Money for the Good

It is said that money, or at least the love of it, is the root of all evil. But why should it be? After all, the purpose of money is, at its most basic, simply to facilitate exchange – in other words, to connect human gifts with human needs. What power, what monstrous perversion, has turned money into the opposite: an agent of scarcity? For indeed we live in a world of fundamental abundance, a world where vast quantities of food, energy, and materials go to waste. Half the world starves while the other half wastes enough to feed the first half. In the Third World and our own ghettos, people lack food, shelter, and other basic necessities and cannot afford to buy them. Meanwhile, we pour vast resources into wars, plastic junk, and innumerable other products that do not serve human happiness. Obviously, poverty is not due to a lack of productive capacity. Nor is it due to a lack of willingness to help: many people would love to feed the poor, to restore nature, and do other meaningful work but cannot because there is no money in it. Money utterly fails to connect gifts and needs. Why?

~ Charles Eisenstein, in Sacred Economics

  1. Introduction to why Profit is – Systemically – Being put Over Wellbeing & Lives on this Planet
  2. Introduction to the Money-for-the-Good Project
  3. The Growing List of “Money-for-the-Good Enterprises”

1. Introduction to why Profit is – Systemically – Being put Over Wellbeing & Lives on this Planet

Let’s be clear: Our site is based in the understanding that we live in a world where profit is being put over wellbeing & lives, systemically. This happens whether we, as individuals, are conscious of it or not. We all contribute, simply by meeting our needs through the current money system.

Our site is devoted to bringing awareness to this fact, for this is where change starts. Profit being put over wellbeing & lives happens, in a myriad ways, in all trades & on all scales, on a spectrum from the subtlest ways to the most obvious.

Let’s take industrial agriculture as an example. Some of the more concealed & subtle ways profit is being put over wellbeing & lives in “Big Ag” are the overuse of antibiotics, contributing greatly to the crisis we have with multiresistant bacteria, and the overuse & poor management of water, contributing greatly to the freshwater crisis we have in the world today. Other examples, somewhat more to the obvious end of the scale, would be the many issues related to herbicide-resistant & pesticide-producing GMO crops, such as the array of negative impacts on human health, the development of herbicide-resistant weeds, and the mass death of bees & other beneficial insects. And then… Big Ag jeopardises wellbeing & lives globally in many other – hopefully increasingly obvious – ways, such as the severe depletion & erosion of soils, the huge contribution to climate change, and the vast suffering of animals.

Big Ag is, of course, not isolated from any of the other big actors on the global market: Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Food, Big… Everything. They are all interdependent; and profit is being put over wellbeing & lives in any number of ways in all these industries. The ways that happens, in the different branches of Big Business, are all orchestrated by Big Banking & Big Finance.

So who then to blame? For profit being put over wellbeing & lives, systematically. Who is the ultimate culprit? Human greed (concentrated behind the locked Big Business doors and in Wall Street & other stock-exchange centres of the world)? This is commonly said to be the case. As Charles Eisenstein shows us, however, we have to look deeper than that!

We have to look deeper than to who makes the profit and who is being greedy. Despite appearances, the fundamental culprit is no human being, corporation, or industry; it is the system that spins our world: the money system itself. (By the way it is innately obliged to produce perpetual growth.)

We won’t say more about this fact here. It is, after all, the aim of our website on the whole (and Charles Eisenstein’s Sacred Economics) to bring our awareness precisely to this tragic fact – and to initiate & nurture the needed change. Thus, whatever text you read on our site, it will be imbued with implicit & explicit illustrations of the ways the current money system – or, more to the point: the consciousness wherein it is functioning – goes on to systemically put profit over wellbeing & lives. To this day…

THIS scarcity-driven consciousness, embodied by our interest-driven money system, hence, is the ultimate culprit of profit being put over wellbeing & lives, systematically; and consequently of the devastation & crisis people and planet are facing today. To move through the crisis and heal ourselves and the planet, we need to change the money system, along with the consciousness perpetuating it.

2. Introduction to the Money-for-the-Good Project

“Money for the Good” is basically money – used for good causes – that is being used without the investor expecting a positive (monetary) return on their investment. Why is that for the good? Simply because our current interest-driven system, based in the expectations of positive returns as it is, is not for the good (as elaborated on above, by this website at large, and by Charles Eisenstein & many others).

Let’s be clear: Bridges, hospitals, and concert halls were not built by money. They were built by people. Neither were the groceries we carry home from the supermarket produced by money, they too were produced by people. The same goes for our cars, roads, buildings, and entire global infrastructure. None of that was constructed by money, it was all constructed by people – people like you and I. And so was our money system.

This is the GOOD news.

Because… if we could construct a system guilty of profit being put over wellbeing & lives, then we can let go of it too. And construct a new one! And we’ve better start NOW, just BEFORE the current system collapses… And let’s not forget: implicit in the metamorphosis of the old money system into a radically different, new kind of money system, is the metamorphosis of our consciousness; our psychology.

You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one… Here is how Charles Eisenstein, in Sacred Economics, puts words to what you and I can DO – on a very practical level: “Anything you learn to do for yourself or for other people, without paying for it; any utilization of recycled or discarded materials; anything you make instead of buy, give instead of sell; any new skill or new song or new art you teach yourself or another will reduce the dominion of money and grow a gift economy to sustain us through the coming transition. The world of the Gift, echoing primitive gift societies, the web of ecology, and the spiritual teachings of the ages, is nigh upon us. It tugs on our heartstrings and awakens our generosity. Shall we heed its call, before the remainder of earth’s beauty is consumed?”

Will our doing THAT really help create a new money system?! YES, doubtlessly. It will “reduce the dominion of money and grow a gift economy to sustain us through the coming transition”, and in so doing it will most certainly be enticing a new money system into being… Furthermore, it will concur with a metamorphosis of our own consciousness – and THAT is the true root of the change that needs to happen.

In the Transition, then – How to Use MONEY Wisely?

[B]efore the collapse of the current system, anything we do to protect some natural or social resource from conversion into money will both hasten the collapse and mitigate its severity. Any forest you save from development, any road you stop, any cooperative playgroup you establish; anyone you teach to heal themselves, or to build their own house, cook their own food, or make their own clothes; any wealth you create or add to the public domain; anything you render offlimits to the world-devouring Machine will help shorten the Machine’s life span. And when the money system collapses, if you already do not depend on money for some portion of life’s necessities and pleasures, then the collapse of money will pose much less of a harsh transition for you. The same applies on the social level. Any form of natural wealth, whether biodiversity, fertile soil, or clean water, and any community or social institution that is not a vehicle for the conversion of life into money, will sustain and enrich life after [the kind of] money [we know today].

. . .

I am not advocating an age of altruism in which we forgo personal benefit for the common
good. I foresee, rather, a fusion of personal benefit and common good. . . . The decaying currency of the future will align the spirit of the gift with economic self-interest,
and zero-interest loans will no longer feel like a sacrifice. After all, holding on to the money brings a return of less than zero. In the time remaining to us before such a system takes over, it apparently goes against rational self-interest to lend money at no interest, or to give it away. That, however, is a very shortsighted self-interest because while the present money system may easily disintegrate in the next few years, the ties of gratitude that gifts create will persist through any social tumult. If you are someone who is concerned about Peak Oil or one of the other collapse scenarios, the best security you can have is to ensconce yourself in a gift network. Start being a giver now. Ten million dollars might be just so many slips of paper in a few years.

. . .

We can engage in conscious, purposeful money destruction in place of the unconscious destruction of money that happens in a collapsing economy. If you still have money to invest, invest it in enterprises that explicitly seek to build community, protect nature, and preserve the cultural commonwealth. Expect a zero or negative financial return on your investment – that is a good sign that you are not unintentionally converting even more of the world to money.

~ Charles Eisenstein, in Sacred Economics [our bold]

The above quotes give all the background needed to our Money-for-the-Good project, as embodied by The Growing List of “Money-for-the-Good Enterprises” featured further down on this page. They explain the raison d’être of it: to be a BRIDGE between the current world of interest-based money and the coming Age of Reunion – with its envisioned gift economy, integrated with an entirely new kind of money.

Our invitation to you, then, is…

…to tell us towards what envisioned cause & goals you would like to be given money. OR towards what envisioned cause you would like to invest money. On the page entitled “Right Livelihood“, we clothed the same INVITATION in the following words:

If you have MONEY to invest, in the spirit of Right Investment, you are warmly welcome to write a story for the GOD blog telling us in what you would like to invest it. If you have a CALLING to a cause/project, in the spirit of Right Livelihood, for which you need money, you are likewise very welcome to share your thinking about it in the GOD blog. What good cause would you like to see your money be invested in; and, are you giving it as a pure gift or an interest-free loan? What cause or project do you need money to finance; and, do you invite pure gifts only, or interest-free loans too? In either case, please be as specific as you can. So as to maximize your chances of finding the right partner(s).

The invitation remains the same. The news since we wrote the above-quoted paragraph on the Right Livelihood page, is merely that we have decided to give our INVITATION for Right Livelihood to meet Right Investment its own page – HERE. And what this page invites you to is pretty clear by now, isn’t it? If not, then please feel free to ask us for clarification.

The Money-for-the-Good project (as spelled out by this page) does not intend to compete with conventional crowdfunding sites. It intends to stand on its own two feet, in offering a FREE “sacred banking” service specifically aimed at calling forth the new GIFT ECONOMY on Earth. It does so by providing YOU with…

3. The Growing List of “Money-for-the-Good Enterprises”

[A] bank or other investment intermediary is someone who is adept at finding someone else to use it. Banking, in its sacred dimension, says, “I will help you find someone who can use your money beautifully.”

~ Charles Eisenstein, in Sacred Economics

Through the Money-for-the-Good project, we aim to be an investment intermediary such as described in the above quote. We will be acting as a mediator of gifts. (Gifts are defined here as either pure gifts or zero-interest loans, the latter being a gift of the use of money.) If you would like to submit an entry to either of the two sub lists below, just send an e-mail to shanto(at)shanto(dot)org, and we’ll take it from there.

SUB LIST 1: Invitations for Money to be Invested in the Good, the True & the Beautiful (as pure gifts or zero-interest loans):

#1 Maya’s and Shanto’s family, offering this website. (Only pure gifts invited.)

We welcome gifts to help us cover the current gap in our household budget, so that we can keep working towards the vision outlined by this website. Any gift, from € 1 upwards, will earn you a place on our gratitude page, the HEART of our growing GIFT-centred community. Click here to come to our campaign.

#2 Sanan David Reid & the non-profit organization Amistad Sagrada. (Only pure gifts invited.)

We quote from the gratitude page:

Sanan is giving his life to the protection, restoration, and cultivation of the cultural, social, and natural commons among the indigenous mountain communities in the Sacred Valley of Peru. A presentation of his amazing work, including a plead for the funding of it, can be found in this post in the GOD blog. Read the comments to that post, and you will get to listen to Sanan firsthand. Welcome also to follow this link to be put directly in touch with his sacred work, which is organized through Amistad Sagrada. We look greatly forward to be following its unfoldment in more posts for our site.

Since we wrote the above, Sanan has launched a GoFundMe campaign. You can choose to back that campaign, or alternatively let us mediate your gift. (Just send an e-mail to shanto(at)shanto(dot)org, and we will assist you.) The latter option will, of course, earn you a place on our gratitude page. It will also bypass the fees that GoFundMe deducts before your gift reaches Sanan.

SUB LIST 2: Invitations for Money to be Made Good Use Of (through pure gifts or zero-interest loans):

#1 Hopefully, coming soon…