the friend online
09 January 2009


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New money for new times
Don’t expect the guardians of free market capitalism to give up easily
  • All around us are the consequences of a system that regularly dumps and runs, yet we can expect its philosophy to be defended to the death
  • Last week the Friend looked at alternatives to this system, ideas that have never truly been given a chance on a bigger scale, merely because they do not give rampant aspiration the leg room it needs

  • In looking at the cimarrón, one of about ten local alternative currencies in Venezuela, the financial weekly The Economist lightly scorned this local initiative
  • It is tiny, of course, and part of a drive by the left-wing president – an unpopular figure in much of the west – to introduce a new kind of socialism in his country
  • Not ‘New Labour’ exactly, but an attempt to allow business transactions outside the legal currency
  • In the case of the alternative ‘cimarrón’, consumers become ‘prosumers’ who must take produce to sell at market before they can buy anything with the currency
  • Unlike the Lewes and Totnes pounds on which we reported last week, the cimarrón cannot be exchanged for the legal currency
  • That’s a black mark against it

  • Judy Kirby and Clare-Marie White

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