Deeper Inquiry #2 Grassroots Economics A Deeper Inquiry

Some Framing…
“How about this: Why don’t we stop treating it as entirely normal that the more obviously one’s work benefits others, the less one is likely to be paid for it; or insisting that financial markets are the best way to direct long-term investment even as they are propelling us to destroy most life on Earth?

Why not instead, once the current emergency is declared over, actually remember what we’ve learned: that if “the economy” means anything, it is the way we provide each other with what we need to be alive (in every sense of the term), that what we call “the market” is largely just a way of tabulating the aggregate desires of rich people, most of whom are at least slightly pathological, and the most powerful of whom were already completing the designs for the bunkers they plan to escape to if we continue to be foolish enough to believe their minions’ lectures that we were all, collectively, too lacking in basic common sense do anything about oncoming catastrophes.

This time around, can we please just ignore them?

Most of the work we’re currently doing is dream-work. It exists only for its own sake, or to make rich people feel good about themselves, or to make poor people feel bad about themselves. And if we simply stopped, it might be possible to make ourselves a much more reasonable set of promises: for instance, to create an “economy” that lets us actually take care of the people who are taking care of us.” – David Graeber

Key Questions

  • How can a deeper understanding of the rot in current economic systems and viable alternatives aid radical reformist grassroots movements?
  • What are the obstacles to integrating economic narratives and grassroots system change activism?
  • How can a more mature grasp of economics aid social movements in their messaging i.e. housing or environmental movements

Della Duncan is a Renegade Economist based in the San Francisco Bay Area and host/producer of the Upstream Podcast. She is an Atlantic Fellow of Social and Economic Equity at the International Inequalities Institute at LSE, a Right Livelihood Coach, former student and Faculty member of the MA Economics for Transition program at Schumacher College, and an Alternative Economics Teacher and Consultant.

Brett Scott is an author, journalist and financial hacker exploring the intersections between money systems, finance and digital technology. In 2013 he published The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money. It was a guide to the world of high finance and the emergent forms of alternative finance, alternative currencies and economic activism that are challenging it. He has a new book coming out about the war on cash, and the meeting of Big Tech and Big Finance. He also publishes the Altered States of Monetary Consciousness newsletter. He is @suitpossum on Twitter.

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