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[ox-en] Re: [p2p-research] Money is used by people to obstruct far greater fears

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When this comes out in April, it will be a must-read:

End of Money and the Future of Civilization From P2P Foundation Jump to:
navigation <#column-one>, search <#searchInput>

*Book: Thomas Greco. The End of Money and the Future of Civilization*

"The End of Money and the Future of Civilization considers the money problem
within the broad historical and political context that has made the control
of money and banking the primary mechanism for concentrating power and
wealth and the nullification of democratic governance.

It provides the necessary understanding for entrepreneurs, activists, and
civic leaders to implement approaches toward monetary liberation, approaches
that empower communities to restore their environments and democratic
institutions, and begin to build economies that are sustainable, equitable,
and insulated from the financial crises that plague the dominant systems of
money, banking and finance.

It provides specific design proposals and exchange-system architectures for
local, regional, national, and global financial systems, and offers
strategies for their implementation prescribing actions that grassroots
organizations, businesses, and governments will need to take to achieve


1 My Purpose and My Journey

My Personal Journey • Seeds of Disillusionment • Awakening • In the Wake of
Inflation • E.C. Riegel • Why Yet Another Book?

2 Mega-Crisis and Metamorphosis — *Can Civilization Be Saved?*

Prospects and Prognostication • Exponential Growth • Limits to Growth •
Paradigm Shift • Metamorphosis • The Egg, the Caterpillar, and the Butterfly
• Get With the Program

3 The Contest for Rulership — Two Opposing Philosophies

Elitist or Egalitarian? • The Contest in American History: Monarchy or
Republic? • Power by Other Means

4 Central Banking and the Rise of the Money Power

Central Banking, an Unholy Alliance • The Bank of England • Central Banking
in the United States • The First Bank of the United States • Andrew Jackson
and the “Bank War” • The Free Banking Era • The Federal Reserve • Central
Banking Spreads around the World

5 The New World Order

The Power Behind the Central Banks • A Merging of Interests • Wars, Internal
and External • Money Power, the Key Element in the New World Order • Erosion
of National Sovereignty

6 Usury and the Engine of Destruction

Monetary Stringency, Past and Present • Increasing Instability • The Magic
of Compound Interest • What’s Wrong with the Global System of Money and
Banking? • How Debt-Money is Dysfunctional • Three Aspects of Money
Dysfunction • Moral Arguments, Laws, and Practical Solutions • Keys to
Transcendence • Exchange and Finance—Two Distinct Credit Functions

7 The Nature and Cause of Inflation

What Is Inflation? • Who Has the Power to Inflate? • Improper Basis of Issue
by Banks Is Inflationary • Government Deficits and Inflation • The German
Hyperinflation—A Classic Case • How the Inflation Was Ended • Constraints
Upon Debasement of the Money • Responding to Inflation

8 *The Separation of Money and State*

The Separation of Church and State—A Comparison • The Disestablishment of
Monetary “Religion” • Two Meanings of “Dollar” • Delinking from the Dollar
as a Payment Medium • Delinking from the Dollar as a Measure of Value •
Stable Value Reckoning • Toward Freedom of Exchange

9 The Evolution of Money — From Commodity Money to Credit Money

What We Don’t Know Is Hurting Us • Kinds of Economic Interaction • “The
Ladder of Economic Civilization” • The First Evolutionary Step—Barter to
Commodity Money • Commodity Money • Symbolic Money • The Second Evolutionary
Step—From Commodity Money to Credit Money • Two Distinct Kinds of
Money—Fractional Reserve Banking • Redeemability Abandoned • Checks and
Checkable Deposits Displace the Use of Banknotes • Gold Versus Credit
Money—A Comparison • How Credit Money Malfunctions

10 The Third Evolutionary Stage — The Emergence of Credit Clearing

Banks and the Credit Clearing Process • A Confusion of Language • Particle
or Wave? Thing or Relationship? • *Clearing Through Banks Versus Mutual
Credit Clearing* • *Direct Credit Clearing Makes Conventional Money and
Banking Obsolete*

11 Solving the Money Problem

The Basis of Monetary Dysfunction • Reform or Transcendence? • *Emerging
Exchange Alternatives* • Separating the Functions of Money • Back to
Commodity Money? • The Unit of Account Versus the Unit of Currency • The
Measurement of Value • Proper Relationship Between Commodities (Gold/Silver)
and Credit • Confusion Caused by Legal Tender Laws

12 Credit Clearing, the “UnMoney”

What Is Credit Clearing? • A Simple Example of Clearing among Banks •
Settlement of Accounts • Mutual Credit Clearing Systems as Clearing Houses •
Direct Credit Clearing — A Simple Illustration Using Four Accounts and Ten
Transactions • Balance Limits and Settlement • Providing Surety of Contract
• An Insurance Fund

13 The State of the Alternative Exchange Movement

Two Currents of Alternative Exchange • The Tucson Experience • *Why Exchange
Alternatives Fail to Thrive • Failure of Reciprocity • Inadequate Scale and
Scope of Operation*

14 How Complementary Currencies Succeed or Fail

Architecture of the Currency Itself • Principle 1: Who Is Qualified to Issue
Currency? • Principle 2: On What Basis Should Currency Be Issued? •
Principle 3: How Much Currency May Be Issued By Each Issuer? •
Implementation Strategies • The Situational Context • WIR • Social Money in

15 Commercial Trade Exchanges—Their Present Limitations and Potential Future

Limiting Factors • Limited Scale and Scope • The Value Proposition •
Operations and Agreements • Proposed Remedies • The Real Deal—Credit
Clearing Services • Tapping the Vast Potential Market • What About Taxes? •
An Eventual Cashless Trading Network

16 A Regional Economic Development Plan Based on Credit Clearing

Approaches to Community Economic Development • Stage I: Mapping the
Territory and Import Substitution • Stage II: Mutual Credit Clearing
Provides an Alternative Means of Payment • Sage III: The Credit of “Trusted
Issuers” Provides an Alternative Currency for Regional Circulation • Stage
IV: Support Structures for Localization—Saving, Investment, Finance, and
Education • Stage V and Beyond: Transition to an Objective Measure of Value
and Accounting Unit

17 The Next Big Thing in Business: A Complete Web-Based Trading Platform

The Convenience of Cards • Improving the Exchange Process—Challenge and
Opportunity • Significant Trends and “Disruptive Technologies” • Strengths
and Vulnerabilities of Political Money and Conventional Banking • From
Disruptive to Sustaining—Moving Upmarket • The Emergence of a Complete
Web-Based Trading Platform • Essential Components of the Web-Based Trading
Platform • Completing the Web-Based Trading Platform

18 Organizational Forms and Structures for Local Self-Determination and
Complementary Exchange

Toward Economic Independence • The “Banjar” and the Balinese Governance
Structure • The Mondragon Cooperatives • Ways of Organizing Credit Clearing
Exchanges • Corporations • Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability
Partnerships • Mutual Companies • Scale of Organization

19 The Role of Governments in Establishing Economic and Financial Stability

What National Governments Should Do • Objectives • Rationale • Legislative
Proposals in Brief • The Role of State, Provincial, and Local Governments •
An Early Example of a Local Currency

20 Exchange, Finance, and the Store of Value

The Store of Value • Saving and Investment • Liberating Saving and
Investment • Debt Claims Versus Equity Claims • A Shared Equity Mortgage •
Savings and Investment within Complementary Exchange Systems
Retrieved from "";

2009/3/8 marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>

I'm seeing a number or responders who actually get "free" and "at cost" in
the context of peer production and they're all young with no exception.

Older people not only use money to obfuscate deeper fears about themselves
and the world but they are also more suspicious of "free" and "at cost" in

To update you on the experiment, I've just taken two young entrepreneurs on
the basis that if I help them make their dream come true for "free" then
they ought to turn around and help others do the same thing. They get that,
totally, and are very excited about it. They have also demonstrated that
they're willing to do as much of the production as possible and are
interested in doing 100% of the production.

So it's this interest and demonstration of capacity to be their own
producers that really grabs my interest. What drives me is: how many people
can I empower?

While responders from the older crowd (those 25-45 yrs old) backed off the
minute their 'dream' was basically handed to them at a nominal cost (or even
for free had they asked for it) the younger crowd seem to be very excited
and are subscribing to the idea that we can start a model where everyone
helps everyone to become their own producers, and that by doing so everyone

It seems that the older crowd had more than just the fear of failure in the
way of achieving their dreams. After further dialog, it's become clear that
they have resistance to the idea that anyone should be able to produce their
own iPhone idea because the idea of "scarcity creation" as the means for
profit is burnt into their brains. If they uphold the scarcity system then
the skills they've developed in terms of hording power, money, and
intellectual "property" all goes out of the window and they'd have to learn
how to operate in a world where the goal is abundance creation and where
those who enable the most abundance benefit the most.

It seems that in order to start a new economy based on gift giving or
at-cost trading we'd have to start with young people who have not yet
developed a psychologically complex relationship to money and are willing to
leave the world of scarcity behind (the world they know) and embrace the
world of abundance and openness (which has a completely different and far
more positive kind of empowerment)

There is definitely a lot to be learned from putting models in practice and
seeing what works and what doesn't.

Theories concocted on a keyboard change dramatically upon contact with

But as Eisenhower and Clausewitz before him said, "forget the plan;
planning is everything"

Working on theories helps us understand what it is that we really want to
accomplish, but without practice no theory stands a chance of being correct.

What I'm learning now is that I want to empower others and have them
empower others to be their own producers (of iPhone software in my case) and
the easiest way to do it seems to be "free" or "at cost" with YOUNG
participants. The keyword is "YOUNG"

There is a lot more to be learned from continuing with the experimentation
than from thinking about the logic.

I can see huge potential for the P2P Energy Economy but I doubt very much
that an absolute-value currency like the Joule Tokens can be made practical.
The challenge is how to make the currency relative (to something other than
demand and supply) while also making it abundance sustaining. I doubt that
anyone has solved the paradox... but if anyone has any ideas on such types
of currencies please don't hesitate to throw them out there.


On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 3:27 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi> wrote:


If money (the way it is today) is used by people to obstruct far greater
fears/insecurities then how do we get rid of it?

It is in fact a drug, so telling people not to do drugs (especially a very
legal one like money) is not going to be easy ... Nicotine patches (i.e. the
kind of money that hurts less) will help but it won't be easy...


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>
Date: Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 3:22 AM
Subject: Re: [ox-en] There is no such thing as "equal exchange" - respect
instead of money
To: list-en


I guess all us programmers think alike.

I'm already experimenting with "near zero cost" software production
services and people's behavior (as documented through the exchanges I've had
to date, which I will anonymize and publicize as part of a study) is very
interesting and defeats every economic theory out there, including my own
thinking on 'equitable exchnge' (or "at cost" exchange)

I put out this ad on Craigslist - Manhattan, and I picked Manhattan
because it's the bustling center of capitalism. I wanted the input to the
experiment to be well defined, with as little ambiguity as possible.


So what is $250 (upfront cost of the service) for a local developer with
my experience when programmers in Belarus (who have contacted me following
the ad) charge 10X the money for the same service?

It is basically "near zero" relative to the market price of the service
but to me it is roughly how much it would cost me in calories and coffee to
deliver the service.

So that's me experimenting with my own theory of "trading at the cost in
work energy it takes to produce and deliver the good or service."

The result is very mind opening.

It seems that "trade" has far more deeper emotional/psychological
dimensions than rational ones.

Rationally, you'd think people would be hounding me to work on their
iPhone this and iPhone that.

I have great samples to show them and I have a 100% rational step-driven
interaction process that I designed carefully to be as rationally assuring
as possible so that a rational person would experience a flow-through
process from initial contact to delivery.  I will publish this interaction
process as part of the study, in anonymized fashion.

I also say something nice about their idea and thank them for their
interest etc.

So you would think that paying for software production as a service at a
price that is 10X less than what you'd get from a programmer in Belarus and
10X less than what you'd get from the lowest market price out there, at
conceivably 10X the quality, combined very powerful/creative demos (work
samples) and an exact, logical (yet emotionally positive/affirming)
interaction process in a very hot market (relative to the state of the
general market) would results in people 'begging' to get the service.

What is happening, however, is that if I read deeply (or listen deeply) to
their intent what they really want (which is hugely obfuscated by the way
language is used in business dialog) is that they have other unmet needs
that supercede making money and it may be scary for some to realize that
they CAN actually produce that idea they have been fantasizing about (many
have told me of their iPhone ideas that they have been fantasizing about for
a while) which then exposes them to the fear of what if the idea does not
sell once it's made? will that expose them to their insecurities which are
now hiding behind a cost barrier?

In other words, I am realizing that trade has many hidden dimensions, one
of which that some people, some of the time, actually need to hide behind
barriers like the barrier of something being too costly to attain.

Yes, when people are given a zero barrier to a certain want or need that
they did not realistically think they could have but always dreamt about
having then they may prefer the dream to the reality.

For example, as I said already, let's say that these people are mostly
dreamers (because the ad I wrote probably appeals most to that segment) and
they have this one idea that they have been harboring and dreaming about for
a while and it has become a psychological shelter like: if only I can make
this idea happen I will be all set. So when someone comes to them and offers
to make the idea at near-zero cost (i.e. lowers the barrier enough that they
can simply walk over it, and even if they had no legs they can crawl over
it) then all the sudden they pull back. They recognize something wrong has
happened: they need the dream of having the product more than they need the
actual product.

Now, if I was to change the barrier so that it is just a little beyond
their reach, e.g. $2,500 instead of $500, then they would feel a strong pull
from their other insecurity: "if I can only take a little more risk I bet I
will succeed"

The people are invited to check out some really clever and powerful iPhone
demos I've made (mostly game physics/graphics related) and they are invited
to talk to former CEOs, VCs, etc, i.e. an over abundance of assurance of my
ability to make their dream happen, and I am genuine about wanting to help
them realize their dreams (in my spare time.) It's an experiment at one
level and a genuine desire to help people at another level (without over
stretching myself)

So the conclusion from this is that "trade" or "exchange" is a
pyschological game with many up-till-now hidden dimensions. Equal exchange
maybe less favorable than unequal exchange or vice versa, and we cannot
decide on what will make people engage and complete an exchange unless we
understand their psychological motives.

If I offer the service completely for free, then people who want
"dependence" on others as a way to live will definitely want to complete the
exchnge but only if "I" take care of them and cater to their every need.
Same if I offer it for money. It does not change a thing. Peopel are willing
to pay to be able to have such dependence on someone, and my process is
totally against dependence. I want to empower them to co-produce the product
and I want them to achieve their dream, but they may want to purchase
dependence or get dependence for free and cling to their dream instead of
turning it into a reality.

As you see, it has nothing to do with rational thought and everything to
do with emotional/psychological needs.

There are people of course who want to be empowered to achieve their

I have yet to see any such people in my so-far limited sample (I got about
6 or 7 inquiries in the last 2 days since I posted the ad)

I am sure a larger sample set would have a larger variety of people, but
even though I picked New York, the city that never sleeps and the capital of
the capitalist world, I still have a sample (so far) that's made up entirely
of people who are afraid and who view money as a barrier to hide behind when
it's convenient and to jump across (if they're feeling daring enough) but
never as a means for equitable exchange, i.e. money always associated with
deeper fears and insecurities than the fear of money itself.

I'll update you on how the experiment evolves but I could easily say that
"phase I: removing the fear of money itself by making it almost irrelevant
through at-cost trading" is now done (ready to move on to Phase II) and the
conclusions I'm making from Phase I is that people have far deeper
fears/insecurities than money, and they use money as both a protective
barrier (blame their state on their lack of money) or as a great gap that
they dare themselves to jump across (blame their state on their lack of risk
taking, which if overcome with counter-phobia can lead to gambling or worse:
throwing money out of the window to prove their courage)

The relationship man has with "money" is one where man uses money to
obfuscate far deeper fears.


On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 2:13 AM, Stefan Noack <noackstefan>wrote:

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what you say is completely correct in my opinion. being a programmer i
expect that i will become wealthy easily (which is actually already the
now). so even though the current system has many advantages for me
personally, logic tells me that such a system cannot be good because
are other people out there who are less fortunate. so yesterday i had a
funny idea: once i have enough for me i could open a Zero-Dollar-Shop,
everything is free. I just want to see what happens! I expect some people
act very silly, spiling goods and so on but i also expect them to quickly
get bored.

What i saw many times is that people act more sane and humane if they are
free to decide: For example when i travel to dresden by train and go back
the same day there is a special one-day ticket that is cheaper than two
rides. but additonally this ticket is valid for up to five persons. so
common practice that people wo have such a ticket sell the free spaces to
others. however, when i ask people if they want to travel with me and
ask me how much they have to pay i say "you're free to decide - it's
for me either way." and i really mean it. many people react very
it's interesting that all people that i asked so far gave me 5 or even 6
euros. a friend of mine once tried it the capitalist way and tried to
the free ticket space for 5 euro. the other person tried to beat it down
3,80 and my friend disagreed so it was in the end more expensive for both

On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 10:41 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>

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I think that we can't purify human nature with logic.

The P2P Energy Economy model (on P2Pf wiki) goes to extreme lengths in
areas to make sure that the model's logic supersedes human
the impure nature) but that resulted in one fatal contradiction: people
should be able to give things completely for free without any
(i.e. true generosity) which the model had no way of allowing while
enforcing equitable exchange. So I've moved away from trying to purify
nature with logic and resorted to the much more limited goal of
voluntary reciprocal exchanges in immaterial resources that are already
abundant (e.g. digital content) so as to have a participatory protocol
sustains the abundance of the given resource on scalable basis. That's
much lower intervention than trying to constrain human behavior... and
still thinking about it...

On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 1:19 AM, Stefan Noack <

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On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 10:05 AM, marc fawzi <marc.fawzi>

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Giving and getting recommendations (or respect) in a reciprocal or
generalized exchange is an ancient common social practice.  I can
you if you recommend me back, or I can recommend you without
you recommend me back. This is a common social practice and can
reciprocal exchange or as a generalized (non-reciprocal) exchange.

Someone who is highly political can accumulate a lot of so-called
without having any moral or intellectual merit.

Try to solve that!

i.e. how do you ensure that respect in society flows not based on
favoritism but based on rational thought.

My idea was to always have the respect coupled to the action it was
for; your example is a disadvantage of the respect systems that we
where the motivation for paying respect can become very irrational.
the respect together with the reason it was paid for would allow me
evaluate my personal respect to that person based on my personal
However, i have no idea how this could be implemented practically.



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