Alistair McConnachie

In this recently published book by Rodney Shakespeare and Peter Challen, the authors argue that there is an urgent need for a new stable, just, global monetary system which:

* addresses poverty and rich-poor divisions;

* focuses on the real, productive, economy;

* protects the environment;

* enables all societies to control their own destiny;

* ends the exponential increase in debt now threatening to engulf the world;

* ends usury (interest).

The book interprets and enhances contemporary debate taking place at focal points across the world and among concerned people everywhere. It generates a vision of justice, "wholly practical, radical and new". Indeed, Sir Richard Body has described it as "a testament to politicians aspiring to be statesmen".

At the heart of the issue, is the call from the authors for an open, regular and public acknowledgement by State, economists and academia that the present banking system is an unjust monopoly that creates 97% of the money supply as interest-bearing debt.

At present widespread debate on Monetary Reform is not possible because the subject is marginalized, even suppressed. Therefore obtaining acknowledgement that the present banking system is an unjust monopoly is not something that can wait. Progressive individuals and groups should agree to put the issue to the front of their discussion and dealings with government, academia and economists.

The authors believe that their Seven Steps, while enhancing productive capacity and individual productiveness, are counter-inflationary and ultimately diminish the money supply. They argue that debt-free money (state-issued, non-repayable money) should be issued for an individual basic income to the extent necessary to keep a stable level of prices the amount to be decided by a body free from control by politicians.

Money is being manufactured on a huge scale at present by the banking system which then adds interest to it. So there is nothing new in the manufacture of money. Debt-free money, therefore, could be introduced if balanced by compensating measures in the rest of the economy.

The authors believe their Seven Steps will create:

* Healthy non-inflationary economies and societies.

* A sturdy independence for all individuals as they become economically productive to the extent necessary to satisfy their needs.

* Balanced growth, which is also a green growth because:

a) individuals involved in practices destructive of the environment can be given another way to earn. b) the economic efficiency allows for the introduction of more costly, but greener, processes.

* Enhanced economic status of women and a proper power balance between the sexes.

* A solution to poverty through a guaranteed two income security for all.

* A foundation for the ending of National and Third World debt and the stimulation of economies and societies no longer in hock to outsiders.

* Deepened democracy because all individuals will have much greater control over their daily lives.

* An economic foundation for the voluntary control of population levels.

* Hope of a solution for two of the worst danger spots in the world the Middle East and Kashmir.

* The existence everywhere of a practical basis for a new honesty, optimism and generosity of spirit.

The Seven Steps to Justice covers a wide remit, is very professionally produced, and has the exciting potential to introduce Money Reform concepts to a whole new audience.

Published by New European Publications Ltd., 2002. 188 pp. ISBN 1-8724-1027-8. Mail Order: 11 post paid payable to Peter Challen at 21 Bousfield Rd, London, SE14 5TP. Tel: 020 7207 0509.

from Prosperity,September 2002