Poverty and inequity have a way of making us feel awful about ourselves, questioning the very core of our worth in this world. So we spend our time working harder, when we should be working together. We worry about how to pay the next bill, when we should be delegitimising the system of exploitation. And we often blame each other, when we should be blaming the rules. So why don’t we point the finger at the real problem? That’s a good question. After all, the vast disparity of wealth we see globally didn’t just happen by accident.
Make money positive and public
Right now, money is debt. It doesn’t feel like that day-to-day because of how we use it to buy stuff. But that myopic understanding is dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, it’s the smokescreen behind which extremely powerful private interests stand when they rob us of autonomy and potential. Secondly, it’s just an incomplete understanding, which is something that we should never be satisfied with.
So, money must again be made an expression of positive value. This means taking the job of printing money away from private banks and putting it back under democratic control. Money might be thought of as a Commons, in this respect, and so subject to the same logic as water or air. This isn’t a radical idea, although it is often painted as such. It merely represents the way most money systems operated right up to the early 20th century and the establishment of the Federal Reserve.