James Robertson and I have known each other for many years and I think there is a great deal mutual respect between us. James is quite insightful and his heart is in the right place, and that is reflected in his latest newsletter, part of which I’ve included below. Our main point of disagreement is about what changes are necessary to deal with civilizations current crisis and what might be fruitful approaches to making them. (1) He, like most Brits and Europeans I’ve encountered, still believes in statist solutions. They think they have a chance to influence, if not control, the political process using the existing structures. (2) James also believes that central government should be the provider of exchange media (money). On the first of those, I believe that the nation state has outlived its usefulness, that power has become over-centralized and therefore corrupting and corrupted, and that decentralization and human-scale must be the order of the day. On the second point, I believe in the need for government to relinquish the money power and to repeal legal tender laws that give one brand of money a monopoly and force its acceptance even though it is inevitably abused by improper issuance and misallocation. I address this in the chapter titled “The Separation of Money and State” in my latest book, The End of Money and The Future of Civilization. In 2002 I wrote an appraisal and critique of the proposal that he and Josef Huber published in 2001 under the title Creating New Money: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age. That critique can be found at http://reinventingmoney.com/monetary-reform-information-age/ . James’ review of my book, can be found at http://www.jamesrobertson.com/news-jun09.htm#greco. Subscriptions to his newsletter are free; you can sign up here. — t.h.g. James Robertson Newsletter No. 28 – January 2010 1. EDITORIAL: THE TRANSITION TO A NEW DECADE The ‘Noughties’ have shown that we in the “democratic West”, led by a global super-power in the USA, can no longer claim a specially democratic and influential position in world affairs. The claim to be democratic has been disastrously damaged by our self-imposed dependence on profit-making commercial banks to provide our public money supply, by our elected representatives’ money-grubbing, and by the way the US and Britain invaded Iraq and destabilised the Middle East. The claim to be influential has been shown up at the recent Copenhagen conference on climate change, when the newly powerful nations, led by China and supported by many “less developed” peoples, insisted that their future development prospects should not suffer from the need to repair the global ecological damage caused by Western development over the past 200 years, and that we should bear the main cost of repairing it. In Britain we face a general election within the next six months. There is a widespread sense that none of our mainstream political parties is capable of responding effectively to the range of national and international challenges we now face. If their election campaigns confirm this, the result could be a temporary “hung Parliament”. We electors and our politicians might then recognise the need for deeper-seated changes than mainstream agendas now offer. A two-year transition to the ‘Teenies’ decade could then see the start of a deliberate shift to a new worldwide path of co-operative development and democratic participation. It would give us a much better chance of securing the future of our and other endangered species, than trying to restore competitive Business-As-Usual. 2. MONEY SYSTEM REFORM A major aspect of that new path of development has to be a money system fit for its purpose. 2.1. The Purpose of the Money System The money system’s purpose must change from what it has been since its origins in the distant past. It must no longer be designed to provide a stealthy way to transfer wealth from weaker and poorer people to richer and more powerful ones. (If you don’t believe that this is a fair description, take a look at my short History Of Money –www.jamesrobertson.com/books.htm#history). Its new public purpose now must be to enable everyone to benefit from fair and efficient exchanges of goods and services, reflecting what we each contribute to and take from the common wealth. It is a purpose for which governmental agencies at local, national and international level must become directly responsible. To get the money system reconstructed for this new purpose, we have to understand it as a system of interacting money subsystems which influences our behaviour at every level – personal, household, local, national, and global. We have to understand how it generates a calculus of values, and how that operates as a scoring system motivating us by rewarding some things and penalising others. And we have to understand how its present modes of operation motivate us to behave in ways that hasten our species’ suicide. The following four governmental decisions primarily determine how the money system works – in other words, what values it generates in terms of the prices and costs of everything compared with everything else, and so how it motivates us to behave:
- how the public money supply is created, by whom and in what form (as debt or debt-free);
- how governments collect public revenue (for example, what they tax and what they don’t tax);
- what public spending is spent on and what it isn’t spent on; and
- how governments regulate the financial dealings of individual people and other organisations.
Today, all of those urgently need systemic understanding and reform. The full Newsletter can also be viewed here.
Oh yes David, what you say is so true.
Thank you for responding! It’s great to get feedback from feedback!
Taking action in line with my comments is my purpose. Thus I focus on Attitudinal Competence = ability to adapt our attitudes to best suit the situation, rather than rely on habitual attitudes to situations. See also my page at http://www.daviddeane-spread.com/gafacald.html
We can’t resolve issues with the same attitudes that created them.
We must influence and persaude, with honour and without force, sufficient numbers of people, that our current opposition-based system of governments is outdated – where good ideas are rejected based on “from the the opposition”; sufficient profit is more sustainable than maximum profit; making money from money was never intended in the design of money and is totally unsustainable; that the combination of ever increasing profit and population is our greatest threat; and that we are all in the same boat.
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Good comment. The 1st amendment says congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Suppose I don’t want to be a part of a mionetary system that practices usury? Since the bible directly condemns it and calls it evil, can I be made to do that which I believe evil? The Constitution says no.
Can I be presumed guilty by the Constitution, federal or state, for my beliefs? Biblically, we are to be presumed innocent, since God is on the side of the accused(Isaiah 54:17), and that is fully consistent with the right against self incrimination as in the 5th amendment.
We have the freedom of religion and the right of conscience, yet we are denied the right to develop our own monetary system to support our conwscience. Unconstitutional, not to mention immoral.
Since the terms “due process” pre-existed the constitution, and it says we are to be judged by “peers” and not by judges, where does the authority of judges, created by the constitution, originate to give them the control of due process, which is NOT of the constitution?
There’s much that can be examined along these lines.
I applaud the recognition of the need for monetary (and other) reform. I ask is it not that the change that will work will not come from our pleading and fighting for the governments and bankers to change, but from us?
Is it not the case that the change will come from us, one by one if necessary, as we learn the legal and moral truth about the system; our unalienable rights as living breathing souls; who we really are; what we can really do under our own power peacefully and with unconditional love; how we can live in honour and with enough for comfort, growth and a positive future?
Is it not the case that the pathways are readily available and ‘hidden in plain sight’ – spread through the laws and their originating sources?
What prevents us from getting all this? Is it our existing culture, crammed full of inaccuracies and falsehoods, self-infliticted as well as passed on by others?
Hasn’t all that’s ever been in our way just fear, habits and ignorance?
When we have the patience and commitment to relearn and put into practice that which has always been available to us all, then couldn’t we peacefully and honourabley enact the changes ourselves?
Isn’t the information already available, enshrined in old and even new law?
Isn’t the only way ahead for us all, individually, to discover learn and practice that which is available to us that is honourable and from who we really are?
Is it not the case that true reform will come from our ability to forgive and create?
Is it possible to explore the deeper truer meaning of those words, beyond common or religous connotations?
Are these criteria below reasonable as to how we might achieve reform: -a. Commercially viable, without usury
When will we all accept our own full responsibility for our honourable life?