Last Revised: Sunday, 2 September 18 11:00:21 Europe/London


In his book, Post-Capitalism - a Guide to Our Future, Paul Mason (former Economics Editor of both Channel 4News and BBC Newsnight) sets out three linked arguments:

  1. That the success of neo-liberalism, in conjunction with the implications of digital technology and the Internet is leading to a possibly terminal crisis for Capitalism as a hegemonic world socio-economic structure.
  2. That the possibility exists that, using the tools of digital technology, a non-market, peer-to-peer socio-economic system can be built - not in opposition to Capitalism, but growing up in the spaces where it is absent or uninterested. Further, he suggests that this new system could perhaps become dominant, not through revolution but through superior relevance and dynamism, as Capitalism overtook Feudalism. He emphasises that this is not a firm prediction, but one possible future.
  3. That the combination the crisis in Capitalism, Climate change, demographic and pensions 'time-bombs', human population and other impending crises make it urgent that some major change is undertaken. He suggests that a move to non-market socio-economics can be a key element of such a change, and proposes that this become an active project for progressives.


While I find commodification disturbing and dangerous, I am equally convinced that, for the moment, the capacity to effectively plan resource allocation at the level of complexity required to maintain approximately contemporary civilisational levels is not available.

Thus the work at the moment is to develop an approach that can offer a 'structure-preserving transformation' that moves us beyond Capitalism and which will set the scene for further such transformations that reduce commodification, decrease the virulence of Capitalism, that work alongside stronger, more life-like social relations.

If this must be market based, then to meet these aims, it must be structurally disadvantageous for capitalism.

On the basis of my experience with LETS schemes, learning about money theory and history, getting to grips with blockchain and cryptoeconomic approaches, I have come to the conclusion that while we are limited to use of a single system of money - the debt-based, monopoly-issue, long-term currency that for everyone in the world defines what money can be - we cannot have markets that do not encourage capitalistic practices.

That bringing into existence a variety of social protocols which provide the important functions - from personal to civilisational - that we currently delegate to the money system is what is required.


In order to undertake this work with any onfidence, deep understanding is required of the complex web of interactions and reified social artefacts that are encompassed by our use of the word 'Money'. 

We need to deconstruct our notions of money and restate them in terms which allow us to connect them to human values and design new approaches with confidence and capacity.

I propose a Pattern Language approach, as this technique allows us to tease apart the recurring aspects of complex systems without being over-reductive or losing our understanding of the overall lattice of interactions that comprise the whole.

I think we need to develop A Pattern Language of Money.


LETSfromaFeaturePhone - discussion and explanation of what LETS (Local Exchange Trading Scheme) is, and an idea about how to implement a whole LETS market to be used by clients with access only to a 2G feature phone.