“Collapse now and avoid the rush”: who's doing it already?
As we sit around and wait for the meltdown to come to us, it can be useful to take a look at the places that are there already, and the people who are finding ways to deal with it. It turns out that there are common themes that occur whenever/wherever people can no longer count on the government or the “official” economy to provide for their needs. It might be a good thing to start early in adopting/adapting some of these measures that have been well tested. Following are some descriptions of what’s already being done.
Here’s some links I came up with from a short web search, that give a flavor of what’s going on:
- Local currencies: ‘In the U.S. we don’t trust’: It may seem like Monopoly money to outsiders, but a growing number of communities across the U.S. are using homegrown local currencies to stimulate their economies and protect themselves from the nation’s broader economic woes.
- Complementary currencies: Can a community print its own money? The short answer is a resounding YES and for many this has become a symbol of a Transition town taking the local economy into its own hands.
- Decentralized Currencies Thriving in Greece During Euro Crises
- Euros discarded as impoverished Greeks resort to bartering: Communities set up local currencies and exchange networks in attempt to beat the economic crisis
- Alternative Currencies To The Euro Are Springing Up All Over Greece
- Sharing Activists Reveal Plan to Turn Los Angeles into Sharing Mecca: As a founding member of the Sharing Cities Network (SCN), Shareable interviewed Arroyo Sustainable Economies Organization (ASECO) to get the scoop on their recently released plan to create Share LA. It’s a bold plan to turn notoriously unequal and sprawling Los Angeles into a community-oriented, resource sharing city for all.
- Learn about alternative currencies and exchange systems for sustainability: Enabling the more efficient exchange and sharing of products and services, in order to increase human well-being while reducing the consumption of natural resources, is a key dimension to the sustainability transition.
The main theme here is alternative/complementary currencies. I welcome contributions that focus on other aspects of “creative, resilient collapsing”. (Some of these aspects have been covered by other topics on this site, such as local food, low-cost housing, etc.
those are some good thoughts, dwig – we should be looking for alternatives.
people certainly have the right to use whatever they wish as currency, after all, let's try many things and see what works.
however, we should be accurate and not confuse the terms "money" and "currency":
Complementary currencies: Can a community print its own money? The short answer is a resounding YES
the answer to the above is actually a resounding "NO". a community can print its own currency, but not money – money is real wealth, it cannot just be printed up.
if we accept aristotle's canonical definition of money, one of the properties that money has is that of scarcity. scarcity means that it does not exist in abundance. i think we can agree that if something can merely be printed out of thin air, it is not scarce. and the question becomes, who gets to print more of that currency.
this is one of the major problems with the us dollar. central bankers create trillions of $USD at will, and in doing so, they not only are committing theft (through counterfeiting) against the general public, but are debasing the value of human labor itself. whereas we might go to a job, produce something of value or provide a service to others, the bankers create currency out of nothing.
so the question with any currency ultimately becomes, who gets to decide how much of it is created? who controls the supply? these are questions that must be addressed carefully by anyone hoping to develop a new system of currency.
traditionally, gold and silver have served the role of money, and done it very well. perhaps bitcoin will do so as well.
You are "on the money" thinking about this!
I've been working for over 2 years in launching my own currency (from NY, but currently living in The South– with businesses in Georgia and Alabama. Young friend of mine, successfully and recently launched
My efforts are towards building a local sustainable, resilient community, I recently bought and have expanded an organic farm/local food hub, http://www.TheDirtFarmers.com ("From Dirt to your door") ,where we are sourcing food from 15-20 farms (great to hear this week's podcast talk with Joel Salitin confirm this as a future model)
In Macon Georgia. We have 300 plus members, and a good community "capital", this will be my Trojan horse (hopefully) for launching my Complimentary Community Currency. Then Tool Banks, Time Banks, etc
We must control and co-create our own future, support and mid-wife initiatives that make Sense/Cents in any environment
Check out this article about David Holmgren's family homestead (and some good comments as well).
"As Venezuela's food shortages worsen, the president of the country's Food Industry Chamber has said that authorities ordered producers of milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour to supply their products to the state stores."
Another central planning success story: mix a little socialism, a little (essentially) confiscation of production, some corruption and black market activity, among others, and (don't forget) the finger print scanners. Note to self: why bother making everyone go cashless when it's probably easier to setup fingerprint scanners at points of sale to control the who what, when of buying (or selling) stuff.
Kind of reminds me of a of Roman history tidbit I read a while ago. I don't remember what period it was (i.e. emperor) or the exact details, but at one time, free bread (you know, the "bread and circus" more free sh!t deal) was offered to Rome's citizens. Apparently, many of the farmers, supposedly grain growers, thought that this was an offer they couldn't refuse. So, they packed up the cart and moved to the city to get free bread of course. Beats working out in the field all day only to have someone come along and take your "stuff". Care to guess what happened to farm production? Of course, it's different this time.