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Local Currencies: A Solution to Prolonged Austerity? (London – Hammersmith Local Group)

Nine years after the financial crash, Europe is still in deep crisis. The mix of austerity and QE that our system of governance has been dishing out has not solved any of the underlying problems. In our country, with debt unsustainably high, the spectre of another financial collapse is always looming, whereas in countries that have applied austerity more severely, lack of money is bringing social services and the real economy to a near collapse.

This prolonged failure of governance is prompting people to seek DIY solutions: some people are setting up currencies without a state (i.e. Bitcoin) and others attempted to set up states without a currency (the Catalonians and the Scots before them). In the meantime local currencies, a possible solution that has been around for a long time, have not seen any major developments and are still playing a very marginal role.

In this meetup we will try to understand why local currencies are not taking off and, in the process, we will also unlock the basic logic underlying money. We will use local currencies as the basic building block and then we'll work our way up to unveil the conditions needed to make currencies, both local and national, successful.

The evening will begin with a short video on the Brixton pound, and from there we’ll start to analyse what works and what doesn’t. With the help of an easy text - chapter 15 of "Sacred Economics" by C. Eisenstein - and another short video illustrating the dynamics of the Eurozone, we will be able to put the pieces of the jigsaw into place and understand why DIY money (and by extension DIY states), while in theory relatively easy to arrange, is in practice extremely elusive.

Eventually, after comparing past and present experiences of various types, we will see that for a currency to be successful there must be three elements at work: state (or community), economy and technology, inextricably connected and reinforcing each other in a virtuous cycle, catch-22 style.

The solution is elusive because money is simple and complex at the same time. No doubt many people will tend to disagree, and they are all welcome to join the discussion.

Costanza Picchioni, our co-organiser, will lead the debate.

As usual, all are welcome!

Time: Wednesday, 22 November 2017 19:00 - 21:00 GMT
Host: Mike Callis
Location:
Upstairs Hall @ Grove Neighbourhood Centre (Hammersmith, London)
Grove Neighbourhood Centre
7 Bradmore Park Road
Hammersmith, London W6 0DT
Directions: Nearest tube stops are Ravenscourt Park and Hammersmith. Press bell 3 for the Upstairs Hall. Directions from Ravenscourt Park tube station: Turn left out of the tube station and walk down the alleyway to get to Dalling Road. Turn left and walk under the railway lines and past a school on your left. Turn right onto Glenthorne Road and take the third left onto Bradmore Park Road. Walk through a narrow section of road to a crossroads and continue straight over on Bradmore Park Road. You will see the Grove Neighbourhood Centre on your left. Press bell 3 for the Upstairs Hall. There is a lift and 2 flights of stairs to take you up to the first floor. The venue provides disabled access.
This meetup is for everyone interested in how money system works and how it could be changed to be constructive and socially beneficial. Come and feel free to invite your friends who might be interested too. Everyone is welcome!

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