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
eBook: 9781603582247
Pub. Date June 04, 2009

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
June 04, 2009


Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
June 04, 2009

$19.95 $15.96

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.


"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

"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

"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 (

"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

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

"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

"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

"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)

"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

"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

"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


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 (




By Thomas Greco

Cash. Loot. Scratch. Lucre. Bread. Coin. Scrip. Moolah. Green. We all think we know intuitively what money is, and what it can do for us. Tom Greco, director of the Community Information Resource Center, understands and explains money on an eye-popping, fundamental level. Moreover, he provides a roadmap on how to make alternatives to the "legal tender" work for individuals, communities, and local economies.

Money will set your mental gears spinning with fantastic ideas. This book explains the mysteries and realities of money in clear and accessible prose, and reveals the true workings, and alarming fragility, of our existing financial system. It also describes concrete and realistic actions that individuals, businesses, social service agencies, and governments can take to enhance productivity and purchasing power, to protect local economies from the ravages of globalization, and to strengthen the bonds of community.

Money is a radical critique of our existing financial system, but also a practical and inspirational how-to manual for creating a vibrant and effective community currency system.
You'll learn:

  • The truth about how money is created, and what it actually represents
  • Why we're all in debt
  • How the financial system is structured to inevitably transfer wealth from the poor to the rich
  • How to start a financial revolution in your local community

A retired professor of business and economics, Tom Greco has spent twenty years studying community currency systems around the world, including historical models (such as during the Great Depression), and the scores of contemporary examples now operating in the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. He helped establish the Tucson Traders currency in Arizona, and he has served as a consultant for many others. No pie-in-the-sky idealist, Greco offers a realistic vision of how healthy local economies can be supplemented with flourishing community currencies.

Anyone who works routinely with money needs this book--this means bankers, stockbrokers, merchants, community organizers, loan sharks, gamblers, investors, bank robbers, hedgefund operators, sports agents, and ordinary people.


Available in: eBook

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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 Chelsea Green Reader

The Chelsea Green Reader

Chelsea Green, the Vermont-based independent publisher, has always had a nose for authors and subjects that are way ahead of the cultural curve, as is evident in this new anthology celebrating the company’s first thirty years in publishing.

The more than one hundred books represented in this collection reflect the many distinct areas in which we have published–from literature and memoirs to progressive politics, to highly practical books on green building, organic gardening and farming, food and health, and related subjects–all of which reflect our underlying philosophy: "The politics and practice of sustainable living." The Chelsea Green Reader offers a glimpse into our wide-ranging list of books and authors and to the important ideas that they express. Interesting and worth reading in their own right, the individual passages when taken as a whole trace the evolution of a highly successful small publisher–something that is almost an oxymoron in these days of corporate buyouts and multinational book groups.
From the beginning, Chelsea Green's books were nationally recognized, garnering positive reviews, accolades, and awards. We’ve published four New York Times bestsellers, and our books have set the standard for in-depth, how-to books that remain relevant years–often decades–beyond their original publication date.

"Chelsea Green was born from a single seed: the beauty of craft. Craft in writing and editing, in a story well told, or a thesis superbly expressed," writes cofounder and publisher emeritus Ian Baldwin in the book's foreword. Today, craft continues to inform all aspects of our work–design, illustration, production, sales, promotion, and beyond. It has even informed our business model: In 2012, Chelsea Green became an employee-owned company.

With the rise of the Internet, new media platforms, and a constantly shifting bookselling landscape, the future of publishing is anything but predictable. But if Chelsea Green's books prove anything, it is that, despite these challenges, there remains a hunger for new and important ideas and authors, and for the permanence and craftsmanship of the printed word. Today our ongoing mission is stronger than ever, as we launch into our next thirty years of publishing excellence.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

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The Chelsea Green Reader

Ben Watson, Ian Baldwin

Paperback $15.00

Companies We Keep

Companies We Keep

By John Abrams

Part memoir and part examination of a new business model, the 2005 release of The Company We Keep marked the debut of an important new voice in the literature of American business. Now, in Companies We Keep, the revised and expanded edition of his 2005 work, John Abrams further develops his idea that companies flourish when they become centers of interdependence, or “communities of enterprise.”

Thoroughly revised with an expanded focus on employee ownership and workplace democracy, Companies We Keep celebrates the idea that when employees share in the rewards as well as the responsibility for the decisions they make, better decisions result. This is an especially timely topic. Most of the baby boomer generation—the owners of millions of American businesses— will retire within the next two decades. In 2001, 50,000 businesses changed hands. In 2005, that number rose to 350,000. Projections call for 750,000 ownership transitions in 2009. Employee ownership—in both the philosophical and the practical sense—is gathering steam as businesses change hands, and Abrams examines some of the many ways this is done.

Companies We Keep is structured around eight principles—from “Sharing Ownership” and “Cultivating Workplace Democracy” to “Thinking Like Cathedral Builders” and “Committing to the Business of Place”—that Abrams has discovered in the 32 years since he cofounded South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Together, these principles reveal communities of enterprise as a potent force of change that can—and will— improve the way Americans do business.

Available in: Paperback, eBook

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Companies We Keep

John Abrams, William Greider

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The Art of Leading Collectively

The Art of Leading Collectively

By Petra Kuenkel

A guide to collaborative impact for leaders in industry, government, and social change networks

Our world is facing unsustainable global trends—from climate change and water scarcity to energy insecurity, unfair labor practices, and growing inequality.  Tackling these crises effectively requires a new form of leadership—a collective one.  But, in a world of many silos, how do we get people to work together toward a common goal? That is one of the most important questions facing sustainability and social-change professionals around the world, and it is a question that Petra Kuenkel answers in The Art of Leading Collectively.

Readers learn how to tackle system change for sustainable development, reimagine leadership as a collaborative endeavor, retrain leaders to work collectively, and manage diverse groups through a change process that has sustainability as a guiding focus. Drawing upon two decades of pioneering, internationally recognized work orchestrating multi-stakeholder initiatives, Kuenkel presents her chief tool, the Collective Leadership Compass, and shows others how to use it with large groups of diverse stakeholders to solve complex, urgent problems—particularly those that enmesh business activities, governance, human needs, and environmental impacts.

The book offers many examples of collective leadership efforts involving corporate, public, and nonprofit sectors around the world.  Readers learn about the processes that led to a sustainable textile alliance, advanced global seafood sustainability, and set standards for sustainable cocoa and coffee production and trade, as well as those that helped nations rebound from war, develop sustainable infrastructure, and tackle resource conflicts with global businesses, to name a few.

Kuenkel provides a clear roadmap for leaders from multinational companies involved in partnerships, international organizations engaged in cooperative development, public agencies, and interest groups—as well as for citizens seeking solutions to social and sustainability challenges.

Available in: Hardcover

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The Art of Leading Collectively

Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Petra Kuenkel

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Snake Oil

Snake Oil

By Richard Heinberg

The rapid spread of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has temporarily boosted US natural gas and oil production . . . and sparked a massive environmental backlash in communities across the country. The fossil-fuel industry is trying to sell fracking as the biggest energy development of the century, with slick promises of American energy independence and benefits to local economies. Snake Oil casts a critical eye on the oil-industry hype that has hijacked America's energy conversation. This is the first book to look at fracking from both economic and environmental perspectives, informed by the most thorough analysis of shale gas and oil drilling data ever undertaken. Is fracking the miracle cure-all to our energy ills, or a costly distraction from the necessary work of reducing our fossil-fuel dependence?

Available in: Paperback

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Snake Oil

Richard Heinberg

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