Here is a video of a conversation that took place at the edges of the Economics and the Commons Conference in Berlin in May 2013. The participants are Gwendolyn Hallsmith, city planning director in Vermont and author of “Creating Wealth”, Pat Conaty, a research fellow of the New Economics Foundation in London, Anne Snick, who works with Flora, a network of expertise on gender, sustainability and integrated economics in Belgium, and Handro Sangkoyo of the School of Democratic Economics in Indonesia.
The conversation centers on the apparent impossibility of the existence of a flourishing healthy commons under the current monetary and economic system. Money does everything to direct resources away from common use to private control by the wealthy, and more importantly, there are trends of actually destroying the basis of life of whole populations, because investments must be profitable and the investors do not take into account those “external” factors.
A few quotes:
“…we discovered that the reason why there is an imbalance between the ‘productive’ work and other types of work is because of the money mechanism – because money grows exponentially with interest … so we found if we ever want to restore the gender balance with equal valorization of roles, we have to get rid of this monopoly, of this destructive money system…”
“…the role that money plays in the destruction of all of the commons – both, gendered work our natural environment, our social environment – the positive interest function of money and its exponential growth is driving the growth imperative, and forcing us to overexploit both natural and human worlds…”
“I give you an example. Bali is now in deep crisis in terms of water, the life space and everything. Over the past thirty years, all the waters for the Subak System decreased approximately two thirds of it and in the particular sub-districts that have got most of the [investment] monies in these years, the crisis is the deepest…”