Latest News in the World of Complementary Currencies
Bernard LietaerImage credit: Willi Filz, Brandeins We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend, Bernard Lietaer, who passed away recently at his home in Hoherhagen, Germany with loved ones. Bernard was a …read more
April Hits New Mark of 1.53 Million in Trading! Universal Currency, (UC), the barter industry’s #1 inter-exchange trading platform, is on pace in 2019 to set an all-time annual trading record. In April of 2019 UC posted 1.53 million dollars of trading – the best April in UC’s 22-year history. UC has surpassed a million dollars of trading every month …read more
The goal of a sovereign money reform is to place the money creation into the hands of a public institution that serves the public interest. However, there are still many different design options how to implement this, i.e. what instruments should be used to steer the money supply or if the payment system should be […]
The post Design options of sovereign money – a full overview appeared first on International Movement for Money Reform.read more
Here is a reminder on the call for papers for the 5th RAMICS Congress, to be held in Japan, Sept. 11-15th. The deadline has been postponed to May, 14th. Proposals dealing with community and complementary currencies, under digital forms or not, and with monetary innovation, are welcome. Don’t hesitate to visit the website of the congress and of RAMICS association. Advertisementsread more
As climate change inevitably rises up the political agenda, the shame of being seen not to act on it increases. After a week of nonviolent protest Extinction Rebellion have established their moral authority, and competance, and their support is growing as it should. And everyone is invited to participate – there is no argument that the middle classes, the unemployed, the schoolchildren, the women or the blacks own this struggle. Climate concerns affect everyone, even the rich, and the unborn.
Many people who struggle for climate and other forms of justice have developed a healthy skepticism around notions of multinational business, money, profit, or even commerce in general. Some are working towards a society which doesn’t depend on conditionality, scarcity, or even reciprocation. They may believe that we live in such abundance that no-one need be obliged to do anything, or that people can be motivated in less co-ercive ways. The simple version of this is that business is the manifestation of the same values that caused the climate crisis and we should eschew its support. And that ‘business’ will never support the radical policies need to build the better world. Policies I support like
- teaching the military to farm,
- converting all the businesses into nonprofits,
- replacing the money system with a honey system,
- melting down the aaeroplances to make high speed trains etc.,
- making nurseries from nuclear power stations,
- catching all the cow farts,
- turning coal into candy floss, etc.
The trouble is that neither have time to wait, nor to compromise. We can’t refuse to work with somebody because of what they are, or more precisely what we think they are. The transformation must happen inside before it happens outside. The businesses now looking to associate themselves with Extinction Rebellion are absolutely needed, and we don’t get to say, ‘sorry you’re not rebellious enough to be in our rebellion’.
There is a real concern though, that these entities have a different agenda, and their financial and political resources, will be deployed to suffucate the original impulse. The corporate Corporate Social Responsibiliy movement has a consistent track record of hollowing out amazing initiatives and using them to package their shit.
So XR needs to find a way to welcome, and to work with organisations who want the same things they want, without allowing themselves to be coopted by the internal logic – towards control, growth, extraction – of those organisations.
Extinction & Rebellion
First all we need to define what Extinction Rebellion is about because it is too easy to label it as climate protest, in a long tradition of protest against government and industry policies which allow or promote carbon emissions and other forms of pollution. Extinction rebellion is about more than climate, but about an existential crisis. Humans whether in search of profit, better lives, and necessities are destroying ecosystems on an industrial scale, and emitting gases which are affecting the whole climate system. We have instigated a dying process called the sixth mass extinction of which climate change will be large part. Our food supply is at risk and mass starvation seems likely in the not too distant future. We want to give the best for our children, but we are preparing a wasteland for them to inherit. This is all extremely visceral, aside from concerns about human extinction or the duty of care we might have towards the planet, or other creatures on it.
30 years of protests have presided over an acceleration of the causes of extinction, with only the most pallid, cosmetic changes. In other words everything we have tried has not worked. Not protest, not reason, not science, not fear-mongering, not even direct action. Ordinary people – almost everyone knows this, yet our most powerful institutions, governments whose legitimacy rests on their defending their populations, barely even mention this existential problem, seemingly seduced by whoever waves the most money at them. Their accomplices in the media sneer at us, diverting attention from the issues with cheap rhetoric. Many of us feel anger and some would channel this into violence, but we understand the high cost of violence; we understand that only a few people will risk physical harm; we understand that the state can always meet violence with greater violence; and most of all we understand that our violence will be turned by the all important-media against our cause.
Rebellion is about declaring the government illegitimate and breaking its law. The laws to break are carefully chosen for maximum publicity and minimum (real) harm. Lost income by the way is neither harm nor theft. Malcontents blocking transport infrastructure is a normal cost of doing business in London, along with high rents, gang violence and terrorist attacks – it is factored in. The customers who don’t come into your shop are not your customers and their money is not your income. What you have ‘lost’ is chickens counted before they were hatched. In the same breath you ‘lost’ an opportunity to take a week off work which would have softened the pill if you didn’t care only about money.
Finally, the role of businesss
So how should a business support Extinction Rebellion? The easiest way is to give them that most versatile of resources, money.
What should a business get from supporting extinction rebellion? It should get what all the other supporters get – a better chance of a livable world for their children.
So why do businesses feel the need to subscribe to something, to make a web site? There could be a desire to make a club whose membership is subscribed by some ethical standards and whose members can announce their ethics to the world using the well known extinction rebellino brand. This would both call businesses to a higher ethical standard, and offer them the carrot of increased trade.
That sounds too much like ‘Fair Trade’ which is a hollowed out shell of what the creators intended. Nor does it help Extinction Rebellion. Nor is it even rebellious.
I sense an ontological problem with corporations rebelling against the law, because corporations are not people, under the law, but creatures OF the law. Their rebelling against the lawgiving authority renders themselves illegitimate. But perhaps that’s a technicality. What laws should businesses be breaking? It seems to me that tax disobedience is the obvious way. Of course many businesses especially larger and well connected ones are already evading all their tax which doesn’t leave them much room to rebel. Instead of paying tax to an illegitimate government, businesses could finance the people’s rebellion or any ecologial cause.
I’m going to leave it there. I have other ideas about how guidelines for businesses behaviour, but I think this is the first discussion. Are these businesses ready to break the law?
I grew up in Canyon, a small village in the redwoods not far from Oakland, California. Unlike most residential communities in the United States, we managed our own infrastructure, including roads, water, and an internet mesh network. I learned firsthand how communal infrastructure brings people together, creates a culture of reciprocity, and reduces waste. Much of my work before and since joining Shareable has been directly influenced by this experience.
The Research Association on Monetary Innovation and Community and Complementary Currency Systems (RAMICS), in partnership with the International Journal of Community Currency Research (IJCCR) and the Bibliography Databank of Community Currency Research (CC-literature), announces the launch of the first edition of the RAMICS’ Best Paper Award on monetary innovation and complementary currency systems. This initiative […]read more
Dear colleagues, Here is a reminder on the call for papers for the 5th RAMICS Congress, to be held in Japan, Sept. 11-15th. The deadline has been postponed to April, 30th. Proposals dealing with community and complementary currencies, under digital forms or not, and with monetary innovation, are welcome. Don’t hesitate to visit the website […]read more