Aberystwyth Transitions Reading Group Blog

Regional complementary currencies and mosh pit society



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!

Author: masonk4

Academic, activist, clown, rebel, insurgent...

5 thoughts on “Regional complementary currencies and mosh pit society

  1. No excuse for not understanding complemtary currencies?
    • North PJ (2010) Local Money. Green Books, Dartington
    • North PJ. (2010) Alternative currencies as utopian practice. In: Leonard L and Barry J ed(s). Global Ecological Politics. London, Emerald.
    • North PJ (2010) How fair the Transition Currencies?. Ethical Consumer, Ethical Consumer, Manchester, May/June, pp 36
    • North PJ. (2010) ‘The longevity of alternative economic practices: lessons from alternative currency networks. In: Fuller D, Jonas A and Lee R ed(s). Interrogating Alterity: Alternative spaces of economy, society and politics . London, Ashgate.
    • North PJ (2009) Epitsunk civil tarsadalmat? Zold penz a rendszervaltozas utani ?atmenet? Magyarorszagan? (`Constructing Civil ,Society?: green money in Transition Hungary?). Eszmelet: a quarterly journal of social critique and culture? issue 81 pp 114-135
    • North PJ (2009) Time Banking. Ethical Consumer, Ethical Consumer, Manchester, September/October, pp 39
    • North PJ (2009) Local Money for Local People. Ethical Consumer, Ethical Consumer, Manchester, May/June, pp 26
    • North PJ (2009) Local Exchange Trading Schemes. Ethical Consumer, Ethical Consumer, Manchester, July/August, pp 34
    • North, P (2008) Growth and Climate Change ? do we need new local economic strategies?. Economic Development, Institute of Economic Development, London, May, pp 22-23
    • North PJ (2007) Money and Liberation: The Micropolitics of Alternative Currency Movements. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis
    • North PJ (2007) Alternative currencies as utopian practice. Ecopolitics Online vol 1 issue 1 pp 50-64
    • North PJ (2006) Constructing Civil Society? Green Money in Transition Hungary. Review of International Political Economy vol 13 issue 1 pp 28-52
    • North PJ (2006) Alternative Currency Movements as a Challenge to Globalisation? A case study of Manchester ‘s local currency networks. Ashgate, Aldershot

  2. Mosh pit reading group ethics, bring it on!

  3. Wow, that is a really extensive reading list. I really want that Interrogating Alterity book, but it’s so expensive! Oh the irony.

    I did listen to this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01ngmjr. Gotta love punchy little radio soundbytes that sum up the problem (with money in this case) but still leave you wondering about the solution. How and by whom, and in what kind of geographical area? Indeed, in what kind of social space? (Sorry, remnants of my Space and Society reading group). Maybe I do need to read Pete North on this, apparently understanding money is important (even though it’s still boring and I can’t be convinced otherwise).

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