The Third Place: The Cottage Industry and Shopping Citadel

Past Entries and even Sections have been devoted to the discussion of Heimarbeit (“Homework” or “Work-from-Home”) in relation to the Cottage Industry. I have argued that the Cottage Industry could serve as a viable opportunity to revitalize the Manufacturing Sector. I also stressed the importance of why the Cottage Industry needs to be able to integrate its economic activities into the official Tournament of the VCS Economy as well as the Student Tournament of the SSE. This is because the Cottage Industry represents one of those economic activities vulnerable to being lost to the “Informal Economy.” If the Cottage Industry’s Enterprises are lost to the Informal Economy, any contributions of Arbeit and Geld that they might have made to the Life-Energy Reserve will not be registered at all. Thus, to eliminate Informal Economic from the economic life of the Totality and the Student Body, it became necessary to promote ways for the Cottage Industry to integrate itself into the VCS Economy and SSE.

Fortunately, the Shopping Citadel and the Shopping Arena are both capable of fulfilling that need. They provide the Cottage Industry with opportunities to sell its wares, in addition to ensuring that the Cottage Industry in turn is able to play its own role in the Socialization of Young Minds. Under certain circumstances, the Cottage Industry may be inclined to temporarily use any empty spaces or vacant tenants to conduct their own economic activities. Larger spaces can be converted into venues where Enterprises associated with the Cottage Industry may sell handmade ornaments, knickknacks and other artisan crafts that cannot be manufacturing at a conventional manufactory. This would eliminate the need to use a massive parking lot, for instance, to host the Enterprises of the Cottage Industry.

The best times to host the Cottage Industry’s Enterprises at the Shopping Citadel or the Shopping Arena are during important festivals or holidays. Economically speaking, they will be in the position to attract more people to the Shopping Citadels and Shopping Arenas, thereby increasing their contributions of Arbeit and Geld to the Life-Energy Reserve. However, in the context of the Socialization of Young Minds and the National Consciousness, those same festivals and holidays can also be suitable opportunities to promote the cultural and social values shared between the Totality and the Student Body. In fact, the Shopping Citadels and Shopping Arenas could be redecorated to reflect the themes of those festivals and holidays. And I am certain that the Cottage Industry would be more than willing to help out.

Compared to the regular tenants, the admission process for Enterprises affiliated with the Cottage Industry is going to be rather different. I must continue to stress the implications related to the prohibition of Rents and Mortgages and how it in turn affects the VCS Economy and SSE. It is true that Work-Plans and Sponsorships will be the primary means by which the Cottage Industry engages in the Shopping Citadels and Shopping Arenas, but we need to take into consideration the presences of the empty spaces and vacant tenants. Given their size and composition, the Cottage Industry will be deploying its Enterprises as part of a Guild. They cannot be deployed as individual Enterprises insofar as there are larger and more well-established Enterprises from the VCS Economy and SSE with higher chances of easily obtaining the empty spaces and vacant tenants.

It is true that larger and well-established Enterprises are more likely to become the tenants of the Shopping Citadel and Shopping Arena. And it is also true that RMU (Retail Merchandising Units) and Enterprises relying on the Auto-Service model will be present as well. But in order for the Cottage Industry to level the playing field, its Enterprises need to be able to avoid being directly affected by the Central Bank’s Mechanization Rate (MR). Most Enterprises in the Cottage Industry do not require Automation in the vast majority of its economic activities. Often, they require on homemade, handmade or artisan crafts that can actually be done inside the Household.   

Thus, to ensure that the Cottage Industry will be able to participate in the Shopping Citadel and Shopping Arena, its Enterprises should always be working together as part of a Guild. When they negotiate with the Shopping Citadel or Shopping Arena, they will be able to ensure that all of its members will be included in the decision to let them operate on the premises. This ensures that nobody gets excluded and will be able to work alongside the other Enterprises from the official Tournament and Student Tournament. It will also allow their Guilds to reserve a large enough space for their own activities whilst preserving some distance from those other Enterprises.

By choosing to partake in the affairs of the Shopping Citadel or Shopping Arena, any Guild associated with the Cottage Industry becomes its affiliated Subsidiary. Since their Guild is treated as a Subsidiary, the members of that Guild will be able to participate in the scheduling and reservations of those empty spaces and vacant tenants. The Council State and official Tournament, the Student Government, and the Student Tournament each have their own purposes for why they would need to schedule dates for when they will be needing those unoccupied areas. That was the Implicit Intent behind why the certain spaces and tenants need to be left open: to ensure that they will be reserved for other functions.   

To avoid any potential conflict that may arise from the scheduling, it would be best that the Cottage Industry be split between the official Tournament and the Student Tournament. That can be done because the Cottage Industry fits neatly with the idea of having certain Guilds oversee the affairs of Cooperatives, Small Businesses, and Workshops. Most of what the Cottage Industry does generally falls within the purview of those three types of economic organizations. Therefore, it is inevitable to expect half of the Guilds affiliated with the Cottage Industry to be operating in the Student Tournament and the other half in the official Tournament. And that is assuming there are no Foreign Enterprises operating on the premises. But because Foreign Enterprises are expected to operate in the Shopping Citadels, there is more flexibility among the Shopping Arenas.

In the Shopping Arenas, there are fewer competing groups seeking to schedule dates and reserve the empty spaces and vacant tenants. The Student Government, the Student Tournament, and the official Tournament of the VCS Economy are the only ones who might need them. Aside from them, there is the occasional social group in need of a convention hall for people with shared interests, and those people could be among the Totality and Student Body.

Meanwhile, in the Shopping Citadels, because Foreign Enterprises and Foreigners are more likely to be present, the presence for the Cottage Industry will need to be accommodated by the architects. Prior to the establishment and opening of any Shopping Citadels, architects need to make sure that, if the Cottage Industry believes that it is necessary for them to operate in the Shopping Citadels, their presence is taken into consideration. If the Shopping Citadel needs to be larger than an average Shopping Arena, then that possibility is worth entertaining as long as it is sustainable for the long-term. Too many people on the premises at once can become a potential problem, especially in major cities.        

Should the Cottage Industry find itself having to work in the Shopping Citadels, because its Guilds of Enterprises view them as lucrative investments of Life-Energy, the Enterprises in turn will need to reconfigure its economic activities to support Socialization of Young Minds. In essence, the Cottage Industry needs to assist in the broader initiatives of the other Enterprises to ensure that the Shopping Citadels will serve as landmarks devoted to the cultural and social achievements of the Totality and the Student Body. The Council State and Student Government both have special dates reserves for important holidays and festivities, and it would be best for the Enterprises of the Cottage Industry to assist them in those endeavors. Adding to the general theme of a holiday or festival, whether in terms of decorations or in the merchandise, is something that has to be upheld through customs and norms and passed on to future generations.   

And depending on the Profession, it is conceivable for the Cottage Industry to foster Enterprises devoted to the production of media content by indie authors, artists, filmmakers and other creators of the arts. Not every major cultural or social achievement is going to be coming from large-scale studios, record labels, and software developers. They may instead be the results of those interested in pursuing a brief stint in Industries related to the production of mass media. The Cottage Industry could serve as that staging ground through which talent can be cultivated, recognized, and later enlisted into the more established Enterprises in Industries concerning mass media. It may not always be a direct line akin to the scouting of EGOs (Extracurricular Guild Occupations) done by the Industries, but it is still a respectable route nonetheless.      

We could even say the same for other Cottage Industry-related Professions and other Enterprises as well. The Cottage Industry can and should be viewed as an opportunity in which certain Enterprises are able to ascend the Social Ranking System and join different Industries outside of the Cottage Industry. Just as how the Self is free to join Enterprises and Professions that cater to their Vocations, it is also the case for Enterprises within the Cottage Industry to join another Industry. And even though they can always be scouted out and be persuaded to accept a Sponsorship and Work-Plan from an interested Enterprise in another Industry, the choice should be left open to those interested in making the transition.

All it would take is for the personnel of the Enterprise to hold a debate on whether to join another Industry and convene a majority vote. If a sizeable majority of an Enterprise’s personnel votes in favor of the decision, the Enterprise may apply to join the Industry of its choosing. An application gets sent to the State Commissariat of Wages and Prices within their regional jurisdiction, which is then evaluated and finalized by the Superintendent in charge of that region’s State Commissariat. The Superintendent will review the past performance and actions of the Enterprise in question, consulting with the personnel from the chosen Industry on whether that Enterprise should join their Industry’s ranks. If the Enterprise has distinguished itself from the rest of the Cottage Industry, the Superintendent is more than likely to approve the application request.   

Although it is possible for the affected Enterprise’s Economic Planners and Inspectors to carry over, it is also possible for the State Commissariats to assign new Economic Planners and Inspectors who have prior experience working in the chosen Industry. That would be the ideal scenario. But in the event that there are no Economic Planners and Inspectors, the incumbent ones should reserve the Legal Right to continue serving the Enterprises that had made the transition to another Industry. This too will be factored into the Superintendent’s evaluation and decision to let an Enterprise from the Cottage Industry to join another Industry. As soon as their Inspector counterparts are notified, the Economic Planners must inform their superiors, the Central Planners, about their Enterprise’s transition to another Industry. The Central Planners will make adjustments to their conduct of MTEP (Mission-Type Economic Planning) and inform the Central Bank, which is in charge of the Life-Energy Reserve, to act accordingly.  

Categories: Third Place

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