I still struggle to get my head around anything to do with economics but I guess it’s not meant to be easy, given the state of so many economies… I remain fascinated with the geography of complementary currencies, why – according to the article by Magrit Kennedy – they are best suited to a regional scale, and why they neccesarily encourage a more engaged relationality than currencies issued on wider scales. The demarcation of a region is also fascinating, since complementary currencies apparently work better in diverse economic regions (accepted). But how does the complementary currency region relate to current political regions, cultural regions and regional concepts from other schools of thought, e.g. bioregions? We also discussed the ‘complementarity’ aspect of a regional currency: These are not alternatives to capitalism, but rather geographic brakes on globalisation, it seems? The realtional social work done by some variants of complementary currencies also seemed a bit ‘big society’, fostering a voluntarism that let the state of the hook and yet was post political. What would give a regional complementary currency the critical mass to sustain?
Dunthorne’s radio piece on mosh pit society was also in a sense about quasi autonmous spaces – and the different social mores that could flourish therein. I’m very interested by the ethic of mutual care that persisits – indeed seems to flourishes – in rougher, franker, less governed spaces. There are barriers to bringing mosh pit society out of the mosh pit into everyday life – awkwardness, shyness, fear, mean-spiritedness… The parallel with complementary currency is interesting – between giving someone a shove on the street out of the mosh pit and offering someone a regional currency outside the region: These are spaces with borders. The mosh pit is a very alive place, a place of adrenalin and endorphines. This aliveness is a product of knowing a little more fear, showing a little more courage and – most of all – daring to trust ‘strangers’ (as a community more than as individuals?) Social friction takes practice – not only to speak up but also to take criticism without taking offence. We suggested a reading group meeting driven by the mosh pit ethic – I think it’s a great idea!