Category Archives: 08. conomy & doughnuts

a. summary

Onions Studios: Should the Government Stop Dumping Money into a Giant Hole?


Is corporate neo-liberalism on a suicidal course penetrating every aspect of our lives? What if instead in how economy is deciding how it defines our lives, we ourselves together would decide what economy would mean and directs? The crisis of value in a purely economic paradigm of constant growth shows that, because of a number of inconsistencies and glitches inherent to the capitalist reality program, it is anything but realistic, causing ecocide of our very biotope and the world we inhabit, where the pathologies of the market are hardly diagnosed: profit is reaped by the corporations but the risks & bailouts are carried by the tax payer, plundering the common wealth. Can we imagine monetary ecosystems? Here we will zoom in on new open business models, sustainable economics, doughnut economics, participatory budgeting within government situations, time banking, alternative currencies, bartering, and the new economics of online sharing.

Finding a sustainable rapprochement between commons and markets is a complicated challenge. It helps to understand that markets are not necessarily the same thing as capitalism. Markets can be entirely local, fair and responsive to community needs if they are sufficiently embedded in communities and accountable to them. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 137)

So can market activity and commons coexist happily? The question is a controversial one among some commoners. David Bolier’s  view is that few commons can operate in total isolation from the rest of society. Virtually all commons are hybrids that depend in some measure upon the State or the Market. The important point, therefore, is to assure that commons can have as much autonomy and integrity of purpose as possible. If commons are to interact with markets, they must be able to resist enclosure, consumerism, the lust for capital accumulation and other familiar pathologies of capitalism, because that plunders nature with little concern for the long-term consequences. Markets need not be predatory and socially corrosive; they can become socially integrated into a community and made locally responsive. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 137)

David Bollier states that the trick in melding commons and markets consists in nourishing a distinct culture of commoning while devising “defensible boundaries” around the commons so that it can maintain its basic autonomy. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 138)

Silke Helfrich  explains that we’re in need of “a shift from commons-based peer production to commons-creating peer production. The commons is not about organizational form or property rights. It’s about the purpose. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 140)

These ideas clearly require a bold reconceptualization of the neoliberal Market/State. Michel Bauwens  has proposed that we reimagine the State and the Market as a “triarchy” that shares governance authority with the commons — the Market/State/Commons. The goal is to realign authority and provisioning into new, more socially beneficial configurations. The State must shift its focus to become a “Partner State,” as Michel Bauwens puts it, and become more than a colluding partner of the Market sector. (David Bollier: Think like a Commoner, 2014: 145)

c. Edgar Cahn on Time Banking


Nesta, UK
2011, 7 min 11 sec

Dr Edgar Cahn, professor of law and founder of Time Banking, explains the concept of Time Banking. As another medium of exchange, another kind of money, Time Banking allows us to help others and, in return, get the help we need, create a interdependent community and oppose the system of money and barter, which leeds to purely commercial transactions.

In the system we use now, one of money and barter, abundance equals worthless, so every capacity we have as a human being is devalued as worthless because it’s abundant.

Time Banking is about universal values of exchanges, relationships, collaborative efforts that are abundant in the nature of human beings. Time Banking varies the medium of exchange and changes the characteristics and alters the dynamics.

Time banking is a system that let’s people earn time credits for providing services to others in their communities. Examples of services include mowing lawns, babysitting, providing household help or driving someone to a medical appointment. People can then spend their time credits for others services provided by member of the community.

They can turn their time into a ‘currency’ that let’s them meet basic needs that cannot be met through markets.



d. Bhutan PM: Happiness is a public good


Yes, Yes, Economy, CNN, USA
2017, 2 min 17 sec

Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay explains why it’s difficult to measure happiness and why economic growth and happiness are not mutually exclusive. If happiness is a public good, is it the government’s responsibility to create the conditions related to it?


e. Gross Domestic Problem


ANU TV, Australia
2017,   17 min 4 sec

In this video ANU academics Robert Costanza and Ida Kubiszewski discuss the limitations of GDP as a measurement of societal success and assess alternatives with Lorenzo Fioramonti. Fioramonti states that GDP was never meant to be an indicator of success in normal conditions, it is a measure of material consumption within the formal economy.

Constanza adds that in World War II it was very helpfull as a tool for understanding production of war material. In these normal (non-war)days, when a natural disaster occurs, GDP goes up, explains Kubiszewski. That means it looks like a benefit but in fact it is a cost to society in many ways. On the other hand a lot of important components to society, such as volunteer work, household work, stay at home moms, are being ignored in the system of GDP.

c. Trader Tells Truth


BBC News
2011, 3 min 29 sec

Here’s a new viral video that came from a BBC interview. In an interview on BBC News this morning that left the hosts gobsmacked, Alessio Rastani outlines in a mere three-and-a-half-minutes what we all know and most ignore. This is the famous quote “Governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world.” Though some tried to debunk it as a prank, he is in fact a real trader. He was later quoted as saying he thought it was obvious and wasn’t really shocking at all. Apparently most people were stunned by his blatant honesty.

g. Richard Stallman on Bitcoins


RT LIVE, Washington, USA
2013, 5 min 5 sec

Online currency Bitcoin has now almost overtaken gold in value. A single bitcoin currently trades for one thousand two hundred dollars – just shy of an ounce of bullion. RT spoke to Dr Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation about the currency. One advantage, he says, is freedom to spend your money any way you like without the approval of the government or the permission of a payment company, which provides us with a freedom we haven’t been able to experience before, even though at this point, we are not able to buy bitcoins in an anonymous way.

g. The Crimson Permanent Assurance


Terry Gilliam, UK
1983, 16 min 27 sec

The Crimson Permanent Assurance is a 1983 swashbuckling comedy short film that plays as the beginning of the feature-length motion picture Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.[2]

Having originally conceived the story as a six-minute animated sequence in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,[3] intended for placement at the end of Part V,[4] Terry Gilliam convinced the other members of Monty Python to allow him to produce and direct it as a live action piece instead. According to Gilliam, the film’s rhythm, length, and style of cinematography made it a poor fit as a scene in the larger movie, so it was presented as a supplementary short ahead of the film.

It was a common practice in British cinemas to show an unrelated short feature before the main movie, a holdover from the older practice of showing a full-length “B” movie ahead of the main feature. By the mid-1970s the short features were of poorer quality (often Public Information Films), or simply banal travelogues. As a kind of protest, the Pythons had already produced one spoof travelogue narrated by John CleeseAway from It All, which was shown before Life of Brianin Britain.

I. Bernard Lietaer on Money Diversity


PopTech, USA
2011, 23 min 32 sec

Bernard Lietaer argues that the monoculture of money is what creates economic instability, leading to liquidity crises. He calls for a greater diversity of alternative currencies, citing innovative and enormously successful initiatives like the Lithuanian Doraland Economy, the Torekes in Belgium and Switzerland’s famous alternative currency, the WIR.

j. Anti-Slavery Campaign


Anti-Slavery Campaign; MTV
2007, 1 min 44 sec

Modern day slavery is big business. There are more people in slavery today than at any time in history… The UN estimates that 27 million people can be classified as slaves. Compare this to the 13 million Africans who were transported to the New World in the 350 years of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The market in slave made products and services is worth $32bn. The only truly new thing about slavery today is the collapse in the price of people. In Alabama in 1850 the average slave cost the equivalent of £25,000. Returns would have been around 5%. Today as slave might cost you as little as £20. Returns can be as high as 800%. People are cheaper and in more plentiful supply than ever. It’s a good business to be in.

Slavery in the 21st Century is essentially no different from slavery in previous centuries. You’re a slave if you are no more than something to be bought and sold. If you play no part in deciding your future and your fate. If yours is a life without options. Today, child soldiers, debt bondage slaves and women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation are just some of the more obvious examples of slavery. But the countless asylum seekers and immigrants who are forced to work, often without pay, in the industries that inhabit the twilight world of illegality are also enslaved.

This ad as accessed via an e-mail that was sent to big names in the financial world, promising them a ‘hot new investment’. When they clicked on the link in the e-mail, the found a website for a financial company. Four Continents Capital Management, that seemed to be investing in slave labour. The ad introduced their CEO.