At the 2012 DC Social Forum, we came to a consensus: Public Banks, Time Banks and small groups build Cooperative Society.
The joint presentations at the DC Social Forum, which was held in the DC Friend’s Meeting House, a wonderful historical building, were fascinating. And disturbing.
Fascinating because they all centered around the need to move from our consumerist and big box model of capitalism toward one which includes all of the people in the governance process.
Disturbing because everyone also agreed on the need for us to have a societal culture of cooperation and egalitarianism, or a willingness to cooperate to create and use a level playing field for all people. Then everyone agreed that getting there from here would take a very long time.
One of the tools mentioned included Public Banks, such as the one in North Dakota, and currently being considered by the Mayor in DC, apparently. This is something to look into for the immediate future as a completely doable step which has in fact already been implemented in many places, according to the presenter.
Another tool is Time Banking and the creation and use of various complementary or community currencies, such as Ithaca Hours, or Anacostia Hours here in DC alongside the local time bank, DC Time Bank.org. Time Banks in particular create and build trust and cooperation in an egalitarian mode within the community.
A further tool was the use of non-hierarchical methods and clarity on the point that groups must be set up with no more than 150 members in order to avoid creation of hierarchy, with lessons being drawn from the Cuban revoluntion of 1959 by a Hungarian professor presenting.
A final vision was one in which society is entirely cooperative, resulting in the contributions of all members being valued. Cultural change toward a valuing of equal participation, voice, and cooperation was espoused, along with the understanding that this does not happen overnight. With consistent work and faith in our evolving ability to cooperate, we continue forward.
Peace, through Community Cooperation,
Gregorian Date: Thursday, 12 April 2012
MEOW Date : Thursday, 12 April, 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era, aka Human Era)