Declaration of the 1st International Social Transformation Conference — 12 July 2012, Split
ARTICLE | November 11, 2012
The current crisis is an indictment against the dominant competitive economic theory. To liberate the economy from exponential debt growth, so that it works for people and the planet, we need to change how money works.
Our modern debt-based money creates the illusion of continuously growing wealth. But, it only delivers forced trade and labour; forced loss of bio-diversity and environmental degradation; instability of employment and local markets; misleading social incentives and misallocation of resources; deceptive indicators of economic progress that breed myopic policies demanding endless economic growth bound up with raising income inequality, which can usurp the Sovereignty of Nations, and pose threats to freedom and justice as the underlying principles of democracy.
Opportunities exist to provide an efficient, equitable and stable financial system. We need a feedback loop from nature to the economy, and a variety of democratically based alternatives are now arising that can help to resolve the problem.
1. Consider Renewable Energy the Key
Energy may become a basis for defining economic values, as industrialised societies are highly dependent upon it and traditional societies manage it better. Economic thinking in terms of time & energy (kWH) can help to address some of the basic systemic challenges facing our world. Currency designers and thinkers must engage with civil society and public authorities, understand their needs and show how different types of money, whether anchored to renewable energy or to any other terms of enumeration /basis of issue that meets with common consent, can help them achieve the goals of humanity.
2. See the Positive
Different types of competing alternative currencies, including those that use units of renewable energy as a reference, can help money in performing its traditional functions first of all as a unit of accounting but also as means of payment, including for taxation. However, they do not necessarily need to perform the function of storing value. Money anchored to renewables can be a good incentive for more ecologically sustainable consumption & production. It can mobilise investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency savings.
3. Adapt the Responses
A range of currency designers and other actors in society are coming together to support different currency innovations and are actively engaging at all political levels: in local, national and European governments, in all public sector agencies, environmental NGOs, charitable foundations, trade unions and among community activists. The best minds of physics, ecology, economics and currency design are now coming together as we search for a viable solution.