[iDC] Introduction: The Internet as Playground and Factory

Michael Bauwens michelsub2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 8 08:35:50 UTC 2009

Hi Grant,

(sorry for the link bombardement, I just happen to be collecting info for our open money week at the p2p blog, which started this Monday)

I have forgotten the content of Bellamy's book, but it seems to me that contemporary reformers are pretty much thinking also in reviving mutual credit systems, so it may not be as laughable as we think. The existing mutual credit banks for example (WIR in Switzerland, Jak Bank in Sweden, islamic banking, mutual housing assn. in the UK), have resisted much more successfully to the current meltdown.

I'm thinking of proposals from people like Bernard  Lietaer, Margrit Kennedy, Thomas Greco and many many others, which all include strong mutual credit elements. My thinking is that just as the shareholder company succeeded the earlier joint stock company because it was more inclusive, peer to peer financing systems will start replacing shareholder finance because of its ability to access broader and deeper financial reserves (as shown by Obama's election campaign).

Greco's last book, the end of money, has 2 interesting chapters:

http://p2pfoundation.net/End_of_Money_and_the_Future_of_Civilization ; http://p2pfoundation.net/Why_Exchange_Alternatives_Fail_to_Thrive; http://p2pfoundation.net/Towards_A_Complete_Web-Based_Trading_Platform

There is quite a bit of happening in the field of digital currencies, see for example http://p2pfoundation.net/Loom, which allows any community (including the Scouts with their Scouts Hours) to create their own currencies, and exchange them with other groups, as long as they use a common standard (which can be work hours, silver/gold, energy-backed ..).

Open design communities have started to implement their own alternative financing systems such as for example the Arduino community with the http://p2pfoundation.net/Open_Source_Hardware_Bank; you probably heard of Twollars as well, which allows payments to nonprofits.

For intro's/overviews to this new field, see http://p2pfoundation.net/Category:Money ; and http://del.icio.us/mbauwens/P2P-Money

The emergence of global and local exchanges foregoing the use of currency, see http://p2pfoundation.net/Global_Resource_Exchange_Groups and http://p2pfoundation.net/Peer_to_Peer_Exchanges, points to the need of developing new types of metrics (http://p2pfoundation.net/P2P-Metrics), that allow us to acknowledge wealth (http://p2pfoundation.net/Wealth_Typology) that is not readily measurable with currencies, through alternative acknowledgement systems, http://p2pfoundation.net/Wealth_Acknowledgment_Systems

The most promising and comprehensive metaplatform for this may well be http://p2pfoundation.net/Metacurrency_Project, its developers are promising it will function as the tcp/ip of money,


From: Grant Wythoff <gwythoff at princeton.edu>
To: Amanda Chapel <chapel at strumpette.com>
Cc: idc at mailman.thing.net
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2009 3:37:40 AM
Subject: Re: [iDC] Introduction: The Internet as Playground and Factory


One would think that with the events of the past year, "money" would not be so easily equated with mortgage debt.  A first step in thinking through the new tools and practices I referred to is to consider how we can stop equating "money" with its contemporary modalities.  Late 19th, early 20th century utopias proposed replacing money with
"credit" (esp. Bellamy's "Looking Backward"), a proposal which should of
course seem laughable today. 

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