ACE Bank, Trans-Capitalism, and The Gift Economy

Money, money, money….

We took a long break from our podcasts at the end of last year due to a natural disaster, displacement, and the introduction of several challenges to the lives of the core members of our group. Now we have reopened the discussion on our ACE projects and it is time to refocus our attention.

So what needs to be done concretely in order to further our mission?

After much discussion Michel and I (Alix) have decided that the next action to take is the registration of the trademark of ACE Bank, and the registration of ACE as a non-profit organization.

Trademark process: 1) register ACE as a business (state legislation, $100 USD); 2) register ACE as a non-profit (US federal legislation, appx. $400 USD); 3) through the registration of the non-profit entity certain products and services shall be defined, and these products and services shall be included as being used for commerce under the ACE Bank trademark (US federal legislation, appx. $100 USD).

If you would like to donate to help us make this a reality, please do so here

The next question is: What is the role, function, structure and mechanism of the ACE Bank? Or simply:

What is the ACE Bank?

As Michel stated in a comment in 2016 on a post about the Gift Economy, (one of) our ideal(s) is to have an existence in which there is flow (that is, for the most part) unobstructed. (I insert “for the most part” here, because some obstacles and challenges provide for psychic scenery, and are hence of some value. This goes for friction, heat, entropy… anxiety, fear, shame… and all other emotions or feelings to which we may typically assign a negative value. As well… it is interesting to note that a system with completely free flow does not and cannot exist, as the solutions to these physical equations would blow up to infinity or have zeros in the denominator, etc… We could model this at some point if any of you readers are interested in visualizing this little thought experiment.) This ideal is based on a shared observation that flow in life and affairs is conducive to a sensation of abundance, and hence equivalent to a life of fulfillment. Furthermore, we can extrapolate the meaning of “flow” to understand that, quite literally, flow implies animation and LIFE.

So, ACE Bank is the response to this ideal from an economic perspective.

As we reopened this discussion I realized that I was a bit lost on the concept that Michel is proposing. Moreover, its relevance to ACE was not completely clear.  To address these communication issues, we have begun a discussion on the forums regarding my questions. You can join in on the discussion here.

ACE Bank Formalities

Let us, then, begin our formal treatment of the ACE Bank by reviewing the foundation of ACE’s economic structure (disclaimer: this post is not intended in any way to be a complete or exhaustive dissertation on the subject, but rather a gathering of the thoughts from the brainstorming phase into a concrete manifestation):

  1. With respect to economic sector of ACE, the primary Ethic of relevance from which we base all trade within the jurisdiction of ACE is the absence of (or, more practically, the dissolution of) greed, also called “aparigraha”  in the yama-niyama of Patanjali.
  2. The highest value of ACE is love, as we define God as being pure love. In the yama-niyama of Patanjali, this is called “brahmacharya”.
  3. The mechanism that we propose for the conversion of greed into love (This needs a mathematical treatment using algebraic topology, and conversion and valuation of groups.) is the implementation of a trans-capitalist system. Please read the ACEpedia page on Trans-capitalism for more information.

Michel’s Proposal – Renewable Money, Wearable Bank

(My questions to Michel in the forum topic here.)

Michel’s system is a response to the current depletion of natural resources (including both the Earth’s resources and that of human life force) that we see with the fiat money system.  Some of Michel’s concerns and visions to be addressed during the formation of a new economic system, (that are to be reviewed and refined to be included in our formal bylaws and/or bill of rights) are as follows:

  1. Each person has a sovereign right to exist, and his value shall not be proportional to his material assets.
  2. ACE’s economy shall promote a sensation of abundance and gratitude of and towards constituent members.
  3. The basic needs of all members of ACE are provided for by every member of the society. (To be defined for this to have ground: an acceptable “poverty line”), and hence a basic credit given to all constituent members of ACE.
  4. ACE’s structure shall give incentive to “pay-it-forward”.
  5. ACE’s checks and balances system shall account for returning Earth’s ecosystem to equilibrium by accounting for all resources.
  6. Every credit is accounted for with a debit, unlike in the fiat money system, in which debits are taken but not accounted for explicitly.
  7. The value of currency shall not be backed by any commodity (such as gold or other “precious” metals), nor shall it be created under the claim that it is backed by nothing at all. Rather it will be backed by the life force of the workers and members of society itself. (This brings to mind one of ACE’s plans to create an “Individual Advancement Assessment”.)
  8. Decentralized accounting system in contrast to the current system in which fiat currency is fabricated by a centralized all-powerful bank (creating a monopoly).
  9. Bringing the cost of transactions to near zero.
  10. One-to-many as opposed to one-to-one transactions (I am not sure what this means. See the forum discussion on the topic.)

A concrete example: Can we start with a subset of the founding member(s) of ACE, in this case a binary set including Alix Claire Erie and Michel Combes?

Some other things to note:

  • Chasing the Carrot :-/ The vast majority of humanity are still confronted day in and day out with working for an ideal that is not their own, just so that they can earn a basic existence.
  • Survival of the fittest? A concern is often raised that the current monetary system is set up to exhaust resources, which are considered to be limited… however, playing Devil’s Advocate here, some might retort that existence is limitless… these people might contest that once we have exhausted all of the resources on this planet, we will be able to move to another planet. That may be true… for some… but only for a minority of the population that has accumulated enough riches or merit to afford passage to another Earth. And again, one could retort by saying that this is just Darwinism at work.
  • Energy is energy… Let’s face it…  in the fiat money system the credits created are backed by energy whether it is explicitly stated or not… and the energy here is that of both commodities that are given value by a select few and that of the the workforce who elects to participate in the economy. So the assumption of capitalists using the fiat money system is their inherent ownership of the energy of its workforce… in essence, it is slavery in disguise.

Stay tuned…

…for the next post “Variables and Mechanisms of ACE Bank” in which I will explore in greater detail the points mentioned in this post, as well as the following:

  1. Leveraging Capitalism My proposal for ACE Bank is to create a “real” bank that uses existing currency and reinvests it in projects that are deemed suitable by ACE through careful revision.
  2. Inhabit ACE My original idea is that the more involved one becomes in the community the less money he has to pay to be in the community, until eventually he is taken on as a swami- or monk-type member: a person who pays no fees, who is cared for entirely by the community, in which in the innermost layer there is only the gift economy, and when he has errands to run in the outside world he gets paid a stipend in the currency of the capitalistic realm.The intermediary that I propose, therefore, between the Gift Economy and the Capitalist Regime is the level of the community where members are residents that still go to a job and pay for accommodation and goods and services within the community, but at a discounted rate. (Please see Inhabit ACE and the website for the Limitless Community for more info.) When a person is ready to completely renounce his position in the capitalistic workforce and enter the gift workforce, then he may take up a variety of jobs that fulfill basic requirements in the community. It is only once a member has demonstrated considerable value to the inner circle of the community that he no longer has to pay for accommodation, goods and services. It is also very much possible that micro economies and simple barter systems arise within this innermost circle.
  3. Revolution or walking away? It seems to me that the fundamental difference in my and Michel’s proposals is that in mine I let capitalism stay where it is and simply provide a bridge to go to the gift economy state, whereas Michel proposes a complete revolution of the whole system. Perhaps we can do both…
  4. The Happy Coin! Please see our forum topic on the subject to join in on the discussion.

–Alix Claire Erie

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