August Newsletter, 2012
Your money power
Europe/UK – Fall Tour Update
Your Money Power
The vast majority of people remain unaware of it, but the fact is, we have in our own hands, right now, the power to create or completely transcend money. As I’ve been preaching for many years, money is nothing more than credit, i.e., the willingness to trust that the value we provide as sellers of goods and services will be reciprocated when we become buyers. But, as we are now becoming so painfully aware, our trust in conventional political currencies and banks has been misplaced; we have been betrayed. It’s not only a matter of fraud and malfeasance, bad as that is, rather, the entire system was designed from the very start to enable the few to exploit the many.
There are two parasitic elements that are built into the central banking, debt-money system—interest and inflation. Every national currency is supported by the collective credit of the people. It is our own credit that we entrust to the bankers, then beg them to lend it back to us, and pay interest for the privilege. Besides that, the national government gets first priority in the allocation of credit. Banks like to lend to governments instead of to producers, because government securities are relatively risk-free and provide a guaranteed profit. When our collective savings prove insufficient to satisfy government’s spending demands, the banks will create enough new money to enable deficit spending, which is the essence of inflation. It is a hidden tax that eventually shows up as higher prices in the markets.
All of that will continue until the people are able to take back the reins of government, but that cannot happen until the people take back control of their economy, and that requires that we adopt new ways of mediating the exchange of goods and services that puts control in the hands of the people. E. C. Riegel eloquently expressed that prospect:
To trade goods and services is a natural right of all people. To issue the money necessary to make these exchanges is also the natural right of all people who are intelligent enough to do so. We need not beg for money. We do not need to be money slaves: we can be money masters. When we have become money masters we shall master all our economic and political problems.
Dig up this treasure, your money power, that has been lying dormant in your consciousness and express it for wealth, health, peace and happiness by associating with others who are similarly awakened.
The way to express our “money power,” and to achieve true democracy is to organize businesses and individuals into credit clearing associations and networks for the direct allocation of credit and payment without the use of political money. My writings, and those of E. C. Riegel provide directions on how to do that.
Tour Update- Europe/UK
My plans for a series of presentations and workshops in Europe and the UK this Fall are shaping up. My itinerary is still developing but this is what I have lined up so far. Dates in red are firm, others may be flexible:
October 8-17? Crete, Greece.
October 10-11 -- Workshop on Community Exchange Systems And Alternative Currency Systems For Sustainable Communities (lead by Prof. Jem Bendell) at the International Sustainability Summit http://www.eurosustainability.org/en/esa_summit.htm , sponsored by the European Sustainability Academy (Sharon Jackson, Director,. http://www.eurosustainability.org/en/esa.htm)
October 18-21 -- Athens and the Greek mainland
October 25 York, UK. York LETS Conference
October 27-28 London. Conference on Money and Alternative Currencies (being planned by Mary Fee of LETSlinkUK, http://www.letslinkuk.net/ )
October 30-31 Lancaster, UK, Cumbria University. Presentation and workshop (organized by Tony Haslam)
I'll also try to see Godfrey Bloom, member of the European Parliament. See this video: http://goo.gl/UEOdf in which Bloom explains in less than three minutes why all governments are in debt. Watch it to the very end.
I've also recently begun a correspondence with MP Steve Baker, advisor to the Cobden Center (http://goo.gl/e3K2a) and will try to see him while I’m there.
Possibilities are still open for dates in between, early October, and maybe early November.
The Workshop on Alternative Community Currencies to be held on the island of Crete will be led by Prof. Jem Bendell (www.Lifeworth.com) and will also feature presentations by Matthew Slater and myself. Details of the program are still being worked out but I will do a presentation on Transcending The Global Crisis and The Emergence Of The Butterfly Society, and Matthew will be presenting the credit clearing software that he has developed using Drupal.
I’m hoping that the sponsors of the various events will combine to provide reimbursement sufficient to cover my expenses, but I’m committed to undertake this tour in any case. If you would like to help the cause, please donate to our non-profit Community Information Resource Center (CIRC), a project of NEST, Inc. The easiest way is to donate through GIVV.ORG, http://www.givv.org/, or you can send a check, made out to CIRC/NEST, Inc., to me at P.O. Box 42663, Tucson, AZ 85733. Any amount would be appreciated.
Money and Life, a documentary by Katie Teague that has been three and a half years in the making, is in the final stages of completion. Katie is now looking for Crowdfunding to finish it. Here’s part of her recent post:
After three and a half years we finally have a late stage rough cut of Money & Life and have been test viewing it with small audiences, to rave reviews. It's been a long haul and we've had the greatest honor getting to know some of the brightest minds and biggest hearts that are leading the conversation on money and building a new economy.
To view a three minute teaser and to donate, go to: http://goo.gl/TJ2H6
Occupy World Street, Ross Jackson. When Chelsea Green asked me a couple years ago to do a pre-publication review or Ross Jackson’s new book, I was happy to oblige. The book provides some important direction as the Occupy movement evolves to the next stage. Now Ross has also shown his talent as a poet and performer in an anthem for occupiers that you can access from this link: http://goo.gl/54uI6
If you want help deciding which movies are worth seeing, go to Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/). You’ll find movie reviews and ratings by both critics and audiences, as well as trailers and show times at your local theaters. Here are a few movies that I’ve enjoyed recently.
The Social Network is a dramatization that tells the story of Mark Zuckerberg and the creation of Facebook. I was so enthralled by it, I had to watch it twice. In my opinion, it’s one of the best films of the year. (Available on DVD).
Man on Wire is a superbly crafted documentary that tells the story of Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist who in 1974 managed to surreptitiously rig a wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center, then spent 45 minute walking back and forth on it, to the amazement of bystanders below, and the chagrin of the authorities.
Bernie is one of the better films to come out of Hollywood of late. Starring Jack Black as Bernie, an assistant funeral director who becomes one of the most liked people in a small Texas town, and Shirley MacLaine, a rich and obnoxious widow whom he befriends—and then kills, the film, based on a true story, is surprisingly amusing.
Monsieur Lahzar is a Canadian film that tells the story of an Algerian refugee who manages to talk his way into a school as a replacement for a teacher who has committed suicide. Rotten Tomatoes says, “Monsieur Lahzar is a tender and thoughtful portrait of a man with hidden grief and also a compelling exploration of the teacher-student dynamic.” All of the characters in this film are ably portrayed.
Psychopaths among us
Psychopathy is variously defined, but the general sense of the term refers to a personality disorder in which the psychopath may lack empathy or be indifferent to the effects of their behavior on others. It is estimated that between one and four percent of the population may be psychopaths. Evolution may have favored their continuance for some good reason, which needs to be explored. These individuals may have some accompanying traits that are useful to the survival and reproduction of the species. However, there is good reason to believe that an inordinate proportion of psychopathic individuals may have risen to the higher ranks of the political and corporate hierarchy, a situation that now threatens the well-being of the entire human family and the ability of a degraded planet to sustain higher orders of life.
Tribal societies had ways of dealing with psychopaths so that they would not cause undue harm to the community. It was perhaps the small scale and personal relationships inherent in those societies that enabled those controls to function.
Modern global society, however, is characterized by massive organizations and structures, and impersonal relationships that preclude those kinds of moderating checks. The entire question is a deep and difficult one but it is beginning to be addressed in articles such as this one that appeared recently. It is well worth reading.
How Will the 99% Deal with the Psychopaths in the 1%? (http://goo.gl/L4jDi).
Best wishes for an enjoyable end of summer,