Money

We are so used to have one single national currency, that most people never think about something different.

But the current money system is actually responsible for many issues we face because of the effect of its built-in interest and compound interest. This is a tool to extract and concentrate wealth. As a result the rich (above about 0.5 million) become richer by doing almost nothing, and we destroy natural systems by extracting everything that can be converted into money. Many environmentalists like David Suzuki, John D. Liu and Margrit Kennedy noted that fact. It is very hard to raise funds for social, environmental and other long-term projects, because investors, of course, ask about the bottom line. What if we could change that? Money is just an agreement between us humans, isn’t it?

When we notice currency as a tool, we can design it in many different ways to bring underused resources and unmet needs together. Needs, that are not addressed by the national currencies. For instance social and ecological issues can be easily addressed by a currency with demurrage instead of interest. This can happen at the local level or in regions, countries, even globally.

There are examples in ancient and recent history, where countries or regions (most notably ancient Egypt over a 3000 year long period until the Roman invasion, and European countries in the Middle Ages) thrived on a double currency system, one with interest for transregional and one with demurrage for regional trade.

The current money system is infact a global monoculture, which is efficient in terms of the volume of money transactions, but very unstable. It needs to be balanced with something else. We need an ecosystem of different currencies!

I’d like to thank Bernard Lietaer for his clear insights into that matter, also his co-authors Stephen Belgin and Jacqui Dunne, as well as Margrit Kennedy and Charles Eisenstein.

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