As we've noted many times on the show, before money has a complex and subtle, even insidious effect on its users, so why is the reality of money of so little interest to economists? Surely the effect of money on society is worthy of investigation? Is this lack of interest this perhaps a reflection that the government and regulatory agencies are best understood not as defenders of citizens' interests against the power of organised money but — as we noted in episode 572 — as exactly the opposite. The ecological argument, Upton concludes, is decisive — however aggressively the fantasy world of unlimited growth is promoted, we cannot simply keep ignoring the limits of the real world. Nature bats last. As the scarcity rewarded by the money system begins to force humanity to face its disasterous flirtation with separation, the public story about the utility and desirability of money is increasingly being revealed to be a pack of lies, and a more ugly, formerly private, story of money is becoming common knowledge.
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." — Frederic Bastiat, 19th Century Economist
The second part of the presentation, "What to Do About It", begins 8 minutes into our second hour, with the broad argument that "bu$ine$$ as usual" is increasingly unviable. In the post peak oil age, the impossibility of ever increasing resource use is forcing the plutocrats to reveal their hand. Looking at USA, the DoHS is stocking up on bullets, while the pretence of legal protection for citizens or for the natural world is falling away faster than ever. An increasingly dumbed down populace on an ever more depleted land base are ruled by in an increasingly autocratic fashion by an elite apparently uninterested in the survival of either the natural world or the rest of humanity. Is humanity really reaching the end of the road, as some doomsters are predicting? Or is a radical change possible?
"I'm not trying to counsel any of you to do anything really special except dare to think. And to dare to go with the truth. And to dare to really love completely." — Buckminster Fuller
New sections of the presentation cite various thinkers, such as Buckminster Fuller — inventor of the geodesic dome, based not on the traditional architectural principles of a strong framework supporting the rest of the structure but on the shared integrity of individual components — suggested that a radical change is afoot. Upton encourages us to think along simmilar lines, challenging the authenticity of the story of money, not just on an intellectual but on a personal level. Why not reconceive our way of life, together with our neighbours, and organise production of shared food, creatively avoiding the domination and control of centrally provided services, or any of the systems which perpetuate Wage Slavery? Did wage slavery, money or economics ever really speak to our hearts? Or were they different aspects of a one-size-fits-all divide-and-conquer yoke that was thrust round our necks while before we were mature enough to know better? The presentation concludes with some practical pointers to how we can make good use of the 'window of opportunity' we have, how we can use these centralised services of power, interenet, credit cards, before we enter an uncertain time which may see their permanent end. He emphases the importance of growing local food together with ones neighbours as an act of re-connection with the land and with one another, a healing of the disconnection manifested in the money system.
The presentation ends with a couple of short quotes from Gerrard Winstanley, leader of the Diggers, after which we conclude with probably the youngest ever speaker on this program, an anonymous 6 year old from YouTube, sharing her ambitions of creating a Gift Economy.
This episode is dedicated to Smithy of Wizards of Money who got me started on looking into money and economics...
One year ago, episode 600 features some other speakers on the idea quitting money. For a show full of practical advice on how to prepare, try out episode 285 by Dmitri Orlov on "Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century"..