“The developed world is unable to respond to the present challenges largely because the money system, designed to nurture the industrial revolution, necessitates economic growth and rewards short-term profit taking over long term asset management. We need to start valuing things which money doesn’t value – from Indonesian swamps to unemployed labourers to the dignity of the poor – and we need a new money system for that. Further, we believe that the scarcity of money, another design feature of the prevailing system which means, has a mass psychological impact and may account for many of the evils which some would write off as the insoluble ‘human condition’. Further, we reject the particular globalisation doctrine which our politicians are driving us towards. It is increasing the gap between rich and poor and between politicians and the electorate. We call for increased localisation for psychological, environmental and economic reasons. Further, as the planet gets more crowded and the resources increasingly scarce, we feel great urgency because every moment these problems are not resolved compounds the suffering of billions of our fellows, not to mention other species with whom we cannot identify. We believe communities should be taking the initiative, organising themselves, providing their own services, managing their own economies, as well as energy, food & communications.”
Since a short while I’ve been delving into the matter of ‘the complementary economy’, and started to contribute to the activities of Qoin. The above text is CommunityForge.net‘s vision statement, and upon reading it I decided to share it. I like the text because of its comprehension, urgency and brevity (I myself tend to require a more words before I feel I have satisfactorily explained my stance). But with all texts that one likes, the ‘liking’ follows from recognition and identification with what it tries to convey; I suspect that laypeople will not be particularly moved by the message.
That is why efforts are undertaken to disclose the philosophy and practice of community currencies even better to the general audience. The complementary economy takes some explaining. And that is not because it is actually self-explanatory by nature, but because we got too much used to one particular system of centralized, debt-bearing, inflatory currencies that require ever more sacrifices of welfare as the ‘crises’ continue.