The broad-scale adoption of local currencies by communities around the world has brought with it an equally broad interpretation of the economic principles which govern its operation. Many activists perceive LETS as a form of exchange which promotes abundance within a community. In the face of such a perception though many users experience difficulty in spending their local currency. This paper analyses this disjunction by focusing upon Marx’s conception of use value and exchange value to examine the form of exchange which LETS represents. This interpretation of the structure of LETS is compared with the perceptions which many LETS activists hold about LETS’ exchange form. A case study of a demised LETSystem supports the conclusion that, as a type of money, LETS must conform to well established economic ‘laws’ which identify monetary super-abundance with economic demise.
Mark Jackson Volume 1(1997) 2
To cite this article: Jackson, M. (1997) ‘The problem of over-accumulation: examining and theorising the structural form of LETS’ International Journal of Community Currency Research 1 <www.ijccr.net> ISSN 1325-9547 http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.1997.003