The End of Money and the Future of Civilization

EndofMoney cover448 The End of Money and the Future of Civilization considers the money problem within the broad historical and political context that has made the control of money and banking the primary mechanism for concentrating power and wealth and the nullification of democratic governance.

It provides the necessary understanding for entrepreneurs, activists, and civic leaders to implement approaches toward monetary liberation, approaches that empower communities to restore their environments and democratic institutions, and begin to build economies that are sustainable, equitable, and insulated from the financial crises that plague the dominant systems of money, banking and finance.

It provides specific design proposals and exchange-system architectures for local, regional, national, and global financial systems, and offers strategies for their implementation prescribing actions that grassroots organizations, businesses, and governments will need to take to achieve success. The book may be  ordered direct from the publisher or from Amazon.com, but it would be most helpful if you would order it from your independent local bookstore.

Readers’ Comments

For the growing ranks of monetary reformers worldwide, long-time expert Greco’s deeply-researched new book is essential reading. This gripping blend of theory and practicality lays out all the options for creating saner money and credit systems …and the real possibilities in today’s information age, of electronic trading and exchange, at last, without the need  to use money at all.Hazel Henderson, author, Ethical Markets: Growing The Green Economy(2006), President, Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil).

At a time when it is needed most, Greco tells us why and how we, the people, have the power, the knowledge, and the tools available to us to re-make monetary systems around the world. –Krista Vardabash, former Executive Director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association

Maybe you’ve noticed a slight bit of turmoil in our national and global financial system? This book cuts to the very core of the trouble–and points several pathways that might allow us to slowly climb out of the pit into which we’ve stumbled.Bill McKibben, Middlebury College, author Deep Economy

Tom Greco’s The End of Money is essential reading for everyone who yearns to restore sanity to our financial dealings and re-humanize our global economy. Greco details the abuses inherent in the widely misconstrued concept of legal tender, and helps us understand the real roots of the current meltdown. He then offers unique tools for creating workable, enduring solutions. His story is compelling, and his lucid, accessible style makes it a rewarding read. The book’s a true game-changer, and its appearance couldn’t be more timely. – Philip H. Beard, Ph.D. Co-Founder: Sustaining Capital Cooperative, Sustaining Technologies LLC, and Sonoma County GoLocal Cooperative

Many of the world’s ills are symptoms of centralized control of our media, governments and resources by a small, invisible group of people. How can so few control and impoverish so many? Currency systems are an important source of this centralized power. Tom Greco’s latest book helps us unpack the financial mysteries and consider our alternatives. There can be no question about it–Tom Greco is the pit bull of the alternative currency movement. – Catherine Austin Fitts, Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC

I have found Tom Greco to be a trusted and authoritative source of wisdom on the topics of the flaws in mainstream money and of the possibilities for alternatives. Even after years of garnering wisdom from Tom for my work with Toronto Dollars, his advice in this new book reaches a higher level of clarity and practicality. - Joy Kogawa, cofounder, Toronto Dollar

Greco precisely identifies the conflation of interests and confusion of thinking that have given rise to today’s monetary muddles and proceeds to elucidate a viable strategy by which we all, as individuals and in association with one another, can unravel the tangle and build the basis for a mutually profitable exchange.Arthur Edwards, Director Centre for Associative Economics

[The End of Money and the Future of Civilization] is a chilling and gripping narrative that examines the history and current condition of our 300 year old unbalanced and unsustainable monetary system. He goes on to propose specific changes that when adopted will transform our money system into a more user friendly platform of exchange that will benefit all of the worlds people. Simply a must read for everyone. David Wallach, President of the Board of the International Reciprocal Trade Association.

If anything could save this civilization from the calamity to which its economic madness has led it-the unrelenting pursuit of materialism, the starkly inequitable division of wealth, the despoliation of the earth for profit-it would be the widespread adoption of the wisdom embodied in Tom Greco’s clear and forthright new book. The fact that I doubt such a thing will happen, I am constrained to say, does not diminish the value of reading it. - Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale and After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination

We should be grateful to Tom Greco for his constructive and innovative thinking at a time when new ideas are badly needed.Rodney Shakespeare, Visiting Professor of Binary Economics, Trisakti University (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Thomas Greco dedicates his new book to the causes of social justice, economic equity, personal liberty, world peace, and ecological restoration. He begins by showing that none of these can be achieved until we give birth to a just and sustainable paradigm for exchanging energies. Clearly written, the roots of our current financial predicament are revealed, and the need for something better is lucidly explained. The serious reader will appreciate the author’s long experience with alternative currencies: this book is a concise and efficient way to get up to speed on the history of alternatives to conventional ‘money’ as well as enter the new world of technologically liberated exchange that has the potential to bring about the end of money as we have known it. Paul Grignon, creator of the movie Money as Debt

A stimulating and well-balanced work. Here, the serious student of monetary reform will find the mature reflections of a leading advocate of credit clearing. Thomas Greco’s analysis of the modern monetary problem is excellent, his solution is practical and founded upon basic principles of justice. Policy makers and communities across diverse cultures and religions can learn much from this detailed and eloquent book. I strongly recommend it. Tarek El Diwany, author of The Problem With Interest and Partner at Zest Advisory LLP

If there is one thing people everywhere should drop everything to learn right now it is how the money system works, why it is failing and what to do to survive and even thrive. The reason they don’t is because it has been so difficult to get and to understand this information. Against all odds, Tom Greco has filled this important need with an easy read including the most practical advice for getting you through the crisis into a more secure, healthier and happier future.Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D., evolution biologist; futurist; author of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution

For those who would survive the sustainable cynicism of monopoly capital, now that the usurpers are caught red-handed and the mask of democracy has slipped, Greco provides the tools for regeneration of societies. Can we conceive of a new culture? Yes we can. Here are the tools for its monetary system, and it will thrive.Anton Pinschof, organic farmer in Brittany (member of FNAB, French national federation of organic farmers), and co-founder of CESC, the Cliffs Edge Signalling Company (cesc.net)

Our world is moving to increasing and dominant usage of distributed networks, and the associated peer-to-peer dynamics of people aggregating around the construction of common value. We have the communication infrastructure, but we still need to build robust peer-to-peer energy grids, AND, just as important, we need to be able to create peer-to-peer currencies that strengthen resilient communities in the context of turbulent globalization. To undertake the latter task, one voice has been consistently investigating what determines success and failure regarding the social production of money. That voice is Thomas Greco, who not only offers the definitive book on the subject, but offers also the condensation of a whole life of research and engagement with the topic. The time of crying in the wilderness is over for Thomas Greco: this is the age where these ideas will be practically implemented. It is rare to find the combination of quality theory and robust implementation in one book, so please do acquire this gem.Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation

Contents

List of Tables and Illustrations

1 My Purpose and My Journey

My Personal Journey • Seeds of Disillusionment • Awakening • In the Wake of Inflation • E.C. Riegel • Why Yet Another Book?

2 Mega-Crisis and Metamorphosis-Can Civilization Be Saved?

Prospects and Prognostication • Exponential Growth • Limits to Growth • Paradigm Shift • Metamorphosis • The Egg, the Caterpillar, and the Butterfly • Get With the Program

3 The Contest for Rulership-Two Opposing Philosophies

Elitist or Egalitarian? • The Contest in American History: Monarchy or Republic? • Power by Other Means

4 Central Banking and the Rise of the Money Power

Central Banking, an Unholy Alliance • The Bank of England • Central Banking in the United States • The First Bank of the United States • Andrew Jackson and the “Bank War” • The Free Banking Era • The Federal Reserve • Central Banking Spreads around the World

5 The New World Order

The Power Behind the Central Banks • A Merging of Interests • Wars, Internal and External • Money Power, the Key Element in the New World Order • Erosion of National Sovereignty

6 Usury and the Engine of Destruction

Monetary Stringency, Past and Present • Increasing Instability • The Magic of Compound Interest • What’s Wrong with the Global System of Money and Banking? • How Debt-Money is Dysfunctional • Three Aspects of Money Dysfunction • Moral Arguments, Laws, and Practical Solutions • Keys to Transcendence • Exchange and Finance-Two Distinct Credit Functions

7 The Nature and Cause of Inflation

What Is Inflation? • Who Has the Power to Inflate? • Improper Basis of Issue by Banks Is Inflationary • Government Deficits and Inflation • The German Hyperinflation-A Classic Case • How the Inflation Was Ended • Constraints Upon Debasement of the Money • Responding to Inflation

8 The Separation of Money and State

The Separation of Church and State-A Comparison • The Disestablishment of Monetary “Religion” • Two Meanings of “Dollar” • Delinking from the Dollar as a Payment Medium • Delinking from the Dollar as a Measure of Value • Stable Value Reckoning • Toward Freedom of Exchange

9 The Evolution of Money-From Commodity Money to Credit Money

What We Don’t Know Is Hurting Us • Kinds of Economic Interaction • “The Ladder of Economic Civilization” • The First Evolutionary Step-Barter to Commodity Money • Commodity Money • Symbolic Money • The Second Evolutionary Step-From Commodity Money to Credit Money • Two Distinct Kinds of Money-Fractional Reserve Banking • Redeemability Abandoned • Checks and Checkable Deposits Displace the Use of Banknotes • Gold Versus Credit Money-A Comparison • How Credit Money Malfunctions

10 The Third Evolutionary Stage-The Emergence of Credit Clearing

Banks and the Credit Clearing Process • A Confusion of Language • Particle or Wave? Thing or Relationship? • Clearing Through Banks Versus Mutual Credit Clearing • Direct Credit Clearing Makes Conventional Money and Banking Obsolete

11 Solving the Money Problem

The Basis of Monetary Dysfunction • Reform or Transcendence? • Emerging Exchange Alternatives • Separating the Functions of Money • Back to Commodity Money? • The Unit of Account Versus the Unit of Currency • The Measurement of Value • Proper Relationship Between Commodities (Gold/Silver) and Credit • Confusion Caused by Legal Tender Laws

12 Credit Clearing, the “UnMoney”

What Is Credit Clearing? • A Simple Example of Clearing among Banks • Settlement of Accounts • Mutual Credit Clearing Systems as Clearing Houses • Direct Credit Clearing-A Simple Illustration Using Four Accounts and Ten Transactions • Balance Limits and Settlement • Providing Surety of Contract • An Insurance Fund

13 The State of the Alternative Exchange Movement

Two Currents of Alternative Exchange • The Tucson Experience • Why Exchange Alternatives Fail to Thrive • Failure of Reciprocity • Inadequate Scale and Scope of Operation

14 How Complementary Currencies Succeed or Fail

Architecture of the Currency Itself • Principle 1: Who Is Qualified to Issue Currency? • Principle 2: On What Basis Should Currency Be Issued? • Principle 3: How Much Currency May Be Issued By Each Issuer? • Implementation Strategies • The Situational Context • WIR • Social Money in Argentina

15 Commercial Trade Exchanges-Their Present Limitations and Potential Future

Limiting Factors • Limited Scale and Scope • The Value Proposition • Operations and Agreements • Proposed Remedies • The Real Deal-Credit Clearing Services • Tapping the Vast Potential Market • What About Taxes? • An Eventual Cashless Trading Network

16 A Regional Economic Development Plan Based on Credit Clearing

Approaches to Community Economic Development • Stage I: Mapping the Territory and Import Substitution • Stage II: Mutual Credit Clearing Provides an Alternative Means of Payment • Sage III: The Credit of “Trusted Issuers” Provides an Alternative Currency for Regional Circulation • Stage IV: Support Structures for Localization-Saving, Investment, Finance, and Education • Stage V and Beyond: Transition to an Objective Measure of Value and Accounting Unit

17 The Next Big Thing in Business: A Complete Web-Based Trading Platform

The Convenience of Cards • Improving the Exchange Process-Challenge and Opportunity • Significant Trends and “Disruptive Technologies” • Strengths and Vulnerabilities of Political Money and Conventional Banking • From Disruptive to Sustaining-Moving Upmarket • The Emergence of a Complete Web-Based Trading Platform • Essential Components of the Web-Based Trading Platform • Completing the Web-Based Trading Platform

18 Organizational Forms and Structures for Local Self-Determination and Complementary Exchange

Toward Economic Independence • The “Banjar” and the Balinese Governance Structure • The Mondragon Cooperatives • Ways of Organizing Credit Clearing Exchanges • Corporations • Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships • Mutual Companies • Scale of Organization

19 The Role of Governments in Establishing Economic and Financial Stability

What National Governments Should Do • Objectives • Rationale • Legislative Proposals in Brief • The Role of State, Provincial, and Local Governments • An Early Example of a Local Currency

20 Exchange, Finance, and the Store of Value

The Store of Value • Saving and Investment • Liberating Saving and Investment • Debt Claims Versus Equity Claims • A Shared Equity Mortgage • Savings and Investment within Complementary Exchange Systems

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Appendix A: A Model Membership Agreement for a Credit Clearing Service

Appendix B: An Objective Composite Standard Measure of Value

Notes

References

Index

About the Author

37 responses to “The End of Money and the Future of Civilization

  1. Some extra thoughts about this important issue I’d like to share with you:

    There has to be growth!, the cancer cell says. More and more commodities. And more and more illness on the side of those who produce all these commodities, from Bangladesh to Berlin, from Shanghai to Chicago. Full shelves, but the people are empty and burned out. Living work is turned into dead matter. Illness expresses this process, which is in permanent progress and gaining ground. I’ve read the other day, that everyone owns 10,000 things. That’s 10,000 tombstones.
    In fantasy films: the warlock bans the life of his killed victims into items that get charged this way. In Capitalism: the commodities contain broken bones, hands chopped off by machines and bodies burned by chemicals, i.e. the illness of the producers, and therefore the commodities are valuable.
    But where change would be necessary to make an end to exploitation and capitalistic illness, there is therapy and doctoring instead, and these are commodities, too, existing also in excess: In 2012 (in Germany) 633 million pharmaceutical packages were prescribed, that are 37.9 billion daily doses. Somewhere else military tanks are mobilized against rebellious people, here the prescription pad is used. Without connecting to illness as a protesting force and without practical possibilities against doctoring and therapy nothing will ever going to change. Not a word about that in this article. At least, other people address this.

    See also on the internet: „Identity of Illness and Capital“ and „Iatro-Imperialism“.

  2. Pingback: Honesdale Currency News | | Johnny Lemuria

  3. Pingback: The End of Money and the Future of Civilization – Tom Greco |

  4. Pingback: Beyond Money | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

  5. I have not read your book in detail, I have simply read all the chapter titles.

    You seem to have a good understanding of the history of money, and I agree with your principles in part, and there does seem to be one logical flaw in you principles.
    The pursuit of money, or business under the market model, cannot deliver universal abundance.

    Money is a market measure of value, and as such is the product of two complex functions that we each create within ourselves.
    One function is how much we value something, which is extremely complex and personal, and will have components including survival values, aesthetic values, cultural values, etc.
    The other function is a scarcity function (the rarer we perceive something to be, the more we are willing to pay for it).
    Both of these functions multiply together to deliver what we consider a market or monetary value.

    This is a great mechanism for allocating scarce resources, and has had great historical utility, but it does not and cannot deliver universal abundance.

    Anything that is abundant, however valuable it is, has zero scarcity, and therefore zero monetary value (anything multiplied by zero equals zero).

    Oxygen in the air is a prime example of this, extremely valuable to every human being, yet so abundant that (under normal circumstances) no one is prepared to pay any money for it.

    Thus, the idea that market based business can every deliver universal abundance is a logical nonsense.

    It seems to me that the exponential growth of computing, robotics, and solar power are poised to give us the technical capacity to deliver universal abundance in the near term (within 20 years certainly, and perhaps within 10), but the dominant social paradigms of money and market valuation are the greatest single impediment to delivering that abundance.

    My question is, are you really committed to delivering universal abundance, and if so, would you like to work with me and (with luck and hard work) a few million others, to deliver it to every person on the planet.

    This will involve technical, political, social, and business aspects.

    You can see more about me on my other sites:
    http://www.tedhowardnz.com
    http://www.solnx.org
    http://www.fishnet.co.nz/ted/ted.htm

    • Well, Ted, I think you may be throwing out the baby with the bath water. It is the scarcity of money that causes us to be dominated by it. But, money does not need to be scarce. Universal abundance is possible. We can all have what we need to live dignified, fulfilling lives.
      If you want to know what I think, read my books. I think you’ll learn something useful to you.

      • Hi Thomas

        I started working with computers 39 years ago.
        I have seen them go from things the size of a house requiring enough power for a small village, to things a million times more powerful that fit within a matchbox and use a couple of watts or less.

        I expect to live to see the same processing power in something smaller that a blood cell, requiring a few nanowatts.

        Over the next decade or so, automation is going to really kick in, at all levels.

        This automation has the possibility of providing everybody with everything that they need, at the same sort of level of abundance as oxygen in the air.

        That sort of abundance is not compatible with money.

        Money is a market measure, and markets are fundamentally scarcity driven.
        Once we have real abundance, then money loses its meaning.

        It is going to happen, all of the trends are going that way.

        We just need to start thinking about how we are going to organise when we don’t need (nor have) money – but we do have all the food, education, house, communication etc that we want.

        The price of freedom is always going to remain eternal vigilance – that is unlikely to ever change – but just about everything else will, and we had better be prepared when it does – that’s all I’m saying.

      • I don’t know about everything we WANT. Wants are endless and manufactured by Madison avenue. Many wants are based in neuroses.
        But we already produce MORE THAN WE COLLECTIVELY NEED.
        Making sure that it gets properly distributed requires a change of mind and transcending the global interest-based debt money system that makes money scarce and distributes it to serve the power and wealth agenda of the global political-financial elite.

      • Hi Thomas
        I have bought your book, downloaded to my kindle last night.

        My point is, that we have the technical capacity to create abundance, but we do not do so.
        Sure there are power elites doing their own thing, and I suspect that most of what we see is simply people working within the incentive structures that exist in their awareness.

        My objective is to transform that incentive structure, and in doing so deliver real freedom to everyone.

        I don’t see any real need for money in such a system.

        An open-mesh system of self organising trust networks seems to me to have far greater utility in that regard than any sort of monetary system.

        We have had the capacity to feed everyone on the planet for over 100 years, and we have not. There is no incentive within any economic system to meet the needs of all members – that is a fundamental aspect of any market based system (as market are scarcity driven, there must always be scarcity for some).

        With automation, robotics, and solar energy – we are entering an age where scarcity will not exist. Markets lose there meaning in such an environment.
        We need to truly start thinking beyond money.

      • Sure, the current incentive structure is all wrong for the kind of world most of us want to live in. Yes, we will probably some day have no need for money, realizing the truth of abundance and living in a “gift economy.”
        The question is how to get from here to there?

      • Hi Thomas

        Yes – that is indeed the question.

        For me, the idea of reforming the monetary system doesn’t seem particularly useful in that regard, because of the fundamental flaws in the concept of money (as outlined previously). Therefore, it seems to me, that there is far greater probability of success if we simply accept that the whole idea of money/markets/economics is flawed, and on its way out, and simply use those parts of it that are useful to deliver the technological base required to support humans in the coming age of abundance.

        A sketch of the sort of technologies required can be found on one of my websites http://www.solnx.org

        When I was at the foresight conference on nanotechnology and the future last year, it was clear to me that we have the people, and the knowledge, but that the incentive structure of money will never deliver abundance in and of itself.

        Thus the approach is two fold.

        One aspect is raising levels of awareness. This means talking to people, at golf clubs, lions clubs, doctors surgeries, supermarkets – wherever, and sharing aspects of what exponential growth can deliver, at whatever level the other person is capable of listening.

        The other aspect is political. It is about building a grass roots political movement that demands abundance for the masses, ecological sustainability, health, security, integrity.

        These things are not easy, and it seems that they are what is required, in reality, at this time.

  6. Pingback: Liars for LIBOR: Betrayal of the public trust, one more chapter « Beyond Money

  7. Our world definitely needs more people like you. The “money” phenomenon has become the most repugnant “phenomenon” of our times as it takes over everything, including the universe itself, and is the cause of our inevitable demise!!

    Waiting for the big changes to really take shape effectively in the financial regulatory systems as a wake-up call to BIG corporate magnates!!

  8. Pingback: The Occupy movement at risk from violent protesters « Beyond Money

  9. Why isn’t the book free?

  10. Pingback: DIY Money – trading with Sydney LETS community exchange - OCCUPY SYDNEY | OCCUPY SYDNEY

  11. Glad to see this idea is getting some attention, have not read the book, but am familiar with most of the concepts and arguments involved. Its certainly not a new idea, but crucial to the future of civilization as we know it. The problem as i see it is how to wake up the sleeping masses. i know this must be addressed in the book and am sure it looks good on paper, but are people ready to take action? We didn’t just fall into this pit, we jumped into it by allowing the central bank to come into existance in the first place. Jefferson said long ago; “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies”. Who listened?
    He also said; “Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed”. Was he not insightful, almost prophetic about what was to come?

  12. Congratulations for this article.

    Very interesing. Strongly agree.

    My little contribution about new currencies, at my website

    Thanks for your attention.

  13. Pingback: Usury and the Money Problem, a Message to Faith Communities « Beyond Money

  14. Pingback: El Dinero es Deuda (“Money as Debt”) | Contraportada.es - Para mentes críticas -

  15. Pingback: Monetary 20exchange | FantasyWearOnline

  16. Pingback: New Year’s Newsletter-2011 « Tom’s News and Views

  17. Pingback: the end of money « KOALITION FÖR PENNINGREFORM

  18. Pingback: Beyondmoney.net: 2010 in review « Beyond Money

  19. Pingback: Plunder beyond belief, FED reluctantly shows the smoking gun. - Tom Greco at Chelsea Green

  20. Pingback: Plunder beyond belief, FED reluctantly shows the smoking gun. « Beyond Money

  21. Can’t wait to get your book from my brother. He’s gone to Indonesia, Vietnam, etc and will be back by 2nd week of Dec. I hope he finds it in Kinokuniya! I don’t know how to order it over Amazon…..

    If you know of “anyone” ;) coming to Penang and has a copy of your book to share (it is top 15 most Sharable) please share one with me!

  22. I just attempted to grab the RSS Feed to this site and I am not sure why, but it is not showing up in Google Chrome. Any suggestions?

  23. Pingback: April Newsletter « Tom’s News and Views

  24. Pingback: The End of Money book one of top 15 “most shareable” of 2009 « Beyond Money

  25. Pingback: Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows: David Reilly « Beyond Money

  26. Merely want to say your article is brilliant. The lucidity in your post is simply spectacular and i can take for granted you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with incoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the sound work

  27. hello,

    I posted a review of your book which I hope will help spread the meme and activate the bright minds who will develop the “complete web-based trading platform” that will free us from the monopolistic control of our means of exchange that is inherent in political money today …

    http://blog.hasslberger.com/2009/10/the_end_of_money_and_the_futur.html

  28. Pingback: Runtux Blog » Blog Archive » Cloud computing, Vendor Lock-In and the Future

  29. Pingback: Beyond Money

  30. Pingback: The Great Inflation of 2010 « Beyond Money

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s