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Seeing Money as part of the Commons

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
22nd September 2013


Excerpted from Anthony Migchels:

“Perhaps the simplest thing to say is that Money is part of the Commons, like Water, Air and Land.

We see how the Transnationals are now attacking Water as part of the Commons. Water is ‘not a human right’. Land has long ago been privatized. But Land and Monetary Reform are in many respects the same fights and we can add Water to the equation too.

Money has never been fully appreciated as an intrinsic part of the Commons. Because so few people actually realized that the nature of Money was something we could think about. And those that did were mostly led astray by the silly ‘theories’ the Money Power keeps inventing.

The rape of the Commons, our Human Heritage, must end and we must reclaim what rightfully belongs to us. Why are we paying rents on Land and Money and soon Water to ancient families, Corporations and Governments?

Instead of benefiting from our fair share we are simply exchanging ever more of our labor for it. The invisible slavery to artificial scarcity.

The Commons by nature should serve the individual, families, tribes and the Commonwealth and no one can own them or exploit them for their own purposes.

The Commons are public and they must be exploited in the public interest. Meaning they provide all commoners equitable access to their fair share.

When we look at monetary reform, we want interest-free, stable money. We need local communities to be able to have a say in where the money is going to. We need equitable individual sovereign access to capital.

This is what it means to optimally exploit Money as part of the Commons in the mutual interest of all individuals.

Relating to the public vs. private issue this means the question is never that private entities can ‘own’ the Commons. That kind of private is not to the point and to be rejected.

The Commons are, or should be owned by none. Not by the Government, nor by private interests. Government perhaps has a mandate to protect the Commons from private usurpation. But that is not ownership.

Exploitation of the Commons in the interest of the commoners can be done by both private and public entities. Private entities don’t automatically serve private interests, nor do public entities automatically serve public interests. They should have a clear charter explaining their goals: low cost Water, Land or Money services to the commoner.

Both can have their place and have their own problems. Bureaucrats love rules, Businessmen love cutting costs, hurting quality. They like rents. Both will continue to try to grab control beyond their needs.

Ultimately the commoner needs to know his rights and duties and the Money Power’s mind controllers have a great grip on our collective consciousness. It remains a great challenge coming to terms with all of this.

Conclusion

Money is part of the Commons. This is what I suggest is behind the Public vs. Private dialectic.

There is a great struggle going on in which the Money Power is privatizing more and more of the Commons. Land was robbed from the commoner long ago and nowadays they’re after Water.

But in reality the Commons cannot be really be privatized. For instance: Land should be reasonably made available to the commoner. This is the basis of Henry George’s work.

Money never was a conscious part of the Commons as most people didn’t realize it was possible to even consider its nature, let alone come to sound conclusions. But its crucial importance, the very fact that it depends on the agreement of those using it for its existence, makes it so.

The question is how to manage the Commons. Practice shows that having the Government do it leads to problems. The Government takes rents, centralizes power and is usually just a big &^%$%^&$# to deal with, especially for the less credulous.

It’s usually certainly better than private ownership of the Commons or control for profit. But to firmly entrench Money Power in the Commons, we need to look beyond Government and rationally look at what role private market players have to play in providing the necessary services to the commoner.

Because everything that centralizes power in the hands of the State will simply empower Leviathan. And Leviathan will always look to turn against its master.”

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