If you ever were in a dirty alley and instead of a black cat you saw Wall Street white shoe boys scrapping through garbage, gobbling down junk bonds for food, you might assume that financial markets have come crashing down.
Back in 2011, The Global Development Horizons report stated that it’s likely that by the year 2025, the economic world currency will be split among the Euro, the Yuan, and the Dollar.
This could be an optimistic forecast; the days of the dollar as world fiat currency may be over sooner than later. The US economy is struggling to survive massive devaluation. The dollar, backed by nothing, has weakened in value, no gold at Fort Knox. The Nixon shock of 1971 dissociated the US dollar from the gold standard. Added to this, the phantom of hyperinflation has peeked its ugly head as the Federal Reserve keeps printing new money out of thin air, for years now, creating massive debt.
Recently, after the home buyers bubble burst, the Central Bank together with the government bailed out bankers and financial institutions from default loans worth several trillion dollars. New money is created as interest-bearing debt, which means that there is never enough money in circulation to pay off the accumulated deficit. An obese monster is thus created which will eventually cannibalize itself. This implosion is built into the monetary system. Since the existing money supply cannot pay national and international debts, certain world economies are slashed and burned. Economic casualties of this money scheme include Iceland, Greece, Italy and Ireland. Who will be next? How many more families will bankrupt their livelihood? This social pathology does not care if millions of workers lose their jobs and lose homes to foreclosure. The “money out of debt” granddaddy of all bubbles will burst too. At that moment we will witness the end of financial growth. This could happen gradually and or suddenly. Judging by the last run of bankers and billionaires, the end is near, and at the end of the day, their fortunes will be worth nothing.
The declining purchase power of the almighty buck will finally crash and we will understand that our old ways are over.
We need to revise the use and value of what is being exchanged. We need new units of transaction to replace the monopoly money of the central banks. We need to diversify the way money is created. These new transactions will encourage a resurgence of resource economics, it will bring back the cottage industry and the farming communities, but in the information age. This regional approach will promote local economies with regional currencies and value shares. This will diversify the way the market participates in commerce. In this new economy, true value needs will replace commodity economies and household economics will replace market economies.
Traditional forms of exchanges happen when we do favors for family, friends and neighbors. The intrinsic wealth generated through close relationships and the community circle, reciprocates in interdependence, in cooperative partnership with each other. Because we depend on each other on such critical levels, we must enforce the golden rule:
“We do unto others what we do for ourselves.”
I am not suggesting we regress to barter or a cashless society, but perhaps we could substitute the current model with a thoroughly revised “real” value system of exchange. This new exchange of values will be posted in community banks backed by a one to one value standard. These local banks will have a cap on their growth and function more as credit unions with community-based currencies and regional investment.
We must be watchful inside this system, as the social oppression generated by ownership leads to inequality, and as usual, some people will always want to own more than others. We need to understand the value of sharing. The rich and the poor, don’t need to be two ends of the cost benefits. It’s not a Darwinian variable or an arrogant entitlement for those that got there first. The available property and resources, like the air we breathe and the water we drink, are a gift that belongs to all of us.
But how and who will distribute evenly and manage the goods among us? Who will oversee our universal rights? How do we establish this starting point, this new agreement? Who will run the land and defend the infrastructures that will be needed to set forth this new experiment? Ownership and entitlement to infrastructure are defining aspects to this new multipolar bioregional interdependent model where land has rights over us and not the other way around.
The local markets will reset the way we do business in partnership with mother Earth. Our planet is the great I am that we have forgotten. The walls that are falling around us are the walls that have kept us in prison.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carlos Cuellar Brown is a New York City media artist and essayist who has written on new media, social theory and metaphysics. His essays have been posted online by Opendemocracy, The Global Dispatches, The Pelican Web, Kosmos Journal, and STARDRIVE.
In 2013 his essay “Intermedial Being” was published by A Journal of Performance and Art PAJ #106 MIT Press Journals. In 2015 Mr. Brown was nominated for the TWOTY awards out of the Netherlands for his essay “Blueprint for Change”. He has been a regular columnist for Second Sight Magazine and Fullinsight.
His book, In Search of Singularity: Reflections and Chronicles from the End of Time, published 29 January 2017, is a series of reflections on the current cultural evolution from competition to cooperation, from patriarchy to reciprocity between humanity and the human habitat.