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Nov 03 2011
Consensus Democracy - How do the Occupy Wall Street protesters reach decisions in a very diverse group?
We filmed at the Occupy Wall Street protests recently. One of the wonderful things to emerge in these protests has been the Consensus Democracy approach: broad, highly inclusive, community-focused and introspective - everyone has a voice. This form of decision-making is similar to older forms - for example, Quaker Letters - used to find central commonalities among diverse groups.
Consensus Democracy is very powerful. When decisions are reached, you know that the vast majority agree; and that essentially all in the group will accept the result. There is a lot of listening required: deeply understanding the others' points of view and priorities - good skills for us to re-learn now, especially in U.S. politics!
Apr 25 2011
Banks create money by making loans. Author and money expert Thomas Greco uses simple analogies to explain how this process works. He also explains how Direct Credit Clearing offers a simple, legal, and effective means for eliminating the need for bank-derived debt using the 'credit commons' approach.
Greco explains how the debt-based money system (within which we unconsciously operate) creates an inevitable cycle of boom-and-bust, because interest payments on debt, in aggregate, inevitably outstrip the value of goods and services.
The resulting urgency to repay debt creates some of the catastrophes of our time: unsustainable usage of resources, overharvesting trees, mining to much, too fast, building houses too often - all to pay-off not only legitimate costs, but also illegitimate bank fees that do nothing productive in the economy.