“Alternative Money and Financial Institutions of the Commons: a first laboratory of discussion”

Milano, june 21-22, 2014, Macao.

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At 7 years after the worst economic crisis of financial capitalism over the last 50 years, despite the setbacks, the financial markets seem to live a new phase of expansion. The year 2013 has seen an average growth rate of the stock indices worldwide in excess of 20% , reaching pre-crisis levels. There are several factors that have contributed to it .

First, it should be considered the adoption of quantitative easing policies adopted by the Central Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal Reserve, in turn fuelled by the policies of controlled devaluation and the related currency instability began in Japan in late 2012 . It’s a proof, if any were needed, of how monetary policy choices and governance of the legal currency are increasingly subordinated to financing agreements inspired by the financial markets . A policy of “addiction” that has allowed a minimum of regulatory processes ( Dodd- Frank Act in the U.S., Europe Basel 3, to eliminate excessive speculation and ensure greater stability to the banks’ balance sheets) .

These measures of governance, after the speculative activity of 2011 and 2012 on European sovereign debt, are the basis of the growing dynamic of many hedge funds related to the process of “destruction” of non-performing loans (and largely non- collectable) caused by the effects of the adoption of policies of austerity in Europe.

This has created a discretionary policy intervention that, if it were not for the risk of instability related to the ongoing currency war, has brought greater stability as a function of the consolidation of financial power on bio-economic dynamics .The exit from the crisis lies ahead as the insignia of the same power structure that had been the cause.

Starting from these premises, it is necessary that the movements and the forces of opposition to social inequality and to mainstream economic thinking start to discuss the creation of monetary and financial instruments, able to imagine an alternative financial circuit.

Already today, we witness different attempts  to create a process of “exodus ” and “subtraction” to the financial  power statement. The case BitCoin is certainly the most striking example. Even with all the ambiguities of the case and the risk of subsumption to the same speculation activity, the BitCoin has contributed in terms of the imaginary to highlight that a “different” currency is possible.

In recent meetings (the seminar “Algorithms and capital” of 20 January at Goldsmiths College , the workshop of the research project “D- Cent ” March 14 , also in London , the two-day ‘ workshop on the currency’ organized by the Institute for Network Cultures in Amsterdam , 21 and March 22, 2014) has repeatedly talked about the establishment of the ” Currency of the Commonwealth .” And it is from here that we want to start.

Money is now pure sign. This gives us an opportunity since it escapes direct control of disciplinary institutional governance. Nevertheless , it cannot break away completely from the engine of wealth, (labour), conceived not so much as paid labour or not, certified by the power relations within the labor market, but as an expression of social cooperation and the General Intellect , the “commonwealth” .

And  starting from the statement that  money, whatever its form, is always a manifestation of a social relationship/power,  we intend to organize an international conference in Milan on 21 and 22 June, entitled “”Alternative Money and Financial Institutions of the Commons: a first laboratory of discussion”

Three in particular are the issues that we intend to address and on which we launch this call , to be distributed over three sessions

1. Discussion on the currency of the commonwealth and the establishment of a ” financial institution of the commonwealth”

Initial communications :

Christian Marazzi : “The political reasons for a money of the commonwealth”

Charles Vercellone : “The economic reasons for a money of the commonwealth: welfare and basic income”

Andrea Fumagalli ” Bring the attack on the heart of the financial markets : the financial reasons for a money of the commonwealth “

2 . Discussion on feasibility : a. legal and economic – financial , b . technical and algorithmic ; c . socio- communicative -political .

Communications, Massimo Amato, Emanuele Braga, Marco Giustini , Giorgio Griziotti , Jaromil , Stefano Lucarelli, Marco Sachy, Tiziana Terranova , Diego Weisz

3 . Preference for local and complementary currencies existing and other forms of experimentation or theoretical approach .

Communications: Emanuele Braga, Stefano Lucarelli, Marco Sachy, Diego Weisz and others to be invited.

The venue of the conference is Macao, Milano.


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