to be a resource for people to find goods and services they need and arrange a trade for goods and services they can render in exchange.
it is an attempt to alleviate social and economic problems associated with money which include:
- classism based on ‘wealth’ (commonly quantified by assets and accumulation of currency);
- loss due to inflation;
- inequality in the valuation of goods/services (why does the programmer make $100/hour while the barista makes only $10/hour);
- mandatory taxation of transactions;
- loss of privacy (credit cards);
- a general malaise due to never quite being able to ‘catch up’ (personally, i believe it’s purposely set up that way …).
depending on how you look at it, you could say that we’ve been tricked into associating wealth with currency and using this stupid system or you could say that we, the public, just stopped giving a shit. either way, we gave up a logical, simple, value-for-value system of trade for a more complicated system which involves calculation, taxation, inflation, and a terrifying network of middlemen who take a cut.
think i’m being melodramatic? take a look at who takes a cut when you buy milk.
what does permuta mean?
‘permuta’ is latin / italian / spanish / portuguese for ‘barter / change / exchange / trade / etc’
what permuta is not
permuta is not a currency. there are no points or ‘permuta bucks’ here.
earning ‘points’ for goods and services rendered creates the same problem that money does. amassing imaginary wealth that is represented by numbers inevitably leads to a class system wherein power and influence is uneven in the community. it creates competition which skews the true value of the commodity. additionally, there becomes an expectation that the system will remain in place in perpetuity. no system can guarantee such a thing – it’s simply not logically or physically possible.
by removing quantifiers we learn to have gratitude for each successful arrangement.
is permuta affiliated with any religion, political party, or special interest group?
no. individual users of or contributors to the site may be, but the website proper was not built on the authority of or influenced by any religious group, political party, politician, business, or special interest group. if the site sounds preachy, it’s just because i’m passionate about conservation and efficiency. i like to reuse things. waste makes me crazy. losing money to interest charges, fines, and middlemen also irks me.
as a point of fact, i’m not against taxation either. this site wasn’t built to avoid paying taxes. i truly believe that bartering has benefits that we’ve forgotten: a stronger sense of community, increased trust between neighbors, real affordability for all people, just to name a few.