Books and documents:
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà, Brauli Tamarit Tamarit.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.
Magdalena Grau, Agustí Chalaux.
Our visual universe, in any of the facts which, in our society, take
place by means of currency, is very limited, and is quite below what at
present would be allowed by the technologies grouped under the joint name
With respect to any monetary phenomenon, nobody -neither politicians,
nor judges... nor businessmen, nor the persons in charge of a liberal institution...
nor economists, nor sociologists... nor any modest citizen- can at present
know anything exact or definite concerning the classical questions: who?
when? how? why?
As far as the judge's action is concerned, it is clear that, as long
as these questions cannot be answered -mainly the «who» question-,
our civilization will be no more than a culture medium for irresponsible
As fas the daily running of the market and of the whole society is concerned,
generally speaking they will not be in a position to know a real and full
development until they have an effective medium to overcome the situation
of complete lack of information we are immersed in.
Likewise, as far as the theoretical and practical knowledge of the market
and of society is concerned, we can say that it will make no progress,
nor will it be able to become experimental, as long as we lack a rational
system of measurement and documentation of every elemental phenomenon.
At present, information is one of the basic elements in any human pursuit,
perhaps even the most basic: starting with the layouts of some present-day
biologists, who state «life is information» (the information
contained in the genes), and ending with the modern data-processing technologies,
for the artificial handling of rigourously codified information, without
a suitable information no activity can be developed with a minimum effectiveness.
The idea of currency as circulating information, and of the monetary
system as an information system is not new, but we can affirm that little
attention has been given to it, and that the consequences of this layout
have not been driven to the end. Keeping in mind the great importance of
information in our present time, we think that this omission is very serious:
we need then check this matter in-depth. This will be the aim of this essay.
In our days, monetary circulation takes on two main forms: the bank
notes, bearer bonds which flow without leaving any trace, and that for
this reason we may call anonymous-impersonal circulation; and scriptural
money, or bank money, that is the bank current accounts and other similar
forms, which are personalized, and for this reason we shall call them personal-documented
Because of the system itself, the anonymous-impersonal circulation is
the cause of the present lack of information about the monetary phenomena;
as far as the personal-documented circulation is concerned, even if it
offers a greatest assurance of information, this assurance vanishes when
this sort of circulation may become, if it so suits the interested party,
a circulation of the first description -since, in fact, it is simply an
auxiliary and secondary circulation derived from the first one-.
We therefore find that the present monetary system is not an information
system, but on the contrary a disinformative system.
In order to overcome this situation we suggest the substitution of these
two present circulations, by the circulation of a single monetary instrument,
which we shall call cheque-invoice. The cheque-invoice will be fully
personalized, and will be used for one single elementary monetary act;
besides, it will lean on the modern telematic technology (or distance data-processing),
so that it will become a very flexible and easy instrument. With these
main features, the monetary system may become an information system, (through
the automatic and continuous grasping of monetary magnitudes) of the actual
A geopolitical community1
which put into practice a monetary system as the one we suggest, would
have the following threefold possibilities:
On a justicial level, to have available exact antejusticial documentation,
which would allow to judge quickly, effectively and objectively personal
responsibilities in any crime or offence committed for money.
On a market and total society level, to reach a harmonious and full
development, thanks to the interpretation and information contributed by
dynamic and continous statistics and analytics of all the monetary activity
-however, without letting know strictly personal information to anybody
outside Justice, and keeping in mind that this would only be able to use
it with justification.
On a mercologics level, to finally have available a metric-accounting
system for the objective measurement of all the elemental market phenomena,
which implies being able to transform the market study in a truly experimental-quantitative
Even if we shall start with the study and analysis of the monetary systems,
in order to submit an important reform, finally the most interesting to
us are the social realities which may accrue from this reform. Our interest
then is not so much based on mercologics as on sociology, and, still more,
on political art.
The monetary reform we submit is, in itself and by itself, ethically
neutral, meaning that it is neither good nor bad, but, as any other
technology -we should not forget that the monetary system is a technical-auxiliary
instrument invented by man- its possible good or evil depends exclusively
from the use to which it will be put.
Man constructs many instruments, completely inert things which help
him in his tasks. But then they can be used in multiple ways, depending
on very dissimilar social interests and goals; only these social uses can
be defined good or evil, but not the instruments themselves.
Beyond this fundamental verification, we can make a clarifying distinction
between selfpolitics and antipolitics.
Self- (auto- in Greek) means «on itself..., spontaneously
and expansively»; Anti- (a Greek prefix) means «against»,
but here we shall give it the specific meaning of «the opposite,
deliberately carried out (of the term it qualifies)». In face of
the same linguistic element, as in the case of «politics»,
«self» and «anti» will express the two social sides
of the concept expressed by such an element.
The monetary system we suggest will be a very potent information instrument.
And we all know that, who has the information, the knowledge, the wisdom,
has also the power, the ability to act, to direct, to prepare strategies
(trade, social, political... strategies).
It is necessary to foresee very well, then, how this instrument will
be used. Will it be used antipolitically by a few, in their own interest
and against the interest of the majority, transforming the power over things
into an illegitimate power on people? Or will it be used selfpolitically
, to the advantage of all the members of the geopolitical community, with
an effective power on things, dedicated exclusively to the people's service?
Will the information be reserved to a minority, or will it be open to
the whole geopolitical community?
As far as we are concerned, we openly declare ourselves supporters of
a self-political use of the monetary reform, which comprises the following
to give free access to all members of the geopolitical community to all
the monetary information of the analytic-statistic sort, and to entrust
Justice with the protection of all the monetary information of a personal-private
to give all the members of the geopolitical community all the actual phenomenal
liberties they have not yet attained, but which are possible under the
present technical level.
to give all the legal rights and, to start with, to give them full legal
equality without any exception either of persons or things.
to give a growing welfare to as many people as possible, in terms of the
extent of the effectiveness of knowledge of material production and of
knowledge of liberal service.
to give effective inner peace and outer protection to all the peoples included
in the geopolitical community.
and, within the limits of the outer political action, to search without
truce nor rest the slow self-pacification among all the geopolitical communities,
among all the cultures and among all the civilizations.
All the aims we have just mentioned may be resumed and condensed in two,
on which most of this essay will be centred.
The first one is the pacific disappearance of all sort of power on people,
and its substitution through: a) legitimate, effective power on things,
and b) social rule of persons, all of them born free.
To put this into practice implies an in-depth reform of the state, justicial,
and ethnic-autonomic apparatus. In the first place, the respective members
of these apparatus must be fully responsible of their actions and, therefore,
must go through Justice at the end of their terms of office; in the second
place, each body's attributions must be very well defined, and limited
to the minimum, always according to the principle of subsidiarity; and,
third, Justice must be fully independent with respect to the State.
second goal is the peaceful disappearance of all sorts of material misery
or social rejection for reasons of money. This implies the working out
of an incomes policy suited to the possibilities offered by the present
level of technologic-productive development. Nobody can any longer deny
that, nowadays, it is possible to give money to everybody. Wassily Leontief2
says: «The history of technological progress during the last 200
years is, in essence, the history of humankind making slowly and constantly
its way back to Paradise. But, what would happen if all of a sudden we
were there? If all the goods and services were offered to us without toil,
nobody would be busy. Without work, there is no salary. Therefore, until
new income policies were worked out, suitable to be fitted to the new technological
conditions, in Paradise we would die of starvation».
In fact, the processes of material production do more and more without
a factor which was previously fundamental: human work. This is a fact which
becomes clearly evident, and in face of which we cannot turn our eyes;
but we must realize that it is not a negative fact, but a highly positive
fact: what more for man to become finally free of toil, of the routine
task without any inducement? One need not be very clever to understand
that, if machines produce, if there is production, there must
also be the necessary money to absorb it; and if the market does not
bring about this money spontaneously -just because there is no work- then
it is the politician's job to invent it and to distribute it
equally, according to the most evident needs, both of the market and of
society. And this politician's task is not difficult to organize when there
is available a fully informative monetary system.
But all this must be done respecting always as much as possible, even
fostering, private initiative and private property of the production means:
because history teaches us that it is these bodies which are responsible
for the productivity, dynamics and constant technical progress of the production
We would ask the reader to allow us some thoughts on the reform of the
monetary system which we are about to submit: the substitution of the present
bank notes and other auxiliary documents through the pro-telematic, bipersonal
This substitution can be very easily made, both from the technical point
of view and from the social one.
Technically, telematics is already in a position to allow, in a not
too long term, the introduction of the cheque-invoice as the only monetary
Socially, we can observe that the monetary system is an abstract and
conventional structure, foreign to man, of an instrumental-au- xiliary
nature, which makes us understand that its reform should not cause psychologic
oppositions nor social inconveniences of any kind. Proof of it is the fact
that in some countries is already being introduced the electronic money
-let alone the quick and general extension of current accounts-.
Therefore, the suggested reform is in the first place a matter of political
The telematic revolution is, to-day, an unstoppable fact which will
attain more and more all the fields of human activity -always, however,
in an auxiliary dimension, this must not be forgotten-. As always with
technology, telematics is, in itself, neutral, liable to be used in many
ethically different ways. «While we wait for a structured ruling
to be actually created, the new technology will remain synonymous with
centralization, repression, intrusion, domination. Pity! Technology is
just an instrument for a greatest effectiveness. Certainly, the «bad
guys» may oppress, torture, spy and exploit more and better than
ever before. But at the same time, technology allows man to listen, to
inform, to help and to protect his neighbour more than he ever dared to
think. It makes the blind see, the deaf hear, it measures with exactitude,
it shares with fairness, it succeeds in incredibly delicate quirurgical
operations. It gives the handicapped and old people the means to express
themselves, to move, to communicate and to talk with others»3.
Telematics implies then, either a great hope for all the peoples on
earth, on condition that it be understood as a freely accessible instrument,
at the service of the freedom and of the information of everybody; or a
great threat of more power on people from the same old powerful: factual
powers, statisms, police systems, militarisms...
electronic money, if we are not careful, can take us rather to the absolute
despotism forewarned by Orwell and Huxley, than to the world of actual
freedom which we suggest. The way it is developing now, electronic money
makes up very partial and closed information systems, limited to very reduced
For this reason, it is necessary for a self-political will and decision
to be set up quickly. From this platform we appeal to the intelligent and
active non-violent revolution of all the peoples on earth: because that
which is technically possible will become an actual reality as soon as
a people be intimately convinced of it. And the sooner the better.
The crisis of present civilization, and the liberating possibilities
of a new technology, make up the challenge which the citizens of this ending
twentieth century must face.
the terms State or Nation are commonly used to indicate politically
organized communities. We consider these names not very clear; even worse,
totally unsuitable: a State is only a small part of the total community,
that where the political control has been delegated; Nation means simply
«birth group, a group where beings are born»; it is then a
natural fact, common to men and animals, which has nothing to do with the
political organization, specifically human.
We suggest to use, in alternative, the more exact expression of geopolitical
community, that is «a community set in a given territory, and
provided with given organs of political control».
Leontief «Distribución de trabajo y renta», in Investigación
y Ciencia, issue No. 74, November 1982.
«Des machines et des hommes: dictature ou prolétariat»
et Avenir, Nº spécial hors série No. 45 (translated
and adapted by Hervé le Tellier, © Sunday Times Magazine. 23rd