Many people are afraid we will get some kind of totalitarian dictatorial system with RBE. The fear is understandable when you look at living examples of communism like North Korea, Cuba, China and the former Soviet Union. Some might even think that today’s rampant capitalism is better, but then they are forgetting all the corruption, pollution, poverty, war and crime it causes.
Everyone want to be ‘free’. And neither the tried communism nor capitalism has been able to give that to humanity.
What is happening today is an awakening on many levels. We have the Occupy Movement, Zeitgeist Movement, The Venus Project, and many many spiritual organizations where people meditate together for a better, peaceful world, in addition to millions of volunteers doing work for free to help people in need and get the reward of gratitude from them.
The human mind, that has been asleep for so long, is starting to wake up. And the only economic system I can see as a natural result of this global spiritual awakening, is a resource based economy. Why? Because when we realize that we are all one, when greed gives way to generosity and when ‘profit’ is replaced by ‘people’, there shouldn’t be any need for money either.
We have to realize that the monetary system, money, property and ownership are concepts in our minds, and not real things. They don’t really exist in nature. Neither does a state. In capitalism we trust the notion of trading to take care of all human needs. In communism we trust the state to take care of human needs. In socialism it is a more or less balance between the two.
In fact, there is no pure capitalism nor communism anywhere in the world today (except maybe for North Korea) as there are always elements of both free trade and government intervention in all countries. But there is one more element that is not counted in BNP or in any of the governments around the world, and that is gifting. If it is counted it is only counted as far as it is measurable in money. And in that regards, volunteer work amounts to several national budgets every year.
Gifting is a huge part of our lives already. Whether you are a volunteer in a project, or simply makes a dinner for friends, you are gifting. If you are contributing to the development of Ubuntu (Google it), you are gifting. If you write or edit an article on Wikipedia, you are gifting. If you have a band that doesn’t earn money, but give concerts, you are gifting. If you help your aunt move the lawn, you are gifting. If you give someone your newspaper, you are gifting. If you give of your self grown apples, you are gifting. Do I need to continue…?
You see, we already live in a large degree IN a gift economy. Only that we don’t know it. And we have let our ‘gifting’ be ‘smudged’ by money.
Just think about it. If we, instead of TRADING (‘I will only give you something if you give me something back’) simply starts GIFTING (‘I will give you something regardless of what you give me back’) we will have the same world in a way, but without money. We will then trust that we will get what we need from each other, since everyone thinks the same way. Just like everyone thinks in the terms of trading today, we will think in terms of gifting tomorrow.
Today we trust that ‘when I do work for you, you give me what I need back in the terms of money’. Tomorrow we will trust that ‘when I do work for you, society and nature I will get what I need back from you, society and nature’.
And what a world that will be! Just imagine when there is no money and everything is gifted (yes, it sounds far out, but it is not as strange as it sounds). When there is no money, we will need no banks, no insurance companies, no taxes, etc. etc. And there will be no ‘financial crises’.
Think, if a stranger gives you something you feel is of value to you, like a massage, you will automatically feel a certain amount of gratitude and feel like giving something back. But to give back to this particular person is difficult since you don’t know him, won’t see him again and is no good at giving massages. Then, what’s you option?
Pay it forward!
Not necessarily with a massage, but with something else that you are good at and is needed in society.
When we start giving to each other instead of trading with each other, the gratitude we feel will be the ‘currency’ that will flow around in this society. When you give to me, I can give to you, but I can also give to the next one.
And a giving society where we don’t keep track of how much we give (other than our own conscience) is a much much much much much much much much much simpler society than a trading society where there is kept track of every cent that changes hands.
Yes, our minds have to change, or rather wake up, to this reality. It is truly a liberating feeling to be able to, for instance, leave my bike unlocked at the grocery store without any worry. And then walk into the store and pick what I need and walk out without paying, and then do MY part in this world, knowing that my part then is something needed, not something that only contributes to perpetuate the monetary market system.
And then think about how all of us in this new society can utilize clean energy and technology, and develop technology to the best for everyone, without the need for patents or competition.
A resource based economy will be a network of local communities and cities sharing whatever resources they might possess in their vicinity that might be of use to the common good and at the same time optimizing their own practices in sustainable living.
On a small scale, we will have individuals doing their work ‘for free’ for each other and the community, and on a large scale we will communicate the need for different types of resources that might have to be brought from one place on the planet to another.
Today, we are coordinating a huge world of commerce with highly complex systems of production, transport and distribution all over the planet. Technically, there is no problem to do the same within a resource based economy. A resource based system would also be a 100 times simpler than the tiresome constant egotistical trade and competition that goes on all the time around the planet.
With the trade system we have all the money that has to shift hands, taxes, lawyers, accountants, banks, insurance companies, and what have you in ADDITION to the counting and weighing of the actual resources.
With an RBE system we only need to ‘count and weigh’ the resources to make sure we stay within the carrying capacity of the planet. In any case, RBE is simpler, better, more natural, more just and more efficient that today’s monetary system will ever be.
This article was meant to show that it is not so difficult to imagine a moneyless economic system, since we in a large degree already have it.