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En aquest lloc «web» trobareu propostes per fer front a problemes econòmics que esdevenen en tots els estats del món: manca d'informació sobre el mercat, suborns, corrupció, misèria, carències pressupostàries, abús de poder, etc.
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Books and documents:

A short history of money.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà, Brauli Tamarit Tamarit.

Communal Capitalism.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.

An instrument to build peace.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.

Semitic legends concerning the bank.
Agustí Chalaux de Subirà.

Telematic currency and market strategy.
Magdalena Grau, Agustí Chalaux.

The power of money.
Martí Olivella.

Chapter 2. Subtle weapon. The power of money. Index. The power of money. Chapter 4. The good use of instruments. The power of money.

Chapter 3. The two faces of currency.

This ambivalence of currency is caused by its application: instrument of domination, of power, of corruption... or instrument of exchange, of responsibility, of shared information.

The ambivalence of currency is caused by the use made by its owner and, especially, by those owning it so plentifully as to be able to direct its prevailing application. In Greek mythology, Pluto, who was at the same time god of the lower world and of wealth, had two faces: a terrifying face and a kind face. This is the tragic nature of human instruments. This divine ambivalence becomes, all through history, «plutarchy»: the persons and government institutions which have power because they have wealth, which is the factual power of money. This terrible ambiguity of currency, however, partially conceals the kind face of Pluto: shared responsibility and information. The word money comes from the Latin moneta, the name of the mint in Rome. From the possible Greek origins of the name we can derive several functions: monas (the measuring unit for the exchange); monitor (informer-adviser of an exchange that is being carried out).

The difficulty in facing the «goodness» of currency is that both its faces must be confronted simultaneously. In the cultures where it is considered essential for the exchanges, it is at the same time blamed for being the cause of many ills. But this ambivalence is not taken into account when a remedy must be found. It is considered that there is only one possible type of currency which, intrinsically, allows a double use: good and bad. With this reasoning it all depends on personal responsibility, on the morals of politicians, bankers and businessmen. These morals are always affirmed and are never doubted of in spite of the scandals which are reported every week by the newspapers in one country or another and which attain some members of the ruling classes, who oridinarily are just there to renounce. But these scandals are most certainly the tip of a giant iceberg which practically attains all the people who deal with currency. And not because most of the human race lack morals or ethics, but because the type of ruling currency in itself, is a perfect instrument to encourage the most saintly person to do something «small» or «large» which he should not do. In the lawfull State, in the domain of law, almost everything is directly or indirectly corrupted by this sort of running currency, which leaves no trace.

To ask for morals and responsibility with this sort of currency is like asking for it from prisoners in a concentration camp, with little food, and where prisoners had daggers (insufficient tools to run away, but vitally useful for survival). In order to survive, each of us in his own social level, we use currency by any means. There is no other way. However, some use it not only to survive but also to ensure their own level of wellbeing and power. In the concentration camp guardians ensure their authority by making daggers and introducing them among prisoners. Permanent fights among prisoners is the best guarantee for the camp guardians. The distribution of daggers to some given groups and under given conditions sets up a system of control inside the camp more brutal than that carried out by the nice and decent guardians, the keepers of public order.

Some persons, very few, have much to do with the great speculative exchange transactions, the great companies for the tapping of natural resources, the great concerns for the manufacture and sale of arms or for the production and distribution of drugs, the great networks for the production of information... They have much to do with them either because they are the ones who take decisions or because they are the owners. But in both cases the goal is to obtain money and power, or power and money, both items being inseparable. Money gives power, and power is obtained, increased and maintained with money. These few persons (more or less anonymous, more or less antagonistic, more or less fostering organizations and companies) are, in fact, a government under cover, which determines most of the important decisions. They are the actual factual power which, directly or indirectly, bears pressure on governments or places men of straw in parliaments and institutions. It is a great maffia -whether accepted or persecuted- which is omnipresent in key places. Its coarsest forms are the Sicilian maffia and the Colombian cartels. Its most refined forms are as large and subtle as allowed by each social system (they usually are the «business» of honorable bankers, businessmen and politicians).

Most of us are very much responsible for the fact that this situation is as it is. Our small-scale participation, our small complicity (untrue income tax declaration, little jobs of hidden economy, tips in order to obtain favours...) make us fearful of transparency. In order for each of us to maintain our own little dark game, we conceal the foul play which converts the thin profits we may obtain from our tricks into nothing.

The other face of currency must still be discovered, because up to now it was very difficult even to imagine it technically and socially. And what we do not see or what we cannot imagine is if it did not exist. How can a piece of metal or a bank note help to leave a track of that for which they were used? How can those, who take advantage of the situation, be interested in changing things?

It appears clearly that the plutarchy, the power of money, does not have a great interest in creative imagination, and it has summoned no «convocation» to study and submit alternatives to this type of currency which allows foul play to take place without leaving any trace. But it is also possible that the complexity of the present world, and the intrinsic inability of the present type of currency to face it, may have started to jeopardize its survival.

Horace Finaly (1871-1945).In the mysterious meeting of the three great «bankers», Deterding, Morgan and Finaly, the experts assured them that, if they rationalized currency they would earn even more money. Strange paradox! Fair play is healthy not only for the social body, but, according to the experts, it would also allow to take greater advantage of the creation of wealth. Most of the uncertainties of finances and investments, of the present day compulsory and risky speculative operations would be modified by a powerful and exact information system, which would avoid, with full knowledge of the facts, the great crises and ups and downs, and would improve a more rational exploitation of spoiled resources.

It usually happens that, if somebody does a foul play in a given system, it is because if he does not, he will be left out. This means that not everybody wishes to do foul play. In this case there is usually a wish to change the rules of the game and, above all, to establish a mutual trust wich will ensure that the new rules of fair play will be duly protected. But usually this will and this hope is thwarted if no new effective rules of the game are submitted and accepted with a guarantee system for their application, or at least a penalty for those transgressing them.

We must therefore discover a face of currency to foster simultaneously the free creation of wealth (within an ecological and solidary framework) and to ensure that to act in this way it is not necessary to sully one's hands, because everybody knows «that everybody knows» that it is no longer necessary to do so.

These sort of problems are rather common. The most apparent ones are shown in children's games:

  • When a game is started, all are informed of the rules. Those who do not comply are rejected by the others.
  • When, because of some accident, a foul play is introduced, they may stop and say «enough»!. They start their game again and, if necessary, they appoint an umpire.

But in adult life there are also delicate situations which are to no one's advantage and whose solution can be provided only by a new framework and new rules. But the change must be the same for everybody, otherwise nobody will accept it. It also happens that it is difficult to imagine the new framework because the present one makes a clear introduction of the new one impossible. Let us see the problem of traffic in the great cities. The two options, private car or public transport, have great drawbacks, while the idea is to maintain both, simultaneously and consistently. The steps taken to foster one system usually are prejudicial to the other, and in the end both are harmed. Surface public transport cannot be efficient while private transport hinders it. And therefore the supporters of private transport, in spite of the daily torture, will not make up their minds to live the torture of public transport. The result is the permanent collapse of the transport system (with all the suffering, expenses and impairment of the situation for everybody; as far as quality of transport is concerned, nobody profits from it, neither the rich nor the poor). There must be somebody to take some advantage indirectly (car manufacturers, oil companies, traffic controllers, repair shops). But even they, who at the beginning of a change seem to be assigned for loss, must have a place to live.

How shall we respect those who wish, or need, to go alone, quietly, in their vehicle, from door to door, without jeopardizing the whole transport system? How shall we offer, simultaneously, an efficient, quick, cheap collective transport, which does not interfere with personalized transport?

There are a number of technical solutions which allow the substitution of private vehicles for taxicabs and underground and surface public transport, which is efficient, non-polluting and very cheap. Let us imagine that the million cars to be found in a town are substituted for an adequate fleet of non-polluting taxis (electric, hydrogen...), standing at stops at every corner, which can circulate together with collective transport through uncluttered streets, without any private car circulating or parked. These taxis can carry large parcels, a wheel-chair, a child pram. These taxis may, depending on the customer, make daily individual or collective routes to and from work. All the advantages of the private car and very few of the disadvantages. Besides, for those who do not want a driver there are electric autotaxis which work with an intelligent monetary card that can be obtained and dropped off later at several parking places. At the end of the month you pay the transport cost registered in the autotaxi's cash register and in your own card (its system is explained in chapter 17).

This is one example. There are many technical solutions available, waiting for the political decision that will allow manufacturers to start solving the problems of congestion within the towns and to reduce the unavoidable crisis in the market of classic automobiles. None of these solutions will be efficient if it must contend with present day traffic jams. These are the least competitive and economical of all, but they are maintained through inertia, through the weight of vested interests and the inability of the democratic system, by the way it is organized, to take decisions to go beyond the four years of the term of office. Curiously enough this happens when most of the great problems can only be solved by changing the framework, which usually takes a period of longer than four years.

This is therefore the contradiction among a system of decision-making which has become anachronistic and which goes beyond the framework, terms of office and the ability of the system itself to make a decision.

Within this policy we should now analyze the effectivity of the economic and political systems of our century. The evaluation of most of the political bosses is similar to that made for town traffic: it is not so bad! There are problems, but they are being solved through ring-roads, new parking places, more computerization, automatic tolls...

Now that many consider socialism a failure, it would be advisable to introduce some sort of indicator to measure the degree of success or failure of the economic and political systems, in order to find out if the democratic capitalism is a success or not, and whether it is the least evil path.

Are the gross interior product and the per-capita income good economic indicators? The answer is no. In the first place, for their calculation, we add as production what should really be deducted (decontamination, destruction of non-renewable resources, health expenses, armament, hyper-exploitation and poverty of the inhabitants of the countries supplying raw materials...). In the second place, the per-capita income conceals in its distribution the great differences among social classes. In the case of Europe, official figures allow us to count at least 90 million people living in poverty, which are distributed more or less evenly between the East (socialist) and the West (capitalist). In the USSR, «according to Soviet sources, 20 per cent of the population -43 million people-live below the level which is considered the «minimum material security1». In 1985, only in the EEC, «the poverty level was at 44 million citizens -14 per cent of total population2-». We should add to these figures countries which do not belong to the EEC nor to the USSR. Forced poverty, destitution, famine, starvation, are good indicators of the effectivity degree of a system, and in this sense neither real capitalism nor socialism, neither the north and even less the south, can pass the examination.

Therefore, we cannot say that real socialism is a failure without acknowledging at the same time that real capitalism in the mother countries and, mainly, in dependent countries, must solve the same problems or even more of them (both in the «economic» and in the «democratic» aspects). At this time of human history there are two key questions:

Is it possible to have a free market (only of marketable goods) which fosters the creation and distribution of wealth, and is it possible that this wealth will not cause of the destruction of nature, nor the consequence of poverty and famine among the population?

Is it possible to have a political system where foul play does not go unpunished, where the lawful State is not thwarted by factual powers, and where decisions are taken keeping in mind both the will of the population and the effectivity of the results?

When we ask if it is possible, we do not mean a Utopian possibility, but a real ability -human, technical, instrumental, organizational- meeting a real need. Why have the two systems of this century not been able to, or have not wanted to reconcile the market and solidarity, a lawful State and freedom?

It is very difficult to answer these questions, especially when they are so complicated. However, we can try to state hypotheses of «things» which have been lacking, in order to see in the present-future if this shortage was something decisive to solve the contradictions.

The two systems have produced within themselves a great contradiction between the spectacular growth of complexity and the upkeep of mechanisms of information, selfcontrol and decision-making which is unfamiliar to less sophisticated societies. This means that, both in the political and in the economic field, the setting up of great over-sates, great economies, great markets, great plannings... has been done with the mentality and the structures of societies of one or two centuries ago.

At the turn of the 21st century we know that in complex systems there is a very high degree of chance, of unpredictability. We know that the climate can be foreseen, but the weather cannot be forecast beyond a few hours. This complexity can only be possibly reduced with a suitable, agile, permanent and exact system of information (with photographs of meteorologic satellites allow a greater approach to reality). Without the right information we cannot try to control or regulate any complex system.

With respect to the importance of a correct information system, we can take foot-ball as an example. There is a regulation which, generally speaking, is not questioned. Whether the players are white or black, Russian or American, their goals are the same. The problem in this case, does not lie in the rules of the game, but in the umpire's interpretation. Foot-ball games have taken a great social importance; the umpire has a heavy responsibility and cannot do to the task well even if he wanted to. In both cases the umpire has a system of «technical arbitration» which, even if it does not yet have a legal force, it has an actual force. This competing system is television and, mainly, the moviola: the slow-motion repetition of the conflicting moves. The «foot-ball institutions» do not want to introduce the moviola in the umpires' job. One of the results is the violence and discontent of the public. The loss of credibility. Why not use an available technical means, that is more exact, that can improve decision-making and which the public accepts as more precise?

Similarly, we should ask why the judges do not use the new technical means (to support their sentences), the economists (to stop lucubrating far from reality with uncontrastable theories and indices) and politicians (to avoid foul play and lack of responsibility).


1Carlos Taibo, «La Unión Soviética de Gorbachov», Editorial Fundamentos, Madrid, 1989, p. 59.
2«El País», 13.4.1989.

Chapter 2. Subtle weapon. The power of money. Index. The power of money. Chapter 4. The good use of instruments. The power of money.

Home | Who we are? | Links | Contact and email