Local Currency and Process Philosophy:
The Relational Marketplace
The creative transformation of money
from an instrument of unilateral power
to a bridge for community well-being
The Money Fix: A Documentary for Money Reform
A Student Discovers The Money Fix
The video brings me back to John Cobb's idea of a "community of community of communities" because I don't think something like this could work without a real community structure based on relationships, trust, and accountability. Perhaps you can pass this on to others, because it really changed the way that I understand money. The documentary also connects economics to the mutual dependency within the biodiversity of the earth. It can help someone in college create a major in "Sustainable Economics" or "Environmental Economics."
The Creative Transformation of Currency
Money is at the intersection of nearly every aspect of modern life. Most of us take the monetary system for granted, but it has a profound and largely misunderstood influence on our lives. THE MONEY FIX is a feature-length documentary exploring our society’s relationship with the almighty dollar.
Relational Currency as Faith in Your Neighbors and Faith in Community
A lot of people are embracing local currency because they’re starting to understand more about our federal economic system. Federal reserve notes don’t necessarily serve the interests of local communities, and local currencies can help tip the scales back into that mindset. We don’t seek to replace federal money in our local communities at all; we are hoping to facilitate more exchange beyond what’s possible with federal dollars. It’s another kind of faith and another kind of currency. It’s faith in your neighbors; it’s faith in local businesses; it’s faith in your region and what it can offer you. There’s true wealth there and what can be had.
How does Relational Currency work? Example from the Pacific Northwest
In our region we have thousands of people with skills to offer their community, and yet they sit unemployed or under-employed, mostly because the people who would hire them (people like me) don't have enough federal dollars to do so! Those same people with skills to offer also need services and goods, but they too don't have enough federal dollars to purchase the services and goods they need. The key ingredient missing from the equation is money. Federal dollars are meant to be scarce. Since River HOURS cannot be spent outside of our community, they will never leave it, except for the occasional tourist who collects the notes, or the few that are lost. By having a complementary source of money in our community, there can be an increase in trading of goods and services. RiverHOURS are issued without interest and put more money into circulation in our community. Did you know … when you spend one hundred dollars at a big box store such as Wal-mart, about ninety-five of those dollars leave our community? About 50% goes to China, the other 40+ goes to Arkansas and fills the pockets of the one of the richest families in the world.
For additional videos on money and currency alternatives, click here. Scroll down for an especially thought-provoking video: The Money Masters: How International Bankers Gained Control of America.
Relational Power: A Key Idea in Process Theology
We have a power, power that can’t be found in Molotov cocktails, but we do have a power. Power that cannot be found in bullets and guns, but we have a power. It is a power as old as the insights of Jesus of Nazareth and as modern as the techniques of Mahatma Gandhi.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is talking about relational power. That's the phrase process philosophers use to to name a kind of power that is active, intentional, open, creative, sustaining, and cooperative. C. Robert Mesle offers an excellent introduction in an article for JJB: Relational Power. In order to understand this power, it helps if we compare it with its opposite: unilateral power.
Unilateral Power: The Opposite of Relational Power
Unilateral power is woven deeply into our lives. We compete all the time in games, grades, jobs, romance, and more. It is hard to imagine life without such competitive expressions of unilateral power. Even when we do not want to control and win, we do what to feel safe and secure. Most of all, we don’t want to die. We want to be “unaffected” by all the threats of the world.
Unilateral power is the power to influence others without being affected by them. It is competitive not cooperative. It is built on the idea that, if one person or group is to win, the other person or individual must lose.
The World is a Community