By the time of our next issue, the Green Party’s Autumn Conference and AGM will have taken place. The Economics Policy Working Group is gaining new members, and will hold fringe meetings there. It will also be holding a weekend conference on 9-10 December.
Additionally, the new Green Economics Institute will hold another conference, in London, on Saturday 7th October, on the theme of ‘The First 10 Years of Green Economics’ (??) – see our last issue for details.
Just brought to my notice is a resolution passed by the Green Party of Saskatchewan in 2003:
2003.14. Support for changed role for Bank of Canada
BE IT RESOLVED that the Green Party of Saskatchewan will be a voice advocating the utilization of the Bank of Canada to create new money for low or zero-interest loans for indebted federal, provincial, and municipal governments,
AND will advocate the gradual return of "full reserve lending" for private banks to prevent inflation and to reduce private influence on the Canadian monetary system.
Three comments on the article on page **:
1. Monetary reform is one of the critical missing elements;
2. complementary is the need for Citizens’ Incomes; and the potential of local currencies to act beneficially alongside a reformed national currency should be acknowledged, though such currency should be created either as in LETSystems by the people trading, or by a local authority or accountable trust.
3. Additionally, we need a global currency independent of any nation, such as the GCI’s proposal for carbon-backed trading units, Keynes’ ‘Bancor’, or Lietaer’s ‘Terra’.
Food for thought. Extract from The Pentagon of Power, Lewis Mumford (1970) p.148: "As capital gains increased, more capital was available for investment in mines, ships, and factories, as well as in the costly machinery that, from the eighteenth century on, competed with hand labor and drove it out of the market. This general movement was in turn abetted by two other inventions, both social, which gave the advantage to machine operations over the small surviving workshops that utilized local materials and local hand labor. I refer to the patent system, first established in England, which bestowed on the inventor, or, rather, the exploiter, of a new invention, an effective temporary monopoly; and the other was the joint stock company, with limited liability, which widened the number of possible investors and relieved them of the burden of individual responsibility for bankruptcy that single ownership or partnership entailed. These changes completed the depersonalization of the whole industrial process. After the seventeenth century an increasing number of anonymous workers were exploited for the benefit of equally anonymous and invisible and morally indifferent absentee owners.
"Thus the various components of mechanized industry conspired to remove the traditional valuations and the human aims that had kept the economy under control and caused it to pursue other goals than power. Absentee ownership, the cash nexus, managerial organization, military discipline, were from the beginning the social accompaniments of largescale mechanization. This removal of limits had the effect of undermining-by now almost totally destroying-the earlier forms of polytechnics, and of replacing it with a monotechnics based on maximizing physical power, contracting or expanding or diverting human needs to those that are required to keep such an economy in operation. Warfare, the activity that had first made such heavy demands on the mine, in turn contributed further to mechanization by reverting in industry to a military, discipline and daily drill, in order to ensure uniform operations and uniform results. This reciprocal interplay between warfare, mining, and mechanization was ultimately responsible for some of the most vexatious problems that must now be faced."