New Money for a New World

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* Book: Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin. New Money for a New World. 2012



"New Money for a New World examines a previously unexamined culprit for the many issues we face today—the monopoly of our centuries old monetary system. This book also provides many ways and means that are now readily available to stop the current juggernaut towards global self destruction. Many of the solutions offered within this book are more than theory. Communities from around the world have successfully addressed a myriad of issues without the need to raise taxes, redistribute wealth, or depend upon enlightened self interest from corporate entities. Rather the improvements were realized simply and effectively by rethinking money." (


Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin:

"Humanity is at a critical juncture, faced with two very real yet vastly different prospects. The unparalleled achievements over the course of recent decades in one domain after another offer hope of a vast renewal and golden age for society. In direct opposition to this is the persistence of a constellation of seemingly insurmountable global issues that threaten us as never before. What is required is as straightforward as it is profound. Our global civilization needs a new operating system, and fast.

Our seemingly paradoxical situation is explained by the fact that the very same ways of thinking that brought about the Industrial Age and made possible many of our advancements, have also fueled the myriad crises that are now converging upon us. In particular, many of the socioeconomic rules under which we currently operate were actually put in place centuries ago, and were heavily influenced by a worldview that failed to recognize that our planet is a living system and that every form of life has its unique and valuable place and purpose in sustaining the larger web of life. In ignoring the conditions that are necessary to the health of our ecosystems and communities, we have inadvertently fouled our nest.

As a direct consequence of our centuries-old ways of being and doing, we are now faced with: great financial instability, growing disparities of wealth, resource wars, the breakdown of community, alarming rates of species extinction and ecosystem depletion, and accelerating symptoms of climate change. As our food, energy, health, education, economies, and financial systems show increasing signs of failing us, we are being collectively called to harness our creativity and resources to take a major evolutionary leap.

Transitioning from self-destructive ways to life-affirming understandings, lifestyles, and systems is indeed the great work of our times.

The looming question is, how can we reverse the downward spiral in which much of our world has been caught?

One of the many blessings of our time is that there is a fast-growing global movement afoot, consisting of many communities, businesses, not-for-profits, and governments, hard at work on this very question. Their innovative efforts are already providing many success stories and inspiring new models to point to. Neither creativity nor good intentions are lacking.

What has been sorely missing is an understanding of the important systemic causes of the challenges we face, and a clearer sense of how fragmented efforts and experiments might evolve into comprehensive solutions. The widespread deterioration of conditions that has occurred over the course of the last several decades is bound to continue until and unless we can identify and effectively address the source of our many concerns. To this end, there is at last some significant news. A far better and more effective way to harness and direct our creativity and energy is now possible and directly available to us. What is required of us is to start paying careful attention to a piece of the puzzle that has been under the radar of the official and public debate: our monetary system.

Over the course of the past few decades, a quiet but significant transformation has been taking place within the monetary realm. Thousands of initiatives from around the world—run by villagers, non-governmental organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises, multinationals, and governments—have each been rethinking money. They have made use of complementary currencies—monetary initiatives that do not replace but rather supplement the national currency system—to match unmet needs with unused resources.

Among the almost inexhaustible range of vital concerns being addressed by new monetary initiatives let us mention: social and ecological issues such as improved education, disease intervention, juvenile delinquency, healthcare for the elderly, environmental cleanup, and city restoration; and commercial applications such as job creation, loyalty mechanisms, stabilization of the business cycle, and more.

These initiatives burden no one and offer benefits to the whole of human society. These innovations do not require raising taxes, the redistribution of wealth, bonds, charity, or loans from lending institutions or government. Given what is at stake and what has already been achieved, it is encumbent upon us to at least carefully consider what is now possible.

New Money for a New World is dedicated to pragmatic improvements in conditions through a greater understanding of money, and through monetary initiatives that better serve the diverse and sometimes divergent needs of each member of our global society and the living systems of this planet. An Overview of New Money for a New World

The goal of each of the four parts of this book is to report, in as clear and concise a way as possible, the insights and important options that are now available to us by rethinking money."


"In Part I—Our Money, Our World—we explore many of the features of today's monetary and banking paradigms. The topics examined include:

   * the ways and means by which one city was able to tackle many of its concerns without having to raise taxes, redistribute wealth, or seek outside assistance (Chapter One—A Tale of Two Cities);
   * the great mismatch between our money and our age (Chapter Two—Welcome to Moneyville);
   * critical issues facing our world and the monetary questions they pose (Chapter Three—Megatrends and Money);
   * long-held mysteries and some important agreements related to our money (Chapter Four—A Money Primer);
   * seemingly innocuous properties of our monetary system, particularly the feature of interest, and the profound influence of the architecture of our money system upon society (Chapter Five—Money is Not Value-Neutral);
   * a little-known, historical Golden Age and its unusual monetary paradigm (Chapter Six—Back to the Future);
   * how our banking and monetary systems replicate beliefs, perceptions, and objectives of a former age (Chapter Seven—A Change of View);
   * traditional theories and assumptions about how economies work and the measurements used to gauge their supposed health (Chapter Eight—Economic Myopia);
   * how several communities were able to not only meet their needs but prosper during the depths of the Great Depression, and the potential dire consequences of not heeding these vital monetary lessons (Chapter Nine—Lessons from a Depression);
   * how limited understandings regarding money impact reigning economic notions and policies (Chapter Ten—The Blind Spot).

In Part II—New Money—we explore some of the many monetary tools and new economic understandings available to us to help address the issues facing our world today. The topics explored include:

   * the unparalleled shift now taking place in society (Chapter Eleven—Great Change);
   * new economic insights derived from our understandings of natural ecosystems and other complex flow systems (Chapter Twelve—Efficiency, Resilience, and Money);
   * insights regarding what constitutes economic vitality, and its relationship to accepted notions of economic growth (Chapter Thirteen—Sustainable Development);
   * two of the most ubiquitous complementary currencies in use today (Chapter Fourteen—LETS and Time Dollars);
   * currency designs to help address specific social concerns (Chapter Fifteen—Social-Purpose Currencies);
   * currency designs to help meet the needs of business, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (Chapter Sixteen—Commercial-Purpose Currencies);
   * a global reference currency design that addresses many of the limitations inherent in today's international environment (Chapter Seventeen—The Terra, a Trade Reference Currency);
   * the likely consequences of addressing societal conditions within the framework of the existing bank-debt monetary paradigm (Chapter Eighteen—Two Worlds).

In Part III—The Mystery of Money—we explore the profound relationship between money and the human psyche. The topics examined include:

   * patterns of emotions and actions that can be observed across time and cultures (Chapter Nineteen—Archetypes);
   * a fundamental archetype and its deep-rooted relationship to money (Chapter Twenty—The Missing Archetype and Money);
   * the long and systematic repression of this same archetype (Chapter Twenty One—Repression of an Archetype);
   * the manner in which repressed psychic energies manifest (Chapter Twenty Two—Shadows);
   * the link between collective psychology, Taoism, and money systems (Chapter Twenty Three—Money and the Tao);
   * the impact of the current monetary paradigm on society (Chapter Twenty Four—Consequences of Repression).

In Part IV—Money, Archetypes, and Past Ages—we explore the monetary systems, archetypal constellations, and general conditions of several notable civilizations down through history. The topics examined include:

   * medieval Western Europe viewed from an archetypal perspective (Chapter Twenty Five—Central Middle Ages Revisited);
   * an historical civilization whose unusual prosperity spanned more than 2,000 years (Chapter Twenty Six—Dynastic Egypt);
   * Dynastic Egypt from an archetypal perspective (Chapter Twenty Seven—Dynastic Egypt Revisited);
   * the particular monetary and archetypal characteristics of an unusual culture that has endured for more than 1,000 years and continues to this day (Chapter Twenty Eight—The Balinese Exception);
   * a review of the findings and key conclusions of this work, and an invitation to continue our exploration of money online (Chapter Twenty Nine—Invitation to a New World).


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