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LETS as Alternative, Post-capitalist Economic Spaces?
ABSTRACT: Against the complex economic backdrop of a deep-impact recession, rising public debt, and national austerity measures, this paper revisits LETS as one example of an alternative economic system and perhaps a more relevant operating mechanism for some communities in the months and years ahead. 

Drawing on the case study of the Totnes Acorn, this paper considers the continued relevance of LETS in a contemporary, perhaps even post-capitalist context, and against competing initiatives such as local currencies, resurging time banks, and the Big Society campaign. 

It is argued in this paper that the changing economic and political landscape of the last decade, which has coincided with rises in personal wealth, coupled with the celebrity status of the Transition Towns Initiative, the dated image and administration of some LETS may explain their decline during a period of economic decline. Yet their potential economic role could be reinvigorated and prove invaluable as a mechanism to stimulate and maximise local economic activity in the years ahead, as the full effects of expenditure cuts and a possible double-dip recession begin to take hold.

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