I received the following response on last week's email about Alternative Currency (I forgot to say then that I call it Unity Scrip) from my good friend Nicolas Ortiz Cue who lives in Scotland. Nick is my most faithful reader and gives me regular and useful feedback on practically all the postings I send out. He also read/reviewed/edited People Medicine for me.
I was pleased to get this particular feedback regarding the local currency scene in Scotland as well as information about Scottish pounds.
As Nick suggests below, there is a lot more to money than we generally think. Since thinking comes up, you might want to visit and sign up for his thinking person's blog called One Magic Dragon. Nick is The Dragon Man: http://onemagicdragon.blogspot.com/
Hi Doctor Bob!
Great e-mail. It is an idea we had talked about in the past and it seems to reappear every so often. As you know, here in the village and surroundings such a system was used a few years ago (12?), and also the “time credit” system was used.
It worked well for a while, until the “directing board” grew and grew and began to regulate and regulate and regulate making it more complicated than what it needed to be and thus people lost confidence and trust and the idea died away. Shame. Yet, I know of other places in the UK where this idea has come up every once in a while in view of the present situation.
The best thing about your e-mail is that it is doing something! It is constructive, and hopeful. “So, all that seems like Big Stuff and beyond any of us doing
anything about it. Let’s see about that.” I agree with you that one of the major losses we are experiencing in all roams of life is confidence and trust. Whether governments are concern, the economy, the political system and leaders, our neighbours and even ourselves! We are living in a world that because of lack of confidence and trust is becoming more and more apart (as nations, communities and even interpersonal and personal relationships). No wonder creativity and energy for change is at times so scarce. Yet, there is hope and things do change and evolve and becoming an active part of that process is what is needed and you are doing. It is what the e-mail is doing, so good on you. We need for trust and confidence to increase and that is also a task on itself.
I don’t know what will happen with the Euro. A return to “local” (national) currencies? Sounds like a big leap backwards and a lot is at stake. To begin with most of the Chinese wealth is invested in Euros and there is a lot of it and they won’t let it change into a lot of local currencies that will make them have a loss due to the exchange rate. That to just point out a simple example.
I believe the Euro will carry on and that is good in the sense that it unites and interconnects peoples and countries destiny. But I also see that it has to evolve.
The problem is not so much the legal note, even who issues the notes, but our attitude towards money and wealth as a whole. The change has to come from a different state of consciousness and awareness of what money, wealth is and how it should be used in a complex 21st Century world. Something much more complicated than issuing local money notes. Where is all the money going to? Is it efficiently used and for what is really needed? Is it bringing a better life quality to the people? Much to do on that side of things and very complicated too. Nevertheless, the crisis is so deep that it is forcing things to change and evolve regardless of leaders and country policies. The old appears to be dying with a big bang but we can not see the new working yet. It is a time for creativity and action. It is not in the hands of any individual, it has to be a collective solution and change. World leaders (in every walk of life) are learning this regardless if they like it or not. They will have to be “forced” into a different way, starting with the financial sector and then on to others (the political, etc. etc.).
What you are doing is exactly on those lines; making people aware of the possibility of change and it is done by renewing what made and makes sense: original values and ideals that made things work and happen. They can not be expressed as they were 200 years ago, but not the less, they are as valuable as then, the expression will follow the awareness of these real values, as for example; the foundation of the USA. That same thought can be applied the world over and to many different institutions: banks, government, justice and legalities, health, etc. etc.
Your new notes are a good impulse for thought change, they are visual and represent, as much as a dollar bill, value and wealth and power, and energy. It is just a matter of choice and convenience. If seen from this point of view the task of changing from one system to another appear to be quite easy. And making people aware that there are different ways to do things, that change is possible, that there is choice and we have that choice (even at individual level regardless of who we are, what we do and what we have), is a mind opener! The next question should be: “and why not?” The mere fact of presenting the possibility of things done in a different way is a huge step.
“Local currency? What are you nuts?” Well as nutty as believing my wealth is safe in the current currencies and banking system. As nutty as believing there is nothing that we as individuals can do (we still have the power of the purse). Maybe what is really nutty is not to think (and maybe then do) other alternatives. In prison cigarettes work well as a local currency and I assume, for I have no knowledge, that they have fluctuated less than the “strong currencies”, they have done a better job at holding their value and possibilities for exchange. And we are talking about prison and something that is attractive to turn into smoke! And it seems to be working regardless. So is the black market, the “in hand payments” and the bartering that has increased in every country. So, the signs and alternatives are there and some of them are working fine. Why shouldn’t others if well directed?
If I visit the vicinity of The Rocky Mountains, the True West, I would be very happy to exchange some of my Scottish pounds (see there still are Scottish pounds and issued by three different banks)!!! for some real local currency that represents better what America is about. Don’t know the name of the currency. How about “Trust notes” or “American value”?
FROM A LATER NOTE: Scottish pounds (issued by three different banks, each its own version of the notes) are legal tender and are used in Scotland just as the “English” pound is use. No difference. A lot has to do with the good work of Sir Walter Scott.
Well, sorry for the rambling. Harlee says I prattle. So please don’t tell her about this e-mail cause it will prove her right!
Big hug and all the best to the man from the True West,
Send Comments to theportableschool at gmail dot com
First Installment on Currency
Second Installment on Currency