Comments about Margrit Kennedy’s proposals

»Reading blogs about the financial crisis feels like watching one of those reality car chase programmes in which you wait, guiltily, for the felon – or in this case, the global financial system – to crash. It’s hard not to be mesmerised by reports that even the failed $700 billion plan did not addreß the true scale of the global problem. One insider blogger – Illargi, at Automatic Earth – reckons that “the global shadow banking system, the source of perhaps $800 trillion in outstanding derivatives is shaking on its foundations, and will inevitably tumble.” Part of me hopes the crash is real because a meltdown would deflate an economy which will otherwise eat the biosphere alive. But a crash would also cause enormous hardship, including to one’s own nearest and dearest.

Besides, rooting for collapse puts you on the same side as the loony-tune end-days crowd – and that’s not a club I want to join. It’s all verycomplicated. A healthier response, I’m sure, is to get out of the house and look for positive things to do. As often mentioned here, there’s an awful lot of regenerative activity out there – only most of it is below the radar. A lot of people are busy designing and deploying complementary currencies, for example.

If this week’s news is not persuasive enough, the need for complementary currencies is well-explained by the Open Money Manifesto. (And whilst you’re at it, do re-read Margrit Kennedy’s paper at Doors of Perception 8. That one lecture – in Delhi in Spring 2005 – was when I, for one, first realised that the mainstream money money system was going to run off the rails in the major way that’s happening now). For my part, I plan to become an active user of complementary currencies starting on 7 October: I’m giving a talk that day at the University of Brighton – and I’m hoping to be paid in Lewes Pounds.«

John Thackara, DOORS OF PERCEPTION REPORT, October 2008