Feudalism and money

Feudalism and money

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Last September 2010 my dear friend and brother Eric Harris-Braun wrote a wonderful post on his blog called “A story about expressive capacity“, which I strongly recommend that anyone interested in the economic shift should read. Thanks Eric for this wonderful post!

Another story we may want to link to the one written by Eric is the 100% isomorphism between feudal power on the land and feudal power on money. The feudalism based on land has moved to feudalism on money. The idea I want to stress here is not much political or sociological, but ontological.

If we place ourselves in the shoes (if they had some) of a serf or peasant of the 9th-15th centuries, land was inseparable from a lord (more precisely the lords-vassals-fiefs order). In the inner subjective reality, land+lord were a unit that the mind was not able to separate. Land had the nature of the lord, the lord had the nature of the land. Dissociating them required a complete leap of mind that challenged the cosmic and social order. And even if the land and the lord were mentally separated, so what? What’s after? The ontological separation is the first step, but then the mind is asked to imagine and build a whole new functional universe that works, that’s the second step — the big one. Only a few visionaries have such capacities, then they have to deal with everyone’s incredulity and inertia.

I guess we face the same challenge today with money. Wealth is undifferentiated from money, the same way land was undifferentiated from a lord. Both pairs wealth-money, land-lord share the same ontological bond. When we say “someone is wealthy”, it means this person has lot’s of money, which indirectly ties this person with the current monetary feudal system. My feeling is most (r)evolutions begin when consciousness starts to decouple some of these pairs.

“Complementary currencies” are the first step people make when they decouple money and wealth. The current monetary order is so pervasive that it doesn’t leave space for the mind to rebuild a whole new order. Consciousness needs a long, long journey before it can create a whole new world that is not “alternative” or “complementary” to the existing one, but a pure creation. Right now we are still in the first step of unbinding wealth and money. Even if we do it in the mental level, the practical aspect is still very very challenging.

Even “free currencies” still keep us attached to the old paradigm of seeing human societies as market places, whereas we now need to seem them as conscious living systems in which subjective reality is as important as objective flows.

That’s why I love the verb “to weal”. “Let me weal you”, or “let’s weal” will mean let’s build, measure, acknowledge, exchange, trade, experience, shine wealth together, without ontological strings tied to a centralized proprietary monopolistic technology.

Sooo, thanks Eric, your post wealed me!

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