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This piece dives deep into the achievements of Paul Grignon, a renowned artist who has painted a vivid picture of a financial system that fuels a seemingly uncontrollable public debt and accelerates environmental damage.

In today’s digital age, we’ve encountered numerous people who have gained fame through viral videos. A notable instance includes Victoria-based author Andrew Struthers, known for his hilarious “Spiders on Drugs” video, a parody of the Canadian Wildlife Service’s “Hinterland Who’s Who” advertisements, which has received almost 30 million YouTube views. However, the viral video that stands out is Paul Grignon’s “Money as Debt,” a visual art and animation masterpiece that delves into the dynamics of our contemporary money creation system.

Paul Grignon’s Viral Success with “Money as Debt”

The unexpected popularity of the “Money as Debt” video, crafted by the 63-year-old Gabriola Island-based artist, is nothing short of remarkable. With over 12,000 DVD copies sold and multilingual reproductions spanning 24 languages, the video has crossed the milestone of two million viewers. Prominent institutions like the Canadian Action Party, the American Monetary Institute, influential figures such as Wall Street ex-managers, economists David Korten and Hazel Henderson, and political celebrities like Elizabeth Kucinich and Dennis Kucinich have all endorsed it.

So, what’s the secret behind its viral success?

Grignon attributes the video’s appeal to its simplicity and engaging content. He wanted to create a resource that would captivate even the youngest viewers while providing accurate insight into complex financial concepts.

Content Background

A Peek into the Financial World through Grignon’s Animated Artistry

Grignon’s unique blend of hand-drawn and computer-animated cartoons, coupled with effective storytelling techniques, makes the esoteric topic of finance digestible and politically captivating. His film showcases a myriad of moving diagrams, visual analogies, and thought-provoking quotes, ensuring the viewer is engaged throughout the narrative.

The original idea for the film, “The Goldsmith’s Tale,” was commissioned in 2002 by an activist group and transformed a complex seminar about fraudulent lending practices into an engaging animated short. This inspired Grignon to consult experts and devote long hours to create the full-length version of “Money as Debt.”

The video takes viewers on a journey that begins with early trade between indigenous people and rapidly transitions into centuries of economic and cultural evolution. This exploration helps viewers understand modern banking and how banks create loans that exceed their financial reserves, how these loans metamorphose into bank assets, and how these actions create new money.

Exploring the Impact of Private Sector Control over Money Creation

The climax of the film uncovers the detrimental effects of handing over the power of money creation to the private sector. This move has created a financial system that relies heavily on debt, triggering a continuous need for economic growth to repay these debts, which continue to accumulate with compounding interest.

Despite its complex subject matter, the film has been praised for its clear and concise content. Critics have noted how Grignon expertly frames the complex world of finance as a simple children’s story, making it easy for viewers to understand our precarious financial situation.

A Call for Monetary System Reformation

After viewing the film, it’s challenging to disregard the urgent need for reform in our monetary system. The film prompts viewers to ponder the question of how much longer we can continue with rising average debt. It also brings into question the sustainability of a financial system that makes us work harder, produce more, and use more resources to pay off these debts.

Paul Grignon believes that we need to adopt an alternative exchange system that supports direct trade between individuals. This idea is further explored in the final video of his trilogy, “Money as Debt III.”

Transitioning to a “Beyond Money” Exchange System

In this sequel, Grignon discusses how we can shift towards a system that isn’t reliant on banks, loans, credit cards, or cash. He believes that the future lies in self-issued credits, where businesses and individuals promise goods or services into a system, essentially creating money backed by demanded goods and services. Navigating trades between people and businesses offering different goods and services may be complicated, but as Grignon comments, “If you want liberty and freedom… It’s a bit messy!”