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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Considers A New Economy & An Alternative Currency - Excerpt via

Original Post by Francesca Rheannon

Oct 25 2011

"...In that spirit, the Alternative Currencies Working Group at OWS is putting out for consideration by the General Assembly a software-enabled gift currency called PermaBank, that’s premise is “to develop and deploy a set of technologies that align 'financial services' with the principles of permaculture.” PermaBank would enable individuals and groups “to post their wish/requests and gifts/offers and indicate whether they've been completed.” It would also use paper money and credit cards (on a local credit union).

It seems the currency will formalize and organize an economy that has already spontaneously sprouted, enhancing “the efficiency of the gifting culture that currently exists within Liberty Plaza.”

The protestors have already deposited their money into a small credit union on the Lower East Side serving poor people who have been denied loans or accounts by other banks. In an extraordinarily mean-spirited move, Goldman Sachs retaliated against the bank by withdrawing a $5,000 pledge when the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union planned a fundraising event honoring the Occupy movement.

Alternative local currencies are not new – they have been promoted for decades by the Shumacher Society (now the New Economics Institute), among others, and are thriving in the Berkshires of Massachusetts (Berkshares) and elsewhere and in the explosion of time banks around the country.

The Metacurrency Project (whose proponent Arthur Brock was invited to speak to the 99%-ers at Zucotti Park) promotes the idea that “people should be able to decide what they value and how that will be measured and acknowledged. This means they have to be able to create their own currencies.” It aims to create the technology “tools, protocols and platforms” that will enable people to “transact directly with each other with no segment of that interaction relying on a centrally controlled system,” where “all levels are sovereign” (horizontally, not vertically determined).

The horizontal, democratic participation that Web-based technology makes possible is being used by another ad hoc group formed in the wake of OWS. Initially put out into the digisphere by Ralph Meima of Marlboro College’s MBA in Managing for Sustainability, “The American People’s New Economic Charter” is hoping to crowd-source an open, national conversation that develops a plan for redress for 18 of the 23 grievances in the Declaration of the Occupation—the ones dealing with economic issues...."

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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