A green approach to a new economic paradigm

The world of banking and monetary systems can seem too much to grasp as but John Kenneth Galbraith points out:

“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise or to evade truth, not to reveal it”

The concept of money: the tragedy and the hope

When you open your mind to the question it is actually quite simple. Small groups millennia ago usurped the concept of “money” – which was a token of exchange value – by sophistry and deception. They deceived people into believing it was a commodity (along with land and labour) See intro to Polany – What is Money?

The Lakota N American indigenous  people have a saying:

“Money is only made possible by those that produce”

Our Banking System – A Ponzi scheme

On inspection we see that the global economy today is an arcane and glorified Ponzi scheme based on the exponential growth of fiat debt. The core problem mathematically is usury or interest charges.

Modern debt money is typed into existence out of nothing by private banks and as the interest on the principle is not existing in the societal “money pool” more debt has to be created to enable repayment.

When the Amsterdam bank institutionalised this con trick in 1600’s, by handwritten ledger entries, it led to rapid expansion of the European economy – the exploitation of South and North America and indirectly the Industrial Revolution. The core problem politically is that the world it creates is in the image and for the benefit of the unaccountable private families that control the banking system.

The current debt based money system is based on exploitation of people and planet and it is inherently exponential.  It therefore necessitates an insatiable and rapacious consumption of the natural systems that sustain us.

“The greatest short coming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”

A.A. Bartlett, physicist.

The synonym for usury is slavery

It also forces us to carry a quite unnecessary burden of interest charges on absolutely everything – government finances, education, housing, food, hospitals, technology, consumer products, clothing, recreation etc. We pay bank owners a % on every monetary transaction we make throughout our entire lives. Only the bankers and their owners benefit.

The Green Party’s Money policy

The Green Party has now taken an enormous step forward by inviting us all to step outside the entrenched dystopian (for the majority) political and economic status quo. Now we have the opportunity to change the notion and structure of what we call money.

The Party is urging us to work for an equitable, honest and sustainable social system that can transcend the existing corrupt economic paradigm. This new social system will move beyond the bankers measures of progress – based on GDP – which in the words of Robert Kennedy:

“measures everything, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

The banking / debt crisis

Economic thinking should have been shaken up in 2008 with the financial collapse but instead governments propped up the whole corrupt edifice. Since then, the US Green Party has led the way in adopting radical monetary policies. The UK Green Party followed in 2013 voting for similar radical new monetary policies.

These policies are the work of many money reformers over the years including American Monetary Institute and our own James Robinson, founder of the New Economics Foundation.

In short, the Green Party will take the power to create money from private banks, passing that power to public hands. It will radically diminish the negative effect of interest charges on our society. The national currency will be issued largely free of debt or interest by the state, at a national and local level. These policies will arm the British people with the greatest opportunity to create an enriching, equitable and sustainable future for us and our children.

”The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but also the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity”

Abraham Lincoln

Real Money

Real money, created by and for the people, will be directed to environmentally and socially beneficial areas such as: a radically revamped education system shaped by Finnish ideas , renewable energy, social housing, agriculture, horticulture, a massively expanded market gardening system reflecting the ideas coming from the UN, Russia  and other sources.

That means taking back the power to feed and sustain ourselves – local food production, owned by locals, to feed local people healthy chemical free food – local production of energy, there is no problem as the technologies / sustainable practices are known – and shelter, new and refurb, using local materials, energy conservation design and local skills as appropriate to gain local control for durability and beautiful socially enriching environments.

A local & national banking system will provide loans / investment for public capital projects, affordable mortgages, loans / funding / micro-credit for students, for benign market activity and massive support for community and small businesses, and provided wider ownership is thereby furthered, for private capital investment – creative, enriching, sustainable investment –  benefiting all society.

Now we have a political party with an “economic approach” which can regenerate our Earth by nurturing a biosphere that is safe and healthy for us all to live, create, play and learn in harmony rather than destructive competition and conflict.

I hope the reader will be inspired study more. Without a broad societal understanding of the money system there can be no hope of meaningful change.

We live in very dangerous times. The MONEY POWER and the system it controls is the material mechanism at the root of our problems.

“An immense power & despotic economic dictatorship is concentrated

in the hands of a few – no one can breathe against their will”

Pope Pius xi (1931)

He was right about the dictatorship but was he wrong in his defeatism?  I’ll remind you of the words of Steve Biko:

“The greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

Of course that raises the question as to how we perceive oppression – are we relatively “comfortable” Europeans actually free?

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free” 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We can be truly free. We can open the door onto a wonderful new chapter in the evolution of our species if we control our money system and make the system transparent for all to see.

Money is the key to changing our world, we are the lock

John Yates

Custodian of meadow and woodlands in Exeter City, Fields of Dreams.

[Please note that the 2015 Green Party manifesto presents some of the above as policies for Green MP’s to campaign for if elected to Parliament. The full power of the Party’s conference policies can only be achieved by mass involvement in demanding that the obsolete banking system be replaced by an accountable national treasury controlling money for the good of all

Finding out more:

For several years I screened Money as Debt – a basic introduction to usury and money. Many found it transformed people’s understanding of money. I found Steven Zarlenga’s book  “Lost Science of Money” influential in grasping the historical context.

An introduction to: Just click away  ……

* recommended articles, reviews, page pamphlets,

* web sites,


Google reveals many films and video shorts.

Above all you have to inquire yourself to make the change.

What does permaculture have to do with politics?

Maddy Harland & the Permaculture Team brilliantly and courageously address this challenging and extremely pertinent question in the 2016 Autumn editorial.

The editorial exposed the mainstream media’s Orwellian role in shaping distorted world views and spinning political / cultural submission to mammon. Maddy asked us to “stand back from our current economic and political system and seek true democracy” or  face destruction.

If we can rise to the challenge and make time to reflect on what “lies in plain sight” – both the blatant dishonesty of our rulers and the reality of their rapacious, bankrupt, corrupt,  destructive status quo – then, and only then, the amazing potential for a just, enriching, ecological respectful “permaculture world” is there to be released.

Because permaculture guides us to work with rather than against nature, it is critical that we know intimately how nature works. We are part of nature and nature can involve conflict and domination of one species over another.

With the internet our species has, at last, the tools to see how authority works primarily in its own interest. For the first time  ever 99% of citizens have a means to communicate across tribal boundaries outside of the control of the ruling systems.

The culture of open source sharing is growing fast. Knowledge is power but one has to open ones mind to challenging information – and take the time to check it out.

Knowledge of self sufficiency in providing food, power, shelter (free of corporate control) and most importantly, insight into the framework of our dystopian political structure –  is readily available to us.

Taking the framework of permaculture as a guide – especially in spotting patterns, it should be plain to see that control of the money system and usury, (the abuse of  “lending” tokens of exchange value – money – at interest)  is central to the enslavement of our species.

The basic mechanism of money was ours. Second to language it was trust in exchangeable tokens representing human productive value that was the catalyst for the rapid evolution of our species allowing division of labour and synergistic trade. This “pollination” and fertilisation mechanism was usurped by despotic power and cultivated through specious trickery turning money into a commodity – and then creating it out of thin air as debt with interest charges.

In permaculture earth based growing systems we look for patterns, relationships, identifying dominant species for given conditions, soil, water, climate – we look for synergistic co-operation and marvel at the beauty and utility (for humans) of nurtured  nature.

As bees are vital in the cross pollination and fertilisation of our crops so money (as a token of real exchangeable value) is vital to the cross pollination of knowledge and the fertility / productivity of society. Presently it is controlled by corrupt unaccountable authority.

A new future, locally controlled and participatory society, (“true democracy”) shaped by Bill Mollison’s principle of care for the soil, care for the people, share the surplus, is very “growable” once we control our money.

Who is “we”? The pattern of patriarchy tells of “leaders” and followers (mostly led up the garden path).  Surely authority must be granted only if based on competence, transparency of actions, honesty and accountability? In the same way agriculture / horticulture / livestock rearing et al need a root and branch transformation so does our political system.

Humans and nature are part of an inseparable whole. By connecting deeply to our place in the natural world, we remember our ultimate belonging and awaken our vision and unique genius.

So called “representative democracy” can only be effective if a much larger percentage of the citizenry take direct responsibility.

We have to design and cultivate our own system based on our permaculture values, where a significant number of citizens are dedicated to a form of social responsibility that is both above and inclusive of self interest.

As Maddy writes (Ed. PM91)  “We are called to be radical” .

And so back to the money system the key to another world that most readers of the Permaculture Mag feel they are digging for. Why can we not operate our own “fair shares” money system?

US and UK Greens have adopted a radical approach to managing our money system. It requires you the reader to take time to investigate, check and become familiar with the subject. We are creatures of habit and the multiple crisis we face require us to break habits, perhaps of a lifetime, to investigate the core mechanism which is both the tragedy of our current world and the hope for a brighter future.


“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise or to evade truth, not to reveal it”

John Kenneth Galbraith

But when you open your mind to the question of the money system it is actually quite simple. As Frank Zappa said “the mind is like a parachute – it only works when you open it”

A step by step guide to understanding the money system is here.


There are links to videos, books, short essays – to many sources of info  to grasp the issue of money it is crucial that you yourself investigate as you do in planning your garden, woods, allotment etc.

”The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of Government, but also the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity”

Abraham Lincoln

“We can live easily on the Earth – The solutions are embarrassingly simple”

Bill Mollison  1928 – 2016

Yours in peace   …..  John Yates

[Custodian of Goffin Land Exeter]

Jim Radford, D-Day veteran sings the Motorhead song “1916”

This is (what we think) is a stunning rendition of and anti war song:

Jim Radford: "1916"

Posted by Veterans For Peace UK on Sunday, November 20, 2016

Goffin are proud to have Veterans for Peace UK with us in February. Click here for more info »

Inspired by pioneering organisations…

Below is what I wrote when my dream came to meet me and I bought Goffin Land.

The links below are to pioneering organisations / communities which generally resonate with me. I trust readers will find some common ground with these ideas which are spreading widely in the 21st Century.

My hope is to follow the lead given by these organisations in a practical but small way, whilst respecting neighbours and the local community.

The overall ambition is to create the foundations for an ongoing project exploring creative and enriching non mainstream ways of “being” with each other and our natural environment.

The journey for me is to explore an analytical conscious application of our cognitive potential in light of our knowledge of the unique individual – the individual that is moulded by the dominant authority, media, education, group culture etc.

John Yates …. July 2013

Camp Kernow, near Truro, Cornwall, is an innovative off-grid environmental adventure centre dedicated to reconnecting and engaging children with the natural environment and inspiring them to live more sustainably.

Tamera in Southern Portugal is an international training and experimental site for the development of peace research villages and healing biotopes worldwide. “Those who don`t want war need a vision for peace”.

Embercombe is a charity and social enterprise established to champion a way of living that celebrates the opportunities inherent in this challenging time and that inspires people to contribute energetically towards the emergence of a socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling human presence on earth.

The Centre for Alternative Technology, CAT, is an education and visitor centre which demonstrates practical solutions for sustainability. It covers all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.