Since the taboo topics of sex and death have been widely discussed in the last 30 years, money is the last taboo that has remained to the Western civilization. The Belgian financier Bernard A. Lietaer breaks that taboo. Unaffected by the blindness of most financial people who take money for granted, he asked about the origin of our monetary system. Money, he stressed, is not a fixed size, but a bargain. It is the collective emotions of a society that shapes the monetary system.
Based on Carl Gustav Jung’s concept of archetypes Lietaer sets the emotional origin of our free money system. Archetypes, understood as an emotional field, mobilizing people in certain directions, are used in Jungian psychology to explain collective human behavior. The suppression of a certain archetype can appear shadowy beings who are bound together by fear.
Lietaer claims it is the archetype of the Great Mother, the symbol of nature, fertility and abundance, which has always played a significant role in the West and was violently suppressed in the last 500 years. As the shadow of this Great Mother Nature immerse the phenomena greed and fear of scarcity. The fear of scarcity creates greed and greed in turn, justifies the fear of scarcity. There is thus a self-fulfilling prophecy.
How strongly the use of monetary systems corresponds with the worship of the Great Mother archetype Lietaer illustrated by the example of ancient Egypt. At the time of worship of the goddess Isis, Egypt was the granary of the ancient world. That changed abruptly when Egypt came under Roman rule, and the Romans introduced their money system. The once rich in Egypt fell to the level of a developing country.
Lietaer book not only provides illuminating insights into the effects of monetary systems. Rather it is an exciting and thrilling journey to the great myths of human history. This unconventional approach, which calls the emotional dimension of money into consciousness allows our financial systems appear in a new light: the sanctity of the money is not untouchable. It is up to us to make a decision and to change the nature of our money.
Do we want to continue with the money system that is focused on greed and short-term profit and promoted the destruction of natural resources on, or do we want sustainable abundance? Lietaer suggests the ancient Taoist concept of yin-yang, the feminine and the masculine, which can serve as a basic pattern of a new dual currency system. He opposes the synergy between a main-Yang-currency and local currency to the monopoly of national currencies.
Money rules the world, as it is popularly said, and the Belgian financier Bernard A. Lietaer shows that it is indeed so: money systems reflects the structures and behaviors of a society resist influence and collective decisions. But monetary systems do not fall from heaven. They are made by humans. Lietaer reveals in a large historic circuit envelope how mental behavior patterns form, mythological ideas and cultural concepts create the emotional basis of monetary systems. His surprising conclusion: It is up to us to design a monetary system that secures our long-term survival and allows us to create value for the future.