Why Money?

If we want to transition to a more just and sustainable society, we then need to be clear about where we are today.1 The majority of the world’s population—in both developed and developing countries—now lives in urban areas. This demographic reality is unlikely to change as people have shown no eagerness to return en masse to rural livelihoods. Local, face-to-face innovations in production and exchange can be important steps, prefiguring the progressive society-wide changes needed. However, they are most appropriate for relatively self-contained areas, and cannot aggregate to the systemic transformation required.

In the contemporary world, provisioning, the creation and distribution of basic goods and services, depends on money.2 Most people live in market economies with moderate- to long-distance supply chains. Under market-driven capitalism, individual livelihoods and public services depend on the success of the market, and money functions both as the medium of exchange and as the driving force behind market participation.

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