James Robertson & John M Bunzel “Monetary Reform Making It Happen”

ISBN 0 9546727 0 4. Published in 2003 by the International Policy Organisation. Just 80 pages long including Further Reading and Resources this barely qualifies as a pamphlet and is a very quick read. You can easily download articles from the web for free, on the desperate need for monetary reform, that are longer than James Robertson’s two chapters. James is a Stalwart of the New Economics Foundation and prolific writer on Monetary Reform. He sleepwalks through this but I did like the section of criticisms and answers on reform. The criticisms are so good and his answers so weak as to mostly undermine his own case. He includes many actual replies from British MP’s to reveal their ignorance but also the good point that unilateral Monetary Reform in the UK will lead to Capital Flight and Financial Collapse. His answer often is this: “it isn’t going to be that bad – it might be but we need more research”. It sounds like we need international implementation throughout the system – which is where the BIG idea comes in… This book promotes the views of the second author and his “Simultaneous Policy” (“SP”) BIG Idea. This idea is such a mediocre truism that I kept thinking I had missed the point. Bunzl created the “International Simultaneous Policy Organisation” after a lifetime in, errr, buying & selling stuff…. He wrote his “Insider’s Guide to Saving Humanity and the Planet” which you can buy from him – at a cost of only £12.50 ($20.00). Hmmm. It all sounds like one of those American self help gurus selling the bleeding obvious to desperate stupid people in infomercials. His BIG idea is that many of the solutions to the problems identified by the Global Justice Movement cannot be implemented by single Governments. They would need international cooperation and simultaneous implementation across multiple countries – if not all. Well, d’uh. So, if you pledge your allegiance to “SP” then you are voting for any political party who agrees with this form of multi-lateralism. The Politicos who agree to ‘SP’ don’t actually have to agree to do anything. This is because ‘SP’ has no agenda. I find this incredible. It is so far removed from actually doing anything as to be the most ineffectual thing you can do. Yes, we would all vote for parties who aspire to “global justice” and cooperation. All Parties will sign up to that for your vote because it means they will never have to actually do anything. Since all the power rests with the WTO, World Bank, IMF and the Washington Consensus there is no power in voting since democracy is irrelevant. These institutions need undermining by relocalisation and the restoration of democracy. They draw their power from our faith in them. Ignore them and they will go away. All over the world people are finding alternatives to the failings of Globalisation. Monetary Reform is one of them. Vague concepts of international cooperation without a Global Justice Agenda is meaningless. The American Missile Defence System requires international cooperation but I am not voting for it. So my message for Bunzl is this: get an agenda, THEN sell multilateralism as a way of implementing it. Otherwise it is the same old agenda: business as usual until system collapse. Then we will have loads of time to reform the money system with our economy in ruins. Nice idea. Shame about the substance.

About post-carbon-man

A passionate advocate of a peaceful transition to a sustainable political-economy, Mark hails from a working class farming background. Today he is a Company Director and Chairman of the Low Carbon Chilterns Co-operative. Whilst at University (Engineering Masters) he was active in Conservative Student politics but has had no affiliation since. He has travelled widely on business covering the USA, Europe, Middle East and Central Asian Republics. In 2007 Mark founded Post-Carbon-Living and a year later co-founded Transition Town High Wycombe. He lives with is wife & daughter in a home they retrofitted to be carbon-neutral. Today he blogs about surviving politics on a shrinking planet and is passionate in his rejection of Nationalism.

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