Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Heretic's Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money

[Note: An up to date blogpost about the book appears here, and the book's page is here]

This blog has been on the down low over the last few months because I've been writing a book. The book is now finished, 78 579 words aimed at  providing a gateway for an individual to gain access to the matrix of global finance. It's called The Heretic's Guide To Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money

It will be published in May 2013 by Pluto Press, a fantastic independent publisher based in Highgate, London, who have published such societal shitstirrers as Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Vandana Shiva, Susan George, and John Holloway, amongst others.

I've often found that I'll read an interesting book providing a critique of the financial system, but then I'll put it down and that's kind of the end of it. I store the info away somewhere and pull it out during a conversation maybe, but I don't really act on it. Thus, when Pluto approached me to write a book on finance, I decided it would be good to create something that stays with the reader after they put it down, a manuscript that sets in motion certain heretical processes within that individual, perhaps a self-reinforcing critical impulse that culminates in them becoming a subversive financial ninja or sorts, or a Shaolin fighting monk of finance, disrupting capital flows around the world in the cause of social and ecological justice.

To do that, The Heretic's Guide sets out a framework for approaching the financial system based on anthropology, gonzo exploration, the Hacker ethos, DIY culture, activist entrepreneurialism, drag queens, rogue magicians, guerilla gardening, bats, dolphins, OpenSource culture, network disruption, circuitbending, and you.  In essence it's about jamming systems of power in the cause of democratic openness. Pretty simple actually. It's going into production now, and more publicity will start to come out early next year.

In the mean time, I'm going to try recover. If you've ever wondered what it's like to write a book in six months, the picture below says it all, ha ha. I've come some way since I started this blog, and now I need a week of sleep. Over and out.



  1. Your book looks like a fascinating read and I anticipate perusing it. I had to comment as I have also just written and published a book in approximately 7 months and you couldn't be more spot on with your descriptive self portrait. I feel your pain. Rest up!

  2. Echo sounds like a fascinating read.
    A quickie if I may - apropos of Bernard Lietaer and Charles Eisenstein among others to flag the importance of demurrage - how about adding Freicoin to your list of alternative currencies on your blog? And does your book or any of your work reference this issue?

  3. Hi Skintnick, I look at alternative currencies, and use them from time to time, but not a major focus of mine right now - My book does have a section on alternative currency and I know lots of people in the monetary reform scene and spent some time with Thomas Greco a couple months ago - will try to do more articles on it some time. Cheers

  4. Hi - I am definitely going to buy this book when it comes out, for no other reason that anyone who quotes Hunter S Thompson as an inspiration is going to be on the right track when it comes to dealing with the pschyadelic monsters of capitalism

    1. Glad to hear it! Comes out in May so keep an eye out

  5. Your book sounds awesome. I'm eager to read more on rogue magicians' heretical processes that disrupt capital flows and subvert the systemic injustice of static patterns through collaborative networks of artistic finance.

    On "building an extensive community of confident financial heretics capable of emerging...within a few years, ready to respond to the inevitable financial creses of the future...," have you read "Life Without Money," edited by Anitra Nelson (also published by Pluto). A line that sticks out to me was something to the effect of "where money flows to, resources flow from," so that exorcising money from the economy would have a transformative effect, abolishing this medium of exchange as a holder of value to empower ecosystemic "liquidation."

    What I took away from the book was that bioregional networks can empower themselves by planning to ensure local abundance, to be sustained and shared through non-monetary economic systems. (she goes more in depth in this in an article written for Planet Drum's PULSE.) Money being now digital, supposedly indicating the value of energy over time, we experience this particular expression of electricity meaningfully, as when the poor are disallowed to eat by the absence of credit or debt, the means by which purchase power is achieved. They have no money, presumably for lack of income source, so an economy of disconnection and poverty exists.

    Capital accumulation is essentially the transference of potential energy to private property, redistributed in transactional purchases. Resources are developed and depleted, turned into unreusable pollution and waste at the cost of deprivation and suffering. To abolish money would thus dissolve the illusion of a depreciated exchange value and restore an inherent value unsullied by human abstraction. A more informed medium might emerge as the shared intention of the collective set of relations, of which all life is an integral part.

    Would love to hear your thoughts, here or at where hopefully we can expand on economic sabotage, magical warfare, and restorative justice. Best to you,

    Can you send a signed copy?


  6. Hi Firestarted, thanks for the thought-provoking comments. Much appreciated. I do know the Anita Nelson book, though I have only read parts of it. Of course, abolishing money is a somewhat challenging task ;) but it's interesting to see the new potentials being opened up right now. I'm actually going to be a writing a big piece on future of money for a magazine soon, so will put a link up to that when I've done. In terms of signed copies, send me an email (see the right hand column on this page, and I can give you some details - normally orders are routed via the publisher, but we could arrange something). Cheers!