Hands-on Guide

This hands-on guide is to help you to understand how the Fractal Economy works and how you can get involved.

Click on a question to see the answer

After creating a free account, you will have a clear view of your membership ID. When purchasing from any other members, share your ID with them so that they can record the sale made to you as a member. The transaction will then show on your Purchases page, and the seller will then contribute 3% of the sale to our community fund for NFPs.

All individual members will have an equal vote for which NFPs receive funding from our community fund, with this voting functionality being developed soon to enable easy online voting from each member’s online account. 

Joining this Cooperative provides us with financial gains and with more ability to recognise and support businesses who are clearly supporting our democractically chosen NFPs who are likewise being enabled by us to support our community for appreciated reasons well beyond profit.

If we sell products or services then we are able to list our trading business within our Fractal Directory, aka our Purple Pages, where our members intentionally search for participating businesses to support with patronage and in-turn support NFPs who are so appreciated by our communities.

When selling to members, participating businesses record the transaction and contriute 3% of the sale to our Community Fund. As individual participants, each person gains an equal vote for the direction of this Community Fund to any participating NFPs, est voting from 1st Jan 2022.

After further advancing our online systems to list a directory of participating NFPs, and then enable equal voting by all members for the direction of Community Funds to these NFPs, we plan to further advance the system and may provide optional promotional discounts etc to members. These system development advancements are presently being funded by donations from people wanting to support community supporters.

No, there are no membership fees.

The only payments able to be welcomed and accepted by our Cooperative this time are:

  1. Optional donations from people who also want to support community supporters by purchasing from participating businesses
  2. 3% of sales made by participating businesses when our members share their Fractal Economy Cooperative ID when making a purchase. 

Yes, you can access your account any time with your smartphone, either by visiting this website with your browser or by using our Mobile App.

All you need is a device with a browser, internet access and available data.

Yes, we are enabling businesses, individuals, NFPs and our community with web-enabled communication and processing functionality. Our directory, member accounts and management system is being developed and maintained by Websight Creative based on their proven proficiency developing our web systems thus far and with their creation of Community Voting Systems.

The Fractal Economy Co-Operative Ltd (FEC) is a legally registered trading cooperative. These three points sum up in a nutshell what we do:

  1. The FEC invites individuals, businesses, and any other incorporated entities – including charities, NGOs, not-for-profits, government departments, schools etc – to become members. Technically, all entities other than individuals are called partners because only Individual Members have voting rights.
  2. The FEC encourages and facilitates Individual Members to buy preferentially from fellow members. Our Transact app, records these transactions and applies a 3% Community Contribution on sales. This Community Contrubtion is levied on the Trading Partners.
  3. After admin costs, the Community Contributions collected by the FEC will be distributed to our Not For Profit Partners that the board and membership of the FEC deem eligible for gift funding. Members can vote on how they would like to see the gift money allocated. The budget allocation is directly proportional to how members vote.

Our future goal involves building a an economic community with a wide membership base with significant capital that enbables us to acquire a banking license (Core Practice #4) and provide greater financial benefits to the community, such as zero- or very low-interest loans.

The FEC has a board of directors who are voted in periodically. This is equivalent to our voting in members of our legislatures. This is a form of democracy called representative democracy. On top of that we practice a very ‘interactive’ form of what is called direct democracy which allows members to raise a petition to initiate a new policy, amend an existing one, overturn board decisions, etc. If the petition garners endorsement from 20% of the members, it goes to a binding referendum, and is passed if a two-thirds majority votes for it. Direct democracy empowers members in decision making, encourages people to inform themselves about issues (because they can make a difference) and participate in policies. It also makes the cooperative immune to corruption from the top by powerful economic forces. Whatever policy that the cooperative has that you do not agree with, bear in mind that you have as good a say as anyone else in changing it. More on our direct democracy practice is described in Core Practice #1 of our Six Core Practices.

The answer to this question may be addressed if you know what an eligible ‘not-for-profit’ may be.  NPFs support us and our community for reasons beyond profit, usually in the ways most needed and appreciated by our community. It may be the school that you send your child to (we believe that the funding of education is a communal responsibility even though pedagogy – teaching methods and contents – is left for the school to independently manage). It may be your local church; it may be the music festival that you go to yearly; it may be the women’s refuges that you wished the government would support; it may be any number of environmental organisations you support in principle, but not by membership or donation; it may be the local neighbourhood centre; it may be a media which will not take corporate sponsorship (i.e. advertising); etcetera. With such a broad criteria for what we consider as eligible organisations/activities for gift funding, everyone will find a not-for profit that he/she wants to support.

If you can imagine that you would like to become a member as a buyer in the FEC; and that a lot of people would feel the same way; then all the buyer-members have collective purchasing power. If buyer-members give a slight preference to buying from fellow FEC members, it will in many cases lead to a loss of sales for people and businesses who are not members. (Remember: sales to non-FEC members are not levied for Community Contributions) The big hardware store chains in Australia give a 5-10% discount to certain people like building companies and tradespeople. They do this because they do not want to lose out on potential sales to this market. A discount amounts to the same thing as paying voluntary Community Contributions which is what ourCommunity Contributions are. Credit card charges which are borne by businesses also work on the same principle. They will bear these charges rather than lose out on potential sales.

Feel welcomed to contact us with any questions via this contact form and we will respond to you promptly.

Transaction Tax

In the national economy, a transaction tax would be a flat rate tax on every monetary transaction with only a few minor exceptions such as transfers within a family unit. No costs or expense s by businesses will be tax deductible. Purchases of things like shares and currencies will also incur this tax (which pretty much wipes out the speculative transfers of capitalism). In the FEC economy we apply this tax to transfers between members so that we as a collective can do very good and powerful things with it. For marketing reasons, we have renamed this tax to ‘community contribution’.

Commons

We at the FEC do not think that the government is the appropriate collective institution to manage things like banking, taxation and land rental. These can all be taken out of the hands of government. Government should be restricted to policy making in the political realm. What we call the commons is an economic collective. This economic collective does not have the argy bargy of the political life. Outside of the capitalist context, it is the principle of cooperation and mutual aid that pervades the economic life, and it will have a very different structure to government. Because the term ‘public’ is often associated with government, we prefer the term ‘commons’ in reference to this economic collective.

Community Contribution

‘Community contribution’ is in fact the same as a transaction tax as described elsewhere [see Article 2 in ‘Further reading’]. The reason we have renamed the tax is for marketing reasons as people recoil from the notion of paying an extra tax. Tax payments is in fact how we as individuals contribute to the community in order to fund things like public transport, welfare and a functional judicial system. So people should be proud in saying that they pay their taxes. The reason that we have an aversion to the word tax is brought about by corporations who have the ability to make their expenses cost deductible. They load up all costs of dubious things into their income-expenditure calculations that they can get away with not paying a lot of the taxes that are their due. The whole scam trickles down to the rest of the economy and tax avoidance/evasion becomes an acceptable sport. In a true transaction tax, no expenses are tax deductible.

What is a fractal?

A fractal is by one definition ‘An object whose parts, at infinitely many levels of magnification, appear geometrically similar to the whole’. Take the fern leaf as shown in this image:

The first image above is a graphic picture of a whole fern leaf. If we take one of the ‘branches’ of the leaf – as depicted in the boxed section – and examine its structure, we find that the ‘branch replicates in full the pattern of the original fern leaf. The boxed section of the first image, rotated and appropriately magnified as in image 2, show an identical pattern to the whole leaf. If we take yet another ‘sub-branch’ out of the fern in image 2 as depicted in the boxed section of Image 2, we find the same leaf pattern replicated again. And so on.

The Fractal Economy Cooperative takes its name from this feature of fractals – that the part replicates the whole. We believe that what needs to be done in the global economy is the same as what needs to be done in the national economies; and that it is what we intend to do in the fractal economy. This means that we policies in a number of places that should also be practised in the national economy in order to make it a socially just and environmentally sustainable economy: direct democracy in the realm of policy making, direct individual participation in the allocation of public/commons spending; all the practices that make up for what we call commons banking, a new taxation system (which we call ‘community contribution’ for marketing reasons); support for cooperatives over share ownership of companies; a return to common ownership of land effected through the banking system.