Friday, February 20, 2009

The Money Fix

I talk with Alan Rosenblith, director of The Money Fix, about his background, the state of the economy, the evolution of Twitter and the truth about where our money is made.

The Money Fix screens tonight at its WORLD PREMIERE at 4.45pm.
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T: What inspired you to make such a film?

AR: A few years ago, I was pretty heavily involved in the sustainability movement in Santa Fe NM. It suddenly occurred to me that every major problem the folks in my community were trying to address always came back to money. Why do we clear-cut forests? To make money. Why do some corporations exploit workers in developing countries? To make money. Etc. etc. As I realized this, I also realized that neither I nor any one I knew knew anything at all about money: what it is, where it comes from, etc. So I started doing some research, and I discovered that even a lot of so-called experts in economics had no idea. So, clearly there was a need for a documentary about it.

T: What does your company have to do with the message your film conveys?
AR: Since making the film, I have been involved in several efforts to bring community currency into mainstream usage. The film details how communities don't have to be dependent on the dollar in order to prosper, and I became so passionate about that I jumped to the other side of the camera so to speak.

I founded Community Prosper as an Oregon based non-profit whose purpose is to promote the use and development of peer-to-peer based currency (one type of currency design). Recently, I have been working with a Twitter-based start-up that uses Twitter to make payments in micro-currencies called "Twollars." I think this kind of direct audience engagement is how to ensure financial success for social-purpose documentaries in today's Internet-based media climate.

T: Do you have a filmmaking background?
AR: No. I got into filmmaking by accident, and to be honest I think of filmmaking as only one tool in a broader toolkit to promote human evolution. So to the degree filmmaking serves that purpose, I am involved with it. Not to say I don't love films, but my role is first and foremost as an agent for creating cultural mind shifts.

T: What is the biggest misconception people have about money?
AR: There are so many it's hard to list. The first is that dollars come from the government. They don't. They are issued by private banks as debt, so if everyone payed off their debt, there would be no money left.
The second misconception is that money is a THING in the sense that there is only so much of it. Money is actually nothing more than information about who owes who what. And this is a very good thing. Right now, we are experiencing a "credit crunch" which means money is disappearing. But think about it, we are still all here with the same talents and resources. The only thing that is missing is money to enable exchange. The problem is that, as a culture, we make something that is inherently just information (and therefore sufficient) into something scarce. This is in fact the sole function of our financial system. Think about it, if you have to make money to live, you have to compete for it. That is not something inherent, but rather something that is there by design.

T: How did Big Sky get to be the place you premiered your film?
AR:ichard Beer suggested I submit it. Also, I was interested in a less commercially-driven festival since these ideas can really upset people with a large financial stake.

T: Who do you hope to reach with this film? Who is your audience?
AR: I suppose I was aiming this film at what has been termed "Cultural Creatives." The film requires that people have open hearts and minds. I have been really surprised by who has reacted well and who hasn't. Money is one of those things that stirs up a lot of emotions in people, and for some, finding out how the whole monetary system is really nothing more than a poorly designed game, really shakes their foundations...I think a lot of people are much more open to hearing this news now that the economy is in crisis.

T: Any future projects?
AR: I am really passionate about using filmmaking as a catalyst for human evolution (particularly in the domain of money), so I am working on a series of follow-up pieces to THE MONEY FIX that will get into greater depth. The issues around money go VERY deep, and I think there could be several more feature length films worth of material there.

3 comments:

King of the Paupers said...

"Every major problem came back to money."
Jct: To lack of money.

"We make information into something scarce."
Jct: How? Charging interest on new tokens, that's how.

Jct: We need the United Nations Millennium Declaration Resolution C6 to governments for a time-based currency to restructure the global financial architecture. Barter Timebanks are economic lifeboats. Google "anti-poverty system" and get LETS. Google "anti-poverty engineer" and get John The Engineer.

See my channel http://youtube.com/kingofthepaupers with index of topics at http://johnturmel.com/kotp.htm for explanations of how Provincial Governors in Argentina used small denomination state bonds as currency to pay employees which worked marvelously. Too bad state employees in the U.S. don't know how state employees in Argentina got paid when their state government ran out of money. See my article about the Argentinian macho-men governors as compared to Girlie-man Governor Arnold of California.

And Kudos to Alan Rosenblith for spreading the word about community currency economic lifeboats I hope to unite into a world-wide economic life-ship.
John The Banking Systems Engineer

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