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New money for a new worl.., p.1

New Money for a New World, page 1


New Money for a New World

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New Money for a New World


  “We can end the threats to our environment and aid dramatically in its restoration. We can help provide meaningful work for all, with opportunities that enhance and replenish the world about us. We can effectively address fundamental urban and rural concerns and the many diverse and often-divergent needs of developing and developed nations alike. We can create a better world where life and all living systems flourish. This is not an idealistic dream, but is rather a pragmatic attainment, achievable within our very own lifetimes.”

  So write Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin, authors of the much-anticipated book New Money for a New World. Mr. Lietaer is a principal architect of the euro and author of the acclaimed international best-seller The Future of Money, which has been translated into sixteen languages. Mr. Belgin is the founder and President of Qiterra Press, a publishing company dedicated to life-affirming works that improve the human condition.

  New Money for a New World examines a previously unexamined culprit for the many issues we face today — the monopoly of our centuries-old monetary system. This book provides many ways and means that are readily available to stop the current juggernaut towards global self-destruction. Many of the solutions offered within this book are more than theory. Communities from around the world have successfully addressed a myriad of issues without the need to raise taxes, redistribute wealth, or depend upon enlightened self-interest from corporate entities. Rather, the improvements were realized simply and effectively by rethinking money.

  With such a shift, everything is possible.

  “Rarely has a cultural look at money ever been presented with the depth and panache of this book. New Money for a New World is of critical usefulness and could well start a movement towards a new use of currencies and wealth that will bring constructive impetus to the emerging planetary civilization. Thus, it is more than a book; it is a key process in whole system transition.”

  ~Dr. Jean Houston, Author, UN consultant, and Host of A Passion for the Possible – A PBS series

  Table of Contents








  CHAPTER ONE - A Tale of Two Cities

  CHAPTER TWO - Welcome to Moneyville

  CHAPTER THREE - Megatrends and Money

  CHAPTER FOUR - A Money Primer

  CHAPTER FIVE - Money Is Not Value Neutral

  CHAPTER SIX - Back to the Future

  CHAPTER SEVEN - A Change of View

  CHAPTER EIGHT - Economic Myopia

  CHAPTER NINE - Lessons from a Depression

  CHAPTER TEN - The Blind Spot


  CHAPTER ELEVEN - Great Change

  CHAPTER TWELVE - Efficiency, Resilience, and Money

  CHAPTER THIRTEEN - Sustainable Development

  CHAPTER FOURTEEN - LETS and Time Dollars

  CHAPTER FIFTEEN - Social-Purpose Currencies

  CHAPTER SIXTEEN - Commercial-Purpose Currencies

  CHAPTER SEVENTEEN - The Terra, A Trade Reference Currency




  CHAPTER TWENTY - The Missing Archetype and Money

  CHAPTER TWENTY ONE - Repression of an Archetype


  CHAPTER TWENTY THREE - Money and the Tao

  CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR - Consequences of Repression


  CHAPTER TWENTY FIVE - The Central Middle Ages Revisited

  CHAPTER TWENTY SIX - Dynastic Egypt

  CHAPTER TWENTY SEVEN - Dynastic Egypt Revisited

  CHAPTER TWENTY EIGHT - The Balinese Exception

  CHAPTER TWENTY NINE - Invitation To A New World

  CHAPTER THIRTY - The Dynamics of Transformation and Money





  The comments below for New Money for a New World also include endorsements for previous works in which many of the same arguments were presented in a more academic fashion. Other comments will be posted online on our companion website:

  “New Money For A New World is one of those rarest of rare books that can truly help change the course of humanity—in just the way so many of us sense but don’t know how to get there. With disarming simplicity and amazing clarity, authors Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin reveal the secret liberating variable to empower rapid and profound societal and consciousness transformation and environmental healing—monetary redesign. Read this book to see how you can participate in accelerating our arrival at a regenerative and fulfilling new world.”

  ~Richard Ruster, Ph.D.,

  Founder, Center for the Human Dream,

  Co-Creator, the Hummingbird Community,

  Author of The Homing Process: A Unifying Theory of Evolving Systems.

  “This is an important breakthrough in the emerging new economics of sustainability and human wellbeing.”

  ~Ed Mayo

  President, the New Economics Foundation

  “These are the smartest people thinking - and rethinking - about money today. If you are among the sad majority who still think money is that green paper in your pocket, think again. The kinds of money available to us are varied as goals we have for our economy. In a world where there is more than enough stuff to go around, we deserve a money capable of reflecting rather than undermining the abundance we have achieved. This book proves the point and points the way.”

  ~Douglas Rushkoff

  Author of Life Inc., and Program or Be Programmed

  “The 20th century was the age of competition and the 21st century will be the age of cooperation. The concept of ‘complementary currency’ this book elaborates on will be the keyword for global citizens who want to live fully in the age ahead of us.”

  ~Charmine Koda

  Japanese Environmental Journalist

  “Others have shared Bernard Lietaer’s concern about a sustainable economy, but have not been able to provide a realistic solution. In New Money for a New World, he and co-author Stephen Belgin show us such a solution in a bold and fresh manner, and it is in this sense that this is an epoch-making book.”

  ~Toshiharu Kato

  Director Services Department, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Japan

  “Exciting, challenging and profound; a unique and essential contribution to our understanding of money.”

  ~Dr. Peter Russell

  Author of The Global Brain and Waking Up in Time

  “This book gives the recipe on how we in the future can create a social economy which is more responsible, more friendly towards the environment, and less filled with conflict.”

  ~Professor Jesper Jespersen

  Churchill College, Cambridge University (UK) and University of Roskilde (Denmark)

  “Something extraordinary and largely unreported is happening to money. This book looks set to be the herald of the future money revolution.”

  ~David Boyle

  New Economics Foundation, London

  “This book really opened my eyes as to what money is about, and what its future is - and is not.”

  ~Stephen Denning

  Program Director, Knowledge Management, World Bank

  “This is a wise and incisive analysis of the nature of money in our society; the remarkable and pragmatic solutions it offers demand of us that we think ab
out money in entirely new ways.”

  ~Professor Jacob Needleman

  Philosopher; author of Money and the Meaning of Life

  “The mind of Bernard Lietaer is a rare mix of practical experience in modern finance, deep understanding of history, and lively imagination about the future. Only such a mind could have produced so fresh and so lucid an analysis of how money has become an obstacle to abundance – and how conscious choices about new kinds of complementary money can help us fuse underused resources with underemployed people.”

  ~Harlan Cleveland

  President of the World Academy of Art and Science

  “National currency is cold and selfish by itself. So let's create community currencies with which we can warm up our communities as New Money for a New World recommends.”

  ~Tsutomu Hotta

  Former Minister of Justice and Supreme Court Judge in Japan.

  Chairman, Sawayaka Welfare Foundation,

  Founder of the Japanese “Fureai Kippu” currencies

  “The medium is the message. As Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin point out, the money system is not neutral. One way or another, our behavior is heavily influenced by it. Can we change the way it works? This question concerns us all. The answer will help to decide the future of humanity and life on earth. The authors’ authoritative practical experience of money and finance, underpinned by their awareness of the worldwide shift of consciousness now taking place, results in many thought-provoking insights...It is not necessary to agree with every detailed proposal in this informative and stimulating book, in order to welcome it as an outstanding contribution to a vital question - the future of money in the Information Age. I wholeheartedly recommend it.”

  ~James Robertson

  Author of The New Economics of Sustainable Development (1999)

  and co-author of Creating New Money (2000)

  “New Money For A New World makes a simple and profound proposition: Unless we can balance the current social and monetary structures, whose remedies are well described here, our shared desire for a just, sustainable, and peaceful planet is simply not possible. ALL the good works that many of us are involved in, admirable, even successful as they may be, are mere band aids, fingers in the dike. I challenge any serious reader of this book to arrive at a different conclusion. That’s the bad news. The good news is WE CAN MAKE IT! New Money For A New World offers unique effective tools by which to resolve our core issues and co-create a better, vibrant future.”

  ~John Steiner

  Global Citizen

  “This book is truly essential for our survival. I was surprised how much I learned, (and how much I didn't know about money). The writing style is as enjoyable as it is instructive.”

  ~Margaret Wheatley

  Author of Management and the New Physics

  “I have read three books which I consider to be truly uplifting and transformative: A Course in Miracles, The Power of Now, and most recently, New Money for a New World. This work offers a clear roadmap by which to resolve many of humanity’s seemingly insurmountable crises without the need for international treaties, more taxation, or the redistribution of wealth, all the while respecting and potentially expanding our spiritual underpinnings. New Money for a New World is a gift to humanity, to be read by everyone who dares to dream of a world gone sane. Bernard Lietaer and Stephen Belgin have created a masterpiece.”

  ~Dr. Frank Baylin

  President, CEO - Baylin Publications


  This book is dedicated to the beloved memory

  of two extraordinary women and mothers,

  Agnes Lietaer-Catry (1914-2011)

  and Edith Dernis-Belgin (1923-2011).


  The authors would like to thank Dr. Sally Goerner and Dr. Robert Ulanowicz for their groundbreaking work in systems physics and theoretical ecology, which provided the scientific basis in Chapter Twelve and Chapter Thirteen.

  We would like to acknowledge and thank our tireless editors Jonathan Kolber and Daniel Drasin, Jennifer Dunne for her many vital professional and personal contributions, Jillian Reitsma for her valued assistance with graphic design, Stephen DeMeulenaere for his research and input regarding Balinese complementary currency systems in Chapter Twenty Eight, Margrit Kennedy for her work regarding demurrage and complementary currencies, and our gifted webmasters Marcio Diaz and Gael Van Weyenbergh. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Michael Spolum and family, Tesa Silvestre, Lisa Spiro Price, Eric Karlson, Sean Karlson, Molly Stranahan, Rebecca Gordon, Rob Gordon, Lisa Stone, the Lipman Family, Ruby Begay, Susan Belchamber, Rachel Bagby, Edward Ciaccio, William Donohoe, Mark Finser, Carol Newell, Derek Garcia, Nitin Gadia, Lion Albaugh, Lynn Gold, the Hummingbird Community, the Triskeles Foundation, Anthony Dunkley, Chris Tucker, Phyllis Karlson, Evelyn and Sol Resnick, Bertha Paul, Nicole Silvestre, Vincent and Mary Andreano, Alexander Belgin, and many others too numerous to mention here for their support. We wish to also thank Jacqui Dunne, Deb Shapiro, and Ed Shapiro for their assistance with a previous version of this book.

  Finally, we are very grateful to the many pioneers and communities, past and present, whose insights and efforts have contributed to a greater understanding of money.



  Everything is possible when everything is at stake.


  Humanity is at a critical juncture, faced with two very real yet vastly different prospects. The unparalleled achievements over the course of recent decades in one domain after another offer hope of a vast renewal and golden age for society. In direct opposition to this is the persistence of a constellation of seemingly insurmountable global issues that threaten us as never before. What is required is as straightforward as it is profound. Our global civilization needs a new operating system, and fast.

  Our seemingly paradoxical situation is explained by the fact that the very same ways of thinking that brought about the Industrial Age and made possible many of our advancements, have also fueled the myriad crises that are now converging upon us. In particular, many of the socioeconomic rules under which we currently operate were actually put in place centuries ago, and were heavily influenced by a worldview that failed to recognize that our planet is a living system and that every form of life has its unique and valuable place and purpose in sustaining the larger web of life. In ignoring the conditions that are necessary to the health of our ecosystems and communities, we have inadvertently fouled our nest.

  As a direct consequence of our centuries-old ways of being and doing, we are now faced with: great financial instability, growing disparities of wealth, resource wars, the breakdown of community, alarming rates of species extinction and ecosystem depletion, and accelerating symptoms of climate change. As our food, energy, health, education, economies, and financial systems show increasing signs of failing us, we are being collectively called to harness our creativity and resources to take a major evolutionary leap.

  Transitioning from self-destructive ways to life-affirming understandings, lifestyles, and systems is indeed the great work of our times.

  The looming question is, how can we reverse the downward spiral in which much of our world has been caught?

  One of the many blessings of our time is that there is a fast-growing global movement afoot, consisting of many communities, businesses, not-for-profits, and governments, hard at work on this very question. Their innovative efforts are already providing many success stories and inspiring new models to point to. Neither creativity nor good intentions are lacking.

  What has been sorely missing is an understanding of the important systemic causes of the challenges we face, and a clearer sense of how fragmented efforts and experiments might evolve into comprehensive solutions. The widespread deterioration of conditions that has occurred over the course of the last several decades is bound to continue until and unless we can identify and effectively address the source of our many concerns. To this end, t
here is at last some significant news.

  A far better and more effective way to harness and direct our creativity and energy is now possible and directly available to us. What is required of us is to start paying careful attention to a piece of the puzzle that has been under the radar of the official and public debate: our monetary system.

  Over the course of the past few decades, a quiet but significant transformation has been taking place within the monetary realm. Thousands of initiatives from around the world—run by villagers, non-governmental organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises, multinationals, and governments—have each been rethinking money. They have made use of complementary currencies—monetary initiatives that do not replace but rather supplement the national currency system—to match unmet needs with unused resources.

  Among the almost inexhaustible range of vital concerns being addressed by new monetary initiatives let us mention: social and ecological issues such as improved education, disease intervention, juvenile delinquency, healthcare for the elderly, environmental cleanup, and city restoration; and commercial applications such as job creation, loyalty mechanisms, stabilization of the business cycle, and more.

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