Impoverishing billions, killing millions every year. All just business for corporate capitalism.

How did the west's financial system become the greatest criminal enterprise in history?

 

By "lending" all of our money into existence, making it all an interest bearing debt to themselves.

 

Welcome

We're here to promote the basic economic literacy that can end this criminal system once and for all.

 

  • Global poverty and displacement

  • The economic subjugation of all people, including us in the west

  • Routine, devastating, worldwide economic instability

  • The stripping of public assets and services.

  • The ever increasing consolidation of global wealth

 

All these and how they relate to the world's dominant economic system - capitalism - can be understood with a basic, truthful introduction to economic life.

 

 

 

Nothing has a greater impact on all our lives than money. And yet none of us, through our schools, colleges or universities, will have had the chance to discover the most important basic facts about money. Facts like:

 

 

  • What money really is in the world today.

  • Where it really comes from - how it is created and by who.

  • How banks and debt, in truth, basically work.

 

 

That fact is truly astonishing. We aren't being taught how the system we live in works. Schools have the power to change that, so that's what we're asking.

 

 

If people can be taught the basic facts about money, the world as it is can be transformed. Poverty, rightslessness and the suffering of so many - all for the profit of so few - could be ended and incredible new human and democratic rights could become possible for all.

 

 

Click through the slides below for a condensed introduction to the subject and a look at some of what we do.

 

 

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This part may be easier to read in landscape. 

What is money... and where does it come from?

To answer this, let's start by looking at what money is not.

Although people often think of money the way they think of gold or silver, it's easy to see that money is really not made from any precious materials. It's true that coins are often made to look like gold and silver, but that's really only for effect. In reality, not only is money not made of precious materials, most money isn't made of any materials whatsoever; most money doesn't exist in physical form at all.

Most money is just numbers in accounts within the banking system. They really are just numbers; there are no corresponding piles of notes or coins, or gold or silver, being kept in vaults. The numbers are all there are. The question, then, is what are those numbers - what are they measuring and where do they come from?

The numbers simply measure a legal 'title' or 'claim'. Someone who has money has a measured claim within society and society itself, or some part therein, has a corresponding debt to that person. It may be hard to grasp at first, but money measures out the two sides of a legal relationship: on one side claims, on the other side debts.

That's why we say money is debt. Like any debt, money has two sides: someone who owes and someone who is owed. Money, then, exists as a record of a debt; it comes into being when someone goes into debt and remains in existence only for as long as the debt remains outstanding.

You may know that money is 'creditary', or 'promissory' or like an IOU. These words all describe the debt-based nature of money: a legal relationship with a debt on one side and a claim on the other.

This is a reciprocal system in which money exists only to occupy the space between giving and receiving. Money comes into being when somebody (including a government) makes a 'promise to reciprocate' (takes on a debt) and will cease to exist again when the debt/money is repaid.

Economists call this 'endogenous' money or 'money creation within the private sector'. What should be noted is that banks create this money, they really are not 'lending' and we and our governments really are not 'borrowing' other people's money when we go into debt. It's reasonable to state, therefore, that these debts should be interest free.

An Example


In our world today, almost nobody could have a home if it weren't for the facility of debt, so debt is very important to us and many, many people every day use debt to buy a home; they take out a mortgage. If you were selling your house and I needed a mortgage to buy it, where would that money come from?

My bank would create that money, simply as transferrable numbers in my bank account, when I ask for it, when I sign myself into a mortgage agreement and into debt.

And when that new money is transferred to you, you will be the holder of x dollars of new claims within society. I will be the holder of the exact same amount of new debt. (But I will also now have the house.)

Those numbers (→) were created during the process and they are money. The idea that money should somehow be different to that, that someone should have to root around to find some already-existing money to 'lend' to me is, by comparison, very impractical. And it has far graver consequences too: not only would it be inconvenient and therefore expensive, it would set up the some of the most corrosive and unjust relationships that can exist within society.

There's nothing wrong with the way this system works. It's exactly as it should be. The problem is - and where it all goes wrong - is that bankers know their customers don't understand how the system works. They know they can tell them that they're "borrowing" other people's money and that they'll believe them - they'll pay interest because they believe they should.

This is true with respect to both household debt and public debts too. Governments too are "borrowing" money into existence and recording it as a debt with interest due, because the people who will pay for it, taxpayers, don't understand the system well enough to cry foul.

In practice, major financial operations like banking could never operate on physical notions of money and actual lending and borrowing. Money will inevitably resolve to its most efficient form, which is simply numbers - numbers which record who owes and who is owed.

For that reason, what we call 'credit' (debt) currencies are just a simple practical reality for everyday society. But, as you've seen, they are also very much more than that. It is through this type of money that we all share a common platform upon which our debts and our exchanges are facilitated, not by 'borrowing', but by simply recording numbers into and out of existence on paper or on a computer screen.

And that really does mean most of our debts should be interest free. The money we have really should support a very different type of economics and very different economic relations in the world.

Money should work much more for everyone. Money can and should be at the foundation of all people's real economic rights. Every person, as well as every government, should have a democratic relationship to money and access to money on democratic terms, free of unnecessary lender-borrower relations and free of interest. Human rights demands it.

Basic Literacy

Covered in these slides are what should constitute anyone's basic monetary literacy. You now have a better idea of what money really is in the world today, where it really comes from and how banks and debt, in truth, basically work. Everyone should have the right to understand those things. There's more to read and a pack you can download which explores this subject (and more) in a way that is perfect for new or young learners.

Support us/share


Help us promote economic literacy and human rights, even with just a share. Your support can help us reach more people, produce more educational materials and make those materials cheaply/freely available to schools. And that means they're more likely to use them. Thank you.

There's more for anyone interested in economics, money, banks, household and national debts, taxation and overarching systems, like capitalism, in which all those things take place.

 

 

If you're a parent or a teacher, download our teaching resources for school age learners:

 

'Welcome to the Fascinating World of Money', Books 1-3

    
    

'Thinking About Tax; How Governments Raise Money'

 

 

If you would like to support our effort to provide schools with free materials, please go to our support page.

 

 

Adult readers and those involved in projects to help communities overcome the failures of national systems may find value in the above resources. But the Understanding Money section contains a number of easily digested, bite-size pieces that look at different aspects of money and the economy:

 

 

From the foundational building blocks of a financial system that works for a community, including the process by which money is created - 1. How Money Really Works - through the role physical monies like banknotes and coins really play in society - 4. Physical Money - to more nuanced perspectives on economic relations - 5. Banks as Credit Agents - and a more in-depth look at how banks can account for the creation and movement of money in more complex economies - Accounting for Money Creation. I hope you find it a helpful practical and theoretical resource.

 

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And we'll change the world.

Whoever you are, whatever you do, you have what it takes to make the world a better place. You may even be able to transform it.

 

 

Today, widespread economic illiteracy forms the foundation of a steeply hierarchical and what must surely be considered a 'dark age' global economy. Harmful, unjust economics is wilfully imposed upon billions of people who simply do not understand what is being done to them. It is for exactly such reasons that we all have the right to a basic education (to be basically literate and aware) in Human Rights law. (In fact, more developed countries have even greater responsibilities under those laws.)

 

 

Discard any notion that our systems or societies are democratic. This is is an economy of power at almost any cost. Basic aims like stability and justice or fair rights have been shown over generations (as far back as you care to look) to be entirely undeliverable - if not entirely undesirable to those who wield power. This system is, at best, a failure. At worst, it appears as a plot by criminals to own and control the entire world for their own profit. Whatever the truth, imposing it on the world is an unjustifiable crime - by far the largest ever crime against humanity - and it is the reason we have all struggled so much with it to 'fit in'.

 

 

Things could clearly be different. Literacy and rights can be greatly advanced. Poverty, rightslessness and today's extremes of economic injustice/inequality can almost certainly be eliminated. A more just, more humane economic world can be built and can work much more from the bottom up, from a foundation in real human and democratic rights for all, rather than imposed and cruelly dictated from centers of power down.

 

 

What might be possible for a democratic society? What might a democratic society really look like? Informed citizens might demand things like:

 

 

  • Democratic, debt and interest free national currency base.

    Countries are currently required to 'borrow' their currencies, into existence, at interest, from private banks. Public sectors all over the world are are being crushed and robbed under a regime of expensive, inauthentic, National Debts.

  • Interest free access to money for all households.

    Every family on Earth could have access to money, for things as vital as a home, interest free (banks can charge a competitive fee, rather than interest). Yet at 9.3% (35 year average to the crash) working families have had to pay 3 times for their homes - twice as a mere gift to the already rich and something that makes homeownership an impossibility for many millions of families.

  • A public sector that retains the profit from public industries and by it pays for itself, reducing or eliminating taxation on working families.

    Privatizing the profits while socializing the costs of the public sector today forces working families to pay around 50% of their incomes in taxes. As much as all of that is going to pay for privilege and the greedy, anti-democratic demands of the already super-rich.

 

 

We'll do all that we can to promote basic economic literacy and truthful teaching in economics. We'd do that for its own sake, but especially because we believe it's at the foundation of the historical struggle for democratic and human rights. Hope you are with us.

 

 

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