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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 14. Which option?. The power of money. Index. The power of money. Chapter 16. Neither heaven nor hell. The power of money.

Chapter 15. There is no return: the damnation of the West.

The most feasible and positive hypothesis is the second one: this option, that is the modification of the monetary system, becomes a possibility and an immediate need (to go beyond «official history» which started with anonymous currency, writing, corruption and imperialism) hoping that it will help to walk towards the first option (demonetization and getting out of the trading system) in another historic state, which we do not feel probable in the middle term.

The failure of a return to communism-collectivism by force is much more dramatic and eloquent than the failure of a return to voluntaristic communalism of Christian or hippy inspiration. In the two attempts there has been a confusion between 'community of ethnic origin', strongly endo-structured, and 'voluntaristic collectivity' with a more or less free 'co-election'. Collectivity, if it takes place freely, may become ethnically/ethically communalized after long processes. But neither freedom in the communist case, nor enough time in the communalist case, have gone with the essays of a 'return to the origins' carried out in this century in the West.

Now, without actual communities, rooted and structured around the reciprocal gift and outer barter, the West is condemned to work with productive specialization within large areas of population. And with this detail both the first option (demonetization), and the third one (currency is not a key item) may become illusory or irresponsible. To go on thinking, as up to now, that the type of currency is not a key item is, in fact, to accept things as they are and to give up a possible instrument to modify them.

All over the world, north and south, east and west, under capitalism and socialism, a more or less subtle corruption is ever present, and the monetary imbalances of a State affect, for good or for ill, the economy of the others. The divorce between money and actual production causes the life of millions of people to sink or to lift up, and condemns them to starvation or to opulence.

There are now persons from all continents who, from their non-western life experience or from anthropologic research, doubt that Western civilization is as beneficial as it has been shown to us up to now, not only for other cultures but even for its own children. There are already voices which consider necessary a change of meaning and of route if we do not want to follow the path of destruction. Some voices are heard which denounce the inability of Western culture (too bedazzled by its technological miracles) to understand the contributions and the dynamics of other cultures...

«Economicide consists of destroying the economic reciprocity bases of communities, either to impose denationalization, or to impose collectivization. Economicide is today the most secret weapon, but possibly the most effective, of the West against the 'Third World' (against 2/3 of the world1)».

«Collectivization [...] suppresses individualism, prestige or personal responsibility and, therefore, it hampers competition among all of them to produce more and better. The invalidation of prestige as an immediate consequence invalidates the creative or productive work of surpluses. Individuals have nothing else left, as a motive of production, beyond biological self-consumption. Collectivization, therefore, establishes a dynamics of under-development of reciprocity communities. Its failure is clear in agricultural societies of the Soviet Union, of the GDR, of Poland, of Czechoslovakia, of Vietnam, of Nicaragua, of China, at least before it reinstated family and communal exploitation2».

«The confusion between community and collectivity is final and as serious as the confusion between charity and gift which carry out most non-govenment organizations to help the Third World3».

«The underdevelopment of marxist inspiration is no better than the capitalist help to the Third World. One uses development as a Trojan horse to destroy the Third World economy, the other refuses to acknowledge gift -a present- and reciprocity as the basis for another economic system different from that of generalized exchange.» «Both show that they obey well to the logic of the exchange market, while the community is based on reciprocity».

To acknowledge the right of other ways of living to exist, is not only a right which every Westerner affirms in the Declaration of Human Rights, but also a means to find the ways which have been lost in the West: the measure of things. Western ethnocentrism blinds our so-called objectivity in most observations. Not only must we respect the other cultures out of consistency with our formal tradition, but their life may help us to relativize our richly miserable civilization.

John Kenneth Galbraith.«Wealth can be reached by two different ways. Needs can be easily satisfied either producing much or wishing very little. The most common conception, in the style of Galbraith, is based on assumptions especially suitable to the market economy: that men's needs are great, if not infinite, while their means are limited, even if they can increase. In this way the gap between means and ends may be reduced by means of industrial productivity, at least to the point when the «basic necessities products» become plentiful. But there is also a zen way to wealth which starts from premises different from ours: that human material needs are finite and scarce, and technical means are immutable but, generally speaking, sufficient. With the zen strategy, people enjoy an incomparable material abundance [...] with a low standard of living4».

«This is, in my opinion, the best way to describe the hunters-harvesters and the one which helps to explain some of the oddest economic behaviours, such as 'prodigality', that is the tendency to consume rapidly all the available reserves as if there were no doubt that more can be obtained5». Free from the obsession of want, never being in a hurry, to 'work' 20 to 30 hours a week, to have a lot of free time to sleep, to talk, to visit, to dance and eat together, the non-depletion -with no return- of the natural environment, human evaluation being considered more important than the simple meeting of material needs, the absence of chronic starvation... are the main features defining this way of life which the West considers «primitive» but at the same time also as the 'lost paradise'.»

On the contrary the opinion we have 'primitive' life conditions is what has been transmitted to us by most anthropologists: «'A simple survival economy', 'limited free time out of exceptional circumstances', 'relentless demand for food', 'meagre natural resources, only very relatively trustworthy', 'absence of economic surpluses', [...] this is how, generally speaking, anthropologic opinion expresses itself with respect to hunting and harvesting6».

«It is possible that (this opinion) be one of the clearest prejudices against the Neolithic, an ideologic appreciation on the ability of hunters to take advantage of land resources, which is in perfect agreement with the historic attempt to deprive it of this good. We have inherited this prejudice of Jacob's descendants who «were dispersed to the West, to the East and to the North» doing wrong to Esau who was the elder and a valiant hunter, but who, in a famous scene, sold his birthright7».

On the contrary, we should need a more distinct and realistic view on the wonders of the progress of our Western civilization: «The industrial and market system introduces poverty in a way beyond all comparison and to a degree which, until our times, had never been seen by far. Where production and distribution are governed by the performance of prices, and all sustenance depends on earnings and expenditure, the shortage of natural resources becomes the clearest and easiest to estimate the starting point of all the economic activity8».

«Shortage is the sentence given out by our economy and, therefore, also the axiom which rules Economy: the application of insufficient means against alternative ends to obtain the greatest possible satisfaction under given circumstances9».

«Having credited hunters with middle-class motives and paleolithic tools, we judge their situation desperate10».

«We feel inclined to think that hunters-harvesters are poor because they possess nothing; perhaps we should think that, for this same reason, they are free. 'Their extremely limited material possessions free them from all sorts of worry with respect to their daily needs and allow them to enjoy life (Gusinde, 196111)'».

The author becomes paradoxically subversive: «The amount of work (per capita) increases with the evolution of culture and the amount of free time diminishes12».

«But, in the first place, what should we say of today's world? It is said that one third to one half of mankind every day goes to sleep hungry. In the old Stone Age proportion must have been much lower. The age we are living in now is that of an unprecedented hunger. Now, in the age of the greatest technologic power hunger has become an institution. We can turn over another venerable sentence: hunger increases relatively and absolutely with the evolution of culture.

«This paradox completely illustrates my point of view. Hunters and harvesters have a low living standard because of circumstances. But taken as an objective and with suitable production means they may, usually, easily satisfy all their material needs. The evolution of economy has known, then, two contradictory movements: enrichment, but at the same time impoverishment; appropriation of nature, but expropriation with respect to man. The progressive aspect is, no doubt, technological. This has shown itself in many ways: as an increase of offer and demand of goods and services, of the amount of energy at the service of culture, of productivity, of the division of work and of freedom with respect to environmental conditions13».

«The most primitive population in the world had scarce possessions, but was not poor. Poverty is not a small amount of things, it is not only a relationship between means and ends, but mainly a relationship among persons. Poverty is a social condition, and as such it is an invention of civilization. It has grown with civilization, as a jealous distinction among classes and, fundamentally, as a dependence which can make peasants more sensitive to natural disasters than any Winter camp or settlement in Alaska14».

«Primitive economies were sub-productive. Most of them, both farming and pre-farming economies, do not seem to take advantage of all their economic possibilities. Their working capacity is not made the most of it, technological means are not properly used and natural resources are not taken advantage of.» «Production is low with respect to the existing possibilities. In this respect, 'underproduction' is not necessarily incompatible with a primitive 'wealth15'».

«The 'economic problem' may easily be solved using the techniques of the Paleolithic period. This implies that only when culture reached the peak of its material achievements, it built an altar to the Unattainable: Infinite Necessities16».

These references to human diversity in the past and in the present on how to spotlight economy may produce some yearning for the lost paradise, an idealistic anguish of an impossible return. This is the damnation of the West: to study, to know, to compare other ways of human living, and feeling that there is no turning back. But not going back does not mean to inconditionally support all the present as the only way to the future. The West has a will and an ability to modify history according to the progressive awareness of the fact that there are always several options.

Simultaneously with this awareness of the 'fragility and utopia of the universalization of endless progress and development' we must be able to find ways which will allow us to re-direct, before it is too late, the suicidal trend in which we have involved the planet's life.

Where should we start? with the change of mentality and with awareness? but how shall we attempt this while the education, communication and information means mould the consciences and the values of most of the planet's inhabitants according to the prevailing Western model? How can we free these means from dependence from the States and the great companies?

If we want to start with a political change, how shall we attain that organizations and political parties be less conditioned by those supporting their electoral campaigns?

If we want to start with an economic change, how can we overcome the crises while economic science gropes about?

If we want to start with an inner conversion, how can we attain it while 'the spirit of freedom' is to a large extent imprisoned by the religious institutions which serve power?

If we want to start with ecologic changes, or with the North-South relations, how can we stop the great pressure groups and the States with the right of veto from boycotting more or less openly all the decisions detrimental to their interests?

We may ask the same question with respect to another subject: how can we start a change of monetary system if the present anonymous currency is a subtle weapon used by all these factual powers to stop the changes which must be urgently achieved? Possibily one of the differences in the fact that a type of currency may be modified by passing a bill, in one day, and that when a new informative and responsibilizing currency is introduced, it can help solve of most of the difficulties we have just mentioned, while changing any of the other structures requires very complex, long and complicated processes. In our time we may learn from history that any great revolutionary change in the end becomes blocked by the great problems which have not been faced and poisoned by the anonymity of currency, which spoils everything again.

At the beginning of this chapter we said that the hypothesis of modifying the monetary system appeared to be more feasible and positive than the other two. We shall now see its social feasibility and we shall leave its technical feasibility for the following chapters. This statement, that an instrumental change (a tool for other changes) is easier than a direct change on complex structures (whether economic and political structures, or cultural-inner structures, still more complex), is a hypothesis. That is, it has not yet been consciously tested, and this, has an advantage with respect to the other outstanding 'revolutions'.

This suggestion of a monetary reform, of an instrumental change, has the advantage that, opposite to revolutions demanding a change of customs and institutions accepted as normal by western population (abolition of private property, of parliamentary democracy, of formal liberties...), the change of currency does not affect the existence of these institutions, but affects what the same institutions and public opinion denounce as a danger of a lawful state: the inability to fight against corruption and delinquency; the ineffectivity of the judicial system; the lack of responsibilization of free acts, both in the market and in politics; the inequality of opportunities; the lack of solidarity of economic redistribution; the unfair and heavy taxation; the manipulated uninformation; the non-participation in the systems of political decision-making... That is, the change of currency can help to deepen the democratic and mercantile tradition. If judicial equality and personal freedom are formally proclaimed, we must find the means to bring about their actual application in as many situations as possible.

With respect to the socialist West we might also establish a parallel of social hypocrisy between proclaimed formal rights and reality. But perhaps at present it is no longer worth it. Facts speak more clearly than analyses.

Perhaps of the two systems which we have compared up to now we might find a creative way out taking positive elements from the two, thanks to the possibility, offered by the new type of currency, to directly control the agreements reached in common in a new Europe, not divided in blocks nor in nation-states.


1Dominique Temple, «Alternatives au Développement», Centre Interculturel Monchanin, MOntreal, 1988, p. 105.
2Ib., p. 105.
3Ib., p. 105.
4Marshall Sahlins (1974), «Economía de la Edad de Piedra», Akal Universitaria, Madrid, 1983, pp. 13-14.
5Ib., p. 14.
6Ib., p. 14.
7Ib., p. 15.
8Ib., p. 16.
9Ib., pp. 16-17.
10Ib., p. 17.
11Ib., p. 27.
12Ib., p. 50.
13Ib., p. 51.
14Ib., p. 52.
15Ib., p. 55.
16Ib., p. 53.

Chapter 14. Which option?. The power of money. Index. The power of money. Chapter 16. Neither heaven nor hell. The power of money.

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