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Interview with Prof. Dr. Franz Hörmann - 8. April 2011 (Repository)

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Dr. Franz Hoermann, Professor at the institute of corporate accounting. University of economics in Vienna (Austria). Author of the book "The End of Money" After the film presentation of "ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD" Vienna, "Burg" Cinema, April 8th 2011 Well, this movie "ZEITGEIST: MOVING FORWARD" might appear a bit utopian to the average viewer Especially the final scenes in which people just drop their money in front of the FED [central bank] expressing, that they do not need it anymore. But when you understand the deeper correlations of today's monetary system, you realize that even nowadays people, don't need money anymore. What we consider to be money and still associate with substance, with matter something of value, that we pass around in a form of exchange of course doesn't actually exist. It is pure information, it is a number and as such it does not require a medium. That means no paper. It can exist just as a kind of record within a computer system, which it already does and where it is generated. And that is, once you have understood it, the problem of our current financial crisis: Money is generated through an accounting record of the private banks. Private banks have the monopoly on money creation. Not the central banks, not democracy and the manner how they create money through the increase in total assets which is at the same moment debt, interest-bearing debt this is the root of the todays problems that everyone has debts which are exploding, exponentially exploding and that are not reimbursable. - You have come up with an assertion, a rather brave one I would say, the end of money in your book of the same title that this year, in the year 2011 the end of money will come. Why? - Yes. The term 'The End of Money' has different meanings. On one hand, money as we understand it today is nothing but a game rule. The rule says, that individuals, groups of people institutions and states have to pay back their debts and pay them back with interest. If you take this approach seriously you will realize that most of the industrialised countries already this year aren't able to do so. Because what is already happening with the so called "Euro bail-outs" is nothing but paying old debts with new debts. But unfortunately the new debts again bear interest. That means, it is foreseeable that these debts will explode and it is already clear today, that, due to this game rule they cannot be paid back. That is the end of money from the first perspective. The second perspective is that the people will understand that what they today consider money in reality never really existed. Money, that is created from an accounting record, has no substance hence cannot have an intrinsic value. Once we have realised that, we can establish something similiar, namely numbers guiding human behaviour in a different way, a democratic one in a manner based on laws and protected by law. transparently, understood by the population and beneficial for human development. - What will follow money? What will we pay with, starting from the Jan. 1st 2012 - if your prognosis is correct? If it will succeed what the international scientific network - that I am part of - is developing right now then it would be an electronic counting unit which is connected to purchasing power and will be paid exclusively for human achievements and skills. People will obtain an overdraft limit on individual accounts and this corresponds to the so-called unconditional basic income. With that people can simply go shopping. They have purchasing power and for every achievements they contribute to the community in form of an electronic network, in which they organize themselves for production, they will be rewarded with purchasing power according to transparent rules that can be modified anytime. The goal will be, however, to categorize the activities in 2 categories: For one, activities, that people like to do because they enjoy dong them, because they can evolve doing them, and secondly, activities they do not like to do, but that simply have to be done, as a task. People will be paid for both. But of course more for the unpleasant activities. And especially they will get rewarded, if they are so intelligent and creative that they render themselves in the unpleasant activities superfluous through creativity. Because that way, they also liberate many others, who are in a similar unpleasant situation. And they get a super-bonus for that. In order to offer the opportunity for people to develop further. - Which brings me to the next question: Who will be the winners of this change in understanding and who will be the losers? -Yes, the interesting thing about it is that this new social paradigm is a non-zero-sum game hence we cannot - even if many people today do not understand it and imagine money only as a pot with a finite amount of gold pieces. Hence we will be able to declare all social classes we know today at the same time as winners. Because we will colaborate in this network and there will be no competition anymore. - Is the internet a virtual model for this idea? Because it also works in parts like this, that through open source, for instance there is more benefit for the general public, which seems to me as a nice comparison. - The internet is of course a support[carrier]-platform when it comes to technology and open source is a quite good analogy to it. Right? We can found a society as an Open Source Society. If I may bring a little example: in the future it simply won't be necessary anymore, that a car-manufacturer self focussed, produces an entire car. So Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Toyota etc. and hence automatically come into competition to have to cut out each other. These manufacturers will specialize themselves in certain subcomponents which will be assembled to an automobile in a Lego-like module concept. This automobile then will last for example for 30 years because only those Lego-like components will be replaced, that are really defective. In this way the manufacturers will cooperate and we won't need competition anymore but cooperation. Of course this will release a great number of workers but this won't be a problem, because they will retain their purchasing-power and will be able to further develope their abilities. to become useful to society on a higher level. Keyword "cooperation instead of competition", this strikes me as very familiar. I guess I once heared it at "Attac" (activists group) - Yes, "common welfare-economy". - Does that also imply a more resource-considerate way of management more eco-friendly, more organically, without pressure, without enviromental damage? - Our new monetary system, as already mentioned, is an electronic counting unit that only rewards human behaviour. For dead matter, for example for raw materials or semi-finished products we allow a separate calculation circuit. These things will be no longer assessed. So, for dead matter, for objects, there is no value anymore. It will also not be defined, that a component, a part must be made of aluminium for example, but a manufacturer will only designate which parameters the substance will have to comply with, therefore which firmness, what melting point, etc. and material scientists will ensure that the required substance is always available in order to meet the conditions. But it is no longer about competing over scarce substances but we meet the functionality meaning whoever requires raw matter, will get supplied with it. If this doesn't work, a synthesis is attempted, and material scientists are responsible for this, who will be rewarded for their work and their creativity. The advantage is: If we only pay and reward people, with electronic money for their skills or activities, we automatically have a just system, as everyone can work on his own skills, but for instance not on the heritage of a company. - That means the end of poverty is meanwhile also the end of wealth? Does this not mean egalitarianism like in communism? - No. We will simply think in other categories, and that's the trick. There will be no more rich and poor in this variant anymore, there will only be people in different development phases. Very young people who firstly have to discover their skills, their potential, people who are already on a certain way, people who just paused their way, because they want to retreat for a year to look for new priorities. And in all those phases we will provide new "bank employees", the companions, who as psychological coaches will accompany the people for a lifetime. - Well, this sounds very utopian. - Oh well. - It seems that unconditional basic income is essential therefore. - Right. Yes. And we can do that, by providing an account to every individual for example using social security numbers related to an account. From there we start with an overdraft. That is the purchasing power, which we can use for shopping, this is equal to unconditional basic income. In this manner, everybody who contributes will get into Plus in his account, while the receiver will go into Minus. And this exchange is recorded as a number, without dimension. Something like Dollar, Euro, these appendage we won't need any more. Because in reality a price is a value ratio, a relationship. And in a relation, the dimension cancels itself out. 3 meters by 2 meters equals 1.5 without any dimension. Historically Marks, Crowns, etc. on money bills are nothing but a seal of rule which historically granted consent to economic activities in the respective territory. After the french revolition and the displacement of the nobility, after the creation of money had been wrest from nobility and was transferred to the banks, the banks constructed the symbol of rule as consent to transaction, to an economical transaction created as a "thing with intrinsic value" From this the materialism emerges, that means the fake currency as commodity-money, while the speculants aggravated the exchange rate differences and from that they generate service-free incomes. Whereas enterprises in real economy suffer from these exchange-rates are forced to cover themselves with hedging, because (from both speculating and hedging) again the banks benefit from. This is the causality, simply put. Yes. So if we understand the counting-unit as a thing in itself, something with an intrinsic value we have all these paradoxes, that for instance especially in successful countries the currencies enter an upward pressure, vice versa, and hereby exactly the counterproductive effects occur which again are only beneficial to the speculators. - O.K., let's assume your prognosis is right and the End of the Money will happen soon. How can we prepare for this now? I mean People who have savings... which I don't belong to... who put money aside. what can they do, to await the End of Money in a relatively relaxed fashion, without having much fear? - Well, the first step will be, to make the personal happiness, wich is just a feeling, independent from of ownership and property and to shift into the direction of self-determined lifetime. Self-determined lifetime, which leads to that I chose the focus of my activities and my abilities by my myself, is you can say the definition of the new happiness. The counting-unit of money at ones disposal today, should as soon as possible, be spent in the real economy. People are doing that anyway and that is misunderstood by the conventional economic researchers and interpretate this as economic upturn. Should the currencies actually collapse, which we probably cannot prevent anyway, it will suffice if we transfer the competence of money creation, that is an account for every person, for example to the Ministry of Social Affairs. We all have social security numbers. We need nothing else for the electronic ATM cards than a new bank code. That way we can keep using the entire infrastructure. Every human, every citizen, with their social security number, has an account in the new system. The creation of money becomes a task of the Ministry of Social Affairs. We can abolish the Ministry of Finance. - Sounds like a great message for all those people, for all those who have huge savings. - Yes, exactly. They can spend their money by themselves or give, what they cannot spend in the real economy, away to others, so they can spend it in the real economy. - One final question, because it currently comes to mind: In the context of hoarding of money, to me betrayal and criminal enery come to mind. What happens to these poor criminals? What shall they do in the future? What shall those do, who until now somehow got money under dubious circumstances from lobbyists? What shall these poor people do in the future? - I wouldn't consider these people as poor. On the one hand, they probably suffer on one hand from fear of possible consequences, and from guilt on the other hand. If we manage to implement this new system, and this only depends on the political consent of the population, then those people won't have to be too scared to the new system because the new system will work "scam free" from this point of view. And our goal is only, that the entire population is working in a concert, especially the banks too in their new task, through educating and providing coaches, so that "Knowledge-Databases" take care of the growth of the interconnected knowledge and rewarding the people with virtual counting-units. And even those who have lived well of somehow immoral methods we can tell them: We are not looking for scapegoats. We want people to act in concert. And those who, say supports us, can forget his past. - Thank you very much for this conversation. - Thank you. Franz Hoermann I Otmar Pregetter The End of Money Ways into an eco-social society Galia Verlag (Press), 224 pages, hardcover Video: ZEITGEIST MOVING FORWARD Video: To wait is insane!

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 7 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: Austria
Language: German
Producer: Wien TV
Director: Wien TV
Views: 126
Posted by: tzmgermany on Aug 7, 2012

Interview with Dr. Hörmann after the premiere of Zeitgeist: MOVING FORWARD in Vienna Working-Location:

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