Nearly everyone has a Monopoly box in their house or in their past. Genius. A game about money. Every one uses it (money or the game). And just like Monopoly, the real world runs on competition, gain, even greed. And just like the game, the real world runs AS IF IT WAS REAL. Even though you know it is not, you act as if it is. Sorry, WE act as if it is. We, because that is what HEGEMONY is: something that dominates the way the world is for everyone, even though many of us might know/feel/suspect it is not quite the whole story. Even though we might like it to be more user friendly, co-operative, even collaborative, working together each for the good of all.
History tells us hegemony can shift, alter, even disappear. Once, in one part of the world, people lived under the hegemony “Divine Right of Kings”. Less communication in those days, meant another part may have lived under “emperor rules all” or “fate is oracular decree”. Whatever. Not now. For better for worse, we have distributive communication, and media, such as it is. We hear about gross instability, injustice, war, famine … probably pestilence and death too [aids, ebola etc.] … the four horsemen of the apocalypse had not heard about global warming or climate change, but we have, some say end of all is coming. Others, like me, think we will go forward but ask “What sort of Future?”
World-wide, like fish in water, or us in air, we mostly do not even notice our habitus. But we can ask: What hegemony are we now living within?
Monopoly’s genius is that it is all about money and the way we all need it and use it, and at the same time it is all about us, our humanness, our psychology, the ways we feel before we act and how we hope while we make decisions.
As if there were no Chance, but there is, a pack of Chance cards. As if we knew what was happening in our community, but wait, another pack, Community cards. The thing is: we need AS IF. Then we can play. Reality, whole, chance, others, is too big. We sometimes help players who will ruin the game if they have not learned how to respond to chance and community, game rules, others’ needs and others’ decision making. Sometimes we just tell them to go away – not often a successful strategy. However – not saying whether it was the younger or the older who wasn’t listening properly, forgetting that we are all one family whatever the game is. So we make a best guess sort of decision. Without playing AS IF, we couldn’t decide at all. We couldn’t play.
There’s another thing about AS IF: Change. Some people play local rules within the game. Because it is made by us, an artifact, because it is a sort of group choice to help us with the game, AS IF can change. Some families do Monopoly differently, want to play with a variety of sharing, help the young one, gang up, depends on your private rules. The real rules say Monopoly goes on until everyone is bankrupt except a lone winner taking all. Ha Ha. When enough of us are fed up or angry or bored or humiliated or losing (Monopoly can go on for ever) mostly at some point, everyone decides to do something different, have dinner, watch a show, go outside, play basketball. Game Over. Everyone knows the ‘winner’ was not really the cleverest, or the best, just playing a game, AS IF.
The current AS IF hegemony is the World Monetary System.
Monopoly rules: The Bank can never ‘go broke’. If the bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much as needed by writing on ordinary paper.
AS IF. … … … NO! This is NOT “AS IF”. This is not a game. This is how money is really created. NOT how “real money” is created, because money is NOT real, it is the process that is real, it happens this way. Money is just the greatest invention ever, a man-made artifact, an agreement between us all, just as law and government itself are artifacts, created and agreed by people since history began. People everywhere have made these ideas as if they were real to enable us to get on with our living in relation to each other, ways to manage relationships like risk and trust and dependence and power. (I have not said we do it well, just that we agree to do it). And, we can, and do, re-make them.
What we do about creating money now, is that we let banks be the entity that will CREATE our money. And then we owe it back to them. We, and our communities and our governments, and also our banks, in this rich and wonderful world … are all in debt somewhere to a bank, and, it is ever increasing debt.
An outer space visitor would think we were all still believing in a flat earth, or the divine right of kings, or playing Monopoly. The World Monetary system is not a direct cause of social injustice, global warming, climate change TIPP, TPP, wars and civil war, refugees, asylum seekers, my pension currency exchange changing value as Dow Jones or Wall Street go up and down, the energy and oil dilemmas, green beans from Guatemala on offer in a Scottish supermarket, government cover-ups lack of accountability, failures or transparency, surveillance, whatever…
But, by every researched inquiry and every instinctive intuition from left or right or upside down:
The current debt based money supply monopolizes our dealings with each other and DRIVES the causes of global dysfunction.
And, it gets in the way of our remedies.
[Read or google your own research, some references and links to start with below.]
The AS IF we happen to be using is a perverse social structure, not a game. The debt based monetary system, money created by banks AS IF we played Monopoly, drives all choices towards Global Injustice. It is time to be fed up, time to be angry, time to get out of this game. Bored or humiliated or losing, or even temporarily a winner, if this goes on for ever, everyone is bankrupt of real value as well as most of us bankrupt of money. Game Over. Everyone should know there is not really a ‘winner’. We are just playing a game, in an AS IF hegemony.
I want all our banks to do the job we mostly think that they do: manage our money, hold it for us, exchange it with the people we work for or serve, help us in our buying and selling the things we need. We can pay them – well – for this job. But, we do not need the one part of the Monopoly set up that is real: The Bank can never ‘go broke’. If the bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much as needed by writing on ordinary paper. Repeat: YES – in the real world this is exactly what happens. Banks create money, not just ‘make money’ though it is now mostly created by electronic keyboard strokes rather than bits of paper.
I want to change the game. Get out Free. Take this particular privilege away from the banks and give it as a responsibility to governments, elected or not, capitalist, communist socialist or not, left, right or upside down. Work through what is required to make this accountable and transparent to people for people. In a distributive communicative world people can stop pretending they are just visiting and demand that governments create the money, an artifact that enables the rules of our games. Create this resource to enable us to work and play as we need to do.
There is precedent, this has been done before, and there are viable plans that show how these new rules, a reformed monetary system, would help the games we want to play, the lives we want to lead [see links below]. And just as important, they show how it would be possible to keep the governments ‘on message’ for the people they serve, properly accountable to us.
Governments (big/little) are already responsible for three interconnected strands (basically formalised agreements) of our human interaction:
- Legislative: making the laws and treaties that enable our needs and our relations with each other
- Judicial: interpreting law, deciding cases, reviewing to see that needs are indeed answered, and if not, redress
- Executive: having the power to set up and manage the institutions that do what has been decided, and make recommendations for future.
Without money these agreed responsibilities can’t proceed properly. We see this at every election. The government needs money too, the great idea that allows our activities and what they produce to flow.
It is ridiculous that the power to create money is held by banks, and that governments are then borrowing this resource, to be repaid as a charge on their peoples’ future production, when they themselves could decide to change the rules of the game.
Share this. Research the references. Share links. Tell your friends, your media and above all, your representatives. When enough of us say loudly that we want something, we in the end, get it.[some nations are ahead – see Iceland, Switzerland]
Ask for systemic Monetary Reform now. [sign here]
All sorts of references – many online and free to watch – others long and serious academic texts, long feature documentaries and short videos. Google them. Find them.
The most informative site Positive Money Based in UK, but many links to other international reform groups, details of economics, everything from research evidence, papers, videos. Sign their petition.
The American Monetary Institute again, many more links, explanations, future plans including an Act to put before US Congress (the NEED Act)
New Economics Foundation
The best book:
Michael Rowbotham. The Grip of Death. [Except its title!]
Steve Keen – Debunking Economics
David Graeber – Debt : the First 5000 Years (an anthropological approach, accessible but long). A Radio 4 series Promises Promises on Radio 4 iPlayer, and summarises the book in 10 parts.
Mary Mellor – Understanding Money (parts 1-4)
Bill Abrams – Canada Banking System Exposed
COMER v Bank of Canada – court case using Canada’s constitution to challenge Banks Mike Malloney – Hidden Secrets (on the Federal Reserve in the US)
Film and Video: [many trailers to the longer ones on youtube]
The Secret of Oz (rent $2.99 Incredible documentary. Worth far more)
Jekyll Island: The Truth Behind the Federal Reserve
Four Horsemen – feature documentary
Money and Life
The Money Fix
Life and Debt
The Corporation Owned and Operated Collapse
Peter Joseph – The Zeitgeist films (parts 1-3) Jaques Fresco – The Venus Project
The Occupy Movement Anonymous
The Internet’s Own Boy
We Are Many
Citizen Four TED talks