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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.

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44 Responses so far.

  1. […] “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 money less 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”.  You Never Really Own Anything|The Resource Based Abundant Economy […]

  2. Lawrence Prince says:

    I own my own thoughts. Know what they are saying right now? First one is two words. “HIPPIE TALK.”

    Or did ever stop to realize through all of what you are saying that maybe we’ve already reached that stage of our species where we were all lying around one another on furs sharing raw boar meat, mammoth tusks and berries and waiting the night out in a cave away from the angry lion who would eat us until we could trek back out on the nomadic path to anywhere once again?

    Y’know, I have no issue with you wanting to find ways to bring humanity back to some sense of care for their fellow man, however, I worked real hard to get something that I would have finally owned, my God-given right by the way, not a privilege. Before that I lived how you described, in a smaller sort of way, growing up up not only having to let a brother and sister collection of 7 use all of the same things, but always being concerned that we might not have enough of what we needed. Forget wanting something, it was out of the question! I couldn’t wait to become an adult, get on my own and earn to OWN things. But every once in a while, guys such as yourself come along and say to the rest of us who finally have what is theirs, well… “you don’t own that.” “You don’t own anything.” “You never really own anything.”, etc.

    That’s very easy for you to say because if you ever came to my house my friend, you’d know I owned it the very first moment I asked you to wipe your shoes on my floormat. Which I own. You’d also want to be careful not to step on my dog’s sleeping cushion at a certain area of the living room floor, which he owns. He tends to have a heavy growl when angry and I don’t own that though sometimes I wish I did, but getting back to my point… I live in a country called the United States of America. Over 200 years ago, a lot of very very brave and exceptional individuals worked hard to own what they own. As a result we got the right to life liberty and property, yes, property, that before we were told we could have, because the king said nope, it’s mine, all mine. Well not no more it isn’t! Because I’m sitting on land right now that is mine, oh so mine. I get to do what I want, and nobody’s going to tell me what I can have, nobody else is sleeping in my bed, nothing.

    I wake up in it in the morning and it’s the greatest feeling in the world. I ask you, please, that you would not have any silly thoughts of asking me to share it with just anybody. Now if your bed is as cozy as mine, can’t we just both have our own and call it a day? That’s my .02 cents thanks.

    • Kelvin says:

      Hello Lawrence. How do you define ‘owning’ something? What makes it yours, and what is meant by that?

    • Kelvin says:

      Another thought I forgot to add is, there’s really no point in using an ad hominem for an intro to your response.

  3. Yanaba says:

    Beautiful. I’ve been saying this for some time and it’s difficult living around those who believe the opposite. All this conflict over NOTHING!

  4. ZART says:

    Technically speaking, if you believe in God, he actually owns everything, LITERALLY! Your soul, body, and everything in this universe. I am not religious person but I believe in God and even though it is all against my EGO, gotta accept he owns every damn thing in this universe. I also don’t feel in Free Will. If God already knows what you are going to end up being, that is not Free Will and it is already planned…

  5. daveola says:

    But more to the point, since you presumably believe and live by what you have written, then please send me the password to the account for the domain ‘theresourcebasedeconomy.com‘ since you don’t own it and I have some things I would like to use it for.

    • Kelvin says:

      That’s actually a good point.

      • daveola says:

        I’m still waiting for the password.

        The reality is that I’ll never get it.

        Because one of the ways we protect our ownership of intellectual property is through the use of secrets (such as passwords) which is *exactly* what the author of this blog is doing. Protecting his ownership of his website which purports to tell us we should give up ownership.

        This is a clear hypocrisy and demonstrates where the author’s philosophy falls apart.

        Ownership is not an illusion in this case. It is a very real thing.

        If the author truly believes in the complete removal of ownership as a concept, then I suggest he takes the first step and sends me his password. As well as his bank account information. I have a real use for that as well.

  6. daveola says:

    This is such a ridiculously simplistic view that clearly tries to make the communist point by simply claiming that it is true. It is ludicrous to say:

    “Do you think you own anything? You don’t. Ownership is an illusion.”

    And then later to say:

    “Not owning anything could be the best experience humanity has ever had.”

    Wait a second, I thought we didn’t own anything! So everything should be ideal already!

    It’s ludicrous. If your initial premise were true, then there would be no reason to write the article.

    The concept that you “don’t own anything” completely ignores a huge number of issues:

    1) Being able to control/hold/maintain something such that other people cannot get to it (within reason – such as safes, or IP that you keep in your mind).
    For example, you can ‘own’ an idea that you never publish, land that you can reasonably protect, etc..

    2) Ownership can also be usage of consumables – I certainly do own food that eat, to claim that it comes back out again and is still somehow food is ludicrous. If I eat a sandwich, then I am the only one who eats that sandwich.

    3) We live in a time where the social contract allows ownership. We own things because we have all agreed to allow ourselves to own things.

    Perhaps #3 is the most important. And one can make arguments for whether this is a good idea or not on both sides, some argue that property ownership is good because it incentivizes people, others argue that property ownership is bad because we could all magically be rich if we shared everything (you know, like in Soviet Russia).

    But to simply claim that ownership isn’t real and therefore we should all be communist is a fallacious (and somewhat childish) argument.

    • Kelvin says:

      Hello Daveola. I think you used a strawman argument in the first part of your reply where you point out what you think is oxymoronic. Whether this is intentional is unknown to me and irrelevant. What I think the author meant to say was that we really don’t own anything (in so much that all things are temporary, including our thoughts of us owning it) but that we live as if we do. We do not live in a world where the former “Do you think you own anything? You don’t. Ownership is an illusion.”, isn’t really a persistent philosophy/idea in society. If it were so, and if we ergo were to live like it was, then we can reason further on the matter.

      • daveola says:

        I don’t think it’s a strawman to point out where the author isn’t following his own philosophy.

        Perhaps he should have written “Giving up the illusion of ownership could be the best experience humanity has ever had”

        But he didn’t.

        And it speaks volumes to the very real and pragmatic truth that ownership *does* exist. It is demonstrated by our ability to protect what we believe we own, through physical and intellectual and legal means.

    • Kelvin says:

      I’d also like to point out that #2 is a bit one-sided. The matter that comes out of our bodies is still food for a lot of insects and microbial organisms.

  7. Nikhil says:

    Harold, you are absolutely correct . That we never really own anything.! All these illusions are man made. How does anyone get the authority to say that this is mine or that is mine. You can argue that the government or any governing body gives the authority, But who gives the government the authority to create rules.?? Of course we can argue that people vote and select the government and then the government creates the rules. And the rules are for the good of everybody but these same rules have been used to exploit people. Nobody can exploit except humans, animals tend to control a territory for the most basic need that is food and shelter. But humans, they do it to satisfy their own ego,to think that they are above the rest,more powerful… Now these conditions that make them feel powerful are itself illusory. Because the concept of property itself is illusory… Society itself is illusory , it was created, out of nothing, out of concrete stuff,mainly for everyone to lead better lives , but whats happening is just complete opposite. I have always wondered that what do these super rich people do with the money?? Invest in bonds, shares, real estate and just keep multiplying them!! While at the same time many people lead such extremely horrible lives. Now if you think a bit you will come to know that such a drastic gap is created because of society. Such extremeties of exploitation are only possible with the existence of society. No animals exploit , they just can’t, that’s why such great extemeties do not exist in the animal kingdom! Animals never have any self image? If anyone knows of any species of animals which has self image please pm me. And humans go on exploiting not for the self but for self image, which is completely illusory.Now we have so man worship places absolutely empty , while we have beggars sleeping with any proper facility.And these places absolutely empty. Such extremety is only because of man’s hunger for more power, for more money. Now if you think the basis, the conditions on which a man thinks himself to be powerful is itself illusory. A shift towards a resource based economy is possible but it would very slow,gradual. And the amount the revolt it will face we will be great. And the ones who will revolt are the super rich ones.

  8. […] more you own, on paper that is (because in reality no one can own anything), the richer and more ‘wealthy’ you are. The funny thing is that if you own 5 villas, 7 cars, 3 […]

  9. thedevman says:

    This is an interesting concept, “Not owning anything”.
    However Humans will be humans, and there are many things you will not be able to ‘socially engineer” from the humans that you could; say.. an Animal such as a dog or cat (Well thats not entirely true with cats… untrainable! As well as some dogs).
    YES the human will can be broken, but in most cases you cannot break their spirit.
    Try as you may, the human has been given (By God) the inclination,will,desire,WANT to be free.
    Most will fight to the death for that, including myself…
    Small Rabbit trail there but it’s really a segway to my next point. While you can legislate, force or otherwise compel people to share everything an play nice, you cannot (because of human emotions) legislate greed.
    NOPE not now not ever. If calling greed a crime and throwing someone in jail for same, would somehow deter a human from such things, then we would not have people in prison or executed for murder.
    That being said, it’s a nice idea to share everything but human nature dictates that if you put 12 people in a room, and give each of them $2.00, and come back in a month or so, guaranteed someone in that room will have $24.00
    Taking a look at history we can also see that most all of the dictatorships based on “Hey those rich people got all they want so we need to take it from them and distribute to the people fairly” only exposes their real intentions and human inclinations to be greedy and jealous. Sure… at first Hitler and Goerbles were heroes of the worker and the people when they took away from the bourgeoisie and supposedly distributed this wealth to the masses in the form of the Volkswagon (AKA “Folks” wagon fi you speak the Deutchse ) a job for everyone and a chicken in every pot, e.t.c. But what happened is a matter of fact and history, became one of the finest examples of greed and envy perhaps in all human history.
    Hitler and Goerbles and the rest became exactly what they claimed they hated (who hasn’t done that though?) They became wealthy and, lived in the lap of luxury by taking money from the rich Jews and even stealing their gold caps form their teeth to add to their booty. Throwing lavish parties,and living like kings!
    But at the cost of many many lives, all for power and based in greed and intolerance.
    So my question is this: So if we can truly “share” everything how can we overcome greed?
    Good luck with all that.

  10. paul baker says:

    you don’t have to make money to exert yourself i do my housework every day
    take for instance a doctors annual salary has gone up 5 times since 1979
    an investment bankers has gone up 500 times in that period for playing a
    corrupt conniving game of monopoly . uncontrolled unregulated free market capitalism
    causes problems of inequality boom and bust is wasteful and damaging to the planet.
    of that there is no dought .

  11. beansandrice says:

    I own my shoes. I can do what I want with them, for as long as I want. Saying otherwise is just pure rubbish. You already got schooled, and owned by “nobody.”

    • Kelvin says:

      Hello Beansandrice. What would make your shoes different if you were not to own them? What would physically change? Is it not merely a thought in your mind, an array of electrochemical impulses that only actually exist the minute you buy them and right before you sell them?

      Also, you can do what you want with them, but not for as long as you want because not only are they temporary, but so are you.

      “Saying otherwise is just pure rubbish.” sounds a lot like something someone would say who are unwilling to become open-minded.

      How did the author of this article ‘get schooled’, as you claim? It sounds to me awfully uncanny to a clearly insecure opinion.

      How did you get to this article, if you don’t mind me asking?

  12. […] more you own, on paper that is (because in reality no one can own anything), the richer and more ‘wealthy’ you are. The funny thing is that if you own 5 villas, 7 cars, 3 […]

  13. Nobody says:

    “At best, all you can say about ownership is that ‘this is in my possession now and as long as I am using it’.”

    The definition of ownership is control of something. It does not imply that you would never relinquish your control of the thing you own. When I eat something that I own, and it comes out in the toilet, I choose to give it away. I could keep my own excrement, but I choose to give it up because I don’t want it anymore. If my property breaks, I will abandon it, I don’t have to, but I would probably decide to.

    “There’s no ownership in nature.”

    There is! Some animals are very territorial, and attempt to control what enters there perceived property.

    “One example of a moneyless system in today’s society is the library.”

    The Library is not “moneyless” we pay for it with our taxes. And without money what would be the incentive to turn books in on time, and take good care of them without a fine for being late?

    • Harald Sandø says:

      ‘Why would I return the book if it wasn’t a fine’?? Because I want others to be able to read it as well of course!! It’s called ‘social conscience’. You know, there are people on this planet whose minds doesn’t work on a ‘reward/punishment’ basis. There are those who actually think about the common good and can see how their own place and actions in the community affects the whole. I would argue that this is the reason most people return their books. Maybe not you, though.

      You miss the point in the ‘ownership’ discussion above. And the point is that in the end, when you die or when you give something up, it is not yours anymore. Sure, I can ‘hold on to it’ and ‘control’ it for as long as I can. I can lock it up, rent it out or use it myself. This is how the monetary system and mindset works. That doesn’t mean that you own whatever you think you own. It is merely a loan as all in this world is temporary. That goes for territorial animals in nature as well. When they’re done defending ‘their territory’ it is not ‘theirs’ anymore, and one can argue that it never was. They only had it one a loan from nature.

      And again you miss the point about the library. The point is that it is something based on sharing one item with many, and it is not based on making profit. That is a huge difference from how the monetary system works in general.

      • Nobody says:

        “when you die or when you give something up, it is not yours anymore. Sure, I can ‘hold on to it’ and ‘control’ it for as long as I can. I can lock it up, rent it out or use it myself. This is how the monetary system and mindset works. That doesn’t mean that you own whatever you think you own. It is merely a loan as all in this world is temporary.”

        That is all ownership is; control. Wether I lose control of it one day is completely beside the point. I own my property for only as long as I don’t give it away, lose it, trade it, get it stolen from me, or I die. The fact that someday I will not own my property does not mean that I do not own it today.

        “there are people on this planet whose minds doesn’t work on a ‘reward/punishment’ basis. There are those who actually think about the common good and can see how their own place and actions in the community affects the whole. I would argue that this is the reason most people return their books. Maybe not you, though.”

        If this “Recourse Based Economy” was global like the “Paradise or Oblivian” documentary wants it to be, there would be people who wouldn’t be motivated to find lost books and turn them in on time, or at all. That would benefit dishonest people, at the expence of people with a “Social Conscience.”

        That is the main problem I see with communism, it benefits lazy and dishonest people, at the expence of hardworking and honest people. Enstead of the other way around, like in a free market.

        • Harald Sandø says:

          So you think in the “free market” there are no lazy or dishonest people taking advantage of the system….? Heard about slackers, loafers and bankers…? I do think they exist today. Non of them contribute any positively to society.

          In RBE they wouldn’t make much difference. The ones who want to live meaningful and productive lives and contribute to their own and other’s happiness do that. The ones who doesn’t want to do that don’t. There will be more than enough people who want to contribute and do something useful and meaningful. And trust me, to actually contribute is one of the most meaningful tasks humans can do. Everyone wants to be a part of a group and get recognition. Of course, some might be spoiled in their upbringing, but even they will eventually get the fact that slacking is very boring in the long run. Not to speak of the problems this person then will experience in his/her life. You’ll get lonely being a loafer. The RBE world will be much like today minus the poverty, wars, most crimes, starvation, pollution, inefficiency, waste, financial crises, national borders, restricted travel, stifled technological development, market competition and meaningless lives.

          Instead we will have local and global collaboration, cooperative development, clean energy, clean air, clean water and food, efficient solutions, no borders, unrestricted travel, unlimited technological development, full recycling and no waste, no financial crises, no or minimal pollution, prosperity, abundance and meaningful lives. You might have noticed that there are already many people on this planet working towards these goals. Both within the monetary system and without. Of course, keeping the monetary system as it is today will make most of these goals impossible.

          Don’t know about you, but for me the choice is pretty clear. Either you work towards it or you don’t. Eventually the nay sayers will be turned around. The positive aspects are too overwhelming.

          • Harald Sandø says:

            And when it comes to ‘ownership’, you are right. Yes, ownership is control. It is just that this article tries to expand or see this concept of ownership in a different way.

            You CAN call ownership ‘usership’. When you use something, it is in your control, and you can say you own it. Still, even today, this might be incorrect when you for example rent or loan something. In that case, you DON’T own it. Still, you ARE using it. And in most cases, you will (have to) take responsibility for it and return it in good shape. Now, the term ‘usership’ would fit very well here.

            The term ‘ownership’ is something that has been developed and refined through the capitalistic system. Ownership and property is the basic building blocks of capitalism. It is what makes a few people able to own vast amounts of money, land, factories and more, while others are not granted anything in comparison.

            Of course, if you are one of the few in this world who are ‘well off’ I understand your sentiment. On the other hand, if you are not, I can’t for my bare life understand why you still want this so-called ‘free market’ and monetary system. It must only be because you are ignorant towards how this ‘free market’ works.

            Sure, you can work you ass of trying to make some bucks or get rich. You might even ‘get ahead’ for a while. Still, it is the ones with the most money, power and Control (derived from ownership) that controls the game. They buy off politicians, buy up competing patents and shut them down, spread disinformation through the media owned by them and even spread newly invented diseases so that they can sell their new medicines. Not to speak of patenting genetically modified seeds so they also can control our food supply. To mention but a few things they do. Now, if you call that a ‘free market’, I don’t know your definition of ‘free’.

            • Nobody says:

              “So you think in the “free market” there are no lazy or dishonest people taking advantage of the system….? Heard about slackers, loafers and bankers…? I do think they exist today. Non of them contribute any positively to society.”

              If there was an actual Libertarian free market, slackers and loafers could not take advantage of the system, because there would be no system to support them. The only welfare lazy people would get would be from the kindness of people who voluntarily choose to donate to them. If I’m lazy, and don’t work in a free market, I will be very poor and miserable, because the only hand outs I get would be voluntary, not coerced. And there would be no bailouts for failing bankers, no one would be coerced into supporting anyone else. Welfare and Bailouts are not free market principles. I do not beleive we live in a free market.

              “In RBE they wouldn’t make much difference. The ones who want to live meaningful and productive lives and contribute to their own and other’s happiness do that. The ones who doesn’t want to do that don’t. There will be more than enough people who want to contribute and do something useful and meaningful.”

              I think there are alot of people who wouldn’t work without payment, infact I think a majority of people wouldn’t work if they didn’t need to to live comfortably. Most people struggle to support there families, I don’t see how they can support free riders.

              And what if as a parasitic free rider in a “Recourse Based Economy” some people decide to have ten kids, and sit on the beach having a good time, and eating shrimp, while you work hard every day cleaning there toilets. How is that fair?

              “You CAN call ownership ‘usership’. When you use something, it is in your control, and you can say you own it. Still, even today, this might be incorrect when you for example rent or loan something. In that case, you DON’T own it. Still, you ARE using it. And in most cases, you will (have to) take responsibility for it and return it in good shape. Now, the term ‘usership’ would fit very well here.”

              Well that’s right, when you rent a car you don’t own it because you have to take good care of it and return it. When you own something you can do whatever you want with it.

              “Of course, if you are one of the few in this world who are ‘well off’ I understand your sentiment. On the other hand, if you are not, I can’t for my bare life understand why you still want this so-called ‘free market’ and monetary system. It must only be because you are ignorant towards how this ‘free market’ works.”

              I don’t support this system, it is not free market Capitalism.

              “buy up competing patents and shut them down,”

              In a free market there are no patents, anyone is free to use any ideas they want, I do not beleive anyone can own an idea.

              “spread disinformation through the media owned by them”

              It’s peoples responsibility to do there own research, if they just beleive anything the news media, or anyone for that matter tells them, that’s there own fault.

              “even spread newly invented diseases so that they can sell their new medicines.”

              If they are spreading diseases that’s murder, and not anything to do with the free market.

              • Harald Sandø says:

                I don’t think we’re that far apart my friend. As far as I can see, a resource based economy could very well be the ‘free market’ you are advocating. No one can stop anyone from charging for their services. The currency that is demanded has to be agreed upon in the market, though. And I am not foreign to having a currency in a resource based economy. It could be LETS, for instance, which is based on hours.

                Still, what you seem to forget is the incredible speed technological development could have when patents are removed. ‘Who would clean the toilets’? One answer is ‘the user of the toilet’, or the one responsible for cleaning those particular toilets. Another answer would be ‘machines’. Robot design is developing fast, and ‘household robots’ is just around the corner.

                Now, when we don’t think in terms of money anymore, but rather in terms of ‘how can we make this the best planet for everyone?’. Then we will design solutions that will benefit everyone. Slacker or no slacker. If a machine is produced that produces an abundance of items, totally recyclable, fully environmentally conscious, then it doesn’t matter if it is a ‘slacker’ or a ‘hard worker’ benefitting from that machine. Thinking in terms of ‘who deserves what’ is completely outdated in a resource based economy. RBE is designed for everyone.

                In addition, when money, banks and trading is abandoned and we simply share what we need we would have about 90% more time on our hands. Why? Because our present monetary system is basically based on preserving itself, not it’s citizens. Most of the activity in this system is there to uphold the system. That includes banking, advertising, trading, buying, selling, insurance, military, tax people, government employees, clerks, etc. etc.

                In a resource based economy we will not need most of these people. Partly because there is not need for banks and the monetary system as we know it, and thus no need for bankers, advertisers and clerks to sell you clothes, food, etc, and partly because there would be a much larger degree of automation in the system replacing the need for people to ‘work’.

                We would have a lot more time on our hands. Time we can spend the way we want.

                • Nobody says:

                  I think the freedom to use, and build on other peoples ideas would help encourage development, but I think it’s rediculous to assume that some how fantastic Robots will be invented that can supply humans with everything they need. I mean what leads you to believe technology will advance so much in so short a time?

                  But assuming some how these incredible machines were created to supply over 7 billion people and rising with anything they could possibly want, what about overpopulation? I think many people would have alot more children than they normally would, if resources were not a factor. If people are having about 10 children, the planet will become overcrowded, there will be scarcity, if not of food and shelter, then of land.

                  • Renard says:

                    “But assuming some how these incredible machines were created to supply over 7 billion people and rising with anything they could possibly want, what about overpopulation? I think many people would have alot more children than they normally would, ”
                    More people would have as many children as they want to have, that is probably true. You have to consider that the number of children people do want is also heavily influenced by culture and education, the fertility rate of most industrialized societies with access to education, birth control and more equality between men and women tend to be barely sufficient to keep population levels and does not present an overpopulation problem. If RBE spreaded overnight wall to wall, before traditional cultures could adapt, it would be problematic for a period of time, but I estimate there is no way this will happen.

              • Renard says:

                I dont think a debate on the sematics of ownership is helping much, its rather sterile.

                Imo, thats just my take, there’s no such thing as a free market except in books, even if you declare all possessions void and nul, all money void and nul, and distribute an equal share of the earths surface and of the money created (new Free Market Dollars with a rainbow and a unicorn), and then let the market start out on an equal footing, you are using a system that inherently creates conflicts of interests(one of its strengths is also the seed of its own destruction) and tilts the balance of power in addition to fail with regards to society has a whole. Eventually you get neofeudal oligarchies that will change the free market into a crony capitalistic one. If you start off from this system with billionaire bankers, billionaire mafia dons, cartels, etc, the free market’s half life will be shorter than that Ununoctium. Though there are many specific points on which I would agree with free market proponents such as patents, and other issues about which I agree entirely.

                “I think there are alot of people who wouldn’t work without payment ”
                Thats a fair criticism. Imo, people will be truly “free” to work on what they want, many will work I have no doubt about it, imo its not so much that people wouldnt work, but that people might not work in sufficient numbers in areas where theres a need for it.

                (In our current system, if theres a need to prevent cancer, its not getting done either mind you, because there’s not automatically profit in preventing a problem but usually profit in alleviating the problem and making sure this cash-cow problem endures so you can keep your business, and thus in fact a conflict of interest when the problem is a source of profit. If its profitable and kills people, people will work on it, like cigarettes, war, etc.)

                Anyway back to RBE, there might indeed be a shortage of toilet cleaning volunteers, and volunteers to work on a boring factory production line, thought automation etc might eventually help, you need a mechanism to to make sure what needs to be done is done until you reach an eventual high level automation. Potentially you could have mandatory 3 day work week, with less popular tasks being highlighted in an information system and granting more vacation weeks per year or something? And these less popular tasks would also be highlighted as potential projects of automation/self-service-ease/prevention ? I’ve not see a detail description of RBE that is satisfying yet (imo ites work in progeress, and constructive criticism is important), but after much reflection I think its possible (though it must be carefully designed and tested).

            • Dalton says:

              Very, very well said.

  14. […] is a mindset. As written in another article, we don’t really ‘own’ anything. ‘Ownership’ is an illusion. Wethink we own things, […]

  15. Haaris Ahmed says:

    It is a nice concept. However, in practice non ownership would not work. The wonderful resorts, beaches and technology you argue we would have access to would not exist without ownership. Most individuals who innovate and come up with new ideas, from technology to medicine, only do so because they profit from it. Why would anyone work in one of the resorts when they have access to all the resources in the world. No one would work for any wage if money ceases to have any value because they can have any resource they want anyway. Sure some individuals will perform jobs such as becoming doctors purely because they want to help people, but the vast majority of more menial jobs will not be performed. The rate of innovation and advance would grind to a halt as people would no longer be motivated by profit. Also there is a large risk that the more powerful people would use resources instead of the weaker people, unless the system was heavily controlled. And who would want to run the system when they could be on an island beach using whatever resources they pleased. Sure life isnt fair, but ownership is in our nature and it is why we have got so far as a species, we can’t fight it!

    • Harald Sandø says:

      I don’t think you are completely right here. Since a global resource based economy have never been fully tested, we wouldn’t know if it would work, now would we?

      You say that ‘Most individuals who innovate and come up with new ideas, from technology to medicine, only do so because they profit from it.’ This claim is simply a fallacy.

      What is certain is that many people do a lot of things not for profit or money, but for other reasons, like the benefit of the society and their own interest and curiosity. This includes those who invent things and comes up with new ideas, ESPECIALLY THOSE.

      Tesla, Einstein, Newton, and all the big inventors of our time didn’t think of profit, but did what they did out of curiosity and service to their own interests and Mankind. Thinking of profit while trying to invent something is like thinking of your grade when you’re at an exam; It never ends up in any good. The ‘invention’ is poor, and the grade is bad.

      Everyone has interests that are not rooted in money/profit. That includes you, even though you might be too brainwashed to see it yourself. But I can help you. Do you have a hobby? Anything. It can be reading, skiing, swimming, running. If so, do you do it because of money, or because you enjoy the activity and the results of it? The answer is obvious. Hobbies is never done for profit. Most of the time YOU have to pay to exercise your hobby. Thus, you do your activity for completely different reasons than money, property or profit.

      Some like to run, go skiing, swim or walk, some like to play the piano, some like to make pianos, some like to draw, some like to sing, some like to program computers, some like to analyze social trends, some like to be a coach for others, some like to teach, some like to learn, some like to design vehicles, some like to drive vehicles, some like to INVENT THINGS, some like to IMPROVE THINGS, some like to CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY, some like to….you get my drift.

      And I can assure you, money/profit/property is for most people something they ‘have to have’ to get by in this world, not something they really want to pursue. Still, most people are brainwashed into believing that money/property will make them happy.

      Sure, there are those who definitely want to pursue money and property and see no interest in activities that doesn’t produce this, but I would argue that this is the minority of people. Still, it is these people who in too large degree run the world today. And of course, you can argue that it is these people who at present time have invested in the resorts around the world.

      I would then argue that many of those people might actually be interested in something IN ADDITION TO money and profit, which is to provide the public with a possibility to enjoy the life close to the sea, and provide that in the best way possible to them. If you have had any involvement in any kind of business, you would know that all successful businesses have a MISSION STATEMENT and a VISION.

      I guarantee you that any business running a resort doesn’t have in it’s vision to ‘make the most profit possible’. That would not work, as the focus would be in the wrong place. A resort will probably have something more like this as a mission statement: ‘to provide luxury and top service to people on a holiday’. Everyone on the resort would work with that as a goal. The money and profit is in the background and works only as a motivation on menial goals.

      Take a look at Dan Pinks video if you haven’t seen it: www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

      It explains and proves this point thoroughly.

      To imagine if/how resorts would work in a RBE, you have to think way out of the box. You are thinking within the box, which is why you are dismissing this out of hand. You are like those who never thought Man would fly, that denied the world was round, and that insisted on the earth being the center of the universe.

      I tell you; Man can fly, the world is round, and the planet earth is not the center of the universe. At least until something else is proven. That goes for the profit based monetary system as well.

      As Dan Pinks video shows, we are not motivated by money or ‘ownership’, but by purpose and meaning, among other things. ‘The reward is in the task itself’.

      To imagine the resource based world will take some brave, courageous, creative and open minds, like the ones who invented the airplane, penicillin, and who proved the earth was round and circling around the sun. Naysayers, will of course never do it. But we thank you, you make us work even harder to create this, forces us to think deeper, and gives us the ‘kick in the butt’ we need to make this happen. Thank you.

      By the way, I am not ‘fighting ownership’, but merely creating a new concept; Usership.

      Definition of Usership: ‘Responsibility and use of something in a certain period of time’.

      Hey! Did you notice that this can also be the definition of ‘ownership’? The only thing that is left out is the part where you can ‘sell’ this thing to someone.

      Think about it. We need new concepts in this world. The old ones are obsolete. If you don’t agree with that, spend an hour watching CNN.

      And why would anyone ‘work’ on a resort? Because they want to.

      I imagine the ‘resort’ in RBE to be a combination of a few dedicated people, a lot of friends and a good deal of automation. The resort will not be like today, where ‘workers’ in dire need of a job serve rich people. No, it will more be like a place where friends meet and hang out and share responsibilities. The actual building of the resort will happen in close connection to natives to the place and what THEY want, which is how it should have been all the time. The natives will then also be a part of building this resort, which will be for their own benefit and use as well. IF they want this kind of ‘resort’ on their place in the first place, that is.

      Then, when the resort is built, the people who visit it will be expected to both show respect and responsibility for the place by doing their part of taking care of it. On the other hand, they can stay as long as they want, and contribute to whatever they want together with the other who stay there. The line between ‘worker’ and ‘guest’ will be much more blurred. A guest will be expected to chip in to help in the daily work on the resort. Still, in the future, robotic automation will be able to do many tasks. Not that that is the goal. Doing ‘work’ together with others to run a resort will be looked at as desirable.

      Resorts will not be built to make money, but to provide a place for people to congregate in community, develop themselves personally, meet new people, share, and have a good time. This will include the people who build the resort, of course.

      RBE is a culture of friendship, community and collaboration where we take care of each other and the nature around us and where we build ‘resorts’ if that is something we feel like doing.

      Today, the reasons for building resorts can, as you say, be monetary profit. Still, as I say, it can also be to create something good for other people and ourselves.

      In RBE, the reason can also be ‘profit’, but not monetary profit. The profit will be in the increased quality of life for everyone involved. And our value system will be such that we wouldn’t want much more than what we need. Thus, we wouldn’t want ‘all the worlds resources’. Why would anyone want that anyway? You could never have any use for it. Thus, Usership, is what we need. Not ownership.

      Hope this helped you a bit.

  16. Arthur says:

    its an interesting concept…to not really own…yes things are temporarily in possession, and then it parishes, gets used up, gets outdated, stolen, broken, etc…so yes people do not own things permanently or infinitively.

    But, i think the concept of owning is not only about the duration of ownership but about the rights that the ownership implies…the owner can use it whenever he/she wants without hindrance from other people..it can be sold at will…the owner can determine who has access to it and who doesn’t…ownership does not only imply having an item but having power over it…and i think this is the key factor why many will not be fond of the idea of usership…it means that to some extent users are dependant on other users…

    usership that was mentioned in another post is also an interesting concept; A concept based on the same principle/working that is used in supply chain management is called variability pooling…it reduces the total need for items or capacity…and thus less strain on the usage of resources…of course adequate quantities of the good would have to be present to accommodate peak demand…and there is a difficulty…there are many things that naturally occur around the same moment or at an interval…

    And this is one of the things that make usership tricky…time of need, duration of need, condition in which a good is at return, etc…

    Perhaps it is a feature of modern day society and the system that we are currently using…i have worked in Holland, Austria, Vietnam, and China…and in the end people have different or conflicting interests and self optimize at the expense of the total system…and you might say that this is a effect of the current system…but once an idea has taken hold it is very difficult to change…even when one can show with obvious calculations and motivations that something is more beneficial for the total system as a whole which means also the system parts…

    Im not saying that usership and sharing are not a good idea…but i do see a major challenge in getting a critical mass for the idea that will also sustain the idea over a long period of time…and what I have see time and time again changing the current idea and behavior of a group to a new and improved way of working/living…

    • Harald Sandø says:

      Thank you for a constructive comment. When it comes to usership in RBE, it will be imbued with such abundance that you CAN keep whatever you want however long you want it.

      Tomorrow we will have nano- and 3D printing that can print nearly anything on demand. Even today we can print very complex items. And even without 3D printing we can today produce such an abundance of nearly everything anyone can even think of wanting that we could easily supply everyone in want with an item each that they can keep for life.

      Still, you must also remember the disadvantages in keeping stuff: 1. It takes up space. 2. It becomes obsolete. 3. You have to carry it to wherever you need it, instead of picking it up there (like golf clubs or slalom equipment). 4. You have to maintain it. And I am sure there are several other disadvantages I haven’t thought of.

      Today our houses are filled with a lot of stuff that keep piling up, and that we only need very seldom. But of course, some of it is handy to have close by, even though I don’t use it that often, like my battery driven power drill/screw driver. So, in that case I would want to have one around. The ‘problem’ is that I have TWO, since I redecorated an apartment once with others, and bought one extra. Now, that one I can say I have almost not used since. I also have new slalom equipment that I only use a few times a year. I have two backpacks, even though I am not that often in the mountain anymore. I have several sleeping mats I bought cheap to keep for guests, but guests don’t come that often. I can go on, but you get the drift.

      Again, in RBE you can keep whatever you want as long as you want it. And if more is needed of a particular item in the world, we will produce it.

      Yes, this will change a lot of the values with people. There’s no need to have a lot of want’s for material things, since they are in abundance. Our values will change more towards non-material. Like friends, hobbies, interests, education, science, art, etc. etc. We will be more creative, and the world will receive solutions to problems extremely much faster, since there’s no money or profit motive to stop anyone from solving those problems.

      And usership and sharing is not just an ‘idea’. In many ways technology and the availability of resources forces us towards usership. There simply aren’t enough resources to continue to exploit the planet the way we do. At the same time technology makes it much easier TO share items. Like the Google autonomous car, for instance. When cars become autonomous and can drive themselves, the need to own one to have parked in your driveway becomes very little. You can then simply order one from your smartphone and it will show up, like a taxi without a human driver.

      In all regards, usership is a much more sane way of life and use of the planet than ownership. Ownership turns us all into perpetual consumers, and the producers into perpetual ‘pushers’ of the ‘next fix’ the market needs. Like Apple with their iPad and iPhones, for instance (and of course all other producers of consumer items). Instead of releasing the very best possible configuration of a tablet PC or cell phone, they hold back functions to be released with the next version of the item, so that they can sell more. Of course this is the way the monetary market system HAS TO work, because without sales, no companies and no jobs, and then no buying power, which of course collapses the whole system.

      Welcome to RBE. 🙂

  17. […] is a mindset. As written in another article, we don’t really ‘own’ anything. ‘Ownership’ is an illusion. We think we own things, we […]

  18. […] more you own, on paper that is (because in reality no one can own anything), the richer and more ‘wealthy’ you are. The funny thing is that if you own 5 villas, 7 […]

  19. sally says:

    quite frankly I believe a complete meltdown of the global financial structure would ultimately benefit the human race. There are too many people on earth and we need to stop consuming.;.

    too much social security can’t be maintained by a working class…

  20. sally says:

    What motivates people is the desire to possess something…as their own…Something separate and unique that no one else has….basically power…the will to survive

    Currently money is what allows that to happen….money is not the villain……the caveman had the same desire…he just used a club to get what he wanted….

    that’s it in a nutshell…..it’s all about rarity…….something scarce is highly desired…think about it…..what use is money in itself?

    I am sorry we might have learnt to walk upright but our knockles still drag on the ground! it’s human nature and it will never change…

  21. boumar19721972 says:

    Watch: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nk0Hd7Y2HE If you think money motivates us think again. What about the natives that had no money? What about our ancestors before money was invented? We can do ii. We just need to put our minds to it. www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w

  22. Steve Thompson says:

    What is the incentive to build or maintain the jets we will all have access to? Who will get the fuel and process the crude materials? Who will provide the locations for these processes and who will maintain them? I don’t like the monetary system much but if there is no incentive to create value in the world, who will be willing to exert themselves to try and provide for the rest of humanity?

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your comment. A good question. It is quite obvious that a transition into a resource based economy will never happen on the spiritual/mental level Humanity finds itself today. We have to move to a different level. A level where we don’t do things for only our personal gain, and with a scarcity mindset that forces us to trade what we do with other commodities, such as money.

      Together with a resource based economy, humanity have to live by the gift economy principle, where the value lies in doing things for the joy of doing it and sharing things for the joy of sharing it.

      Transferring into this mindset isn’t as hard as you should think. When you think of how much struggle and stress even the thought of money creates, doing something simply to enhance Humanity and for the joy of doing it itself is a true liberating feeling. Not having to think about the pay you should have for what you do, your next bill, your next paycheck (that’s always too small), the vacation you never get, etc. etc., it isn’t hard to find great joy and fulfillment in NOT having to think about money, but can rather simply be a part of society, fulfill your self chosen tasks, share your knowledge and contribute to the true common goal of the betterment of Humanity.

      If enough people were aware of this we could have changed society today. Everyone could have continued to do their jobs, just as they do today, except, no money would have changed hands. Which of course means that a whole lot of jobs would have been obsolete (like bankers and such), leaving us with plenty of work hungry people, ready to take jobs that truly make a difference.

      People WANT to contribute. Think nothing else. If you think that if money disappeared today, everyone would stop working, you’re wrong. Many people would probably stop doing the MEANINGLESS tasks they are doing, and rightly so. But then they would be able to take up MEANINGFUL tasks instead. Tasks that gives a sense of fulfillment and that truly contributes to society. Just think about it.

  23. Timmit says:

    Yes! I agree that some people might be scared of losing ownership or may not yet be ready for an RBE and I agree that there are many people that are ready for this, even rich people. Humanity can certainly break free from the thought of money, property and ownership. It is a good time now to open our eyes to the new possibilities that a moneyless society and a resource based economy can offer.

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