I belong to a Community Exchange System (CES) or LETS, which uses a public owned barter/payment system that cannot inflate or lose value. The world at large uses the current FIAT money system controlled and inflated by banks. Given these two definitions (LETS and FIAT) the following:
One of the difficulties with trying to replace FIAT money is that so many services and necessities still require FIAT money. One strategy to facilitate the move towards non-fiat-money it would be required that a CES or LETS society grow their own food, educate their children, mine their own resources etc. This is not always possible.
Another strategy is that the LETS could interact with a global economy; they should have some things of value to export to the money economy, be those crops, minerals or such. The trading to FIAT money markets should then strive to balance the import and export trade to keep a zero balance of FIAT currency, i.e. no paper money is kept. This will prevent any loss through inflation since the LETS community has only products that are valued for their real worth.
On a personal level, this is something any individual could do. First try to replace all FIAT transactions with LETS. If you have FIAT money, buy land or technology that gives you the ability to produce something of value to the FIAT money world. Whenever you have an excess of FIAT money, invest it in things with intrinsic value again.
Inside the LETS, we need to set up things like shops, import and export (to FIAT) etc. to serve the LETS customers. These shops could sell to FIAT customers as well, allowing us to buy stock etc. in FIAT currency.
If we do this as a community we will be more successful than if we try to do this on our own. Anyone aware of such projects?
The problems we do tend to run up against is lack of support for alternative systems. Societies are kind of addicted to the concept of financial wealth... even though the system is geared to ensure that the majority within society never attain sufficient wealth to release them from debt. We are told that wealth is acquired by hard work but the people who promote this idea are the people who inherit their capital and expand it by investment rather than actually working for it. There are those who acquire wealth by hard work but the sacrifices (family life etc.) never justify it.
It will be a mammoth task to really ingrain the understanding that as much as you need is all the wealth anyone can possibly attain. Excessively wealthy people measure their wealth by the amount they have beyond their needs. This is purposeless wealth. If Bill Gates gave up business and dedicated the rest of his life to spending the money he has, he would never be able to get through it all no matter how extravegant he was... yet it still isn't enough! This is the mindset we are up against. People are hoping for their 'Big Break': to make in business, to come up with the next Big Idea, to be a rock star, to win the lottery. The majority of people are disatisfied because they feel they are failures if they don't have more than they need.
Since first posting this discussion, it has become clear that there are a number of realistic and workable alternatives to the present system. But the system we have is like a merry-go-round that is spinning too fast. Those that want to get off feel that they can't or are afraid to try.
Does anyone have any ideas about re-educating society? We need a critical mass to be determined to depart the debt-based system in order to get alternatives in place. The current system is reinforced by TV, movies, advertising, politics and even law. What we're up against reminds me of the Peter Sellers film: The Mouse That Roared in which a small independent country invades America with bows and arrows.
Don't give up. There is a long list of writers who deeply understand this, to list a few, in no particular order, David Korten, Ellen Brown, Charles Eisenstein, James Gustave Speth, Thomas Greco, Michael Hudson, Mike Nickerson, Chris Martenson, Nicole Foss, etc.
To understand and appreciate why money and wealth is illusionary we must look at the difference between communal or societal wealth and individual wealth.
Communal wealth is like a pool of accumulated surplus. We all contribute to this pool by working and being productive.
Individual wealth is when we each put a claim to a portion of this communal wealth - some claims are larger than others.
In reality, the total sum of all claims far outstrip the total value of communal wealth, i.e. our paper claims (money) are practically worthless.
Money is created as loans provided by banks, which is then used to pay the interest on loans. Thus lending institutions in essence create their own money which then becomes their claim to the communal pool. The bottom line is all money is a claim on the productivity of future working people... no more than a form of modern indentured labor or slavery.
The solution is to separate the function of money as a means of exchange from that of money as a store of value and a means of earning interest and profit.
Money, like laws and guns, is a fabrication of society as an instrument for societal organization. He who controls the money, laws and guns controls the working people.