The Virtual Bazaar Manifesto

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We are tired of the profit motive.

Business should be motivated by providing value to society, not by making profit for a few.

People are far more motivated to work when they know their work is helping their friends and neighbors, and harming no-one; we can out-enthuse and out-create the plutonomy.

It's time to overturn some paradigms, and create a business model to accomplish this.

...and then take the world back from the big-box, big-profit, next-quarter-projections model.

Here's the plan:

  • Create the business model:
    • A business should be owned and directed by everyone involved, including all those affected by business operations, with those whose work made it successful receiving social credit for their work regardless of any hierarchical position.
    • A business's primary responsibility should be that of benefiting its community. Any profit should be used for those ends.
  • Replicate the model: Make lots and lots of right-sized businesses that follow these rules.
  • Network and swarm: Use open-source software to allow these businesses to interoperate, gaining the bargaining power[1] of a much larger business without losing small-business flexibility and accountability.
  • Acquire & emancipate: Use profits to acquire other businesses and "set them free" by co-operatizing them.

The Plan (under construction)

  1. Get VBZ back online as a traditional centralized e-commerce site. ← CURRENTLY WORKING HERE... for about 4 years now >.<
  2. Decentralization[2] -- one of the following should probably be done first:
    • Make it possible for outside vendors to sell things through VBZ, like Amazon Marketplace or Ebay (with or without auction capability)
    • Create data formats for interoperability of e-commerce sites, starting with cross-site searching and adding features in each major revision
      • Offer locally-owned shops free integration services (i.e. the development necessary to at least provide their catalog in read-only mode)
        • possibilities: bookstores, toy stores...?

I am also looking for other businesses of any size who are interested in joining the network.


  1. e.g. the way a large business can get better prices or have specific products (or variants of existing products) made by ordering large quantities, rather than having to depend. I should write more about this, e.g. how our local co-op has trouble getting certain products we need, even though they carry other products from the same manufacturer, because of their dependence on distributors. Also, lobbying (for laws that favor your business) is often used for evil, and we need to have equivalent power so we can use it for good.
  2. Maybe OpenBazaar will work?