Steve Olshevski and Ed Dreby are traveling (virtually right now) to Monthly Meetings to present their traveling ministry on the climate crisis, justice and the growth dilemma. Among the many daunting and dangerous crises facing our nation, the accelerating concentration of wealth, institutional racism, climate disruption, and population growth are of great concert. They’re all inter-related, and perpetuated by a financial system that evolved to support economic growth. The current financial system, and thus our economy, must keep growing to keep going, in spite of all the conflicts that the human enterprise has created with our ecological and societal realities.
Scientists working in several fields have shown that new technologies, along with the deregulation of the financial system that began in the 1980s have had a major role in our nation’s inability to deal with these dangerous crises.
At the root of our financial system is the way our money is created. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about this. And as the financial system has steadily become more complex and abstract, a whole lot of people don’t try to understand it. Economists invested in the current system tend to provide others with confusing explanations, and want to make us think there are no alternatives, but there are.
Most people don’t know that an alternative was first proposed by some of our nation’s leading economists in the 1930s. As one of them wrote, “its purpose was to save capitalism!” And the growing dominance of the financial sector has created renewed interest in their proposal.
We’re convinced that changing the way our money is created as an essential first step. While this will be a huge challenge, we also believe there is a clear path forward if enough of our fellow citizens are able to see it. And if our goal is to increase the possibility that the right people with the right ideas are in the right place at the right time, there’s plenty to do and reason to be hopeful.
We are eager for invitations to visit monthly meetings. Our topics and materials include:
- The role of the financial system in contributing to the crises of wealth concentration, institutional racism, population growth, and climate disruption;
- How state and municipal public banking can help address them;
- “Earth As A Spaceship,” re-inventing capitalism, and real financial reform.
One of us or both together can lead an interactive presentation of 45 minutes, 60 minutes, or 90 minutes. We will plan with our hosts how best to use the available time to explore our views about any of these topics. We’d also welcome an invitation to lead a longer workshop that explores all of these topics as an integrated whole.
Our purpose is to share what we’ve learned about the climate disruption, institutional racism, the concentration of wealth, and systemic growth. With all that’s at stake for our spiritual lives and for advancing Friends testimonies in our world, we hope that you’ll want to learn about these things too.
We also think that Friends Committee on National Legislation may have a unique opportunity to advance the prospects for real financial reform. So it’s really important that by 2022, FCNL has made a seasoned examination of what Friends are led to do about a financial system that must keep growing to keep going. Please let us hear from you! Thank you!
For more information, please read The Climate Crisis, the Monetary System, and Real Financial Reform.