The Difference Between Money and Real Wealth
The economic system is deeply flawed and has served to concentrate money, land and power in the hands of a few. The concentration of economic power and ecological devastation have heralded the collapse of many civilizations and empires. At this time in history, humanity must choose between the health and well-being of our planet, humanity, and other lifeforms, or the further enrichment of the ruling elite. The choice is clear. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, World Economic Forum, and "Trade Agreements," such as the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) blatantly favor the rich over all environmental and human rights concerns (see www.tradewatch.org). Civil society is now engaged in a tremendous struggle against these deadly institutions which value money over life.
Opposition to the M.A.I., World Bank, the W.T.O. has grown and had some dramatic victories, but the struggle continues. Besides resisting, more and more people are coming together to create, nurture and share transformative solutions to the deepening crisis we confront. "Another World is Possible" is the theme of the global justice movement.
Understanding how the monetary system works is one step towards creating a system which serves human needs and recognizes the value and importance of the biosphere upon which all our lives depend. The local currency movement hopes to reorganize the global system by creating healthy local communities that recognize and respect their interdependence, and work cooperatively to restore the Earth, recognize the rights and wisdom of indigenous people, and respect the rights of all people -- regardless of class, gender, age, or race.
What is real wealth? Western civilization has confused money with wealth. Most of the world's money is chasing other money in the cyber-casino of the global financial markets oblivious to the devastation being wreaked upon the world's ecosystems and people. While species go extinct, forests are decimated, rivers are poisoned, and people starved, the money is blindly directed towards greater profits destroying the world in the process. The global economy has been shaped by military force, money, greed, fear, and a massive propaganda campaign. Money is a tool of empire, which has served to transfer wealth and power from the many to the few. All monetary systems based upon debt have this fatal dynamic. The ancient religious taboos against usury were well justified, but have been forgotten.
The illusion that money is wealth needs to be shattered. Real wealth is a healthy planet and healthy relationships between all lifeforms; it is inner peace, world peace, balance and harmony in the home, the community, the world. Local currencies are a consciousness raising tool which can also help build community, and serve as a safety net should the financial system completely break down. Community currencies challenge the system by showing how money is backed by our belief systems.
Money can be created by banks or governments to serve their interests, or it can be created by people in a community to serve their needs. Local currencies help communities to recognize their inner strengths, the gifts of their members, and the value of cooperation. Local currencies inspire people to live in accordance with their values, to follow their inner passion rather than chase after an obsolete notion of "success." They enable people to make a contribution to their community and receive what they need or desire in return. They nurture relationships and demonstrate how local production for local needs benefits the community, as well as reducing the stress upon distant communities who have been forced into near slavery and starvation to provide resources and services to the world's wealthy. Creating community currencies encourages participatory democratic processes and shows how non hierarchical systems empower people, and nurture hope, creativity, respect, and compassion. In a perfect world, money would become obsolete, and the gift economy would flourish.
This website has evolved over more than a decade. Originally a gift from someone who appreciated questioning the monetary system and the proposal that it would be possible to change it.
Dave Ratcliffe reconfigured the site in 1999. Matthew Slater, editor of Community Currency Magazine, began restructuring the site in October 2010. This is a collaborative effort, and we hope others will contribute to make this website a useful tool for those wishing to understand and launch community currencies, as well as for those wishing to reform the dominant monetary system, and transform the global economy from a war economy towards a peace economy.
This site is not, however, exclusively about money, currencies, economics. In 2002, Carol Brouillet organized the first rally, march, meeting to demand a Congressional Investigation of 9/11 and this site archives the early history of the 9/11 Truth Movement, and is still a vital resource to the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance that relies on it for upcoming events announcements. In February 2002, the weekly Community Currency Radio Show was launched on the Progressive Radio Network, and upcoming shows, and archives of past shows are also hosted on this site.
Carol Brouillet has also published and distributed over 7,000,000 Deception Dollars, including Media Deception Dollars, Election Deception Dollars, Conception Dollars, and Perception Dollars. The challenges and problems we face with the economic system can not be separated from the problems and challenges that we face with the corporate media, and the election processes. This site is dedicated to casting light on cultural blindspots and the conscious evolution of humanity for the benefit of all life.
We hope that you find it useful!