Allen Butcher on Allocation Mechanisms for Community Economics

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Biographical Material

Bibliographic Material


  • 2007. Gifting and Sharing: Living the Plenty Paradigm in Cohousing and Communal Society. Self-published.


  • 2003. “Communal Economics.” Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World. Christensen, Karen and David Levinson (editors). Sage Publications.


  • The Ownership Control Matrix: a two-dimensional model of political-economic structures, with common to private ownership on the horizontal axis and participatory to authoritarian political structures on the vertical axis, and a mid-range for each, resulting in nine different political/economic systems
  • The Political Spiritual Matrix: a two-dimensional model combining forms of spiritual beliefs (see the spiritual/economic matrix) on the horizontal axes with forms of governance from participatory to authoritarian on the vertical axis


Communal Economics vs. Exchange Economics

A. Allen Butcher:

"All of the various types of intentional communities use some form of sharing system, or some degree of communal economics. Any organization having a labor contribution for which there is no monetary or other compensation given in exchange for their labor could be said to use a “time economy.” (Butcher 1997) Note that labor exchange systems such as time dollars are a form of time economy, yet they are not communal economies or sharing economies, they are exchange economies. A communal economy exists when members share the fruit of their labor as common property, rather than distribute that fruit to the members as personal property." (