The Comeback of the Extended Family

Your daughter phones you. She is trained to become a nurse. She wants to practice in a hospital in South Africa. She has a Shortage of money and is not able to pay for the airplane-ticket. She asks for a loan. You give her the money because you can afford it and of course you love her.

What will happen if she goes to a bank? The Authorisator looks at her account and tells her that unfortunately a loan is not possible. When you go to the bank a nice person (your Account Manager) will tell you what products they offer when you have a Surplus of money.

The main difference between a bank and a family is that a family is based on trust. A bank is based on mis-trust. A small percentage of their clients did not pay back the loan. They don’t want to make this mistake again.

The family and the extended family (tribe) were, for a very long time, responsible for raising and educating children and created structures of moral and financial support.

In the Western Culture the extended family is replaced by the Institution, a Rule Based System, created by Programmers. The system is trying to match shortages (money, people, resources, and needs) and surpluses (money, people, resources, ideas). It has fallen into the trap of complexity.

Institutions are replaced by the most natural form of cooperation, the Extented Family (The Community).

Trust is created by showing Honesty, Understanding the Other and Keeping the Promise You Make. The Community makes the system simple and effective again because it operates on a human scale.

New innovative cooperative banks are emerging where human beings are a having a dialogue about their shortages and surpluses. Of course they use invisible Payment-Infrastructure as a stable layer to build on.

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One thought on “The Comeback of the Extended Family

  1. How about this?

    Some anthropologists studying the Mosuo describe it as a culture that focuses not so much on the female lineage, as on the lineage of the house itself. Mosuo usually live in large, extended families, with several generations living together. It is not uncommon for families to “adopt” outsiders into their family. This may be to maintain gender balances; it may be because another family has become too small to maintain its numbers; it may be due to orphaning of a child, etc. Once adopted, that person is considered a part of the “house”, on equal footing with everyone else in the house, and sharing in that house’s history and heritage. However the family name is inherited by the daughter and so is the proprietorship.


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