In recent CPCs, we’ve explored how whatever future we collectively want, we have to deal with a present in which over-consumption and economic inequality go hand in hand. In particular, the role of the monetary system in shaping how society is organised and in determining whose priorities are supported and promoted has been discussed receently. The function of debt (mortgages, consumer credit, student and business loans and so on) not only in managing economic activity but also in shaping power relationships has been the focus of broader interest in recent years. The effective creation of money by commercial banks in making loans, in particular, has been presented by movements like Positive Money as a central stumbling block to democratic reform, given the ways in which the power of banks allows them to direct resources in particular (and often environmentally and socially damaging) directions.
One radical proposal for addressing all these factors is to change the very basis on which resources are allocated, moving from an economy that uses money as a means of allocating resources and coordinating desires with goods to a ‘resource-based economy’. Various ways of interpreting this concept exist. At last night’s CPC, Dan Lloyd set out some of the ideas that are central to one of these interpretations, promoted by the Zeitgeist movement. Dan argued that there are four interlinked problems which global society faces.
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