Open Money Manifesto

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Open Money Manifesto = Any tool and means of transaction that allows common wealth to circulate and grow, is an inalienable right

Original at http://www.thetransitioner.org/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Open+Money+Manifesto


Background

This is a reworked version by Jean-Francois Noubel, inspired by his work on Collective Intelligence.

At the end of the Noubel version is the original and earlier open money manifesto at http://openmoney.org/top/omanifesto.html, from Michael Linton and ernie yacub.

Preamble

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 specifies that:


  • Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.


  • Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.


  • Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.


  • Article 17:

1. Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.


  • Article 23:

1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.


  • Article 25:

1. Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

2. Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.


Our current monetary system

Our current monetary system is:


  • A private monopoly managed by private interests without representation of the People's interest. Citizens have no control or decision power over monetary creation and circulation, transparency does not exist or is illusory.


This state of affairs translates into money that are:


  • Not free: money is issued through the creation of credit for which the collateral is merely an accounting entry. Despite a creation out of nothing, any credit is subject to an usury (interest) rate. This usury or interest rate is the major cause of inflation and such cost of money represents a major part of the cost of things.


  • Promoting a spirit of competition: the money needed for interest payment is not created when credit is initially issued. Therefore economic actors enter into competition for getting the money necessary for interest payment. Such imperative is largely responsible for the mad profit-making race.


  • Unsustainable: compound interest is an exponential curve, meaning the amount of interest can rapidly overtake the circulating monetary mass. Thus currency monetary systems have no other alternative than collapsing when the initial monetary mass needed for economic activity is overtaken by the monetary mass needed for interest payment.


Conclusion

We, the People, declare that

The current monetary system, for the reasons listed above, does not respect Human Rights, specially regarding articles 2, 3, 17 and 25. It generates inequalities, segregation, hidden forms of slavery and prevents access to the basic needs of the People (healthcare, food, education, housing, safety, work…).

Thus, We, the People, declare that:


1. The monetary system is a commons. Access to and usage of the monetary system is an inalienable right provided at no cost.

2. Any group of individual has the right to create and choose its own monetary tools. This is a principle of sovereigny, equality, and self-determination for any group of individual.

3. Money is a commons for the group of individuals that decided of its creation and use.

4. Management of the monetary system and of money is a democratic and transparent process.

5. The primary purpose of the monetary and economic system is the fulfilment of the fundamental needs and rights as described in the Human Rights Charter, in particular the rights to food, housing, health, education, and work.

6. Natural resources are a commons. Access to and usage of natural resources is a process of sharing and not of exclusive appropriation.


Summary

The formerly proposed statements where:

1. Tools and means of transaction that allow wealth to circulate and grow, are an inalienable right.

2. Money is a tool that is issued, owned and democratically managed by the People.

3. Money, as a tool of the Commons, is free.

4. As a Commons, money is not hoardable (while wealth can be).

5. The quantity of circulating money is regulated by decentralized peer-to-peer needs, so that it follows exactly the needs and respects the freedom of use of the People.

6. Money, as a Commons, is managed transparently. For this reason the monetary system is also defined as an Information System, where information is transparent, freely and easily, accessible, and part of the Commons.

7. Money lending cannot be rewarded by usury, but by sharing the wealth it has generated. This means that investors and entrepreneurs have the same interest and work in the same direction.

8. Because of the transparency provided by the information system, the abundance of raw data allows the application of a fair tax system made to limit the Pareto principle and increase wealth circulation. The tax system is managed and decided by the People.


Discussion

This is the text of the original Open Money Manifesto from Michael Linton and ernie yacub at http://openmoney.org/top/omanifesto.html


"The problems with money stem entirely from how conventional money is normally issued - it is created by central banks in limited supply. There are three things we know about this money. We know what it does - it comes and it goes. We know what it is - it's scarce and hard to get. And we know where it's from - it's from "them", not us.

These three characteristics, common to all national currencies, determine that we constantly have to compete for a share of the limited amount of the "stuff" that makes the world go round. This money can go anywhere, and so it inevitably does, leaving the community deprived of its means of exchange.

It is simply the nature of conventional money that by its coming and going it creates conditions of competition and scarcity, within and between communities.

So we have to scramble for money to survive, we are forced to compete for it, often ruthlessly. Intent on getting the most for the least, we strive for the best bargains, as individuals, businesses, non-profits, governments, and nations.

As a society, as a generation, it seems we are determined to have everything ourselves no matter what consequences our excesses and negligence bring for others, now and in the future.

We rely on this money. It seems there isn't much choice, despite its evident failings. Some people have little or none and cannot do what they need to live in this world - some people have vast amounts of it and yet it seems to do them, and the world, no good.


And what's it all about? A money that is scarce, runs away in all directions, and comes from "them". This money of theirs comes with many problems.

  • the problem of supply - how much money in circulation is "right" for the economy? Nobody seems to know how to keep he balance between too much and too little.
  • the problem of distribution - where is it? who has it and who hasn't? is it where it's needed? clearly not.
  • the problems of cost - costs of creation and security, operations and accounting, the costs of interest, the costs of the courts.


But above all, at a cost beyond counting, our monetarily driven behaviour has utterly disastrous effects on our society and the global environment.

That's the bad news, but you probably knew it already. Now here's the good news - all these problems can be fixed with money that's better designed.


Money is just information, a way we measure what we trade, nothing of value in itself. And we can make it ourselves, to work as a complement to conventional money. Just a matter of design.

There is no good reason for a community to be without money. To be short of money when there's work to get done is like not having enough inches to build a house. We have the materials, the tools, the space, the time, the skills and the intent to build ... but we have no inches today? Why be short of inches? Why be short of money?

Open moneys are virtual, personal and free. Any community, network, business can create their own free money - "free" as in free speech, free radical, freely available - but NOT free as in free lunch, or free ride. It's not something you get for nothing.

Open money is money that must be earned to be respected. When you issue it, you are obliged to redeem it - your money is your word. It's just a matter of your reputation in your community.

Open money is flat money. It confers no power of one over another, only one with another. Exploitation is no problem; when you have your own money, you can't be bought and sold so easily. You can choose what you do to earn your money. And there's no monopoly, all systems coexist in the same space. Flatter than flat - open money is superflat.

Open money is virtual and not limited. Physical things exist in space and time - which makes them limited - in number, mass, place. Virtual things don't exist and need not respect any such limits.

So any and all things are possible in open money space - any form at all. It's just a matter of devising a scoring system for those who consent to using it - money is simply a social arrangement.

Of course, a system won't work as a money unless it's well designed. A scoring system that nobody wants to use isn't a working money. So while there's no limit to the moneys that can be conceived, not all moneys will work.

The new money that will work will be created by us, in sufficient supply to meet our needs, and in an open context so that all can contribute and be acknowledged. Open money will circulate within the networks and communities it serves, quite legally and virtually free, by design.


We believe that the problems that come from conventional money can be resolved with open money systems.

- where conventional money is scarce and expensive, the new money is sufficient and free.

- where conventional money is created by central banks, new money is issued by us, as promises to redeem - our money is our word.

- and where conventional money flows erratically in and out of our communities, creating dependencies that are harmful to the economy, society and nature, the new complementary money re-circulates, enabling business and trade.

So let's fix the money problem and for the rest of the problems that we face in our world, let's see what follows." (http://openmoney.org/top/omanifesto.html)


Just imagine ...

- imagine having enough money, sufficient to meet all our needs.

- imagine a society and economy operating without any of the familiar monetary problems of poverty, exploitation, homelessness, unemployment, fear and stress.

- imagine a world where everyone can have work and pay, work and play.

- imagine clean air, water, and food - enough for all.

- imagine human society living in balance with the environment.


Too good to be true? Or maybe not? Maybe worth checking out?


These are our beliefs about open money, our ideas for developing open money systems, and our intent to act now to implement our beliefs...we invite you to sign on.

It isn't a mission statement for anybody or any body. The statements aren't owned by anyone or anything or intended to serve the interests of any individuals or organizations.


The purpose of the open money manifesto is self determined - it is inherent in its content.

  • it isn't negotiated, nobody votes on it.
  • it's not a matter of opinion, nor a political proposal.
  • its validity is based on the sense it makes in and of itself.


The concepts of open money aren't owned by anyone.

The manifesto is an open set of ideas - the concepts are there for extension, development, refinement - we invite you to sign in.


The manifesto is an active document -

  • it is a statement of observable evidence - there are problems with money;
  • it is a process of design - the problems with money can be easily fixed;
  • it is a declaration of intent - we are fixing them.

More Information

  1. See also the Declaration Of The Universal Right Of Monetary Creation and the entry on Open Money
  2. Open Money Manifesto at http://openmoney.org/top/omanifesto.html, from Michael Linton.