Posted January 11, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
“If you have money, do not lend at interest, but give to him from whom you will not receive it back.” – The Gospel of Thomas
With the current economic downturn being experienced around the world, there has been a significant movement created to explore alternatives in economics and monetary systems. Occupy, Arab Spring, and other significant social movements in nations around the Earth have economics and money at the roots of their motivations, greatly increasing debate and discussion on these important issues. One woman who spent decades of study into economics and monetary systems was Margrit Kennedy from Germany, who passed away recently at the age of 72.
Ms. Kennedy was an architect by training who, in the early 1980’s, became concerned upon seeing that worthy ecological projects were not receiving financing because they were not “economical” – in other words, they did not earn profits. It was a profound realization for her, so much so that she decided to leave the field of architecture to devote the remaining years of her life to the study of new and alternative, interest-free monetary systems.
Let me first say that I only first heard of Margrit Kennedy when a fellow blogger wrote a memorial post for her in the past week, including a video memorial from monetary reformist/documentary filmmaker Bill Still. In Buddhism there is a term called Dharma, which relates to right livelihood and the work one is best suited for in this life. With the decision made by Margrit Kennedy to move from architecture to money and interest-free systems, and her devoting of over thirty years to study, lecture, and travel on this universally relevant subject, we can say that she practiced right livelihood.
There are many lectures and interviews of Ms. Kennedy on YouTube in German, however the video here is in English, and gives people a good idea of what she studied and worked on. Her work involved sharing information which is not taught in schools of economics, nor discussed in the media to any real, significant extent. One of her central messages was that people are unaware that the present monetary/financial system is not the only option available for humanity – that other options are there.
Margrit Kennedy was certain to point out that all the great religious leaders of all time were against the charging of interest, and that she was a strong proponent of interest-free money. She was able to see the “big picture” – that in her home country of Germany 90% of the people were paying large amounts of compound interest to the remaining 10%. In some developed countries the figures show an even greater concentration of wealth: 99% paying large amounts to the 1%.
Looking at the history of interest-based money from a philosophical standpoint, one can see how there is a sharp contrast between the current system – “money and power” – and a possible system which could be described as one of “money and love”. This new philosophical viewpoint is gaining much traction around the world as debt becomes an almost unmanageable, overpowering condition for both individuals and countries. One could describe the compound interest systems currently in place as ones which are in effect “anti-love”.
The words from the man named Jesus, “it is better to give than receive”, were never more relevant than here in 2014 where debts owed to so-called “too-big-to-fail/jail” bank corporations have reached record-breaking levels. Finance sectors around the world have grown into the largest sector of economies, manufacturing no goods but making money from money, accomplishing virtually nothing but transferring money from the many to the few.
As the many transfer their wealth in the form of compound interest payments on homes, cars, credit cards, etc., the many are left with less to spend on food, clothing, utility bills, education, energy, entertainment, and on and on… Humanity has seemingly boxed itself tightly into the debt corner, to the point where alternative economics and monetary systems are now studied and discussed in exponentially intense ways. Millions of men and women have come to the point of saying “there must be a better way” of organizing systems of money.
Public banking, reinstituting the Glass-Steagall Act, real deterrents for financial crimes (including real jail time), whistleblower protection for those who report white collar crime, and limits on compensation for bank executives are a few of the many reforms proposed since 2007-8’s economic collapse.
People everywhere have come to varying points of nearness to a spirit of demanding fundamental change which gives most people a monetary system which serves them, instead of them serving the system – which many feel is totally corrupted by greed. Of the 90-99% who have paid dearly to the 1-10%, most are unaware of how the monetary system works, and the .001% who are aware do not want to see any change in the status-quo.
Margrit Kennedy likened compound interest to an “invisible wrecking machine”, practiced by economists taught at schools of economics that this is the only system – that there are no other options – there is nothing to replace it with. She also found that 40% of the prices people pay are built-in for the manufacturers’ interest payments. So, people are having to pay interest on their homes, cars, credit cards, etc., plus 40% of the prices they pay for necessities and desired goods.
Economists go along with a system which has regular booms and busts, reaching periods that experience downturns of world-shaking proportion as here in 2014. They have become drenched in interest-based economics, speaking half-truths and using hazy, vague “economese” which nobody can understand. Men and women such as Ms. Kennedy are never seen on mainstream media. Because the media corporations are held by the .01% at the top of the wealth pyramid – being paid advertising revenue from the largest banks in the world.
Margrit Kennedy tried to make the world a better place. She tried to increase human freedom. Margrit Kennedy fought the good fight.
All who hold the same goals would be wise to remember always Margrit Kennedy, and work to carry out her vision.
(Thanks to Dimitrid @ YouTube)