Monetary Sufficiency

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Michel Bauwens: Clearly, a radical monetary reform is going to be at the heart of the problematic for creating a P2P-based society. Instead of the present situation where only 10% of the financial supply reaches those who need it, with the larger parts of the world excluded from its circuits, we need a monetary format that empowers bottom-up development. Today, we have the paradoxical situation of a financial system which is overabundant[1] for those who don't need it, and scarce in those parts of the world really needing it[2].



Towards 'sufficient' and 'repersonalised' money systems, quote by Keith Hart, from the book, Reading Money in an Unequal World. New York and London: Texere, 2001

Money is the problem, but it is also the solution. We have to find ways of organizing markets as equal exchange and that means detaching the forms of money from the capitalist institutions which currently define them. I believe that, instead of taking money to be something scarce beyond our control, we could begin to make it ourselves as a means of accounting for those exchanges whose outcomes we wish to calculate. Money would then become multiple sources of personal credit, building on the technology which has already given us plastic cards. The key to repersonalisation of the economy is cheap information. Money was previously impersonal because objects exchanged at distance needed to be detached from the parties involved. Now growing amounts of information can be attached to transactions involving people anywhere in the world. This provides the opportunity for us to make circuits of exchange employing money forms which reflect our individuality, so that money may be more meaningful to each of us as a means of participating in the multiple associations we choose to enter. All of this stands in stark contrast to state-made money in the 20th century, where citizens belonged to one national economy whose currency was monopolised by a political class claiming the authority of representation to manage its volume, price and allocation." [1]


"Au total, Jérôme Blanc, spécialiste des monnaies parallèles, estime qu’« il y a, au milieu de la décennie 2000, entre un demi-million et un million [d’adhérents à des systèmes de monnaies sociales], répartis dans plus de trois mille associations, situées dans une quarantaine de pays, pour l’essentiel en Occident, en Amérique latine et au Japon ». Leur impact reste cependant très limité : « A l’exception notable de l’Argentine, nulle part les monnaies sociales n’ont acquis de taille significative par rapport à l’activité économique et sociale nationale. » (

Key Book to Read

Reading Money in an Unequal World. New York and London: Texere, 2001 by Keith Hart

This book is a good place to start explorations in monetary reform.


See Also