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.
Chapter 20. Changing the key to open the door.
While the change of values, customs and behaviours is sually slow
and it becomes dangerous to practice from outside the persons because of
ideological or religious pressures, the instrumental change, today technically
feasible, of a hypothetically key-tool, according to tragical historic
results, may help to state, cleaner, freeer, more solidary and liable new
rules of the game than up to now. The central hypothesis is that the lawful
State and the economic equity formally proclaimed by Western culture are
impossible to reach under the present monetary system. With a new type
of currency we shall be able to find out if this is really a key piece
which favours the emergency of a new civilization or if, on the contrary,
it is an unimportant element.
The Earth is sick. The human species has become the most dangerous pest
for the planet's life, and therefore also for the human beings themselves.
Human population increases over one million every five days.
Let us examine some of most serious symptoms of the sickness. The destruction
of the ozone layer (probably by the carbonate fluoride gases) and the hothouse
effect (produced by the massive combustion of hydrocarbon) worsen the already
worrying pollution of air, water and soil, radioactivity, desertization,
the exhaustion of non- renewable resources... All these facts produced
by the human species attempt against the basic balances which have been
forming during millions of years and which have allowed the development
of life on this planet.
The growth of the world population worsens many of these imbalances.
But paradoxically, it is not the areas of the world with a greater population
increase who are mainly responsible for the destruction of these balances.
The model of 'Western' civilization -industrialist, productivist and consumist-
is the main agent of destruction of resources and of contamination. Transnational
companies are the missionaries which carry it all over the planet. The
dynamics of supernational neocapitalism needs the world expansion of its
markets: it imposes an accelerated rythm in all levels of life and produces
a strong concentration of power of decision in a few transnational companies
which are above the Nation-States and the international bodies.
This expansion of the markets appears, often, under the euphemism of
'co-operation with the underdeveloped countries'. It creates false hopes
in millions of persons who cannot, and never will, live in the 'heavenly'
consumption society without converting the Earth into a vast rubbish chute.
The Western system offers 'goods' (and 'evils') and 'services' (and 'disservices')
to a small part of the world population thanks to the exploitation of the
majority and to the debasement of the planet.
The expansion of the markets, limited by the lack of purchasing power
of the exploited and indebted populations, has been orientated for long
decades to the military industry. In the last years, with the reduction
of the arms race, produced by the changes in the East/West conflict, industrial
compounds have found other openings for their 'pacific' expansion. In an
indirect way, the Permanent Court of the Peoples, meeting in Berlin in
1988, offered a solution in this sense. After denouncing the World Bank
and the International Monetary Fund as mainly responsible for the indebtment
of most non-Western States, the Court suggested to 'cut the military expenses
per year in a 20 per cent and that the savings be applied to reduce the
debt of the Third World. This would eliminate the debt in 5 or 6 years'
as 'we must be aware that the Third World debt is slightly higher than
a trillion dollars; and that the present expense for military purposes
one year is approximately the same1'.
All this complex situation, -increased by the impact of the mass media-
produces simultaneously alarm in the population and a paralysis in the
politicians of the States and international bodies. At the same time, we
are discovering that many of the great problems which affect us will become
irreversible in the next decades if everything stays as it is, if we do
not take conscientious decisions. And catastrophes will not only reach
the poor, as up to now, the rich also will suffer the consequences.
It seems that present formal democracy has not been designed, nor is
ready, to face complex problems nor vertiginous and permanent changes.
Democratic political institutions are demonstrating that they are not able
to or cannot take urgent or long term decisions. According to Harvard Professor
Daniel Bell, 'the Nation-States are too small to face the great problems
and too large for the small problems'. Politicians -together with Parliaments,
are conditioned by the votes of citizens, who are not always aware of the
seriousness of the situation or who do not want to lose their privileges.
But politicians are also conditioned by the financing of electoral campaigns.
Banks and companies are the main supporters (either legal or illegal) of
parties. The factual powers -thanks mainly to the anonymity of money- are
the ones which, as a last resort, condition the taking of decisions through
their support to the parties, bribing politicians, judges and officials,
and through their control of the mass media (and therefore of the conscience
of the population).
The States, with their available tools, are unable to protect themselves
from the supranational strategy of the large banks, which dictate the international
economic order (financial dictatorship), control more and more the same
transnational companies and use the public posts of the States and of the
international bodies to introduce the economic policy which suits their
interests. «Corporations have started to be dominated by the magicians
of finance, who know very little about production but know everything about
The so-called «free market» -the panacea of self-regulation-
practically does not exist anywhere, neither within the Nation-States nor
within the world trade. Monopolies, oligopolies and public intervention
cover almost all the strategic markets or the most profitable. And behind
all of them, «helped by the revolution in the information and communication
technologies, private bankers preside today a network made up of global
which dominates all the markets -oligopolistic, monopolistic and of imperfect
competition-. Even the market of ideas, of information and of politics
belongs to this network.
All the proposals in favour of a new economic international order, of
an improvement of the level and of the quality of life of an impoverished
population, of the defence of environment... must not only go through the
sieve of electoral interest of the States Parliaments and through the sieve
of the information mass media, but also through the (undemocratic) right
of veto of the United Nations, and, above all, through the right of veto
of the International Monetary Fund and of the World Bank (the patrons trade
unions of the «Money Mandarins»). These money mandarins, motivated
by the short term benefits, are creating, without any democratic legitimation,
a supranational economic order which bears upon the planet's life and which
shuts the doors to the changes which should be introduced.
The central hypothesis which has been submitted in this book is the
following: the bases of democracy -a State with law and social justice-
have been and ever will be only formal -not real- for most people, as long
as the type of currency allows the factual powers to go unpunished and
a radical improvement of the economic science and of its practical effectivity
be made impossible. To modify the type of monetary instrument appears therefore
a necessary condition -even if not sufficient- for the necessary decisions
to be taken democratically. In other words, as long as there is a sort
of anonymous and uninformative currency, the political changes will be
apparent, without much influence on the most important facts, because there
will always be somebody with enough money to stop the right decision to
be taken, or to diminish its effectivity if it happens to be taken.
A change in the type of currency might create the conditions to overcome
this blockade and to open the door to democratic decisions. Without demanding
a change of ideology nor of faith, without attacking what every society
considers good, we basically suggest an agreement on the modification of
an instrument allowing to make liable, to optimize and to modify the rules
of the game introduced by every society.
The changes of tools are much less violent than the changes of imposed
customs. «The trick of the change of hour shows how easy it can be
to get everybody up, every day, one hour earlier, by stating that, from
one day on, when it is six o'clock for the sun everybody should read that
it is already seven o'clock. Without any doubt, to reach the same result
directly or by coercion, many bills would have to be passed, many time-tables
to be changed, to put up a great network of guardians... And, what is most
disturbing, to bear many complaints and, perhaps, to have to face a few
riots of the people who do not like to get up early4».
This is the fun of instrumental changes, changes which are put in practice
by the Governments at any time in economic policy, completely within the
Not always are changes necessary, but even when they are, they may not
always possible. Inertia, ignorance or vested interests often stop changes
from being introduced. In critical moments, those who have an interest
in keeping a privileged situation foster a feeling that everything is right,
that it could not be better, that human condition is such and nothing can
be done, that nothing is perfect, and that it is dangerous to look for
a new situation.
Only when the crisis is serious enough feel people compelled to look
at haste for other ways. But sometimes, because of the seriousness of the
crisis, we loose the ability to find them when they are most needed. The
crisis itself upsets and pushes us to trodden paths without any way out
or to paralysis.
What we have been explaining tries to stimulate the need for change
and to help to get it in a given direction. Change for its own sake is
as absurd as is tradition for its sake. The direction is important, and
sometimes it happens to be wrong. But the way to get there is not less
important, and sometimes, because of ignorance, even the direction has
been lost. In other words, we propose a tool to try to overcome one of
the common problems of historical revolutions: that everything changes,
but that the power of a few goes on.
Court of the Peoples. «About the policies of the IMF and the WB»,
West Berlin, 1988.
M. Wachtel, «The Money Mandarins», Pantheon Books, New York,
1986, p. 3.
Casals, «Europa a l'any 2025» (not published), Barcelona, 1976,