If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. – Thomas Jefferson
Let’s be honest: no one understands economics anymore. It’s been over a hundred years since Marx published Volume One of Das Kapital, a book whose audience was the working class. Today, only specialists are expected to enter the debate on economic policy, the rest of us it seems are supposed to wait on the sidelines while the value of their money varies widely without understanding why. The ongoing economic collapse, grants us an opportunity to rethink our reliance on a currencies that are inhuman and make no sense.
A growing number of activists are focusing on the question of the role of money in the ongoing destruction of the natural environment. Last month, Enric Duran, a Spanish activist borrowed over €500,000 from banks, gave it away to activist organizations and then distributed 200,000 copies of a newspaper in which he publicly refused to pay the money back.
Duran explained his actions thus:
This financial system depends on more and more money being given in loans. The loans in the end have an environmental impact as people use them to buy a car, to travel, to expand a factory facility or to build houses amongst other things.
Thus this system of economic growth by means of loans depends on the constant and growing conversion of natural resources into CO2 and waste.Hence at a time when we are reaching the limits of growth in energy production due to the decline of oil and when the output limits of many mines are also being approached, it seems safe to conclude that this system created more than 300 years ago on the basis of expanding credit cannot continue in the way that we know it today." (click here Duran's full statement)
We have become so dependent on money that while we may entertain critiques of capitalism, there are few people who would entertain a movement against money itself. How are we to live, eat, pay our rent or buy things without money? This is a question that we must begin to address.
Some proposals include Time-based currencies, local currencies, Local Exchange Trading Systems, and ROCS among others. And the most inspiring news is that there are already dozens of community currencies in the United States.
What would a Blackspot Currency look like? Would it be time-based? Would it be international or purely local? Let's get to work imagining a new economy based on Blackspot principles and local flair. And maybe one day, Adbusters will be the first magazine to offer subscriptions paid for with an alternative currency.
At last we’re in Winter. It’s the year 2047. A worn scrapbook from the future arrives in your lap. It offers a stunning global vision, a warning to the next generations, a repository of practical wisdom, and an invaluable roadmap which you need to navigate the dark times, and the opportunities, which lie ahead.