What is a Saving's Revolutionary Meant to Believe?
Revolutions germinate from a core set of powerful higher-level ideas/ideals expressed vividly. So what fires up the savings revolutionary? Shouldn´t we be putting our core beliefs accountably on the table, much as we are expecting people to place their money on banking tables?
No select group should be deciding those core beliefs, but hopefully we can offer a starting point for a discussion within this forum. How about this:
- There´s a conviction that people can regularly achieve goals by saving, in a value-accruing way, rather than necessarily by tying themselves to a costly debt-mast.
- There´s a strong feeling that transactions within a community carry much broader social significance than the pure monetary value assigned to them, and that such social signaling aspects are worth preserving because they help provide a sense of security and comfort to people.
- There´s a notion of community self-reliance and resilience, which can be promoted by recycling funds within it.
- There´s a distrust of centralized institutions, whose interests tend to become dissociated from the people they are meant to serve.
- There´s a fear of technology as an alienating factor, socially (digital divide between the haves and have-nots) as well as personally (level of comfort in use).
Is this what you believe? What key beliefs do you think are missing and which of the above need not be core to a savings revolutionary? Have your say, we are curious to hear from you.
Reader Comments (5)
At the risk of using language familiar only to those of my generation, doesn't the combination of postulating:
~ savings are better than debt as a means to achieving goals;
~ monetary transactions have social significance beyond the merely fiscal;
~ the inherent importance of communities should be reinforced by their capital self-management independent of centralised authority...
all add up to a form of anti-establishmentarinism?
(And by coincidence also neatly represents the core principles of savings & credit cooperatives/credit unions.)
To put it another way, I can't divorce the ideological principles that underpin my enthusiasm for community-based/owned/managed savings & credit mechanisms from a (healthy, in my opinion) distrust of today's version of the laissez-faire market system -- in which the inevitable (Marx & Engels would say) socioeconomic distortions demand the subservience of the majority to the claimed expertise of the banking elite.
A market dynamic emphasising the transfer of wealth to the hands of a few -- "The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world"* -- requires us to be debt-laden, not asset-rich; requires us to be ignorant of the essential simplicity of financial intermediation; requires us to subscribe to the individual/consumption-driven model of 'growth' rather than the humanism of collective/community action.
Of course savings revolutionaries are anti-establishmentarians!
By definition a revolution is intended to challenge, if not replace, a perceived wisdom, an accepted 'natural order', an imbalance of human relations that typically is to the detriment of many and the benefit of a few.
Bring it on!
*Working for the Few, Briefing Paper 178, Oxfam International, January 2014.
Tue, February 11, 2014 | Greg Pirie
Wow Greg! - You nailed it. Now I can just point to your comment and add, "What he said!"
PS: I suspect you saw the latest news from Barclays bank... firing 12,000 people, and at the same time increasing their bonus pool, which last year was $3.9 thousand million. (http://tinyurl.com/kw7d23v) Despite the attractive actors and models in their adverts, their world is not my world.
Tue, February 11, 2014 | Paul Rippey
I'm not sure I agree with the "fear of technology". Little kids in villages in Uganda knew more about my cell phone than I did a few years back. Cell phones are increasingly available to even the poorest "have nots"...
Tue, February 11, 2014 | Helene
To be fair Paul, the £395 million bonus pool just announced by Lloyds Bank -- living on the same strange planet as Barclays -- is to be shared amongst some 91,000 staff -- an average of only £4,500 each.
This, of course, does not include the £1.7 million bonus for the CEO, António Horta-Osório, following the £2.3 million in shares he received late last year (and the offer of a 2% wage increase in union negotiations for the staff left after 35,000 dismissals).
It seems the bonus has been reduced to take into account the gross misselling of payment protection insurance that resulted in both a fine of £28 million and a charge against revenue of £3 billion last year -- making the total cost of this particular malfeasance some £10 billion to date.
Thu, February 13, 2014 | Greg Pirie
Thanks Greg. As I think you are saying, average shmaverage.
Average bonuses of £4,500 reminds me of the old joke about two guys sitting in a bar when Bill Gates walks in. One of them breaks out in a big grin, and the other asks why he's smiling. His friend replies, "Well, it's so wonderful that the average wealth of everyone in the bar just increased so much!"
Fri, February 14, 2014 | Paul Rippey
NB: Originally published February 2014. The questions that Kim and Ignacio ask are still good ones.