[ox-en] Re: Re: Wolfgang Polatzek * Von der lokalen zur transformativen Ökonomie*
- From: magius <gmagius gmail.com>
- Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 00:31:09 +0200
Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de> wrote:
I'll give some criticism to this concept and will translate the
Definition der transformativen Ökonomie
I agree with you on several points of your criticism
about "local" economies, but I think that an alternative economy
can be created, starting from a local level but with the goal
to extend it on a global one. Starting locally is a possible way,
but not necessarily the unique: in my vision, it's "simply" a
tactical problem! As you said, thinking to another economy
like an island - an autistic community more or less
self-sufficient - is an error.
The question is: can we think of a model based on some other
principles we know can work in our complex and advanced society?
Let's try brainstorming!
* We know from studies and data that the limit of our economies
it's not scarcity of productive capacity or technology, neiter
(in most cases) scarcity of raw or recycled material; the main
limit is scarcity of money to pay people to make things and to
* Services are more than 1/3 of the economy of an industrialized
country, and in future this ratio can only grow.
* The amount of sellable servicese is growing exponentially at
least geometrically with the population, with relative
increase of education levels, counting as coefficient.
* Better services (e.g.:high quality advices) means a more
efficient production, less raw material, less work, less wasted
* People (common people at least) gain money by working, but we
know there's actually *no need* for all this workforce, and
with automatization and tech advancements there will be much
more less demand. Therefore we shall envision a new way for
people to obtain the basic surviving resources [a social
redistribution system] and a way to work in a system
(better if ecologically sound) where's no scarcity of demand
* Consumism is the market compromise to long term growth and
keeping of the jobs despite increased productivity. It's also
a good way to increase exponentially money/power levels for
the top people. We shall find a way to increase consume and
production of immaterial goods and discourage accumulation of
material things, removing value from them [everything is rotting]
* If money is almost freely available - money intended as a
"public service" - there is no reason for accumulating it, so
all the financial or money renting activities shall be very
discouraged, casting them in the obsolescence
* The "market" may be not the efficientest form of
redistribution of goods, some people think planning and central
directing is better, but it is good enough, simple,
well-understod and works for people.
* We need the smarter people (the "creative class") keep interested in
such new system, so to have the maximum possible *collective
intelligence* available in the system, and so the max possible
theoretical wealth, so there will be incentives for successful,
smart people to use the system, to give *trust* to it.
These incentives shall be somewhat economical, a better standard
of life, more possibilities, and at the same time shall not be
* Massive wealth accumulation is *evil*, being the root of
resources' privatization, and of exploitation. Accumulation
shall be discouraged and made not working, obsolete.
* Complex society cannot be local, but global
* Diversity is a great force against "darkness" :)
* A realistic, non marginal, system cannot oppose directly the
establishment, can only coexist and gradually make it obsolete
* A great system with great basic rules can fagocitate the bad
one by sheer power of brain-human power (basicly that's the
reason why Free Software was successful!)
* A system will be embraced fast if it will give something to
interested but not-believer people now and here.
* Conventional money is nothing but the TRUST people have in it
So, let's throw together some ideas :
* a fiat currency (real anonymous one with coins or electronic
equivalent - see David Chaum model - not some lame accounting)
on which is applied the demurrage (a sort of circulation
tax on money, the result of which is the money's decay in time).
In this way, money is only a mean of exchange, but not a store
of value. It looses value, so it rots before, it could be
exagerately accumulated. Money as "public service".
That currency can be issued:
* by a coop/corp/foundation to his members
* by a municipality/state to his citizens
* some other
* a free banking service for funding, with interest-free loans,
issued in this demurrage-based currency, personal, public and
business projects without needing private capitals
* a redistribution system, to permit anyone to live, solve some
labour problem (abolishing wage-slavery, etc), and to fuel the
economy: Infact a basic income issued in this demurrage-based
currency, because couldn't be accumulated, has to be spended.
But we can envision several other possible kinds of
redistribution like free public services, free houses, etc..
A model like this, we called FAZ (Financially Autonomous Zone),
and the FAZ's currency is the TITAN, originally conceived like
a negative interest bond. We choose this way to issue the currency
as only a tactical way to circumvent the laws against making
currencies. In this, imho, is similar in approach to GNU/GPL,
that's a way to estabilish the right to copy using the formal
A FAZ can be totally non-territorial, like the Euro, or
hard-territorial (i.e. if the currency is minted by a
Infact the area or "zone" of a FAZ, is limited by the people
that accept the currency, receive the basic income or could
ask for a free credit. This zone could be a town, a region or
the whole world (virtually).
No other like-mindness from the members is required, than the
trust in the currency and it's issuer. And trust is gradually
earned and modulable.
So to make an example, a guy "signs in", he receives the basic
income for the month, this money is created from "nothing"
without backing it, and it's subject to a negative interest
(demurrage) of x% each month (let's hypotize 2%). He can only
spend the money in the shops/services that accept it,
and fastly, because this money rots and is better to get rid of it!
So the wheel turns, the community life standard grows, and people
that accept it has something to give to the employees.
The next month, looking the system is working well, as sysadmin,
he decides to sell his services and accept the currency as payment
(full or partial) and people loaded with the cash from the basic
income have no problem to pay him well for his services..
Finally FAZ is a way to create "artificial abundance"
(what's the better way to contrast capitalism that creates
"artificial scarcity"?) and is a "Win-win" model...
That's all. I hope you have understood some, in spite
of my bad english..
Contact: projekt oekonux.de