Critical Thinking’s research and analysis pointed to three fundamental flaws that underpin the competitive, destructive, global political economy:
theft of the commons
usury (interest on money).
Subsequent work has delved much deeper into money to reveal that usury is the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to money. Our whole conception of simple, exchangeable money is flawed and is the mechanism by which institutional hierarchy and misallocation of the value of the commons are structuralised/embedded into political economy.
Money didn’t replace barter. It displaced what we describe as complex money methodology.
WHAT’S BETTER THAN MONEY?
It’s very clear that simple money did not replace anything, it was introduced and coexisted with the base complex “money” methodology; the idea that humans went from Barter to Banknotes is a popular myth that was reinforced by Adam Smith’s claim in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (published 1775). Smith claimed that money replaced barter:
This division of labor, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual, consequence of a certain propensity in human nature, which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.
for which no empirical, archaeological or anthropological evidence exists.
The advantages claimed by Smith run counter to the facts in terms of actual sustainability and inclusion.
What he describes as “human nature” is the modification of human behaviour adapting to simple exchange money methodology.
“Division of labour” led to an exclusion of “labour” from its place and purpose, manifested as financial exclusion due to the shift of focus to maximise the external value that proxied the real value of human activity.
Sustainability that was formerly underpinned by complex “money” methodology was no longer embedded in all human activity.
While empirical analysis has helped to form this view, our practice of “thinking and making” has accelerated our understanding of current money and its effects. This work is documented at invisibleuniverse.org and we’re producing non-fungible books as “hooks” for wider discussion and exploration.
Invisible Universe Non-Fungible Books
The production of 27 books from some of the prints is now near completion; each book is unique (non-fungible) and is made from one print. Typically we produced 5 prints for each edition but each copy is unique because it is a manual process; the colour densities and positioning of the images at each stage will vary slightly. Every book contains the same 10 phrases related to money and value.
Money debate has extended into the LAWuN project at the Architectural Association in London: