Friday, 30 December 2011

Reinventing the Guild

Russell Sparkes has written a new paper on the reinvention of the guilds, which is now posted on the Economy site. Here is an extract:
Where do we go from here? I want to suggest that one answer may lie in a revival of mutual self-help groups, inspired by spiritual values, which we might call by their old medieval name of ‘guilds’. Of course I am not suggesting an exact return to the medieval guilds, any more than I am advocating that people should go around talking Chaucerian English. However, I do argue that the guilds provide a model answer to two major problems of modern economic and social life. The first of these is the rapid shift in the labour market from life-time employment for most people to a world of self-employment and temporary contracts. The second, partly as a consequence of the former, is the reduction in the safety net provided by the welfare state and corporate health and pension provision.
Read the whole thing. Some of you may also be interested in a recent article in the RSA Journal on the growing importance of the crafts sector and the need for a "new language" in which to talk about it, by Sir Christopher Frayling FRSA: "Tools for Survival".

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