Goods exchange, swap and alternative money communities II.

The coming topic is one that makes me enthusiastic. I’ve got the impression that Suska (pron. Shooshka) and all the similar movements have a very important key role in the process of transforming our society to a much more humane form. So I felt that this article cannot remain left out of my website either. Read it with love and an open heart!

Originally published (in Hungarian language) in the (III. /2013-05) issue of Napi Elemozsia Magazin on page 50.

Ann article plus an interview with EzVanZsac, owner of publisher EzVan Kiado and founder of Suska community – 2nd part (if you haven’t read the first part please click here to read it: )


“…we understood: we only have got what we create…”


Zsac– Every newcomer are had a chat with by someone. This someone is usually me, although by now already we have some active members who could take this task over, but still mostly it is me who approaches the newly joined ones. I don’t mind, I do it gladly, and it’s a sort of warrant that we can get to common terms. Other tasks I’m glad to give away, such as website design and maintenance, or organizational tasks. There are some talented, enthusiastic, skilled and strenuous people who can do these just the same. There is a need to it as myself I usually work 10-12 hours a day.

– How does the crisis cut in?

– Economic crises can only exist because of the lack of money. It’s just like as if some customer at the marketplace wanted to buy two kilos of potatoes, but couldn’t, because there was no scale there. So basically one cannot get what one needs because there is no go-between. Money as we know it, works just like that. The loans and debts nobody can repay in full. Some individuals maybe, but not the whole of society, because money is originally debt. Most of the people have no clue whatsoever on how much it costs us to use Euro or Forint. It costs a lot of money.

I give you an example. If I have one hundred suskas and I give it to you on 1% interest, when can you pay it back? I don’t ask for more, only 1%. When can you pay back? Never. Because we only have got 100 suskas altogether. Money works like this. That’s the reason for the existence of the economic crisis. It’s not an economic crisis, but a money-manipulation fraud crisis. Because the ability to work remained, only the money is never enough to pay back the debt. Luckily more and more people srtat to see this.

– Are there any conditions when someone wants to join?

– Whoever is willing to offer something to the community and create values, can join. One must create a value for which there is a need. The value is the ability to work. This way we cannot have deficit, as the ability to create values and the ability to work is already there to begin with. Everybody is able to do some kind of work, give some kind of services, or to create a product.
Many people come, who when it’s about „it can only work if you put yourself into it” go like sorry, I ain’t got time for this. Again others’ attention needs be drawn to the fact that the hour and a half for which they have been talking and complaining about how much they have no time, was indeed a considerable amount of it that could have been used up more efficiently. So their task is really simple: do away or cut down on these and then they will have some time. But of course with people with this kind of attitude you cannot accomplish much. Time and effort must be put into this and it requires a certein level of cosciousness which only few has got. It’s easy to subscribe to the newsletter, and of course many do. From many thousands of people only 100-200 takes part occasionally (usually monthly), and 20-30 are the core.

– How typical of you is the ambition to change society? How much of the „save the world attitude” have you got?

– Not at all. We don’t swim against the current – on the contrary. We work in and together with the system. We’re not a partisan group, nobody has to be afraid of us. We are no revolutionists, we don’t plan anything that profoundly shakes the world. We live our community life, in the mean time we are open and anybody can come over who accepts our conditions and is willing to add his part of the work to the society’s.

– What impacts will it have on society?Suska (1)

– Well, after a facepalm they will say „omg, why hasn’t this occurred to me earlier?”

– Do you have any kind of supervision?

– Not any. Neither account keeping. Or more specifically, everybody supervises and everybody keeps accoun. The fact that we trust each other is an unbelievably good feeling. You can only meet trustworthy people here.

– Is there anything else that you think is important and may not be leaft out of the conversation when we speak about Suska?

– This is not really an alternative money. We – as I usually say – suska (as verb – traslator). And in the mean time we try to figure it out what it is and how we should do it. It always changes a bit. And I can say it is getting more and more serious. We do it more and more seriously and of higher standards. We get a practice of suskaing, and while practising we get to understand its workings. Good spirit is most important. And everybody is friends to someone else in the community, everybody is member of a smaller ‘team’ within the society. Economy, speaking of greater terms, is also a closed circle, as it’s not infinite. After some time eveerybody gets to know everybody else. Contacts are most important in Suska too. There are many things which you cannot find out on a website, only through personal contacts. Loans do work, but of course without interests. If somebody cannot pay back what they got, because there is no need for what he could do or give, whatever they offered to the Suska community, then they are in debt to the community. In this case they pay back to somebody else with their product or service, or at another time.

– What are your long term plans?

– There are no long term plans – for the time being we do it, we go on like this and we do hope that it will evolve and grow, and we will see what’s next then. In these cities we hold meetings and the members are from here: Budapest, Szeged, Szekesfehervar, and a village on the Plain called Mosroc.

In Budapest we have weekly meetings. One meeting a month is easily done by everyone mostly, but weekly ones require four times the effort and time and can be carried out by much less people.

Suska booklet: it’s downloadable. Beautiful cover, a masterpiece. Everybody fills out what they gave and what they got, and the quantities, how much they paid.

So, what’s important is good spirit and awareness. These two and only in this order.

– What’s happened to you lately? What are the latest news?

The most recent is: Mary Claire magazine is coming to us, too. Then, we have many new applicants, around 10-20 people at every market. Most recently we had a very pleasant experience. With a projekt we had a strict deadline that we had to keep. Suska people helped and we did it. There were some who only did it for the experience and they didn’t claim any Suskas.

Most important part in our activities is trust. There’s a good story that could stand as an example. A headteacher of a school was told by a teacher that they had to buy new stationery. But not from the usual source where we had previously got them from, but there’s a new dealer here at this and this address and we can save a lot of money if we choose them. The headteacher said „No way we’re gonna choose saving a little amount of money over an old, trusting relations – we’re not gonna give it up for unsure goodies. We can be cartain that we get high quality products, and if anytime we have a problem with anything, we can contact them and they’ll smooth everything out. If we can’t reach them, then we may contact a local small business. If there’s none in the city, then in the county. But we won’t risk this treasure!” If I know somebody, the risk that we get deceived is minimal. And if some problems arise, they immediately swap it over or refund. The very basics of our community is trust and so far, during its many years of existence there hasn’t been a single issue, so it’s obviously working well. We never have dismissals. It’s good to know that I won’t meet a malevolent person here. Moreover, we can be confident and count on the Suska staff.

– What would you suggest to those who would start a similar community?

– Feel good, have good spirit! This is most important. The rest will fall into place!



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