Tags: Worgl, Wörgl, Bangla-Pesa, demurrage, Gesell
Creating and exchanging promises (credit obligations) builds thriving communities and should be enshrined a basic human right. The story of Wörgl is the first implementation of demurrage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demurrage_(currency) and has been an inspiration for Grassroots Economics and many others. I hope this movie, based on the real story, inspires you as much as it has me and you share the hope you find here with others. Please watch Shillings from Heaven / Wörgl's Miracle
This video was taken from here: Description: Wörgl (Austria), 1932: The world economic crisis is at its peak, radical political movements emerge. In a small Austrian community, the engine driver Michael Unterguggenberger accepts the mayor's office against better knowledge. But how is he supposed to save Wörgl? The power of despair and the support of his wife Rosa form the breeding ground for a daring experiment: Unterguggenberger wants to print his own money without further ado - so-called work confirmation notes. For this he not only has to convince the community of his city, but above all to rebel against the mighty banking.
There are far too many good parts of this movie to mention, but let me try a few:
Money is not a commodity
'Money' as we call national currencies today - isn't a force of nature. It is an attempt to control the natural human right and ability to create credit. This wonderful excerpt, (Section 1. Chapter 4) Read by Matthew Slater, from the book "The End of Finance" by L. Fantacci and Massimo Amato (2013), eloquently captures the problem with 'money as a store of value'.
'Trust' is a force of nature. An agreement isn't something that can be owned and hoarded - it exists between willing parties that agree to it's conditions. Agreements in the form of promises/IOUs or vouchers - redeemable as payment are credit or credit obligations are what we speak of at Grassroots Economics when we focus on Community Inclusion Currencies. Voucher can be reassigned and act as a medium of exchange as is shown in Wörgl's Miracle.
Undermining the Monopoly of the National Bank
Credit is basic human tool we have to work together and trust one another. It is very difficult to make credit obligations (trust) illegal without making airtime credit, bus tickets, and any form of IOU illegal as well. Should any of these instruments become a general medium of excahnge - in any way rivaling a National Currency - historically as in Wörgl the state has attempted to destroy them. This happened early on with Bangla Pesa in Kenya, which would have been silenced the same way if not for an international petition. Mayors and people learning from this movie - don't give up! Wörgl back then was alone. They didn't have good legal defense or the tools of decentralized ledgers and internet that would allows any to group or business to create, endorse and exchange credit obligations. Nor did they have a network world wide of similar attempts at local sustainability.
The massive loss of prosperity that could have endured to today in Wörgl - due to the inhumane treatment of the people by the state - is an atrocity. I hope we can see justice for Michael Unterguggenberger and the people of Wörgl by propagating their ideas to heal the economic trauma of the human race.