I think we have a good selection of topics covered in this issue, and hope you will find something to interest you among them.

On page 45 is a review of Bernard Lietaer’s long-awaited new book, The Future of Money. The book contains a wealth of interesting facts and examples, and thought-provoking ideas and proposals, but I have to disagree with Lietaer’s pessimism concerning the possibility of achieving monetary reform, despite its failure to date. Though he is well informed on the faults of the present global system, in seeking to promote ‘complementary’ currencies as a corrective I believe he underestimates the dire effects of the escalating, legally enforceable debts generated by this system, which cannot be extinguished by any of the complementary systems, and are the prime driving-force for ‘economic growth’ and ‘globalisation’..

On page 44 I reproduce an article originally published in 1984, by the late John Hotson, who became a founder member of COMER. I have just come across the article, and think it worth republishing now because it argues clearly and powerfully for the role of usury—in its historical sense: demanding more in return than is lent—in the dire developments in the modern ‘economy’, especially when applied to the money stock . He makes clear the practical and moral reasons for the practice to be condemned by most religions and philosophers of the past, and in fact the practice of ‘debt forgiveness’ was in place for a couple of millennia BC, to stabilise society.

Though the data Hotson uses relate to Canada, the situation is comparable worldwide, and the intervening time has magnified the problems.



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March 2001