How to Fix Money, Banking, and the Economy, and Usher in a New Convivial Civilization
It is clear that governments and banking corporations have long colluded in creating the present system of money, banking and finance that dominates economies around the world, and that they have no interest in making the kinds of changes that would reduce their power or share the wealth more fairly. As I have described it before, the banking cartel has been given the privilege of creating money out of thin air as debt and charging interest for its use, while the central governments get to spend as much as they want for whatever they want without regard to their limited tax revenues or the popular will.
–Read the full article here or on Medium.
Ivan Illich and the Coming Cultural Revolution
Do educational institutions make people stupid? Do medical institutions make people sick?
Such questions may at first glance seem preposterous, but they were raised in all seriousness a few decades ago by Ivan Illich, and strongly argued in his books, Deschooling Society (1971) and Medical Nemesis (1975). In both cases his arguments stem from his overarching belief that as institutions become too large and too centralized they end up doing the exact opposite of what they are intended to do. Over the subsequent decades, we’ve seen mounting evidence that Illich was correct in his assessments. In our attempts to improve efficiency, eliminate uncertainty, and get more done in less time, we have allowed everything to become too big, too rigid, too fast, and too centrally controlled. In the process the individual has become ever more helpless and alienated and more dependent on impersonal institutions that are being corrupted by their power and inherent conflicts of interest. As Illich argues, we have become slaves to our institutions and our myths about who we are and how the world works. George Bernard Shaw spoke similarly in declaring that all professions are “conspiracies against the laity.”
Go, set, get ready for your mark!
The dystopian world of George Orwell’s, 1984, and Aldus Huxley’s, Brave New World, has been creeping up on us for a very long time. Now it’s coming on at a gallop and seems bound to cross the finish line in just a few short strides. Its pounding hooves shake the earth as they grind into dust truth, privacy, human rights, and all that humans hold sacred. The heat and stench from the monsters fiery breath give fair warning that it means to consume whatever stands in its way. Like the temptation of Jesus by Satan, it promises us the world, but at the price of our very souls.
Read the full article here or on Medium.
Money and Finance Have Now Been Completely Collectivized
Desperate efforts are being made by the central banks and central governments to keep the flawed global system of money, banking, and finance afloat, but they will ultimately prove futile.
You can also read this article on Medium.
The global money system: not the kind of normal we should get back to describes the urgency, and the opportunity, of ushering in a new, more equitable and sustainable economy based on the deployment of the innovative mechanisms of exchange and finance that I have long advocated. We need to ask ourselves what it is that keeps us on the treadmill. We try to get ahead but so often we end up simply standing still or falling farther behind. We are all chasing after that thing that everyone demands from us–money. The problem is that there is never enough money in the right places to fairly distribute the vast amount of wealth that the economy produces. What if we could all stop chasing after money? Money scarcity is an artifact of the interest-based, debt-money regime. Better means of exchange are available; we simply need to organize and use them.
Riding the Populist Wave
This article points out that capitalists now admit that the system is “rigged” in their favor; it argues that Trump and Sanders represent two edges of the populist wave that is now dominating U.S. politics, that a Sanders win over Trump is entirely plausible, that the New Deal of FDR has been systematically dismantled and needs to be reestablished, and that in the long run people will need to work together in communities to build systems and structures that can circumvent the rigged system.
Monetary alchemy: how to turn bad money into good
In this article, I describe how fiat money can be transmuted into a truly effective and scalable community currency, while at the same time providing a way to finance community improvement projects like affordable housing. Key features that distinguish my design from other “fiat backed” currencies that have been tried before are (1) the limitations placed on cash redemption, and (2) the requirement that the community currency be issued as loans to businesses based on the amount of needed and desired goods and services they have available for immediate sale. You can read the full article here.
Liquidity and Monetization
This monograph defines key terms in the design and issuance of exchange media.
Confronting the Power Elite
The world today is controlled by a small elite group that has been increasingly concentrating power and wealth in their own hands. How has that come about? How can power be decentralized and dispersed more broadly to enable people to live in peace and freedom?
Read the full article here. The PDF file can be downloaded here.
This article was also published in the web journal, Transformation. Another version of the article can be found on the Global Research website.
Local Currencies—what works; what doesn’t?
The past thirty years have seen the emergence of a great many local and community currencies, which it was hoped would enhance community resilience and self-reliance. But the results have been less than spectacular. This article explains why, and argues that the key to a currencies success lies in its “basis of issue.” The PDF file can be downloaded here.
How to Bring Liquidity Into an Economy, Free of Interest, Inflation, and Boom and Bust Cycles. This article describes how the value of local production can be monetized in the form of circulating private currencies and trade credits created within associations of buyers and sellers.
Solar Dollars – a way to promote renewable energy, while supporting the local economy and providing interest-free financing for utility companies. This article describes how to issue and circulate of a sound private currency, in this case based on renewable energy, but the same model could be applied on the basis of any product or service that is in everyday demand.
A German language version can be found here.
50 Ways to Leave the Euro: Greece and the Global Crisis. In this article, published in Common Dreams on November 6, 2015, I provide my prescriptions for how Greece (and other countries) might relieve their impossible debt burden, and describe ways in which domestic liquidity can be created without inflation. The PDF file can be downloaded here.
People-Centered Adjustment: Transcending the Debt Crisis and Creating a Future of Abundance, Freedom, and Global Harmony, is an original essay published in the issue Anarchy & Nonprofit: An Emerging Affair of the Spanda Journal (Vol. 4, No. 1, 2013), an open-access journal which you can download for free here.
Taking Moneyless Exchange to Scale: Measuring and Maintaining the Health of a Credit Clearing System. The focus of this article is on credit clearing as a local moneyless exchange option, and deals specifically with the proper allocation of credit within credit clearing exchanges. It was published in the International Journal of Community Currency Research (IJCCR) in April, 2013. Tiny url.
Reclaiming the Credit Commons: Toward a Butterfly Society. This is a chapter in the anthology, The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State, published by Levellers Press in 2012.
Currencies of transition: Transforming money to unleash
sustainability. This is a chapter in the anthology, The Necessary Transition: The Journey towards the Sustainable Enterprise Economy, co-authored with Prof. Jem Bendell of Cumbria University, and published by Greenleaf Publishing Ltd. in June, 2013.
The End of Money: Take Power Back From the Money and Banking Monopoly. This article, published in Alternet on July 27, 2009, descries decentralized free-market and community-based initiatives that enable people to transcend the money monopoly, and argues that “the Greenback solution” is a dead end.
How Bad Will the Economy Get? Really, Really Bad. Historically, every financial and economic crisis has been used to further centralize power and concentrate wealth. This one is no different. This article was published in Alternet, July 14, 2009.