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Lugh Ildánach

The Revolutionary Economics of Home Brewing

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I just thought I'd post a little behind the thinking, and the practical implementation, of the home brew committee to give an insight into why we're doing it.

 

It might seem strange that a revolutionary group would be making and distributing alcohol, that poison that has played its fair share in keeping the Irish proletariat in a semi-wakened state for so long. However, it did occur to me that alcohol provided by ones comrades in arms is much more desirable than alcohol sold for profit and where the purveyor cares only for the money that he receives and goes not give a damn about his customer (except perhaps he wants to ensure that he comes back with more money!). If I thought for a minute that by providing cheap alcohol to a comrade that I was undermining his humanity, I could at the very least raise my concerns with him and ensure that he received any help that he wanted or required.

 

We haven't yet had to cross this moral dilemma, although no doubt it will arise at some stage. Its one that I feel that can be addressed much more effectively once the commodification of the alcohol, and indeed the commodification of the consumer, and the provider, of alcohol has bee removed.

 

So, to the economics of it. It is of course contrary to bourgeois law to sell or provide alcohol in exchange for money. We do no such thing (perish the thought that we would break our master's laws). As all members communally own and control the planning, production and distribution of the alcohol, nobody is providing anything to anyone apart from themselves. Those who want more beer or whatever other product, simply put an appropriate contribution to cover the costs and help out in whatever way they can. All work carried out by the homebrew committee or whoever else is helping them, is done on a voluntary decommodified basis, and they get no other reward than the reward in seeing their comrades eyes light up with excitement upon the production of the next batch of homebrew beer.

 

The day to day planning is carried out by the Homebew Committee, which reports directly to the Soviet meetings. Requests for batches, along with any other issue, are decided democratically by Soviet in line with democratic principles, and on a consensus basis.

 

The contributions requested (currently 5 Euro per 6 500ml bottles) have been set to ensure that the cost of the initial equipment is recouped as early as possible, with the prospect of cheaper product very much on the cards in the very near future. The contribution amount is again decided democratically by the Soviet, upon the advice of course of the homebrew committee, and plenty of homebrew is provided to the regular meetings of the soviet.

 

Indeed, we have had interest expressed in the model from unlikely quarters, from people who are out and out capitalists, but who can clearly see the benefit of working communally to produce beer. It seems possible even that soviet style organising could even be spread through the medium of beer! A beer revolution in Ireland would surely be impossible to stop!!

 

Indeed, everyone is a winner, the beer is made by happy workers who know that nobody other than their comrades is expropriating their surplus labour, soviet members get a cheap (and often at no charge) product, and at the same time, they are being provided with alcohol by people who have their best interests at heart and won't abandon them to alcoholism.

 

And there is a parallel undermining of the current system. Private beer dealers lose custom, capitalists make less profit, and control of what is (however socially questionable) an Irish essential product moves from oppressed worker to democratic soviet control. Perhaps I'm a little biased, but the economics of it all makes the beer taste ever so slightly sweeter!!!

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Have yous thought about getting in touch with Na Croibhealaí Workers Co-operative and getting them to set one of these up? Seems like their type of thing?

 

Who or what (and where) is this group? I'm guessing its some sort of Workers Co-op B) I tried googling it, could only see a reference to a book shop and a reference to Kings Street and Winetavern Street. Is this in Belfast?

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Who or what (and where) is this group? I'm guessing its some sort of Workers Co-op B) I tried googling it, could only see a reference to a book shop and a reference to Kings Street and Winetavern Street. Is this in Belfast?

 

Yeah a café run as a workers co-op in Belfast on King's Street. Run by socialists, anarchists and republican socialists.

If you google Fresh Claim Café you should find it.

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Could the same argument be applied to lets say cannabis, another drug that is comsumed enmasse by the Irish public, but its trade and production is in the hands of ruthless criminal capitalists, who operate outside state law to make profit.

 

Putting argument of benefits and negatives of cannabis aside, wouldnt distribution of cannabis be more suited by individual growers for their own consumption

 

It would take profit element out if it, and would mean safer growimg due to individials not willing poisin their own product for their consumption

 

Im not advocated growing cannabis, just think drug dealing is same as pubs sometimes

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Could the same argument be applied to lets say cannabis, another drug that is comsumed enmasse by the Irish public, but its trade and production is in the hands of ruthless criminal capitalists, who operate outside state law to make profit.

 

Putting argument of benefits and negatives of cannabis aside, wouldnt distribution of cannabis be more suited by individual growers for their own consumption

 

It would take profit element out if it, and would mean safer growimg due to individials not willing poisin their own product for their consumption

 

Im not advocated growing cannabis, just think drug dealing is same as pubs sometimes

 

Yeah you correct. The problem with cannabis is that it's illegal and in the hands of people who have no problem putting dodgy stuff in it and using violence to try and get debts paid off.

 

But it is easier to brew beer cause at least your not gona be stuck in jail for it.

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Could the same argument be applied to lets say cannabis, another drug that is comsumed enmasse by the Irish public, but its trade and production is in the hands of ruthless criminal capitalists, who operate outside state law to make profit.

 

Putting argument of benefits and negatives of cannabis aside, wouldnt distribution of cannabis be more suited by individual growers for their own consumption

 

It would take profit element out if it, and would mean safer growimg due to individials not willing poisin their own product for their consumption

 

Im not advocated growing cannabis, just think drug dealing is same as pubs sometimes

 

You probably could extend the same argument to cannabis, and even other drugs. The biggest problem I would see with this though is that you are trying to get the community onside, and there much less tolerance for drugs within the community than there would be for alochol. Ultimately you would end up alienating more people than you would be helping.

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Yeah a café run as a workers co-op in Belfast on King's Street. Run by socialists, anarchists and republican socialists.

If you google Fresh Claim Café you should find it.

 

Meant to post this the other day.

Its the fb page for the Café:

 

http://www.facebook.com/messages/?action=read&tid=pf1ksYC0/7vyf7z8QPilRA#!/nacroisbhealai

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Good timing lads. They're putting up the price in drink, north and south!

 

Indeed, they've been talking about various measures around minimum pricing for a long time. It is mainly driven by the vintners association. These are cynical measures designed to extract more profit from people. As you say, our initiative couldn't have come at a better time!

 

Our latest batch of wine (a Chardonnay) will be ready for drinking by the weekend, 2 bottles for 5 Euro :hammersickle:

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I've just done the sums and figure that we have now broken even and covered the costs of our initial setup equipment. We now have the luxury of dropping our prices. As our wine is already dirt cheap, we will be reducing the price of the beer and cider to 5 Euro for 8x500ml bottles (or 12x330 ml bottles). So much for inflation and minimum pricing!!

 

Decommodified beer abú!

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