Why does PAX Nation need a marketplace?
Any entity can grow. This is basic reality. In order for it to grow, it will need the tools necessary for said growth … specific resources. Without those resources, at best growth will never be achieved, at worse the entity will lose part of itself over time, eventually breaking down until it is no more. Entropy. When the entity is alive, obtaining the necessary resources for continued existence (or growth if possible), is the ultimate driving force for that life. When the life is sentient, the pursuit of resources becomes a conscious action. And when the sentient life is also rational, the pursuit becomes a purposeful series of interactions with other entities with measurable and possibly controllable consequences.
We call these interactions an economy.
In terms of human society, the simplest form of economy is a basic exchange. In the cooperative form … I have something you need, you have something I need, we make an exchange. The less cooperative form … you have something I need, I take it, despite the consequences to you. The sustainability of any society is directly related to the effectiveness of its economy.
This is where the issue usually gets somewhat complicated. For those who believe that the the economy is nothing more than a tool for the growth of society, cooperation is the key. However many believe that it works the other way around. They hold that society is actually a tool for the growth of the economy. This ensures fierce competition and division, as the control of resources becomes the definitive factor in determining who is the top dog. It is this latter form that most of the world’s societies chose to operate, and it is the direct cause of most of the world’s conflict.
But either way, an economy is needed for the growth of any human community.
Thus for PAX Nation to become truly viable, it needs to create a functional economy. Ideally it will be the first form, an economy based on cooperation, with economic growth a means not an end. To plant the seed for this economy, we introduce the PAX Nation Marketplace.
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In the basic, cooperative exchange scenario, what does one do when we need something from someone else but have nothing to offer them that THEY need? There are several possibilities. One is to find someone else who also can benefit from the exchange, thus increasing cooperation and expanding the resources available for exchange. This is essentially how the barter system developed. I have water. You have grain, and need water. I don’t need grain, I need wood. Joe has wood, and needs grain. I give you water for grain, and then give Joe grain for wood. Everyone gets what they need by cooperating with each other.
However what do when we need a resource from someone and have nothing that they need, and neither does anyone else? We could try to TAKE it, but that is not very cooperative. This is essentially how currency came into play. Currency is basically a rating system that gives a numeric value to unrelated items, so that an equal exchange can occur. Thus resources of equal apparent value can be exchanged even when neither party has the requisite resources.
And once again it gets complicated from there. In a cooperative system, the currency is just another tool. But in the competitive systems that humanity seems to thrive on, currency itself became the goal, creating the extremes of those who can get whatever they needed and those who cannot, with most falling in between. And of course those with easiest access to resources, the “haves”, have power over the rest, the “have-nots”. And so world history is described.
Whatever your view of the purpose of currency, we currently live in a world in which having currency is the surest way to get the resources we need. And the best way to get currency is to sell “products”. A marketplace is an entity devoted to the exchange of goods and services. PAX Nation needs resources to grow, which means that at least some currency is needed. So we create a marketplace.
What products does the Marketplace offer?
Products effectively fall into two types. There are products that have a physical form … something that can actually be USED for a purpose. Then there are the products that essentially have no immediate physical manifestation, but depend on the skills of the one selling it. We call this a service.
In a simpler world, most products, whether physical objects or services, are things actually NEEDED by people. But as society and culture has grown, humanity has become accustomed to having for the simple pleasure of having, or because it eases our passage through life, and thus there are many products out there that really are not needed, but definitely WANTED. In an economy that SERVES society, such products are considered nothing more than luxuries … appreciated when available but easy enough to live without. In an economy that is SERVED BY society, luxury products become the focus of society, with those that have the most again given power over those that have the least. Our world has a lot of products out there that serve no practical purpose, but still manage to be in high demand.
That said, PAX nation itself currently has no specific product to offer. At the moment what we offer is opportunity for change, and a set of ideals. But in order to survive in a world contrary to our ideals, the one that we want to change in the first place, we need to play by its rules for a while. Thus we sell what we can. The current products are what individuals personally can offer to the world, (which for me … the idea man … includes my skill in photography and writing, and my genuine willingness to help others in any way that I am able). As the community grows, the product base will grow with it, and become more concrete. But until this happens, any resources obtained are essentially coming from me and any others willing to personally contribute. In other words, we will offer what we have available, and for the moment that is mostly just unlimited potential.
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