Ostrom's first four principles describe the values that guide the appropriate use of the commons: "1. Define clear group boundaries. 2. Match rules governing use of commons goods to local needs and conditions. 3. Ensure that those affected by the rules can participate in modifying the rules. 4. Make sure the rule-making rights of community members are respected by outside authorities."
Her fifth through seventh rules discuss the values that are involved in enforcement: "5. Develop a system, carried out by community members for monitoring members' behavior. 6. Use graduated sanction for rule violators. 7. Provide accessible, low-cost means for dispute resolutions."
Ostrom's eighth principle for managing commons describes the nesting of scale "Build responsibility for governing the common resources in nested tiers from the lowest level up to the entire interconnected system."
Ostrom's principles are impossible to initiate in the context of the values built into our current money system. Removing the unearned portion of profit from the structure of money is a necessary step in the process of change. Simple money does so, and follows all of Ostrom's principles in its organization.
Trust in the present money/financial system is waning. Its need for exponential growth is not consistent with a finite economy, so it is not long for this world. We need to be creating an alternative that is viable, and consistent with democratic values.
Simple money can do this. Centering the power of money creation locally in a nested system, and structuring it to promote provisioning instead of profit, makes localization of other institutions and habits that don't happen in the context of the present money system much more viable. Communities can more easily come together to support their needs.
At the same time we have to realize that we are all enmeshed in the present system, which makes it difficult to see it as it is. Because those of us who are not on the edge also benefit, through investments and interest income, its structure is justified in our minds.
Finding ways to deal with or replace the income received by small savers, and redistribute or cancel that of those who have gained much wealth as a result of their operation and manipulation of the current money system, are issues before us. Some of this will simply happen as the present system collapses and is replaced by a sustainable and resilient money regime .
In our final article we will discuss the mechanics of getting started on the road to a real democratic money system.