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 14. Which option?.
Anonymous currency is a fact embedded in most civilizations, especially
in the Western civilization and the cultures which have been colonized
by it. Any proposal of a change of civilization has, with respect to currency,
First. Immediate and total demonetization -with the subsequent suppression
of productive specialization and with the almost total self-sufficiency,
combined with a bartering of goods and services.
Second. The modification of the monetary system (substitution of
the present anonymous and uninformative currency through a personalized
and informative one, thereby demythicizing currency and reducing the area
of responsible monetization to the exchange of measurable goods and services).
Third. The consideration that currency is not a key subject, and
therefore it must be left as it is.
The monetization of all the cultures on the planet has been, and still
is, an aim of mercantilism which, by this means can constantly enlarge
and control the markets, which would give them the power over newcomers.
In face of this we must find ways to respect those cultures which do not
want to become mercantilized, and at the same time, we must cast light
on the works of the existing markets and point out liabilities to avoid
their omnipresent power within their cultures of origin and in their intercultural
relations. Let us consider three possible options.
First. Immediate demonetization. It can be total or partial -that
is, of some activities or of some cultures. Since monetization comes from
the appearance of market, and this is the result of private property (whether
communal, collective or individual), demonetization implies the existence
of human communities with communal property. These communities, as long
as they share all their properties, do not compel their members to carry
out mercantile exchanges, at least inside them.
Demonetization needs not only the destruction of the still existing
communal cultures, but demands the creation of new communal cultures, by
will or by force (!), in the individualistic cultures where they no longer
Another inevitable consequence of demonetization is the suppression
of productive specialization in as many levels as possible, in order to
reintroduce the reciprocal gift or bartering with as little confliction
as possible (within each community or between neighbouring communities).
Obviously, the division of work outside the communal life compels us to
exchange among strangers, that is to the monetized market, sooner or later.
It is argued, that overcoming the division of work -manual and intellectual-
helps self-management and self-provisioning, which are the basis of an
emotionally balanced life, socially liberated from social fictions and,
therefore, more equalitarian.
Now, perhaps, we should separate demercantilization and demonetization.
In mercantilized and monetized cultures, some goods and services may be
demercantilized, but society cannot be demonetized because everybody, in
his lifetime, needs to purchase some given goods to live. As we have suggested
in other chapters, we may suggest the demercantilization of a number of
professions and services (for example, judicial, political, informative,
educational...). But if these activities are no longer part of the market,
it they are free of cost, it does not mean that they don't need currency
both to be exercised (buildings, materials...) and to live of them the
professionals work on them. The same thing could be said of natural resources,
such as land, subsoil and water. It may be suggested to demercantilize
them and to put them under communal property to avoid speculation and destruction,
but this does not mean that for their controlled, non-speculative use (such
as rents, concessions or green taxes) it will not be useful, and above
all necessary, to have a monetary system.
Therefore, the first option of demonetization appears not to be feasible
in very complex societies and markets, the way most of them are today.
On the contrary, it would certainly be possible to take some activities
or some resources off the trading system which, out of the market dynamics,
could better fulfill its role.
The extent of what can be taken off the trading system or not is mainly
cultural. It depends on what every society values and the interest the
different agents have to carry out a given productive trade function or
a communal-liberal function. Some present-day cultures (that are fairly
communal) have kept food out of the trading system. Any member of the community
may take what he/she needs. On the other hand they have brought into the
trading system other goods or services.
For the time being, it is difficult to think that, in the West, food
may be taken off the trading system. A good example is the food production
in socialist countries which has been kept out of the trading system. Without
the lure of a monetary profit, nobody produces surpluses for sale, and
the lack of food grows alarmingly. On the other hand, in the West it is
accepted that some public, sanitary or cultural activities may better fulfill
their function if they are free and out of the trading system. It is also
necessary to consider the need to ensure a vital minimum to every person;
a vital communal salary to grant food and other basic items to all members
of society. Survival is now also being considered in the West as a fact
which can be taken off the trading system, which can and must be obtained
irrespective of one's productive contribution to the market. This path
is the one which has been started by granting a pension to all those persons
who, because of their physical condition (illness, invalidity or old age),
cannot survive through their own work in the market (In the following chapter
we shall talk about the possibilities of the West to take the path of going
back to a communal, off-the-trade, system).
Second. Rationalization of the monetary system. In the markets
which use monetary instruments made of metal coins or of bank notes, of
cheques or of electronic accounts, whether they are legal o real, dirty
or black, the rules of the market game must be again outlined and a new
monetary system must be tailored to avoid as much as possible the problems
of historic monetization: objectifying persons and their less material
activities; free power of money; domestic and foreign trade imbalances;
making the myth of money as the highest prestige...
This option offers a possibility to (re)discover currency as an instrument
to improve human relations in certain aspects (exclusively for trade activities)
and in complex situations (multi-ethnic societies, with an individualistic
basis, with many sales-purchases and with many market agents). It is also
a means to stop the damages of the present currency in other aspects (roles,
professions and resources today «prostituted») and situations
(communal cultures which will not, and need not, join the domestic or foreign
Third. Currency is not a key item. This is how it has been considered
in official history up until now (both in the system's and in that of the
system's critics). Therefore, no special step needs be taken. It will live
if it must and it will die if it must.
The free exchange of consciences, the apocalypsis of Western civilization,
or the coming of a communist society -when socialism will not be betrayed-
will determine the destiny of currency. Let us discuss the following three
For some, the most important thing in life are transcendental
values, the mutation of spirit. If this does not change, all instrumental
or political changes are only a repression of human wickedness, but not
its anihiliation. If everybody was good then currency would be of no use.
And while we attempt it, no control step will ever change egotism, and
may even develop it with greater malevolence. And, besides, how can we
expect an 'instrumental' change of something so vile as currency to be
a means to help something so noble as the 'new man's' conscience?
For others, days are numbered for the West. Its path has no way out.
It is a giant with clay feet. Sooner or later it will fall and the other
cultures and nature will welcome this fact. Why should we attempt changes
from inside the Western system? It is all rotten. No imperialism lasts
one thousand years!
Still for a third group, the knowledge (historically determined) of
the coming of a communist society has caused us to consider that currency
was an invention of capitalism and that it will die with it.
The loathing of currency has been consciously impelled both by moralists
and by apocalyptics and revolutionaries. For centuries people have been
told that money is 'dangerous', the 'bait of sin'. 'Entrust it to us, the
priests, bankers and politicans, and we will manage it well.' 'Money does
not make people happy, they say, and it may even be an obstacle!'.