You Never Really Own Anything

Ownership. Property. This is mine. This is yours. Do you think you own anything? You don’t. Ownership is an illusion. So is property. Why? Because all the things you use are only used by you temporarily before they are passed on or thrown away. Be it food, clothing, cars, property, furniture, cell phones, air, water. You never say to anyone ‘Don’t breath here! This air is mine!’. Of course not. Air is still free, and no one claims to own it. Water is also in a large degree free, but is becoming more and more privatized. Food, clothing, cars and land has become utterly privatized. Still. You don’t, and never will own anything of it.

You use it.

You don’t own it.

At best, all you can say about ownership is that ‘this is in my possession now and as long as I am using it’. That is the most ‘ownership’ there is. Everything that you ‘own’ is only ‘yours’ temporarily. It is only borrowed or rented. Your food goes into you and comes out again. So does the water. Even your body is on loan. When you die it goes back into the circulation. Ownership is an illusion. Still, it’s an illusion bought by humanity. But it is no more than an agreement that say’s that ‘ok, we will have a system here that gives some the right to claim vast resources of the planet for themselves, while others get nothing’.

There’s no ownership in nature. There’s only coexistence, with every part fulfilling their task, and every part being fulfilled in doing so. In a moneyless society and resource based economy this is how we will look at ownership, since this is the only ‘ownership’ there is and ever will be. Having a paper that say’s you own something doesn’t make it more ‘yours’ in the big scheme of things. Whatever you ‘own’ can be lost in the blink of an eye.

Today ownership is almost equal to accessibility. The more you own, the more access you have to things in life. The more land you own, the more cars you own, the more houses you own, etc. The problem is that you are only one person and cannot possibly make 100% use of all the things you own. Even if you only own one car and a guitar. You will never be able to use whatever you own all the time.

If, however, you didn’t own anything, but had access to virtually everything this planet and humanity can offer, you would ‘own’ more than the richest people on this planet will ever own. I’ll say this again, because this is the most important thing there is to grasp when it comes to concept of non-ownership:

If you didn’t own anything, but had access to virtually everything this planet, and humanity, can offer, you would own more than the richest people on this planet will ever own. The whole planet would be yours to use. Of course, this means that all borders and visas would have to go too.

In a resource based economy everyone will have access to virtually everything on this planet. Today we think that if this was the case, everyone would rush to the same places and go for the same things, because that is what is seemingly happening today. ‘Everyone’ seem to run after the same things. And sometimes, yes, some things are more popular than others. But we must remember that a lot of this is due to advertising and promotion seeking a certain behavior among the population fulfilling the profit motive of the capitalistic system.

One example of a moneyless system in today’s society is the library. Sometimes you have to wait for books to come back, yes, but more than often the books you want to borrow are there for you. If the whole world was like the library, you might have to wait a while going to a certain beach or holiday resort if it was full for the time being. But, there would be lot’s and lot’s of other places to visit in the mean time, just like there would be lot’s of other interesting books to read while you were waiting for the one you wanted. Maybe you’d find other, even more interesting books to read, and places to visit, in the mean time.

The idea of ownership builds on the notion of scarcity. The thought that there is not enough of places and books for every one of us. Therefore, it is best to hoard as much as we can while we can. If we don’t, we risk being without, not having access and having to live a poor life.

Not owning anything could be the best experience humanity has ever had. It would result in the most abundant lifestyle anyone on this planet could ever dream of. Not owning anything is a notion built on the opposite of scarcity. It is a thought that when we share, everyone will have many times more than what we would ever have if we were to own everything we wanted. This includes the richest of the richest people on this planet. No one, I repeat, n o   o n e, can own the whole planet. Even though someone certainly tries to do just that, it will never happen. In any case no one would ever be able to use the whole planet for themselves only. You can’t swim on all the seas, climb all the mountains or eat all the food.

Some people try to own as much as possible, thinking this will bring the best lifestyle for them, not realizing that sharing will bring more to everyone, even them. Of course, we can not all have our own private jet or private beach. But we would have access to more jet’s and beaches than we could ever use in a world with no ownership.

So, since we don’t own anything anyway, since ownership is nothing more than an illusion bringing lack to the world, why not simply abandon it. Of course, this is not something that is done over night. Many people are ready for it, even rich people. But just as many people are afraid of it and far from ready. For it to happen this thought has to manifest itself throughout the population and take root. Humanity have to break free from the thought of money, property and ownership and open it’s eyes to the new virtually unlimited possibilities a moneyless society and a resource based economy can offer.


Yann Arthus-Bertrand – Home – The Movie

Yann Arthus-Bertrand has directed a most amazing film about the earth’s resources. How it all began, and how we are now depleting the planet. But, the film has hope in the end, mentioning positive developments around the planet.

Still, I can not understand how we can save this planet while holding on to the monetary system. The film is non-profit, but sponsored by several profit hungry companies, with the same profit hunger that has caused most of the depletion of resources the film is criticizing.

See the film here:

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Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand