Chelsea Green Publishing

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization

Pages:280 pages
Book Art:Black and white photos, tables, and diagrams
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603580786
Pub. Date June 04, 2009

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
June 04, 2009


Like the proverbial fish who doesn’t know what water is, we swim in an economy built on money that few of us comprehend, and, most definitely, what we don’t know is hurting us.

Very few people realize that the nature of money has changed profoundly over the past three centuries, or—as has been clear with the latest global financial crisis—the extent to which it has become a political instrument used to centralize power, concentrate wealth, and subvert popular government. On top of that, the economic growth imperative inherent in the present global monetary system is a main driver of global warming and other environmental crises.

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization demystifies the subjects of money, banking, and finance by tracing historical landmarks and important evolutionary shifts that have changed the essential nature of money. Greco’s masterful work lays out the problems and then looks to the future for a next stage in money’s evolution that can liberate us as individuals and communities from the current grip of centralized and politicized money power.

Greco provides specific design proposals and exchange-system architectures for local, regional, national, and global financial systems. He offers strategies for their implementation and outlines actions grassroots organizations, businesses, and governments will need to take to achieve success.

Ultimately, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization provides the necessary understanding— for entrepreneurs, activists, and civic leaders—to implement approaches toward monetary liberation. These approaches would empower communities, preserve democratic institutions, and begin to build economies that are sustainable, democratic, and insulated from the financial crises that plague the dominant monetary system.


"We should be grateful to Tom Greco for his constructive and innovative thinking at a time when new ideas are badly needed."--Rodney Shakespeare, Visiting Professor of Binary Economics, Trisakti University (Jakarta, Indonesia)

"Tom Greco's The End of Money and the Future of Civilization is essential reading for everyone who yearns to restore sanity to our financial dealings and re-humanize our global economy. Greco details the abuses inherent in the widely misconstrued concept of 'legal tender,' and helps us understand the real roots of the current meltdown. He then offers unique tools for creating workable, enduring solutions. His story is compelling, and his lucid, accessible style makes it a rewarding read. The book's a true game-changer, and its appearance couldn't be more timely."--Philip Beard Professor emeritus, Sonoma State University, and co-founder of Sustaining Capital Cooperative, Sustaining Technologies LLC, and Sonoma County GoLocal Cooperative

"Many of the world's ills are symptoms of centralized control of our media, governments and resources by a small, invisible group of people. How can so few control and impoverish so many? Currency systems are an important source of this centralized power. Tom Greco's latest book helps us unpack the financial mysteries and consider our alternatives. There can be no question about it--Tom Greco is the pit bull of the alternative currency movement."--Catherine Austin Fitts, Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC

"I have found Tom Greco to be a trusted and authoritative source of wisdom on the topics of the flaws in mainstream money and of the possibilities for alternatives. Even after years of garnering wisdom from Tom for my work with Toronto Dollars, his advice in this new book reaches a higher level of clarity and practicality."--Joy Kogawa, cofounder, Toronto Dollar

"Our world is moving to increasing and dominant usage of distributed networks, and the associated peer-to-peer dynamics of people aggregating around the construction of common value. We have the communication infrastructure, but we still need to build robust peer-to-peer energy grids, AND, just as important, we need to be able to create peer-to-peer currencies that strengthen resilient communities in the context of turbulent globalization. To undertake the latter task, one voice has been consistently investigating what determines success and failure regarding the social production of money. That voice is Thomas Greco, who not only offers the definitive book on the subject, but offers also the condensation of a whole life of research and engagement with the topic. The time of crying in the wilderness is over for Thomas Greco: this is the age where these ideas will be practically implemented. It is rare to find the combination of quality theory and robust implementation in one book, so please do acquire this gem."--Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation

"Greco continues to educate us about why and how we, the people, have the power, the knowledge, and the tools available to us to civilize monetary systems around the world, thereby restoring an essential human element to our existence."--Krista Vardabash, former Executive Director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association

"Maybe you've noticed a slight bit of turmoil in our national and global financial system? This book cuts to the very core of the trouble--and points toward several pathways toward that might allow us to slowly climb out of the pit into which we've stumbled."--Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy

"For the growing ranks of monetary reformers worldwide, long-time expert Tom Greco's deeply researched new book is essential reading. This gripping blend of theory and practicality lays out all the options for creating saner money and credit systems--and the real possibilities in today's information age of electronic trading and exchange, at last, without the need to use money at all."--Hazel Henderson, author of Ethical Markets and President of Ethical Markets Media (USA/Brazil)

"If there is one thing people everywhere should drop everything to learn right now it is how the money system works, why it is failing and what to do to survive and even thrive. The reason they don't is because it has been so difficult to get and to understand this information. Against all odds, Tom Greco has filled this important need with an easy read including the most practical advice for getting you through the crisis into a more secure, healthier and happier future."--Elisabet Sahtouris, Ph.D., evolution biologist; futurist; author of EarthDance: Living Systems in Evolution

"For those who would survive the sustainable cynicism of monopoly capital, now that the usurpers are caught red-handed and the mask of democracy has slipped, Greco provides the tools for regeneration of societies. Can we conceive of a new culture? Yes we can. Here are the tools for its monetary system, and it will thrive."--Anton Pinschof, organic farmer in Brittany (member of FNAB, French national federation of organic farmers), and co-founder of CESC, the Cliffs Edge Signalling Company (

"A stimulating and well-balanced work. Here, the serious student of monetary reform will find the mature reflections of a leading advocate of credit clearing. Thomas Greco's analysis of the modern monetary problem is excellent, his solution is practical and founded upon basic principles of justice. Policy makers and communities across diverse cultures and religions can learn much from this detailed and eloquent book. I strongly recommend it."--Tarek El Diwany, author of The Problem With Interest and Partner at Zest Advisory LLP

Tom's book is a chilling and gripping narrative that examines the history and current condition of our 300-year-old unbalanced and unsustainable monetary system. He goes on to propose specific changes that, when adopted, will transform our money system into a more user-friendly platform of exchange that will benefit all of the world's people. Simply a must read for everyone."--David Wallach, President, International Reciprocal Trade Association Global Board of Directors

"Thomas Greco dedicates his new book to the causes of social justice, economic equity, personal liberty, world peace, and ecological restoration. He begins by showing that none of these can be achieved until we give birth to a just and sustainable paradigm for exchanging energies. Clearly written, the roots of our current financial predicament are revealed, and the need for something better is lucidly explained. The serious reader will appreciate the author's long experience with alternative currencies: this book is a concise and efficient way to get up to speed on the history of alternatives to conventional 'money' as well as enter the new world of technologically liberated exchange that has the potential to bring about the end of money as we have known it."--Paul Grignon, creator of the movie Money as Debt

"Greco ... outlines the increasingly familiar story of how things got so bad, and he tells it as well as anyone has ever done.... More than that, Greco writes about how to change what has gone wrong. His credentials as an engineer, college professor, author, and consultant are impeccable. His book is among the most important written in this decade. It is truly a book that can alter the world and, if taken seriously, give large numbers of people a practical way to survive the gathering catastrophe."--Richard C. Cook, author of Challenger Revealed and We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform

"Greco precisely identifies the conflation of interests and confusion of thinking that have given rise to today's monetary muddles and proceeds to elucidate a viable strategy by which we all, as individuals and in association with one another, can unravel the tangle and build the basis for mutually profitable exchange."--Arthur Edwards, Director, Centre for Associative Economics

"If anything could save this civilization from the calamity to which its economic madness has led it--the unrelenting pursuit of materialism, the starkly inequitable division of wealth, the despoliation of the earth for profit--it would be the widespread adoption of the wisdom embodied in Tom Greco's clear and forthright new book. The fact that I doubt such a thing will happen, I am constrained to say, does not diminish the value of reading it."--Kirkpatrick Sale, author of Human Scale and After Eden: The Evolution of Human Domination


Thomas Greco

Thomas H. Greco, Jr. is the director of the Community Information Resource Center, which he founded in 1992. CIRC is a nonprofit consulting organization and networking hub dedicated to economic equity, social justice, and community improvement, specializing in community currency and mutual credit design, development, and implementation. He is a former engineer and professor of business administration. Tom's books include Money and Debt: A Solution to the Global Crisis, Money: Understanding and Creating Alternatives to Legal Tender, and The End of Money and the Future of Civilization. For more information on re-creating money systems, visit another webpage of Tom's, Reinventing Money (


Tom Greco PART 1 of 3 at The Economics of Peace Conference Sonoma Ca 2009

Tom Greco PART 2 of 3 at The Economics of Peace Conference Sonoma Ca 2009

Tom Greco PART 3 of 3 at The Economics of Peace Conference Sonoma Ca 2009

Thomas Greco @ Vienna

Thomas Greco @ Vienna


The New Bread Basket

The New Bread Basket

By Amy Halloran

For more than 10,000 years, grains have been the staples of Western civilization. The stored energy of grain allowed our ancestors to shift from nomadic hunting and gathering and build settled communities—even great cities. Though most bread now comes from factory bakeries, the symbolism of wheat and bread—amber waves of grain, the staff of life—still carries great meaning.

Today, bread and beer are once again building community as a new band of farmers, bakers, millers, and maltsters work to reinvent local grain systems. The New Bread Basket tells their stories and reveals the village that stands behind every loaf and every pint.

While eating locally grown crops like heirloom tomatoes has become almost a cliché, grains are late in arriving to local tables, because growing them requires a lot of land and equipment. Milling, malting, and marketing take both tools and cooperation. The New Bread Basket reveals the bones of that cooperation, profiling the seed breeders, agronomists, and grassroots food activists who are collaborating with farmers, millers, bakers, and other local producers.

Take Andrea and Christian Stanley, a couple who taught themselves the craft of malting and opened the first malthouse in New England in one hundred years. Outside Ithaca, New York, bread from a farmer-miller-baker partnership has become an emblem in the battle against shale gas fracking. And in the Pacific Northwest, people are shifting grain markets from commodity exports to regional feed, food, and alcohol production. Such pioneering grain projects give consumers an alternative to industrial bread and beer, and return their production to a scale that respects people, local communities, and the health of the environment.

Many Americans today avoid gluten and carbohydrates. Yet, our shared history with grains—from the village baker to Wonder Bread—suggests that modern changes in farming and processing could be the real reason that grains have become suspect in popular nutrition. The people profiled in The New Bread Basket are returning to traditional methods like long sourdough fermentations that might address the dietary ills attributed to wheat. Their work and lives make our foundational crops visible, and vital, again.

Available in: Paperback

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The New Bread Basket

Amy Halloran

Paperback $17.95

Salad Bar Beef

Salad Bar Beef

By Joel Salatin

In a day when beef is assailed by many environmental organizations and lauded by fast-food chains, a new paradigm to bring reason to this confusion is in order. With farmers leaving the land in droves and plows poised to "reclaim" set-aside acres, it is time to offer an alternative that is both land and farmer friendly.

Beyond that, the salad bar beef production model offers hope to rural communities, to struggling row-crop farmers, and to frustrated beef eaters who do not want to encourage desertification, air and water pollution, environmental degradation and inhumane animal treatment. Because this is a program weighted toward creativity, management, entrepreneurism and observation, it breathes fresh air into farm economics.

Available in: Paperback

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Salad Bar Beef

Joel Salatin

Paperback $35.00

The End of Stationarity

The End of Stationarity

By Mark Schapiro

Scientists have devised a new term to explain the turmoil caused by climate change: the end of stationarity. It means that our baselines for rainfall, water flow, temperature, and extreme weather are no longer relevant—that making predictions based on past experience is no longer possible. But climate change has upended baselines in the financial world, too, disrupting the global economy in ways that are just becoming clear, leaving us unable to assess risk, and causing us to fundamentally re-think economic priorities and existing business models. 

At the heart of that financial unrest is the role of carbon, and as the world moves toward making more and more polluters pay to emit it, a financial mystery unfolds: What are the costs? Who has the responsibility to pay for them? Who do you pay? How do you pay? And how will those costs ripple through the economy?

These are the questions veteran journalist Mark Schapiro attempts to answer as he illuminates the struggle to pinpoint carbon's true costs and allocate them fairly--all while bumping up against the vagaries of the free market, the lobbying power of corporations, the political maneuverings of countries, and the tolerance of everyday consumers buying a cup of coffee, a tank of gas, or an airplane ticket. 

Along the way, Schapiro tracks the cost of carbon through the drought-ridden farmland of California, the jungles of Brazil, the world's greatest manufacturing center in China, the carbon-trading center of Europe, and the high-tech crime world that carbon markets have inspired. He even tracks the cost of carbon through the skies themselves, where efforts to put a price tag on the carbon left by airplanes in the no-man's land of the atmosphere created what amounted to a quiet but powerful global trade war. 

The End of Stationarity deftly depicts the wild, new carbon economy, and shows us how nations, emerging and developed, teeter on its brink. Originally published in hardcover as Carbon Shock, the book is updated throughout and includes a new afterword, based on the Paris climate talks.

Available in: Paperback

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The End of Stationarity

Mark Schapiro

Paperback $17.95

The Looting of America

The Looting of America

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it?

In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance.

He also asks some tough questions:

  • Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large?
  • Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes?
  • Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy?
  • How do we make sure we never give our wages away to gamblers again?
  • And what can we do to get our money back?

In this page-turning narrative (no background in finance required) Leopold tells the story of how we fell victim to Wall Street's exotic financial products. Readers learn how even school districts were taken in by "innovative" products like collateralized debt obligations, better known as CDOs, and how they sucked trillions of dollars from the global economy when they failed. They'll also learn what average Americans can do to ensure that fantasy finance never rules our economy again.

As the country teeters on the brink of what could be the next Great Depression, we should be especially wary of the so-called financial experts who got us here, and then conveniently got themselves out. So far, it appears they've won the battle, but The Looting of America refuses to let them write the history--or plan its aftermath.

Available in: Paperback

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The Looting of America

Les Leopold

Paperback $17.95