As we see our traditions and freedoms challenged, mini-factories Mini-factories are suggested as a solution to the institutionalization of our society. The concept has been around for a while. Alvin Toffler and John Naismith predicted them in the ancient 80’s but didn’t use the term. They said that more and more individuals would take control of their lives and develop alternative ways of getting things done, bypassing the big, impersonal institutions. The idea was revolutionary at the time. Who back then would ever believe that small would be better than large and that it would be possible to create superior products and services without huge resources and staff?
So what is a mini-factory?
According the Oliver DeMille, a mini-factory is anything that someone does – either alone or with partners or a team- that accomplished what has historically been done by big institutions. Today, it is pretty obvious that bigger is not better. Our schools are ridiculously expensive and fail to teach students the things they need to know in post-industrial society or even industrial society. Students seem to know this and many fail to finish or just put in the time. If schools do anything well, it is the production of cogs to fit into the big institutions that increasingly control us.
The opposite of mass production
More and more individuals are rejecting the conventional ‘wisdom’ of grooming themselves for corporate life. For one thing, corporate life can no longer promise the security and benefits that made the bargain tolerable 50 years ago. Jobs are no longer secure and permanent but they are more demanding of time and effort. People are willing to exchange money for time with their families and live in smaller towns, finding work that they can control and a lifestyle with time for their families. At first this was called ‘opting out’ but as the trend grows and jobs get scarcer and less desirable, it may well be tomorrow’s norm.
Internet is a driver
The internet is a big component of this revolution by bringing resources that were formerly only available to institutions to individuals. Individuals can get alternative information about travel, medicine, politics where in the past they were limited to only the institutionally approved sources.
Driven by freedom seekers
The freedom seekers who are leading this revolution are in touch with the America that our founding fathers knew where each family was a mini-factory, growing food, spinning cloth, making clothes. This society created some of the greatest leaders the world has known without the institutions that we depend on today and who no longer produce leaders but aristocrats. These institutions foster dependence and those who run those institutions have become aristocrats who filter information and control the options of the masses supposedly for their own good while they enjoy privileges and benefits not available to common folk.