intro’d to Tim while reading this (via p2p foundation fb share):
what is money and do we really need it
assumed to be a top-level concept, a subset of nothing.
The problem with all these different approaches to the origin of money is that they start with the concept of money itself. ‘Money’ is assumed to be universally understood and to have been part of the human story since the beginning of civilisation. As money is considered a top-level concept nothing is used to explain money itself.
Money is actually a concept that is subsumed under the higher-level concept of exchange. Exchange is subsumed under life itself, for *exchange is a property of life and probably of the universe as well. The life of any particular organism cannot be understood or explained adequately without considering its exchange relationships with other organisms. The very word ‘relationship’ implies exchange, for **if there is no exchange of any kind there is no relationship
**actually..pretty much today.. if there is an exchange.. there is no relationship..
so.. fine statements for both * and **.. just the measuring/validating of the exchange that is messing with us..
These (exchange systems) *facilitate the sharing and exchange of energies in the production and distribution of their means of existence by establishing and maintaining relationships in time and space.
All exchange systems involve a number of modes, means and methods of exchange. On top of that, exchange systems consist of customs, conventions and rules that ensure the smooth flow of exchange without members of the society having to plan how to effect each and every transaction and negotiate fresh terms and conditions each time.
exactly what’s robbing the potential of ie: blockchain now.. and what has robbed us for years: the B ness
modes: Reciprocal exchange (gifting) ..Sharing or pooling, ..exchange mediated with commodities or issued, circulating currencies (market exchange)..by record keeping …
means: tools/mechs ..writing, numeracy, accounting, clay tablets, knotted strings, tally sticks, coins, notes, credit cards, ATMs, banks, clearing houses, computer networks, algorithms etc.
methods: sharing, gifting, barter, swaps, commodity exchange, monetary exchange, time exchange, record keeping, mutual credit etc.
All exchange systems provide the following, ..:
- A means to memorise/record contributions/distributions ..
- A means to measure the value ..
- Rules to ensure a balance ..
- Sanctions to prevent imbalances
- Measures to ensure that obligations ..not excessive:
- To prevent freeloading/theft, accumulation of wealth/power
- A means to exchange multilaterally..
- The ability to settle imbalances over a period of time..
- A means to defer claims for a long period (‘store of value’)
- A means to receive credit/go into debit ..
- A means to incrementally reduce large obligations ..
- A means to transfer claims and obligations to others
Class society and states emerged when a certain sector took control of the means of exchange. Since then every exchange system *has been hijacked by the ruling class, using the power of the state to enforce usage of the means of exchange under their control.
or just possibly *never meant to be .. for humans.. for transactions..
to create an exchange system that is under democratic control and functions equally for everyone it would need to have the following features as well:
- Exchange media replaced with information (metric currencies). ..
- Transparency. ..
- Public accounts should be open for inspection
- The means of exchange should not be ownable or controllable..
- While seamless trade with any entity, anywhere should be possible, the focus should be local and the administration of exchange should be decentralised at the community level
- All methods of exchange should be promoted to prevent a monoculture ..
What is commonly referred to as the ‘financial system’ or ‘monetary system’ fits neatly into the above description of an exchange system. This is because these terms are really just inaccurate names for exchange system. Again, the use of these terms assume that all exchange is ‘financial’ or ‘monetary’ and that exchange that is not monetary is not worth considering (i.e. outside ‘the economy’).
when societies become more complex, more involved recording mechanisms are required. Historically this led to the rise of a specialised class of administrators who kept track of inputs and outputs. Since these administrators were in control of the society’s product, they effectively had control over the population. This gave rise to class society
bureaucratic overhead required to manage these societies eventually overwhelmed them and resulted in the adoption of exchange media (‘money’) as the preferred mode of exchange. The usage of exchange media gave rise to markets, which was a much more streamlined way of organising exchange than through centralised warehousing and accounting records.
When exchange and money are presented as a unitary concept then neither the past nor the future can be any different from the present.
i’d say too.. when exchange and measurement..
Medium of exchange does not imply something tangible but it does imply that it has the property of *quantity. Anything that exists in quantity has to be **created, and creation implies a creator.
perhaps.. unless we unleash exchange from measuring ness.. we shouldn’t use the word.. measuring/quantity ness.. is killing us… it’s not us
so quantifying ie: us.. **not natural..
Initially states usurped the role of creating and controlling the supply of the exchange medium as it gave them the most powerful weapon for controlling the population of the area over which the state claimed dominion.
Politics is essentially about who controls the means of exchange.
We are all herded into this singular ‘economy’, which does its best to prevent us escaping by keeping us dependent on money and illegalising non-monetary exchange. ..The fear of descending into poverty (lack of money, not the inability to produce and exchange) keeps us all prisoners.
There is a way out of the ‘money trap’, but it will only be found if the starting point is *exchange and not money.
but only if we disengage from measuring *exchange.. as well
For excellent examples of how metric currencies are being used look at the *Community Exchange System (CES), Community Forge and IntegralCES. These are all linked into a global network permitting inter-trading in a far more efficient way than the clumsy global financial system.
* from site:
community exchange system: Simply by keeping track of who receives what from whom we can dispense with the ancient idea of exchange media and the apparatus required to manage them. This helps us focus on providing and requesting what is really needed instead of **chasing after money.
sounds like **chasing after inspecting ness
community forge: complementary currencies..
integral: social currencies management
Older exchange methods such as gifting, bartering, swapping and sharing have been given a new lease of life, and new exchange methods such as time banking, time exchange, service exchange and information exchange have become truly effective as methods for distributing our energies.
still measuring.. still imply obligation to give/barter/share back
that obligation piece… huge.. to the destruction of us
It is the mode of exchange that shapes societies, not the mode of production.
agree if you don’t measure/manage exchange.. just facilitate it… so share seems a better word..
So ultimately the answer to the question “what is money?” is that money is an exchange method that has not served humanity well. It has been used to exploit and enslave and it keeps us in thrall to the tiny minority who control it for their own benefit.
pretty sure that will happen with any measuring/management system.. perhaps we focus more on connection and movement..
the vula connection:
Published on Apr 26, 2015
The Vula Connection is one of apartheid’s untold stories, and at its centre is an unusual hero, Tim Jenkin.
Quiet, and bookish, he turns against his own government and the privileged lifestyle it guarantees him, signing up with the black liberation movement that is banned in apartheid South Africa. Jenkin is caught and dispatched to a high security prison.
But against all odds, his patience and meticulous attention to detail get him and two prisoners through 10 locked doors…to freedom. This, however, is much more than an escape story.
It’s about a man who plays a pivotal role in taking on the Apartheid regime in the most unexpected way. After his audacious break-out, Jenkin disappears into the backrooms of the ANC’s exiled military.
Working from a nondescript London flat, he sets about designing a secret communications system that enables a small group of highly-skilled operatives to dodge the Apartheid regime’s spies and penetrate South Africa’s borders.
Then under the nose of prison guards, he succeeds in getting messages passed to the imprisoned Nelson Mandela. These secret communications help to set up the former liberation party to claim victory in South Africa’s near miraculous political transition.
But as the dream of peace becomes a reality, Operation Vula is bust and the fall-out represents one of the final skirmishes in the struggle for power in this troubled land.
56 min – Tim Jenkins is still a quiet revolutionary, but uses technology as his tool to create a better world..
Timothy Peter Jenkin (born 1948) is a South African writer, former political prisoner and prison escapee, and a monetary activist.
Jenkin, a Cape Town resident and University of Cape Town alumnus, was charged with “producing and distributing 18 different pamphlets on behalf of banned organisations” including the South African Communist Party, African National Congress and the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe. He did so from 1975–78 and posted a sign on the seventh floor of a Cape Town building which said “The ANC lives”. He was arrested, pleaded guilty to all charges and received a 12-year sentence. However, a year later in 1979, Jenkin and fellow inmates Alex Moumbaris and Stephen Lee broke out of Pretoria Central Prison. He subsequently moved to London and worked as a Research Officer for the International Defence and Aid Fund for Southern Africa. He also wrote Inside Out: Escape from Pretoria Prison.
After moving back to South Africa, he co-founded the Community Exchange System in 2003, and was elected an Ashoka fellow in 2007.