1. From monopoly to monetary diversity

1.4. Sustainability of monetary diversity

1.4.4. A shift in values

In order for the change associated with the transformation movement to be genuine and sustainable over time, the introduction of complementary currencies would need to go hand in hand with a shift in values. Values, as precursors of beliefs, attitudes and therefore conduct, ensure the continuity of human actions almost independently of their environment.

To achieve such a shift, our patriarchal societies would need to become matriarchal. Patriarchal societies (associated with the monetary monopoly) provide the perfect conditions for industrial revolution, yet they promote cycles of expansion and crisis, concentration of wealth and the destruction of community. Matriarchal societies (associated with the monetary ecosystem of the transformation movement), on the other hand, are patriarchal with respect to long-term affairs, but use different types of currency for local exchanges. At the same time, they promote a centuries-long stability, building and supporting communities and generating well-being for their peoples.

The Taoist concept of yin and yang can be applied to make the following comparison between the legal tender money we are accustomed to and the new approach of the transformation movement: from the pursuit of certainty to tolerance of uncertainty; from central authority to mutual trust; from belief in hierarchies to belief in inequality; from competition to cooperation; from analytical reasoning to intuition and empathy; from logical, linear thought to emotional, non-linear thought; from cause and effect to synchronicity; from reductionism (the parts explain the whole) to holism (the whole explains the parts); from ‘big is beautiful’ to ‘small is beautiful’; from the predominance of technology to the predominance of emotional intelligence; from physical and financial capital (yang economy or efficiency) to natural and social capital (yin economy and resilience); and from business transactions to community exchanges.

If conventional currencies promote values of self-promotion and -preservation, such as central authority, hierarchies, competence, cause and effect, reductionism and technology, the opposing values instilled by complementary currencies are characteristic of openness to change and self-transcendence, including mutual trust, equality, cooperation, synchronicity, holism and emotional intelligence.