Thursday, 4 November 2021

What Everybody Really Wants to Know

EVERY day I am bombarded with messages calling my attention to protests, petitions, videos and articles on what's going wrong in the world and what we ought to be doing about it. As I mused upon the latest batch of contributions, I fell to re-reading one of my early books. Written at a time of great optimism, when totalitarianism appeared to be a thing of the past, and 9/11 and Covid were yet to happen, What Everybody Really Wants to Know About Money seems, to me anyway, to offer scope for Round-Table discussions on the lines advocated and practised by Peter Maurin, Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement (see recent Blogs). Slightly updated, the following text appears on the back cover of my book.

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What Everybody Really Wants to Know About Money

by Frances Hutchinson

Jon Carpenter,1998, ISBN: 1-897766-33-5. 2006 pp, £12

Money makes the world go round – but in ever diminishing circles. It's the driving force behind most of the world's problems: global warming, habitat destruction, homelessness, ethnic and religious conflict, the widening poverty gap within and between countries, debt and homelessness, to name but a few. Thanks to money, the world is a nastier place by the day.

There seems to be no alternative to social injustice and environmental destruction, simply because there is no money for anything else. We all use money every day, but we don't understand where it comes from, who creates it, and most importantly, why.

As this book shows, most economists do not have a clue what's going on, and that is partly because they make all sorts of assumptions about human nature that are manifestly nonsense. Since economists have little understanding of the nature of money, they assume it is just a convenient neutral alternative to barter. In fact, money is now traded for its own ends, and has become the universal measure of good and bad. To bring about today's global capitalist free market, work has been devalued to a form of slavery, and people everywhere have been denied access to their natural and basic means of survival: the land.

Frances Hutchinson shows why this situation has arisen, and explains many of the basic errors of the orthodox economics upon which all politicians rely. After discussing the powerful body of ideas that originated in guild socialism and were popularised across the world by the social credit movement in the 1920s and 1930s, she applies these insights to develop a 'home economics' which can be introduced by groups of people in their own localities anywhere in the world.

With a chapter by Alan Freeman on the World Trade Organisation and the globalisation of world trade, together with intellectual property rights and the privatisation of public and traditional knowledge.

"An excellent summary! It should help in demystifying money and awaken us all to the opportunities that lie beyond the false philosophy of economism." HAZEL HENDERSON. Author of Paradigms in Progress and Building a Win-Win World.

"A fascinating journey that helps us explore our historical relationship to land, food, labour, status gathering, spiritual culture and money. Orthodox economists beware! This book may be harmful to your career." GUY DAUNCEY, author of After the Crash: The Emergence of the Rainbow Economy. 

At the time of publication of What Everybody Really Wants to Know About Money FRANCES HUTCHINSON was an economic historian at Bradford University, UK. Her previous books included Environmental Business Management: Sustainable Development in the New Millennium (with Andrew Hutchinson) McGraw Hill (1997), and The Political Economy of Social Credit and Guild Socialism (with Brian Burkitt), Routledge (1997). Her later works include The Politics of Money: Towards Sustainability and Economic Democracy (with Mary Mellor and Wendy Olsen), Pluto Press (2002), and Understanding the Financial System: Social Credit Rediscovered, Jon Carpenter (2010). She edited The Social Crediter/ The Social Artist from 2002 to 2020.

The full text of What Everybody Really Wants to Know About Money is available electronically on the FRANCES HUTCHINSON page of Use search to find references, eg to Bill Gates (yes, in 1998) and genetic engineering.

Hard copy can be purchased from the PUBLICATIONS page of the same website.

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