opening ourselves with the hinging daylight hours

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rolling Jubilee & Seed Dispersal

This past week the Rolling Jubilee campaign starting gaining mainstream momentum, Originating from within the spectrum of the Occupy movement.

As far as I understand it, the trillions of dollars of American debt are sold to investors who make their buck on the interest that is paid, while millions of Americans struggle from month to month, week to week to pay the interest on the debt, a struggle that often leads to further debt, and concerns of meeting daily human needs. Many people work endlessly, not out of a satisfaction of what gives them the most joy, nor what the world needs most, but out of the tyranny of paying interest. This interest that is paid lines the pockets of people that are not suffocated by debt. Understandably some advocates of justice , particularly the Jewish community see loans with no interest as the a reasonable manner to treat each other. It is a strong coefficient in calculating  the top teirs of Maimedies ladder of charity.

1. The lowest: Giving begrudgingly and making the recipient feel disgraced or embarrassed.
2. Giving cheerfully but giving too little.
3. Giving cheerfully and adequately but only after being asked.
4. Giving before being asked.
5. Giving when you do not know who is the individual benefiting, but the recipient knows your identity.
6. Giving when you know who is the individual benefiting, but the recipient does not know your identity.
7. Giving when neither the donor nor the recipient is aware of the other's identity.
8. The Highest: Giving money, a loan, your time or whatever else it takes to enable an individual to be self-reliant.
Wall Street doesn't have any structure mechanisms to evaluate heirarchical types of investment, let alone a framework for giving.

Jubilee is a Judeo-Christian priniciapal. It has many precepts for the Hebrews stitching together a lovely narrative of justice, strongly formed in their 400+ years of slavery and dessert wanderings. The Jubilee is part of the  rules of justice toward each other and earth found in the Deuteronomic Code. The Jubilee occured every 49th year. Announced with the shofar during that year's Yom Kipor, all debts are forgiven, on the 49th year, after the completion of the seventh cycle of the 7 year cycles.

Other points of interest to sustainability in the Deuteronomic code include:

Every seventh year the slaves were to be set free
Every seventh year the farmer is to lay the field fallow for rejuvination
When the farmer harvests the field, the corners are to be left for gleaners
After the farmer harvests the field once, they cannot go back for a second harvest, it must be left for the gleaners
Animal husbandary practices resulting in clean and unclean meat, waste treatment, and processing
Accurate weights and measures
A thorough sub-code for fair payment to workers in timing & amount
Ordering justice toward strangers, orphans, and widows
The tithe
 Three Annual Feasts

Currently on wall street, one can buy the debt of another at $0.05 on the $1, but legally one cannot buy their own debt. Rolling Jubilee has begun purchasing the debts of others, and calling it forgiven. To date they've raised : $353,576  to abolish $7,076,339 of debt.
They highly value transparency.

From their website they write:   bailout of the people by the people

Rolling Jubilee is a Strike Debt project that buys debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, abolishes it. Together we can liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal. Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.

I have been thinking and discussing Rolling Jubilee with my partner through the lens of seed dispersal. When one seed is planted, take a New England Aster, that plant grows and releases hundreds of seeds within the first year. Every little flowerette becomes a seed. In composite flowers, such as the dandelion or sunflower, the flower is made of hundreds of tiny flowers, the flowers become the seed. Seeds are designed to spread, and travel just far enough away from their parent plant as to not-compete with each other and to have enough space to grow into their own plant, and source for seed. Perhaps to further wrap our mind around the economy as seed we should study the various methods of seed development, multiplication, exponentiality,  selection design, and dispersal tactics in wind, animals,  water,  bursting, and sticking to our fur.

Some seeds are found in yummy tasting fruits. Animals (including people) eat this fruit, and the seeds are then spread in nutrient rich capsules called, "our waste."

As in the case of seed banks, one can save these seeds. In proper temperature and humidity the seeds may stay viable for a few years, but hold onto these seeds too long and they rot. They rot until the bottom layer of the rotten seeds juice and compost enough that the seeds ontop will germinate to grow in hopes of multiplying in the glass jar.  But  in despair, they germinate too close together to ever develop beyond the sprout stage.

In the Rolling Jubilee as one's debts are paid , the debtor is given a gift. Gift as the backbone for the ecnomy generates abundance. In Olympia, Washington all people have access to the artisianal spring at the town center on 4th Street by the book store for business and personal use. Economic backbone as gift and pure grows superior plants, the cut-flowers last longer, the craft beer tastes better, the people feel better, save a little cash, and they're just a little shinier. When one is given a gift, the desire to recipricate is hard-wired into our social code.
 The $850 a month that I am currently paying in student loans and mortgage (root mortis: death contract) would go toward the JUBILEE fund as my debts are forgiven , buying back the debt of others at a twenty-fold rate.

One of my favorite authors Charles Eisenstein had some thoughts of the ROLLING jubilee THIS  weeeeeek. 

{endless perpetual optimistic thoughts for the local economy}

Indeed interest does generate wealth and encourages  investment, investment that is needed for capital start-up in most small businesses.  I am not necessarily saying that every loan should be no-interest, but the modelings of lo(c)al loans appear to understand that at the end of the day investing with returns is not only more successful in the local sector, the understanding of "investment" GOES far beyond monetary terms.

Again, Michael Shuman's words on investing in Main Street not Wall Street:

Plug into a local economy near you:


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