Five Laws of Democratic Money

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Proposed by David Week:

"Watching some of the discussion of money and crypto-currencies, I get the impression that (possibly incorrect) that there is a tacit assumption that all one needs to do is design the right money system, and all will be well with money. I don’t think so. Therefore I propose…


1. Democracy is the active governance of a community through conscious, informed, and effective action by the members of that community, each of whom has equal power by right. Most defects in contemporary democracy are due to somnolence, lack of information, lack of access to effective action, or inequalities of power.

2. Democracy is an ongoing process. Pace Foucault, democratic power is a thing not possessed but rather exercised. It requires constant inputs of thought and effort, without which it does not work.

3. Social systems are not automatically stable or self-regulating. The idea that they can be made so is the myth of society as the cybernetic machine, the same myth that underlies liberal dreams of self-correcting and automatically efficient market mechanisms. (cf. Adam Curtis’s film: All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace). They must be made stable by human regulation.

4. All markets and all monetary systems are vulnerable to gaming, and will be gamed by those with the knowledge or economic power to do so. The only antidote to gaming is good governance. This is true of any commons. (cf. Orstrom’s design rules)

5. Therefore no monetary system, no matter what its design, can in itself be democratic, stable or fair. A monetary system can be democratic only through democratic governance, and this in turn requires that citizens or commoners are conscious of it, understand it, and have effective control over it." (fb august 2014)