Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Conversation on the Need for a New Financial and Monetary System.

I am in red ;-)
 Hi Tatiana,

I can understand your position and point of view; and yes it is a HUGE step from where we are today to a time in the future where we live without money. But, as they say, better the devil you know then the devil you don't...How can we ensure that a world with no money will not be a devil we don't know?? We can become as obsessed with more technology in the future as we are with more money in the present. Let me explain why I believe an alternative money system can't work, and why it will only slow down our evolution;

Whether you’re dealing with credits, dollars, gold or anything else it ALWAYS lends itself to corruption. Simply because the more you have, the more you get. If you design your currency to do so, so it will do. To me, the problem is not so much that the more you have the more you get, it is that the more you have, the less someone else has or, in other words, the more someone else loosesThis is why we are where we are today. The system wasn't intentionally built corrupt but became corrupted by those who wanted more! Technology was not intended to do harm and here we are in a polluted world. I think you are talking about 'money was not meant to be corrupt' and I agree with that, but the monetary system we have today was built corrupt. When people put their gold and got pieces of paper in exchange, there was nothing corrupt with gold, nor with the piece of paper or the banking system. It was when the banking system got corrupted [by us humans] that the whole thing went wrong. And the banking system was corrupted with the purpose of getting more money (for the sake of getting more money). It was the corruption of the banking system what made money a corrupting tool, not the other way around. It doesn’t matter what alternative the currency system is replaced with monopolisation will eventuate. What about the system who cannot be monopolized but that belongs to the commons?? Just by simply having a currency of any standard, you are providing an incentive for corruption. You may have a system that is fair and equitable for a time but eventually it WILL morph into what we have today!

Currency also encourages segregation between people, not everyone can contribute! You can design systems for all sorts of communities. Even the ageing population may be able to use one, and the homeless have immense potential with these tools. Or you can design a system where your elders are protected economically by the community without regrets or complaints. Also with currency comes property and ownership, this is exactly why people become alienated and elitism occurs. You cannot have one without the other! Again, it depends on the definition of money you have. Under the current definition, which basically says that money for the sake of money is what we need, what you're saying is true. But if money is defined as a tool to measure the, let's say, health of your community, then ownership, property, elitism and alienation become non can that be good health?? You could say that the less 'units' in circulation,  the healthier your community or vice versa, depending on the design of the currency for your particular community. Money will mean access instead of ownership.

There will always be those who will find a way of acquiring more than others, whether that’s by way of hard work (in that case deserving), steeling, or via exploitation (the current methods by which businesses operate), if it’s a way that allows the purchase of goods or services and whoever has more gets more than it can be corrupted. How about the systems where you are encouraged to keep your account balanced to zeros?? Like most LETS?? 

I believe we are far better off spending our energy on the logistics of how a system without currency can work. What are our basic needs, how can we automate the production of these in a safe and sustainable manner? Once that’s taken care of, then you can kill the currency, the luxuries and everything else we have will find its own way into the system! We won’t have to work them out as people will want more but will acquire it in a very different manner…
Here I think we need to go into deeper aspects of humanity I guess. My interpretation of your words is that people only want more money. To me, people want more of everything and anything. I believe that we are trying to fill an internal gap with external stuff. Thus we relate happiness to money, clothes, toys, shoes, bags, this food or that other, name it. Zeitgeist is very clear that money is not related to happiness. Is technology? is clothing?? I believe that what makes us happy is the ability to correlate with each other but more than that, what makes us consistently and unchangeably happy people is the ability to not to require anything from the world in order to be happy. 

Zeitgeist says, and I absolutely agree, that if we change the environment, we can change behavior. The project I work on, attempts to tackle that by offering a space where you can use money in a structurally and completely different way. A way that apparently has not been presented yet in the way I envision it, therefore it is hard to say that it will or won't work. But I also believe that when you change, your environment changes. When you stop looking for happiness in your surroundings, when you stop looking for culprits, when there is no one to blame for the world not being how you want it to be, then you realize that you can create the world you want. If we change the environment, we can change behavior. Yes...when who changes the environment?? We, therefore we need to change in order to change the is a reciprocal and permanent feedback. We can create economic systems that promote different behaviors, the behaviors we want. All what we have now in the world, has been our invention. Corrupt money is our invention. Prisons segregate people from society because they were designed [by us] to do so, education creates economic slaves because they have been designed to do so, advertising and marketing create zombies/consumers because they have been designed to do so, a software does what you want it to do and you are the programmer,  and our economic and monetary system foster corruption and a more because it has been designed to do so. 

I want to leave this question on the table: If it is so hard for us in this Zgroup to imagine a completely and structurally different monetary, economic and financial system, can you imagine how hard it is for the general public to imagine a world with no money at all!!??

If you remove currency then you remove property and ownership, if you remove property and ownership then you remove the incentive for corruption!

The only incentive left is the incentive to contribute for the benefit of all!!! How about those who kill without monetary incentives but still think they are right?? where is the benefit for all?? How about those who have collections of shoes, pens, books, you name it, without monetary incentives?? There is no money, but I can see ownership and property there. How are we going to tell this people not to believe in ownership and property?? 

Again, my core believe is that we need a system that takes us back to the platform of economic transactions. That platform is social relationships of trust and cooperation. When we recover that deteriorated social membrane, then we, as in, the majority of our civilization, will be able to foresee a world without money. 

This is not about convincing the other about who is right or wrong. I think we all have valid points, I really see that my vision of the world fits into the one that ZG proposes. But I must say that my concern is about too much technological focus. To me the issue is us, it requires an immense deal of social cohesion and cooperation to build the ZG world. Humanity seems to be far from the conscious and cohesive state we need to get there. I am working on removing the fear to a new and different future and rebuilding the social membranes via new economic and financial structures, so that we have the social capital and, individual as well as collective motivation to get there. This is just one of the many possibilities and is one that I can see happening. We'll see what will happen in the future. I rather try and say 'it didn't work' than living with the annoying doubt of 'what would have happened if I had done it'

My 2 cents ;-)

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