Introduction


Did I need to say that the monetary system is unstable? The Dutch original of this book started off telling you why we really need to get rid of our money system. After the events of October 2008 that seems rather superfluous. By now, everyone knows – or fears it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing collapses. Today, October 2009, the Dutch DSB Bank is about to collapse. Small savers have lost confidence in the bank, because, as it appeared, the bank had been abusing customers, selling mortgages at indecent profit rates. The savers withdrew their money and the bank became low on liquid funds. This caused its collapse, although the final outcome is yet uncertain.

This uncertainty is eternal: no one knows the future value of money. We can save money for pensions, but it will always be unsure what the value of that money will be by the time it is paid. Expecting the pension fund to operate fully, of course.

Taken its instability proven, are there any other problems with the money system? Plenty! The monetary system is unfair, illogical, unnatural and unstable. Humanity itself and its money system are both responsible for the horrible state of the planet. Earlier attempts to change the monetary system have been unable to take away its shortcomings. Changes may have had influence, but we’ve seen no broader effect on society, lifestyle or consumption.

Ecotax – taxations designed to promote ecological activities – has been proposed many times, but it has been implemented only rarely. A powerful ecotax would destabilize the economic house of cards. We’ve known for many years that we need to change the system in order to save the future, but we cannot without the risk of crashing the whole system instantly.

Considering all these problems I found that a complete redesign of the economic system is required in order to meet social, ecological and economical goals at the same time. Our top-down chain of command requires a change as well.

This book offers an alternative. It is up to you to find out what to do with it. I’m just a designer, not your planet’s life-saver. That is something we can only accomplish together! Meanwhile, I’ll continue daily life and work in the kitchen garden.

Readers who have not been persuaded after reading the book, do not despair. From Darwin’s theory of evolution, we know that none of his opponents has ever walked over to his side. But, his work did have an influence on later generations. They grew up with the new way of thinking. At the time, it took about 100 years for his ideas to be largely agreed upon. Will time fly faster these days?