Would you change the world, if only you knew how? Do you dream of doing more than signing online petitions but don’t want to camp out on a pavement to prove a point? Are you frustrated because you’re not making a difference but don’t want to turn your life upside down in the name of action?
Then you might be interested in this book:
THE ARMCHAIR ACTIVIST’S HANDBOOK will help you find easy and fun ways to make the world a better place.
The author, Ruth Stokes, felt the same anger as people who went to extreme lengths for their causes but she did not have the time or the inclination to go as far as they did. And so she set out on a quest to find ways to make a difference which would fit into her life rather than taking it over.
In the process, she got involved with a web of hidden organisations, projects and people making a genuine difference in ways she never knew existed, including Positive Money. She writes:
I’ll admit that educating myself about the inner workings of the economy sounded about as tempting as poking myself in the eye. It wasn’t something I wanted to spend my evenings doing, especially after a long day at work, but it turned out that key facts at the heart of the Positive Money campaign were well worth getting a handle on.
Did you know, for example, that 97% of the money in the UK economy is created by banks? I’m sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t clear on that. Or this: that instead of taking money from savers and giving it to borrowers, money in the UK economy is created by commercial banks out of nothing when they provide a loan? (We’re talking about electronic money here – only the Bank of England can issue bank notes – but these electronic numbers account for 97 per cent of the stuff.) This means that the very foundations of the current system are built on the idea of debt as a necessity. So for anyone to get their hands on money, someone must go into debt with the banks.
Far from being financial intermediaries, banks are the creators and allocators of money, and they shape the way we use it as a result. The government, meanwhile, has in practice no direct involvement.
Ruth Stokes is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in social and environmental issues. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, the New Statesman, New Internationalist, The Ecologist, Ethical Living, The Big Issue and Third Sector among others, on a diverse range of subjects.
You can order a kindle version of the book on Amazon for £1.59.