Most people view money as a neutral store of value. They are wrong. There are flavours of money – inherent emergent value systems that are built into the design of the currency. Here we have Bernard Lietaer talking about the design of our current financial system in terms of Yin and Yang.
Lietaer is no light-weight. His CV includes a phD at MIT, and a stint at the Central Bank in Belgium (National Bank of Belgium), where he implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system. During that period, he also served as President of Belgium’s Electronic Payment System. Business Week named him “the world’s top currency trader” in 1992. You can check his bio on WikiPedia or here.
Flavours of Money
It is our view that money and votes are just two examples of token exchange games, from a palette of an infinitely more diverse range of similar games. The design of these games, profoundly influences the behaviour of players – games can be individualistic or cooperative, thoughtful or aggressive. Democratic votes, differ from hard currency in only a few minor technical aspects, a fact that you can discover for yourself if you try and code computer systems for online voting or currency transactions – yet we treat them very differently. Liquid Democracy allows votes to flow more freely through the network, and can itself be broken down into different categories of votes or recommendations – reflecting different value systems. Ricardian Contracts can be used to assign entirely new forms of value to conventional currency systems.
This is not complex stuff, this is not 3D computer graphics, or rocket science – just simple game design. There are many different flavours of money, and we do not have to be stuck with the one we’ve got.