Unoccupy the Banks

My guess is that 99% of the people protesting in the Occupy movement had, and still have, a bank account. I am one of those 99%.

If you have a bank account, then you have a relationship with the bank, whether your account is in the red or black. Red is debit or debt, you owe the bank. Black is credit, they owe you.

Red and black and white are Satanic colours, like Santa wears, and so do all the newspapers. So I think there must be something in banking called “in the white”.

If you are in the white, your account is zero, or non existent, and this is the only way we will ever manage to collapse the banks. You don’t need to join a movement or campaign, you can just do it yourself, which is nice.

It sounds easy at first glance, until you start to think about how you are going to get your account to zero. HoHo, says Santa, you are all dependent on the banks, and the toys you need to buy, and the money you need to earn.

Did you know that homeless people are encouraged to have bank accounts so they can join in the system too ? We can’t have any “in the white” people can we ? They are not playing the game. They are not joining in the fun.

Children are encouraged to have bank accounts. You can set up one for them before they are born.

There are bank accounts that are called other things, like mobile phone accounts, utility bill accounts, Oyster card accounts, council tax accounts etc etc. All of them have a relationship of IOU one way or the other. Either you owe them, or they owe you.

You don’t have to zero your account to make a difference. You can step by step reduce the size of the relationship. Less banking activity, less amount in debit or credit. Slow the flow.

Trouble is we have got used to banking. We have got used to clicking our fingers with a wad of money, or clicking on the internet, and magic, we have something effortlessly. We have got used to keeping count. We have got used to earning and spending as two separate things. We have got used to storing up money. We have got used to living in the future. If I have earned money, I want a store of it for later on. If I spend what I don’t have, I know I will have to pay it back. If I have worked all my life, I want to stop when I am older and get my pension contributions back.

Once you start to think about it, it becomes very obvious why the banks haven’t collapsed even though everyone knows they are corrupt. We all want them to stay. We can’t work out how to exist without them. The demand for banking is still there, big time. How can we manage without banks, they seem to be at the core of our very existence.

The banking system is based on debt. Owing. It is a flow of OWE. You owe to the bank or they owe to you. To “owe to” is O2, oxygen, the thing that fuels us and keeps our body alive.

The banking system is a body of sorts, that is kept alive by OWE TO, the red and black balance sheets of debt. Banks breathe OWE. It is as if we have become a world that breathes money.

Money is printed on paper, the paper would be trees if it wasn’t used for making money. The trees, like all plants, give us a steady supply of oxygen in the air that we breathe.

It seems to me that the OWE flow has become more important than the O flow of Oxygen. Whatever we worship, we will get. You worship by participating in the ritual. Do you participate in banking ? I do. No matter how much we protest, the banks will not go away until we stop having a relationship with them.

I am going to turn the Occupy movement on its head….

I say UNOCCUPY. Unoccupy your bank account. Be one of the 1% that don’t have a bank account. Find another way to live.

(See also earlier posts : Why I Need Money, Gift Economy, Money Less Society, Taxing, Housing Tax, Jesus and the Taxes, Red and Black and White, Place Your Bets, The Queen’s Debt, Dark Satanic Mills, Every Breath You Take, U R What You Eat, Growing Money, Monthly Contract)

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5 Responses to Unoccupy the Banks

  1. Noonoo says:

    Oyster cards are exactly like bank accounts, even to the point of people being warned via public announcements at the train stations to keep their Oyster cards and bank cards separate, otherwise the card scanner might debit both accounts. It’s becoming more and more difficult to travel around London and surrounding area without one or another. London bus drivers don’t take cash any more, so you can’t get on a bus without scanning a card. If you don’t have an Oyster card you need a bank card. London Buses did ‘consult’ on this last year, just so they could say that this is what people wanted, and isn’t it so much better for everyone, not having to wait while the poor bus driver gives passengers change from £10 notes, and we can all buzz off to our destinations much quicker now, like busy little worker bees? The world is our Oyster! You can still pay for a train ticket with cash, I don’t know for how much longer though. One of the train companies operating out of London to areas beyond the Oyster zone is introducing plastic ‘bank’ cards of their own so you can have your monthly/annual travelcard put on there – so much easier, more convenient, durable (and trackable) than a paper ticket, and you can scan it just like an Oyster card. First it will be optional, just like the Oyster cards, then it won’t be possible to go through the ‘barrier’ without scanning a card. All done by small increments and ‘for our own good’, like the capture of the wild and free pigs of the Okefenokee swamp.

    • suliwebster says:

      Spot on, Noonoo.
      It sounds like it has got worse since I last went to London about 2 years ago. I remember finding one train line that you couldnt buy a ticket for without cash and realised where things were heading. The next step of “convenience” will be the chip inside, so that YOU can be scanned, debited, credited etc, very green, no need for plastic.
      I got rid of my oystercard about a year ago, demanded my deposit back. The deposits alone must be worth about 50 million quid I reckon. I don’t care if I never go to London again.
      The progress forward is forcing us to decide, I think. To choose the city way, you have to buy into all this chipping and accounting business. If you don’t want the Big Brother city way, then you have to sacrifice all the comforts you have got used to, and go a bit more “wild”. The big problem for me is that people I love are choosing the city way.
      Do we need buses, cars, trains, planes ? Is it worth it ?
      My next objective is to get rid of my car, but it is a weaning process, will probably take a few months.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Love your blog and insights, Suli. Amazing!

  3. suliwebster says:

    I recently received a voting form from the Building Society where I have an account.
    It seems to confirm this post. Voting rights are granted if you are in credit by at least £100, or you have a mortgage (debt) of at least £100. It is the size of the relationship that counts, not which way the debt goes.

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