Mutual Credit and Social Solidarity
Mutual credit is a wonderful framework for inciting exchange, especially in places where shortages of national currencies and unemployment make it difficult to meet one’s needs with traditional money. Mutual credit systems not only make it easier to exchange goods and services between peers, but they also provide opportunities for people to share with others skills that they would not have thought to advertise at all. I may not consider my knack for cooking with exotic mushrooms a very marketable skill, but in a mutual credit exchange I might be pressed to think more deeply about what I’m doing that could be of use to the wider community. In this way, we develop ourselves more deeply as we begin to lean on others more directly.
Even if one’s community is linked into a larger, even global ecosystem, mutual credit facilitates the development of stronger local ties. The decision to participate in a mutual credit exchange can be a great teacher — sometimes developing trust means taking the leap and “acting as if”. After all, if the best way to learn that sometime works is to experience it oneself as an experiment.
Full post forthcoming!