I came to alternative economics after a decade of environmental and social justice activism. During that decade, sometimes we won the good fight and often we lost or won only tentatively, usually because of imbedded financial interests, power brokers, and structures. Even more often, change was not even attempted because it was predetermined you just create that kind of change in this economy. So I decided it was time to change the economy- change its values, change its functions and tools, and most importantly put it in its place, under the control of the community it is supposed to serve in order to support our needs and true happiness.
How do you do this- socialism, green businesses, worker cooperatives, mutual aid, really really free markets, free skools, credit unions, participatory budgeting, land trusts, community supported agriculture, community gardens, housing cooperatives, social and environmental responsible investing? I say “yes, yes, yes!” Let the new communal consciousness blossom in a thousand ways!
Why alternative currencies? The element that draws me to currencies is that you and I can make one. We have that power and believe it or not, it is legal. We can make it abundant, we can make it green, we can make it local, we can make it egalitarian. If we as a community in the Bay Area have control over our monetary supply, or if there are many alternative currencies that serve our most progressive values, we can make decisions about where that money flows and we can make sure that everyone has enough. We can stop money flowing to wars and direct it towards health care. We can stop it from funding deforestation and nuclear power and put it towards renewable energy in our own communities. We can stop sending jobs abroad that turn developing countries into slave colonies for cheap goods and create green living wage jobs here. We have the power to create currency based in trust, love and abundance.