent/lease income to pay for many local services –particularly critical ones like health care, education, emergency services, and municipal utilities. This would be factored into the relative exchange value of stock shares to space use rights for CIC stockholders. Communities with a high services overhead would have a higher unit share per unit space ratio. The CIC would also need to subsidize services in some communities at the expense of the whole larger TMP community in order to foster their growth. This is particularly important for new communities and for space settlements which would be largely economically isolated and rely on the CIC to provide investments whose dividends remain in these remote settlements rather than being communicated back to Earth. This is part of the process by which the CIC conducts colonization in the absence of traditional economic incentives.
Most communities developed by the Foundation CIC would feature their own local Community Cooperatives which would independently manage the maintenance of shared community facilities like Common Houses, shared dining halls, public swimming pools and recreational facilities, community gardens, media and tool libraries, day care centers, and the like, establish the first stores where there are no entrepreneurs in the community willing to create them, operate community watch programs, organize local events, and similar activities. The exact nature of these activities would, of course, vary with the community and mix of people and change over time as the communities populations increase and their needs evolve.
However, there are some services which rely on large infrastructures spread across many communities, must be more formally organized and use full-time employees, or require large up-front investments beyond the means of small communities. These are the things the GreenStar Community Cooperative would deal with, using the local community cooperatives as its interface to the individual communities. Essentially, this division functions like a macro-cooperative made up of the participating local cooperatives and various service institutions they create between them, such as a medical, emergency services, education, security, cultural, and so on whose budget and resources originate with the CIC. The GreenStar Community Cooperative would also serve as an interface between the collective TMP communities and the CIC’s own administration representing the interests of the community stockholders, allowing a democratic process across all TMP communities to be used to support the decision-making process of the CIC, directing its development priorities.
This system would establish a very deep penetration of responsibility to the individual citizen rather than relying on self-contained bureaucracies, exercising the distributed ownership rights the CIC is designed to cultivate while also eliminating a lot of the parasitic costs of bureaucracy which would be much better spent on people’s quality of life. But making this work will rely heavily on designing flat and streamlined administration systems supported by information technology –and not the sort of white elephant systems governments and corporations today commonly squander money and efficiency on.
As TMP develops communities in locations with an option for political autonomy, both the GreenStar Community Cooperative and the local cooperatives will become key evolutionary seeds in the development of new political systems. The Foundation CIC would not –and could not given its global distribution– function as a political entity. It is a shared investment and development instrument that links communities through shared infrastructures under a collective series of contracts embodied in the ownership of CIC stock. Political identity would be left to the individual community with their local cooperatives the likely foundation of it. TMP does not specify the development of any form of government body. That’s because it must begin under the limitations of pre-existing nation-states and because in an eventual Post-Industrial culture large national entities become useless, irrelevant, and unable to function in a resource-based economy where money is no longer sufficiently fungible to serve as a mechanism of compulsory collectivization through taxation. The discrete community and the individual are the only logical political entities left in this future environment and different non-political mechanisms –like the Foundation CIC– become necessary for what large scale collective activity remains. (something likely to be more important in space than on Earth) This is explored in much more detail in the section on Economics, Justice, and Government in TMP.
- Portfolio Development Project
- GreenStar Properties
- GreenStar Securities
- GreenStar Credit Union
- GreenStar Ventures
- GreenStar Industrial Cooperative
- GreenStar Free-Market Exchange Network
- GreenStar Science Research Cooperative