James Quilligan on the History of the Commons, Monetary Policy, and the Future of Democracy

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Podcast via https://www.cchange.net/2019/10/01/quilligan/

Bill Baue of R3.0 very strongly recommends this podcast interview with james quilligan


"What is the American dollar based on? It was based on the gold standard until 1971 when it transitioned to a floating monetary system. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio believes US currency now rests unofficially on the price of oil. What will a successful Green New Deal will look like if the underlying currency upon which the US economy rests is based on fossil fuels? We speak to James Quilligan, the Managing Director of Economic Democracy Advocates and longtime policy analyst in the international development space. Quilligan explains the history of the commons and monetary policy, points out some of the shortcomings of capitalism, and lays out how to ensure the survival of democracy. He argues that understanding the complexities of our global economic system is the first step in fixing it."


Quotes collated by Bill Baue, in reverse chronological order, start at the bottom!

James Quilligan says:

  • “Government and business have encroached upon our commons ... we need to be able to roll that back and do it in a peaceful but firm way whereby we can generate new laws to govern a sea change for systematic transformation of the economy and also the way we’re being governed."
  • "Society is going to become an ecosystem just like nature is, but we’re not there yet.

Part of the dysfunction we’re facing now is that society is not operating like an ecosystem and it needs to be."

  • "Resource democracy essentially means that people have the right to manage their own resources.

Meaning that all of us live somewhere and we have a sense of place. But that sense of place is often taken away from us because we don’t have a way to access it very effectively."

  • "We’re in a crisis situation right now where some are calling for a return to fixed interest rates, which would mean either return to the gold standard or possibly a new dimension which would be using ecological value rather than commercial value to underpin our currency value."
  • "In the future, it would be a really smart idea to look at ways of measuring the sustainability of resources in nature, and then begin to use that as the basis of our asset valuation when it comes to the value of currencies."
  • "So we’re not measuring sustainability through our currencies — we’re actually measuring market value of resources, which are not really resources anymore — they’re turned into commodities — they’re turned into goods and services for the marketplace."
  • "However, that function [of linking value to resource scarcity] has been farmed out to the marketplace, rather than the actual monitoring of our ecologies."
  • "There is a sense that scarce resources give a certain sense of value that lends our currencies to be able to express value that either is increasing or decreasing based on the increase or decrease of our resources that are available in nature."
  • "What we have now is a currency that is really attendant to the value of oil. So the value of oil markets has a big influence on the valuation of today’s currencies."
  • "Society does not have a good understanding that the assets of nature are the real value of our currencies.”