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Introduction Edit

The Sustainability Margin is any ‘savings’ or ‘profit’ generated by bulk external purchasing and a pure-cost internal structure for the community. The margin should be used to establish sustainable systems, further reducing external costs for the community. Rather than continuing to pay rent-seekers for housing, basic needs, and so on, the goal of using the margin should be to obtain community capital that eliminates these rents. This capital can include, but is not limited to, sustainable permaculture in appropriate areas for community food supply, or alternative farming (aquaponic/hydroponic/vertical), sustainable energy units(solar/wind/methane-steam) for both home and industrial use, and sustainable architecture and building remodelling for urban communities.

Definition Edit

A resource’s Sustainability Margin (SM) is calculated by subtracting the cost of distribution per unit (CD) and the bulk order purchase cost per unit (CB) from the market retail price (C0) of the given resource per unit:

$ SM = C_0 - (C_B + C_D) $

To compare between resources, the SM can be normalized to the sustainability proportion (SP), the proportion of the discount to the original cost:

$ SP = \frac{SM}{C_0} $

Communal Sustainability Edit

Since a VIAAC is a community, we would like to consider what the Sustainability Margin means for the community as a whole. The Communal Sustainability Margin (CSM) is calculated by adding the Sustainability Margins of each resource used by the community:

$ \sum^{\forall r \in R} SM_r $

A sustainable community requires a positive CSM. However, before a community is fully sustainable, it will be moving in the direction of sustainabilty for a ramp-up period. During this period, the costs of the resources that cannot be obtained in bulk or internally may outweigh the discounts of those that can. During this period, it is important to establish a measure of progress toward the target state.

The Communal Sustainability Proportion (CSP) is the discount rate for all resources, and it calculated similarly to the CSM:

Total costs:

$ C_T = \sum^{\forall r \in R}C_0 - (C_D + C_B) $


Total full (undiscounted/original) costs:

$ C_F = \sum^{\forall r \in R}C_0 $


The CSP is then the proportion of discounted costs to full costs:

$ CSP = \frac{C_T}{C_F} $


Finally, we can use this to calculate a rate of change toward a zero-profit economy. Assuming t0 is the time the VIAAC started bulk buying, and ti is the time at which the measurements were taken, the rate of change, or Communal Sustainability Velocity (CSV) can be calculated as:

$ CSV = \frac{CSP}{t_i - t_0} $

Strategy in CSM expenditure

Each VIAAC will differ in the characteristics of its members, environment, needs, and economy.  Due to this fact, a rigorous strategy cannot be formulated to prescribe exactly what for, when, or why the "community chest" should be used.  However, a general pattern can be considered and used to guide the decisions of individual VIAACs.  Of course, nothing will replace the judgment and experience of those operating an actual VO, and this should be considered a suggestion only.

Needs firstEdit

The VIAAC will first want to fulfill the basic needs of its members.  Without the threat of survival, the external economy has much less power to exert in attempting to re-assimilate the VIAAC and its members.  The order in which each need fulfillment is internalized will depend on the environment of the VIAAC.

A VIAAC in an arid environment, for example, should obtain water-security first.  There is ample historical evidence of multinational corporations putting a stranglehold on communities using the local water supplies, so preventing this threat is crucial.  A VIAAC in a food desert, on the other hand, will want to establish a food system, for similar reasons.  If neither of these are a problem, but community expenditures on land rents are high, the VIAAC should acquire land.  If possible, its operations should physically contract to within the land area that it possesses, so that if land rents are used to attack the VIAAC, it can "shed" the land it doesn't need and regroup.

Velocities secondEdit

After basic needs are fulfilled, the next focus of the VIAAC should be to increase its CSV as much as possible.  This will endow it with the ability to rapidly internalize its costs, and presents to the outside world a form of "propaganda of the deed" in its success.  To this end, a VIAAC should have an idea of its highest costs (as a proportion of the total) and seek to eliminate them first.  For example, if a VIAAC is located in a high-sprawl area and transportation is a high cost, it should consider starting a public transportation program or repairing the sprawl with bike lanes and common green spaces.

A VIAAC that generates material or energy surpluses is in a good position to "attack" or disrupt the external economy by selling off its surpluses at market "cost", and use the income to obtain more capital.  This is a tactic that is simultaneously offensive and defensive, but should be used carefully to avoid retaliation by corporations or governments.  It should also be highly targeted to avoid causing hardship to those who don't deserve it.  It may be best to spare the use of this tactic until there are multiple established VIAACs that can aid one another.

Mutual aidEdit

VIAACs that cooperate are stronger together than in isolation.  The more advanced of the two, assuming it has passed the needs fulfillment stage, should seek to lift the less advanced one to its level so that they may cooperate as equals.  Each should use the circumstances of its environment and the strengths of its members to specialize into roles that work well together.