The datti: Money in reverse

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plant coins

“Civilisation’s most fatal folly was monetization and propertizing of the natural world that is humanity’s great commons.”

– Joe Bageant, Nine billion little feet

Are you looking for a practical, dynamic and powerful alternative to money?

If you seek a more joyful and meaningful way to meet your needs and the needs of others, then you may be interested in the emerging gift economy and its latest offshoot, a beautiful pewter coin called a datti.

A gift economy is the antithesis of the money economy and it’s a way through the multiple crises facing our species. It’s easier on the Earth because it emphasises simplicity and thrift and it’s healthier for humanity because it encourages people to give of their surplus rather than to hoard it. Thus, a gift society rewards giving, not accumulating, and its application fosters trust, generosity and gratitude.

I’ve written about gift circles and how they’re transforming our relationships in a previous article. The datti builds upon the gift circle and expands the nascent gift economy by extending its reach deeper into the community.

The datti coin might look and feel like money but it acts in reverse and its purpose is to mark the gift economy ethos with a visible, attractive and concrete symbol. A datti coin is passed along to another person each time you give a gift. Then, when your recipient gives a gift, they pass the coin and their gift to the next person. And so it goes — until one day we all wake up to find ourselves in a world of gifts.

Anyone can make this little beauty and all you need is a sense of adventure and a coin-making mold. I’ve already ordered my datti mold (they’re free) so I can make my own coins. I might be waiting a short while though, because they’ve been hugely popular and the admirable datti people can’t get them out fast enough.

You can read all about the datti and how it works via the link below. If you want to learn more about the history and philosophy of a gift economy, then the best introduction I know is by Charles Eisenstein, an indefatigable de-growth activist and theorist and a lucid, intelligent exponent of alternative economic arrangements.

Charles Eisenstein: To build community, an economy of gifts
Joe Bageant essay: Nine billion little feet

Author: Claire Bell
Claire Bell is the health and wellbeing editor of Midlifexpress. She is the author of Stone Age Secrets for Mind and Body and Comma Magic. Print and ebooks available on Amazon.

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