I think the argument I get the most against a resource based economy is the ‘human nature’ argument.

“A resource based economy won’t work because of our innate human nature”.

Implied is that our so-called human nature is greedy and competitive, thus a system based on sharing and collaboration won’t work.

Now, IS our human nature only greedy and competitive? Of course not. I think we can safely say that it is just as much generous and collaborative as it is greedy and competitive. If it were only greedy and competitive our society would have crumbled a long time ago. Human nature is not ‘this’ or ‘that’. If anything, human nature is changeable and adaptable.

Sure, we  have competitiveness in us by nature, BUT, we are also just as much collaborative. Maybe even more so on a global scale. Every day all across the planet people are collaborating to get things done and to make society work. If it was only fierce competition all the time, society would grind to a halt pretty quick. We have to work together to build houses, roads and hospitals. We have to collaborate to develop new technology, fly to the moon or run a farm. We have to play together in harmony to make a rock band rock or a symphonic orchestra sound good.

Inborn Qualities

We are without doubt born with certain qualities, like different talents and personalities. Some become good singers or piano players, while others have a hard time achieving that and become maybe good doctors or farmers instead. Some have a few talents, while some have many. Of course, what we become good at also have to do with our environment and the possibilities we are given. Still, even if you are stimulated even from a fetus to become a piano player, that might not lie for you and you might end up a mathematician instead. If this is from the genes or through your souls experiences as previous incarnations (if you believe in that stuff), I don’t know. It doesn’t matter though, as my point is to show that certain things are inborn, while other things are learned. And our totality as persons consists of a combination of these two elements.

The Ego

All of us are also born with an ego, but we also have a just as big non-ego, altruistic part within us. If we were ALL ego, the kids in a kindergarden would do nothing but fight all the time. I have worked in a kindergarden and, sure, sometimes there is fighting, while most of the time there is harmonious play. This varies of course, but I think we can say that kids are just as much, if not more, collaborative and altruistic, than competitive and egoistic.

So, how is our human nature made up? Are we all ingrained selfish egotistical competitive bastards that think of non but ourselves? No. Absolutely not. Then, are we all generous unselfish sharing and compassionate beings? No. Absolutely not. Then, what are we?

We are both

We are both egotistical and altruistic, compassionate and indifferent, collaborative and competitive. We are not one or the other. I would argue, though, that in general we are more compassionate than indifferent, more collaborative than competitive, and more altruistic than egotistical. We have in total more peace and collaboration than war at any given time on the planet (even though the media constantly try to show a different picture). Think about it, for the world to work, we have to collaborate. Even in a war, there’s a huge element of collaboration on both sides to win the war, paradoxically enough.

Now, since we are both egotistical and altruistic, how come we have a predatory monetary system like the one we have?

This is due to one more thing about the human nature:

Malleability

The human nature is not set. We are not greedy from birth, just as much as we are not altruistic. Sure, just like we are born with a tendency to different talents, we are born with a tendency to more egoism or more altruism, but in general, we are not one or the other. We are malleable. Formable. Changeable. We can go one way or the other, and which way we go is largely determined by our environment.

If you grow up in a materialistic and selfish environment, you will most likely be materialistic and selfish too since your selfish part will be boosted. If, on the other hand, you grow up in a compassionate and altruistic environment, you will most likely be compassionate and altruistic too since your altruistic part will be boosted. Of course, sometimes this can have an opposite effect. You can take a stand against your parents and become the opposite of them. But that period usually only last a short time before you fall back on your upbringing.

Values and Norms

But our malleability doesn’t only effect our egotistical and altruistic side. It’s not only black or white. There is a large specter of norms and values that shape our minds, and thus, our society. How we dress, how we drive, our music, our food, how we share or how we hoard. All of these norms and values and more are what make up our cultures. And money and property is nothing more, but one of these cultures.

The notion of money and private property 1 is a norm, a mindset so ingrained in our minds that we don’t even think about it or know it’s there. You could say that it is a norm produced out of our egotistical and selfish side. The ego is the force of separation and fear, while our altruistic side is one of unity and trust. And money is in a large degree a symbol of mistrust and segregation produced by the fear of the ego.

These forces are definitely produced from a part of our human nature. Still, since there is more peace on the planet than war, and more collaboration than competition, how come all of us succumb to the devastating use of money? And why do we let a few people on the planet own most of the planet?

Environment

The answer is influences and habit. When we are born we have both egoism and altruism in us, and we are shaped by our surroundings. And of course, when our surroundings are constantly focussed on money and property, so will we be. Even though all we want to be is a piano player, we grow up learning that we have to pay the rent, have to earn money, have to pay for groceries, have to pay for kindergarden, school, books, PCs, fuel, travel and of course, the piano, not to speak of piano lessons. We learn that money is necessary. We learn that trading is the norm. And since our human nature is malleable, we pick up on these norms and internalize them.

Now, if we grew up in an environment where everything was given, and everyone contributed to society with no servitude, but from free will, did what they wanted and what was necessary, shared their skills, time, personal and planetary natural resources, wouldn’t you think that this is what you would do to if you grew up in a society like that?

If you grew up in a society where the prevailing norm is to give and receive freely, with no money or private property, but with full trust in that you would get what you need, you would follow those norms, you would play your part and you would follow the values of that society. Just like you today are following the norms of money, ownership and trading and the other norms and values that goes with the society we have today.

The Prevailing Norm

Our human nature is not fixed in a place where we have to constantly sell each other stuff, trade for everything or constantly hoard. It is not fixed in a place where we have to use money to divide resources. This is only a prevailing norm in our society. We DO have the norms of altruism, giving, sharing and compassion as well. This is obvious when you look at our world wich actually is filled with much giving and sharing. Take Wikipedia, for example.

The problem is that even the most ‘spiritual’ of us, the most compassionate and the most sharing and caring, does not see the elephant in the room, the forest for the trees, the glass ceiling keeping all of us from soaring and truly prosper. They don’t see the norm that money is. Even they see money as something necessary. Something that we can’t live without, like air or water. Even the founders of Wikipedia has never advocated (at least not openly) a moneyless world.

Still, there are more and more people who see money for what it is: A norm. A culture.

Cultures

In some societies, more southern than northern in my experience, the norm is to be generous and hospitable rather than stingy and hostile. The norm is to give rather than to get. I have met many people whom, if they have the money or resources, go out of their way to give to me almost to the point of embarrassment. ‘No, no, I don’t want money for gas’. Or they buy beer or drinks to everyone without question.

Why do they do that? Of course, it is a norm with them. You are supposed to do that when you are out with friends. But it also have the social function of bonding and showing the others that you are a nice person. Of course, these examples include money.

We could just as well say that helping cook dinner, help someone move, or paint their apartment, also are examples of altruistic behavior with social functions. You do it for several reasons. To be liked. That it feels good to do something with others. That you might get help when you need it. Because they are friends. Or maybe even strangers. Or maybe you simply do it completely altruistically.

I have helped strangers, and friends, move or with others things. I bet you who read this have too. Whether it is helping an old lady with her groceries or over the street or to work as a volunteer on a project in Uganda, write code in Linux, an article for Wikipedia or improving on a design for the Open Source Ecology.

Money as a Culture

Money is a culture. It is nothing but a global norm that constitutes a culture controlling the minds and lives of the people on this planet. It is nothing that is necessary because of our human nature. Money, trading, ownership and property are nothing but norms that can be changed. They constitute nothing more than a mindset, a way of thinking. They are like the constant buzz of the refrigerator that you don’t notice before it is gone.

They are the manifestation of the egotistical half of us. Or maybe it’s not even half. How much of us is ego, and how much is ‘oneness’, anyway? In general, I would argue that the ego part is far less than half. Maybe not even 10%. Maybe only 1%…. And paradoxically, it is that 1% that is controlling the world at the moment. Still, 1%, 10%, 50%. It doesn’t really matter. In any case, we have an at least an equal chance of an altruistic society as an egoistic one.

Money perpetuates selfish and egoistical thinking, there is no doubt about that. Still, it is only a norm, not ‘human nature’. How to get out of it is another question which I will not try to answer in this article. I will only say that there are tendencies towards more altruism in the world and a larger understanding of money as a changeable norm. Of course, mainstream media doesn’t reflect that as they are controlled by the huge ego that want to preserve itself for eternity.

Conclusion

Our human nature is not fixed. We are not born greedy and egoistic any more than generous and altruistic. Human nature is malleable and adaptable and is changing according to its environment. That is our human nature.

We do have inborn qualities, like different personalities and talents, but how these are developed is largely dependent on the environment. Thus, if we change the conditions that people live under, people will also change.

Human nature is largely defined by the culture we live in, and the norms of trading and hoarding is a culture that could just as well be replaced by the culture of giving and sharing.

When more and more people really get their eyes up for the extreme possibilities that lies in improved lives for everyone without money, but with free sharing instead, it will be like Victor Hugo says:

“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

 

  1. With ‘Private Property’ I mean, as defined by Wikipedia, ‘property owned by legal persons or business entities’, distinguishable from ‘Personal Property’ defined by Wikipedia as ‘physical possessions belonging to a person’, thus clarifying that we will have possessions, as in ‘Personal Property’, in RBE. I will discuss the general notion of property and ownership in a later post.
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68 Responses to Human Nature

  1. Kristian says:

    How do we know that personality is inborn?
    I am thinking. Do the identical twins have different personalities? If so, how much different, and why so? What shapes our personality? Genes? Or environment? We know so far that we could have certain genes, but if environment won’t trigger them, they won’t express.

  2. Guillaume says:

    Great job with this article. It is obvious the first step in this journey is to focus on realizing how much of a handicap the money system we are using now is. I think that most people are attracted to this idea by nature. When you think about it, who wouldn’t be? The main obstacle however is that many people are too caught up in their lives to actually realize how much of an impact each actions have on everyone and everything. They know people are starving on the other side of the world, but they think they have nothing to do with it and therefore they don’t have to think about it. Anyways, what can they do about it? right?
    It is important that people know how much disruptive they are for each other when they encourage our present system, and it is vital that they realize the true potential that we have as a global community.
    It is a fairly new concept altogether, and it is very hard to grasp for a lot of people. I do not think that 2 hour long movies and forums will cut it for most people.

    Some of you guys talk about a blueprint for transition, but we are far from being there.
    For those who are sensitive to this movement, I suggest you make it your main objective to spread the word in an efficient way. By actions, conversations, and for god’s sake, it is time to be annoying about it and not let go.

    That’s in which phase we are right now.

  3. n8chz says:

    Let’s just say I have very little patience for conspiratorial explanations. Angel economics admittedly is something of a blueprint, although within it I think there is a small-scale replicable methodology.

  4. Sirtaz Ranauta says:

    Religion – how will the ‘ours is the only true religion’ communities react to the proposal of an RBE? What thoughts are there for introducing the RBE concepts into these communities?Or is the only way forward to set up an RBE community and lead by example so that those suppressed in various communities will see a better option for them?

    • Harald Sandø says:

      RBE does not concern itself with speculations about ‘God’ or any other ‘higher consciousness’, but paradoxically, it actually encompasses the essence of all religions, which is to give and receive freely and ‘do to others what you want them do to you’. So, if religious communities can’t accept RBE, I think no one can. In any case, if they say they can’t, it is either because they are hypocrites, are too ingrained into thinking in terms of money, or they simply don’t understand the concept of RBE.

      • Guillaume says:

        Or are partly responsible for the division, conflicts and suffering we experience today. And because they came to enjoy their position of power and control.

  5. Sirtaz Ranauta says:

    I have a question about the notion of equality of all human beings. I can understand equal rights under the law, but clearly different different people have different abilities. In the current system the more capable and hard working usually end up acquiring more rewards whether financial or otherwise. How would the notion of matching rewards for contributions be addressed in an RBE?

    • n8chz says:

      I can understand inequality of “rewards” arguably attributable to inequality of “hardworkingness” or capabilities, but for me it always begs the question: By how many orders of magnitude? Unequal rewards on payday are one thing. I worry a little when there are mechanisms in place by which those gains (and more importantly, those advantages) can be “locked in.” I think RBE generally favors negative feedback (which is centripetal and stabilizing) over positive feedback (centrifugal, destabilizing). The fact that labor in low-wage countries is more in demand than labor in high-wage countries might be seen as an example of negative feedback, as the opportunities arguably go to those who most need them. The unfortunate recent trend among American employers of “unemployed persons need not apply” is an example of positive feedback, as setbacks tend to trigger, and be compounded by, still more setbacks. I can’t speak for RBE per se, but I would like to think a resource based economy seeks to make the most of all resources, including “human resources.” I’d like to think that, compared to the status quo, “success” under RBE means more emphasis on being a productive person, and less on being effective at self-promotion.

      • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

        I agree with “I’d like to think that, compared to the status quo, “success” under RBE means more emphasis on being a productive person, and less on being effective at self-promotion.”
        I am exploring that it might be a disincentive to a harder working person to be no more appreciated than a lazy person.
        If the reward was partially goods or services to the person contributing his work, and partially to the community emulating the salary and taxation under current system, then I think this might be the right incentive.
        The worker gets rewarded materially and in recognition/status in proportion to their contribution.

        • The reward based system is what got us into the present mess to begin with.
          The point is that people are encouraged to work because they WANT to work, not because they are forced to do so.
          If you want to look at things from a ‘reward’ point of view… it would essentially mean that they would get satisfaction from helping others with their expertise.
          Being lazy is a byproduct of a monetary system and sort of a defense mechanism (a way for people to defy the present system).
          Most people who just lazy about most of the time doing nothing do that because they lack the purchasing power to do anything else. Recognition/status is just an illusion. A made up artificiality that limits people’s perceptions. I couldn’t care less about that kind of a thing, and I also think its one of the core problems (it causes social stratification).

          Anyway, the point of RBE is to unleash science and technology to automate EVERYTHING as much as it’s scientifically possible (and we can certainly do that) and free Humans from the ‘need’ to work for the sake of surviving or living.
          But rather encourage people to work because they like doing it.
          Besides, whoever said that ‘working’ has to be hard?
          It can be done through play… or a variety of ways.
          It depends on how we decide to go about things. But working certainly doesn’t have to be seen as ‘work’.

          • n8chz says:

            ‘Reward’ is a word I associate with behavioral psychology (think “carrot”). I am always deeply suspicious of those who offer rewards.

            • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

              I see your point – ‘carrot’ implies manipulation. But surely everything we do has to have a motive otherwise we wouldn’t do it – every action has a driver – even if it is purely to feel good that you have contributed. The unmotivated ones must be offered such incentives to get them out of their stasis.

              • Gareth Day says:

                Interesting thought. How would artistic pursuits fit here? What is the driver for painting, sculpture, music etc? Only a small number of ‘artists’ receive a reward for their work in the traditional sense. But this doesn’t seem to affect a person’s desire to express themselves in this way, even if they are the only audience to their work.

                Personally, I think that freed from the need to work to live, people will gradually specialise in what interests them the most, simply because that is the most rewarding thing for them to do in the absence of necessity. And an individual’s productivity, if properly motivated, must surely increase exponentially in these circumstances?

                There are bound to be people who are ‘lazy’ to begin with. But I’d like to think that as a species we’d grow out of it.

    • Guillaume says:

      In a society where the well-being of everyone is directly related to your own well-being, you find yourself in a very different world. With very different incentives. Daniel Quinn made a really good job at reflecting this idea in his books Ishmael, the journey of B, and My Ishmael. I strongly suggest them.

  6. Sirtaz Ranauta says:

    Just finished reading all the messages above. This site is a major step up in the movement as it effectively introduces a collaborative platform including many sources (TVP, TZM etc etc). I have been following TZM and TVP for about a year and share the frustration of many that there is no blueprint yet for a transtion. We all know where we want to go but we don’t know how to get there. I feel I need to make a spreadsheet and list all the possible hurdles I can conceive on the journey to RBE and then suggest / invite solutions. This could be maintained on this site and additional hurdles / solutions could be added as they arise. Your thoughts please.

    • n8chz says:

      Coming from an antiauthoritarian background, I’m obliged to be somewhat skeptical of societal blueprints (and I’ll admit I’m one of those people to whom TZM/TVP looks like a cult) but the point is well taken that many of us who know where we want to go don’t have a clue how to get there. I’ve done some rough-outline kind of thinking about how to get there, decidedly emphasizing ideas that are small-scale implementable and replicable (so as to avoid the sort of “overarching societal” blueprint that gives me the creeps). My thoughts on that so far are largely extrapolations of an anonymously posted idea called angel economics.

      • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

        “I’m one of those people to whom TZM/TVP looks like a cult”

        Interesting – would like to know your definition of a cult ad how TZM / TVP qualify as cults?

        Took a brief look at your links – a lot to read

        Could you give a brief summary of the main difference between TZM / TVP and angel economics and how angel economics avoids “creepy overarching societal blueprint”

      • Harald Sandø says:

        I agree with both of you in these questions. I myself also loath the ‘blueprint’ for the new world, as this world which, if not to be another top-down communist state, has to be created by the community, not by appointed or un-appointed leaders, and not from a Venus Project ‘blueprint’.

        Still, I guess it depends on what you refer to as a ‘blueprint’. We definitely have to have several options at least, to give us possibilities to change into a direction of RBE. TVP or TZM being ‘cults’ is highly debatable. In any case, the new world can not be created by one or two organizations. It has to be created from a new set of ideas of how to interact with each other and the world.

        I don’t think there ever will be A blueprint to a ‘transition’. We ARE in the transition. There are thousands, if not millions, of minds thinking about this and taking different kinds of actions towards it. Just becoming aware of the possibility of a moneyless world where cooperation rather than competition is basic is a part of the transition.

        I have browsed the Angel Economics and your thoughts about it, n8chz, which I find inspirational. I will read it more thorough later.

        But as some more ‘concrete’ actions towards a moneyless sharing society, I have these thoughts:

        – We have to have free access to some basic resources, like land, food, water, shelter, etc.
        – To get that we either have to buy it free and clear, or get it donated or declared to the community by a state or a philanthropist.
        – We can establish free supply chains of what is needed of resources in the community.

        To get the above, we either have to have money to buy the land and the resources and then establish our ‘moneyless village’ where RBE is practices internally (and externally as much as possible). Or, more and more people have to be inspired towards these thoughts, so that more and more ‘things’, land and resources will be available free. And maybe even some of today’s leaders might wake up to this possibility and eventually free land and resources towards creating resource based communities. But the main transition have to be a transition of mind, understanding and values.

        In the last regard, we are seeing that this is happening already, with more and more ‘free shops’, Wikipedia, Internet, Linux, Open Source Ecology, etc. etc. In the first regard, I know there are some moneyless villages around already.

        ‘Luckily’, it doesn’t seem like any ‘top-down’ ‘blueprint’ will come to pass, but rather that humanity is waking up on it’s own and taking action on its own towards a more sustainable direction, discussing it’s way while it creates it.

        • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

          I think we need to clarify between ourselves what we mean by ‘blueprint’ before we express such strong pros and cons for it. When I think blueprint it I am just thinking an agreed plan for the society to adopt. No top down or bottom up being implied.

          As much as I recognize that the present system of a government elected by votes does not successfully represent the masses interest owing to hijacking by moneyed interests, any RBE based system will require a decision making method (trying to avoid the word ‘organization’) when complex industries are to be managed.

          Hence the need for a starting but not cast in stone ‘plan’ or ‘blueprint’ or ‘methodology’ which would be agreed if we are not to hold a referendum for every little decision that may be required resulting in a grind to a halt.

          I will read up on Angel Economy although as requested a summary pointing out differences from TZM>TVP would be welcome.

          Re ‘we are seeing that this is happening already, with more and more ‘free shops’, Wikipedia, Internet, Linux, Open Source Ecology, etc. etc. I notice that these all do not involve material resources – just intellectual, Internet is anything but free.

          Re ‘In the first regard, I know there are some moneyless villages around already.’ Can you give some references please ? Thanks

          • Harald Sandø says:

            The resources I am referring to are not only intellectual. Free Shops are highly tangible, Open Source Ecology is about designs of machines, but the machines themselves are tangible. Don’t know why you criticize this? I am just throwing out examples. You could add to them instead of trying to diminish them you know. This is collaboration towards our common future, not fierce competition about ‘who is right’.

            When it comes to moneyless villages there are several that are more or less moneyless. They stretch from local villages in Africa to Kin Domains in Russia. A yearly temporary explicit moneyless ‘village’ is Burning Man in the US. Auroville in India isn’t directly moneyless, but have aspects of resource based economy at least. Another moneyless village project is what Mark ‘The Moneyless Man’ Boyle is trying to establish in England. In Australia they have got their Earth Communities, which have a moneyless collaborative approach. There are free restaurants in the US. Etc. etc.

            We should try to compile a comprehensive collection of these things in the world.

            • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

              Whoa :)

              Please do not take my comments as criticism – they are just requests for clarification – I am in no way here to diminish anyone’s ideas instead just seeking clarification – that is how ideas are strengthened by eliminating misunderstandings or ambiguities to get what someone is saying.

              If I caused you discomfort I apologize I will try in future to be more careful not to give the wrong impression.

              Thank you for the examples of moneyless villages that will be interesting reading. Ideally these examples will spread to major industries.

              I am following the Atlas Initiative with great interest.

              Just read

              angeleconomics.blogspot.ca/2009/06/short-sketch.html

              So far haven’t detected anything substantially different from TZM/TVP perhaps someone can point out some.
              In fact it talks about evaluating material costs and work contributions with experts deciding various matters – already here are the seeds of a hierarchical structure – I don’t believe we can have an organized system without recognizing that different peoples’ expertise affords them greater decision making weight – just throwing out some thoughts not criticizing :)

              By the way just looked up definition of ‘cult’
              ‘an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers’

              In respect to RBE /TVP/TZM I guess various people with good ideas will come to be admired – this is not a bad thing as long as the ideas are not detrimental to the admirers, surely.

  7. Thank you Harold for your thoughts here. I have been pondering for a while on whether our human nature is inherently greedy or not, and I believe you are right – it is not inherently anything. It is what ever we choose it to be, which will be informed by our inherited values and norms. These of course shift and change with time. However, I believe that our values and the norms we live by can be so ingrained in us, that they become difficult to see. That is why I am so glad that we have sites like this to illuminate and challenge imbedded values and norms such as ‘the need for money and ownership of property’.
    Oh and Renard – I love your analogy – so interesting and funny – and true.

  8. Juraj says:

    Private property and homesteading is not a norm. It is the only way how to prevent a conflict over scarce resources. There are no alternative ways of dealing with it that would be ethical. A and B voting out C is not the answer. Even if we lived in the Garden of Eden, each person still needs a standing place.

    Your statement that you want only personal property but not private property is self-contradictory. Personal property can only be a category of private property. I may posses something I stole from someone else who was possessing it. Possession does not establish legal title to a property. By your standard, me creating a machine that produces X and subsequently making an arrangement for someone to operate it justifies someone else taking that machine from me. That’s ridiculous.

    I appreciate RBE supporters’ drive to end this fascist banking system but I strongly object to your aim to limit, or in my view abolish, private property. It’s precisely the violation of private property rights by the State that lead to this crises.

    • glamfish says:

      Thank you for these observations. Yes, I agree, the notion of ‘property’ has to be discussed and agreed upon in a resource based economy. It is not clear cut and not thought through.

      I agree that we should be able to have our own ‘domains’ of land if we want and need it. Still, we have to figure out a type of ownership that doesn’t make it possible for one person/company to own vast amounts of land/intellectual rights/buildings/etc, which it is this that stand for much of the trouble we see in the world today. Single judicial entities “owning” much land and exploiting the people and resources on it, and intellectual property in the form of patents, rights, etc. that force us to trade with each other rather than simply give and share.

      What is YOUR proposition of ‘ownership in a resource based economy’?

      It’s a hard nut to crack, but I think it is a crucial nut to crack. I was planning to write an article called ‘usership vs. ownership’, where I would define ‘usership’ as this:

      1. ‘Usership is a form of ownership where you own what you use as long as you have use for it’.
      2. ‘Usership is a form of ownership where you own what you have created or collected from somewhere or someone that is not using it and keep that as long as you want or need it’.
      3. You can not sell or trade your usership to anything that you use to anyone.

      This means that if you use a plot of land, you own it as long as you have use for it and need it. It also means that you ‘own’ and have responsibility for whatever else you might use and have need for, be it a lawn mower, a tractor, your house, your clothes, your shuffle, etc.

      It also means that you can choose to own whatever you create or collect as long as it is not taken from someone else that use it. This means that if you create a painting, for instance, you can choose to ‘keep’ it and not share it with anyone for as long as you want. And it means that if you find some nice stones on the beach, or some blueberries, they are ‘yours’ as long as you want them to be.

      Now, in praxis, we can’t control whether anything of this is ‘traded’ or not, and we wouldn’t want to either. My definitions above is meant as guidelines, rather than strict rules, since the RBE society is meant to be as free as possible. We would only encourage people to go by these guidelines, so that we can create the society that works for all.

      It wouldn’t be any point either, to ‘trade’ anything you find, or claim vast amounts of land as ‘yours’ when everything is free and shared with everyone, and where everyone’s needs and most wants are met.

      • glamfish says:

        I must add that what you call ‘scarce resources’ will be eliminated as much as possible in RBE, thus there will be extremely little ‘conflict over scarce resources’ if any at all.

        How will it be eliminated? By the following:

        1. A change in mindset by the population, thus not ‘wanting’ and wasting more that what is needed.
        2. A much more efficient use of resources, making them last probably 10 times as long as they do in today’s economy.
        3. A change of the economy itself from a ‘profit oriented’ economy, depleting resources, to a ‘people and planet oriented’ economy, replenishing resources.
        4. Find and develop new resources and replenish old ones.
        5. Use our one unlimited resource to it’s fullest to maximize what we have and create new solutions: Our Mind.

        This is the whole point of RBE, to eliminate ‘conflict over scarce resources’ by the means above.

        • thelyniezian says:

          You forgot the population bit. Every time we have found better ways to make use of resources (especially food) it seems the population has grown as a result and probably will do so until it hits the available limits. Using resources better, more efficiently and with less waste, is important, but that makes no difference if there are more people wanting a proverbial slice of the proverbial pie.

          I do NOT tolerate unethical/immoral methods of doing this however.

          • Large population increase is directly connected to poverty and lack of relevant education.
            Having said that, the Earth is nowhere near its ‘maximum carrying capacity’.
            You can easily give each person on the planet (individually) 93 square meters, and todays entire population of Earth can fit into the area that’s just larger than the state of Texas.
            That’s without building vertically. Start making higher rise buildings… each being say 20 floors high (and each person having 2 floors for themselves – with each floor being 93 square meters of course), and you’d end up with less than 50% of state of Texas occupied by the whole population as it is today.

            No ‘unethical/immoral’ methods are required to do anything.
            The general population needs free exposure to relevant education and access to quality basic necessities of life – doing this will most likely curb down on population growth on its own seeing how many countries in which people have access to education and basic necessities are well below replacement line.

            To top it off, already we have technologies that can effectively reverse and stop people from ‘aging’ (nanorobots in combination with stem-cells for example).
            These results can also be achieved to a great degree using simple targeted meditation and aerobic/cardiovascular exercises (and of course proper nutrition) in combination (to my knowledge, no one tried to use these things for such a purpose before – or at least, we hadn’t had any documented cases trying it).

            RBE/TVP also aims to design the environment in which we live in to challenge us on a continuous basis.
            Now personally, I don’t particularly like children, nor do I want any of my own, but in RBE, with people having indefinite lifespans, and being challenged continuously, they probably won’t be compelled to have children early on because the option will always be there for them.
            Or, they can opt to have children early on, and maybe more later on.
            It depends on the environment…

            However, people also need to be educated on notions of sustainability and carrying capacity of the planet.

            While it is accurate that Earth can house MANY more humans, and we can easily accommodate them all efficiently with minimum impact to the environment… I would be against filling the ENTIRE planet with Humans only and exterminating of other lifeforms that are part of our eco-system.

            Maximum carrying capacity of Earth being in line that would not create an imbalance on the Earth’s eco-system.
            Current population is nowhere near such levels (but our way of doing things is highly destructive/disruptive) and we can easily minimize our footprint by orders of magnitude via far more efficient use of space, technology and methods of production and even repair the damage done to the planet.

        • thelyniezian says:

          The fact is we live on a finite planet with finite material resources. Either we make the best use of what we have (which places constraints on us) or we go find ourselves some off-planet resources to use (asteroid mining, colonies on other planets etc.)

    • Renard says:

      “Private property and homesteading is not a norm. It is the only way how to prevent a conflict over scarce resources.”
      This makes no sense to me, there’s probably a giant chasm of misunderstanding that separates me from this view, maybe others can find alternate formulations and examples.

      Has anyone ever smashed in the toilet stall’s door while you are taking a dump in a public toilet in the public library and say “hey this toilet is not your very own private property, therefore I will crash in and sit on you and take a dump”? This has never happened to me, ever. Where I live, its quite possible to use public property in a functional way for one’s own and personal use, in a civilized way, without conflict and without it being anyone’s “private property”.

      “the only way how to prevent a conflict over scarce resources.”
      a plane crashes in a desert with 10 people, 20 meters away from a 10 gallon oasis. Scenario 1: Theres no sociopath, passengers share the water, find ways to cooperate to survive.
      Scenario 2: The Libertarian Private Property guy with the Daffy duck voice immediately runs to the oasis and touches it first saying “touch!”, “touch!”, “touch!” “yeah!”, “I touched it first! its mine! Its All mine!” “I decide who gets it, and Johny, Brutus and Sam wont get any and can die cause its my property, while the rest of you must sing and dance for me for 10 hours to have one drop”.
      Would this “this water is my property” cause less conflict than simply sharing the water?
      I certainly dont see private property as the “only” way to prevent conflict (unless its among a tribe of rabid gorilla cavemen that crash in public toilets and cant mentally conceive a simple cooperation arrangement)

      “By your standard, me creating a machine that produces X and subsequently making an arrangement for someone to operate it justifies someone else taking that machine from me. That’s ridiculous.”
      (If we disregard the fact that your machine, unless its a neolithic wooden spear, would be made possible by centuries of accumulated human inquiry and hundreds of hours of other peoples work to provide the civilization basis(support, education,tools,infrastructure, etc) in which it is possible for you and others to make Machine X).

      …Why would they? anyone can make that machine if they want, and if Machine X produces something of value, then many people around the world will be making X machines for their own region/community and tweak it improve it for their needs, share their designs with others, have input from engineers, biologists, users, learn from good ideas of people around the world and from problems overcome by others that attempted this or that mod.

  9. Shandolyn says:

    I have never dreamed, prayed or wished for more than a pure peaceful world. I just don’t see how anything could ever be better than that. However, this is an article for the intellectuals & our world is filled with people who do not have the brain capacity to even understand any of this, much less know what to do to help. I work with these people and it ia NOT their fault that they are not intelligent at all. I am not talking about people with mental disabilities either, these are just regular, normal people. Also there are sociopaths all over our world who want to do nothing but cause trouble for all & hurt others. If you have never dealt with one very closely then you cannot understand. These peoples minds work in a totally different way than most of ours. I have always wanted to split our planet and put the good ones all together & the others all together, separate from us. But they would still attack us & cause war. How can we change this?

    • Robert Pope says:

      Shandolyn “I love You, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank You.”

      Let me tell you something that is true for sure. We are all connected and all creators. Our mind creates our reality(sometimes guided by heart sometimes not, mostly when we forget the line I wrote before this one). If you want to understand how can you really heal someone who comes in your life study a little bit of the work of Dr. Lew Hen or Dr. Eric Pearl. I am sure you will be amazed.

      Again I love You. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.

  10. Dan T. says:

    Is RBE simply a model in which the proletariat populus thinks they are also the owners of the Means of Production? Can we just call this Green Marxism or something instead?

  11. John Nul says:

    That’s a really great way to blame mother nature. But she won’t take that jive. Still the philosophies of values really is there to not be con-spun upon us ever again as if my bad ‘attitude’ caused some ‘problem’ or is the explanation as to why I am poor and disgruntled. The economic breakdown date of year 2010 is a real thing which came way early and predicted decades ago. America and it’s politicians like to act as if such a thing just does not exist and that America is unlimited just like all the personal self help seminars of motivational brainwashing. The reason why the breakdown date came early was directly related to all the money spent trying to pretend it’s not going to happen, ie. hype and hype marketing; Excessive public gardening (great place, poor people); contests up 10 times by year 2000. Right as it all becomes no better than a gambling Casino they only want to show you the winners and they want to promote many ‘flash in the pan’ winners/icons. Stop the hype. Raising taxes on the rich will only make them raise the price of what they sell to you fool and further keep competition out of the market enabling them more. Politicians need to promote business competition not labor competition. By doing nothing Capitalist dominate labor to a downward salary by year 1999 when Albertson’s workers lost the winter Worker’s Strike by 60% of promises lost. It seems “Socialist” countries have a resource problem as they try to go democratic. But it seems America is democratic going socialist by year 1999. The jig is up? Not until the hype stops that we all pay too much for directly or indirectly.

  12. michele ann fletcher says:

    this idea is not new. it served humanity in the past and still exists today in MANY cultures. so it can work and will because we will be driven to it as our system collapses because its foundation is too small for its overhead. yes the transition may be tricky and very difficult for those who have the “most” to lose. but i can not agree more that the human condition to aid each other. as stated all cultures in the world would have collapsed if it was not for human collaboration. all each human wants is to be respected and cared for so those are the qualities that we try to emulate. as we see it is not everyone but it is the majority. as a person who has traveled around the world, people are good and honest and want to be treated fairly. this is all possible and i am excited for this transition.

  13. r be says:

    check out “zeitgeist: moving forward” for more information on the human nature paradigm.

  14. giulio says:

    What about homosexuality? That is innate along with other deviant sexual orientation. Unlike the tendencies of criminal behavior these are much more hard wired. The blank slate tabula rasa theory has its shortcomings its problematic to take on a purely behavioral / environment dictates behavior stance on human nature,

    • Harald Sandø says:

      What about it? It is definitely hard wired to some extent, but I see no relevance to the article in terms of egoism vs. altruism. I think homosexuals can be just as much egoistic/altruistic as anyone else. :)

    • What about homosexuality?
      I’m gay, but I also know its not genetic (and its not as simple as being a matter of choice either).
      More scientific evidence indicates that sexual orientation is not necessarily fixed, but we can be born leaning (heavily or otherwise) into a specific ‘direction’ if you will.
      Sexual orientation seems to be something that develops while we develop in the womb (during the fetal stage).

      Either way… I see no reason why it should be seen as an issue.
      I am a man, and I like men (in a sexual way). If you are a woman and like women, should it be of relevance to me?
      If you are a Human and you like rocks in a sexual capacity, objects, even animals… who am I to judge?
      Do I see that behavior as ‘deviant’?
      No.
      ‘Deviance’ implies that something is ‘wrong’ or not the ‘norm’. The whole point of RBE and the Venus project is to create an emergent society (one that embraces change and is not quick to making assumptions or projecting personal bias on things it may not understand).

      Basically, I use an approach that peoples sexual attractions are a non-issue for me (I can even get into all sorts of details no less regardless of the subject), and a similar approach could be encouraged in RBE and The Venus Project at large when it comes to pass (not in a forced capacity of course – merely encouraged).

  15. […] notion of money and private property 1 is a norm, a mindset so ingrained in our minds that we don’t even think about it or know it’s […]

  16. Olivier says:

    Hello Harald,
    Thanks for nice article. I guess the book “The Empathic Civilisation” from Jeremy Rifkin which i recommended to you lately was inspiring? Hugs, Olivier

  17. Ross M says:

    Hi everyone, I have become infatuated with the idea of a RBE. As a humanitarian, the concept and potential behind this are incredible to me. I only have one gripe with the idea. Who would control the resources? How does this hierarchy(control of the resources) exist without the corruption we see today? I feel that this still leaves the door open for organized crime. There will always be people with the will to destroy and upset things much like there are now. How do these people fit in to the RBE? I feel as thought that would upset the entire system to a point of almost impracticality. Unless of course the idea is to implement the RBE after a sort of world peace is attained. Sorry to be so negative, but I love this idea and want to explore it as much as possible. Thanks for any insight.

    • A Resource Based Economy is a system without government.
      Essentially there are NO people in positions of power of any kind.
      Why?
      Simple… expose the general population to relevant general education, and people gain the ability to make their own decisions, be responsible for their own actions, govern themselves, and are much less prone to being manipulated/used by others.
      1 person or a small group of people cannot possibly represent the common interests of thousands, millions and even less so, billions.
      Each person has their own voice, and they have their own way of thinking.
      Governments are obsolete and on top of things utterly useless these days and have been for a while now). Change never came from people in positions of power, but rather from the ‘common folk’.

      As for the assumption that there will always be people who want to upset things…
      This is a common fallacy. The only reason these people exist now is because they grew up in an environment that made them behave like that.

      If people are disruptive to those living in RBE, they will be helped.
      Incarcerating them is not the way to help them. That will probably fuel into their own established psyche and will only serve to accomplish an opposite effect. We have to establish what made them behave in the way they do now, and see if we can help them.
      Of course… forcing ones help onto others is not a way to go either. But the idea of prisons is a barbaric one that is inefficient and doesn’t work as intended. There are ways to help people… its a bit harder and can take time.

      • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

        With genuine respect, I do not think you have addressed Ross M’s concerns which I share – the RBE objective is attractive but the transition to RBE is fraught with unanswered questions – for example how does one ‘help’ the Drug Lords when they arrive armed to the teeth to take over the RBE community trying to establish itself ? The second amendment suggests everyone should be armed to the teeth to resist tyrannical forces – is that how the transition will go, all out war?

        • How to address the Drug Lords issue?
          Dry out their base – those who consume the drugs. The only way to do that is through education and helping those people by showing them they don’t have to do drugs anymore. Why do they do drugs in the first place? Environment.
          Also… removing any bans on drugs of any kind should be done. Making things illegal only forces people to get it alternatively.
          The key here is to give these people the ability to make their own decisions and see how it can impact their lives.
          Most people who are educated and even have the means, do not actually indulge in drug use (especially if their existence is not in danger… most do it to escape reality to begin with – not surprising considering the garbage we allowed to transpire).

          Also… on the transition… the transitional period would probably be done using money and people in power, but would be temporary and last only 10 years.
          In that time frame, we could easily start by shortening the work day from 8 hours to 4 (automation of course). Every 2 years, the work day is shortened by half and people are actively being educated/exposed to different ways of thinking and approach to life in general (and to ideas of RBE, relevant general education, sustainability, etc.).
          Much less emphasis is put on governments and money in general (we don’t just think about the monetary implications on the economy – we simply DO IT).
          Everyone are given the ability to actively participate and contribute in all areas.
          And so forth.

          • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

            Thanks. I start to see the strategy. In the case of drugs the problem has 2 sides – 1 it has become so easy for impressionable kids to be recruited into making money from selling drugs. Of course -2 – most of them also become addicted. Oxycodone is a prescription drug that has a high street value and very high addictive properties. I know a very bright but lazy kid who is now 22 and started at 15 down this road. Only now has he started cleaning up – a waste of 7 years of his life and devastation to his family. It is true that the turn around came from sustained love and support. The pharmaceutical industry is hugely driven by profit and is the legal arm of the drug problem. Their success depends on sickness not cure. Overcoming problems like these seem overwhelming to me but I am encouraged by your reply.

        • Shandolyn says:

          Agreed! So many of us desire and will work for the RBE. But if we are not prepared for the rest of us and many of their wraths then we have worked hard just to hand it all over!!

      • General Zod says:

        “If people are disruptive to those living in RBE, they will be helped”
        I love the idea of a perfectly functioning RBE, but these problems are obvious yet usually overlooked. Is a person’s desire NOT to live in an RBE just as valid? Should that desire be surpressed by the majority for the common good? I don’t see how it’s possible to live in a global RBE whilst defending the rights on the individual to choose.

        • Sirtaz Ranauta says:

          Just wondering who would desire not to live in an RBE . An obvious group of people would be the ones unfairly benefiting from the current monitory system – hopefully as enough people who create the real wealth enter RBE these monitory profiteers source of profit will start to dry up – and then they may want to join up.

  18. Yuu Kim says:

    i think we do have a human nature and one of the aspects of it is our adherence to whatever we perceive to be the “group-think”–whatever it might be.

    we will basically reflect any group-think that we are socialized into, no matter how self-destructive it might be.

    so, very few people will disagree with an RBE if it’s an integral part of the group-think. if it is not, then MOST people will disagree with it.

  19. mediokritet says:

    money is product of economy of scarsity. scarsity is in its large part artificially produced. but is there really enough absence of scarsity possible to make described principles work? is there abundance in e.g. food production or energy…?

    • Deks Roning says:

      There is.
      Humanity has been producing 17% more calories per each person on the planet for just over 30 years despite the rise in the world’s population resulting in the ability to feed 10 billion people annually (over 50% of which is being destroyed intentionally because it cannot be sold, to keep the food prices up and because its not ‘cost effective’ or profitable to ship it to those who starve or don’t have it). this is achieved using agriculture which is outdated. For about 54 years, we had the ability to grow food in fully automated vertical farms utilizing hydroponics, auqaponics and aeroponics, without soil, pesticides, chemicals or GMO, and reducing usage of nutrient rich water by 75%, while using closed systems.

      As for energy – Humanity perfected recycling technologies in the late 19th century (at which point we gained the ability to recycle heavy metals). When you take into account the amount of land-fills on the planet that piled up over the centuries, we have had more than enough raw resources on the landfills to use (break matter down into base elements and reconstitute it into something else, or convert it into alternative energy sources).
      First geothermal power-plant began operations in 1911 producing electricity and hot water at the same time. By 1929 baseload energy production could have been gained from geothermal alone, using wind (yes, WIND) as a supplement. If Humanity today tapped into 1% of Earth’s Geothermal power, we’d have enough energy (for everyone on the planet) to last us 4000 years.

      This doesn’t take into account solar power (invented in the 1950-ies) or our ability to launch space-based solar collectors in the 1970-ies that would have 22 times greater power hitting them 24/7 (unhindered by atmospheric conditions) which could be wirelessly transmitted to us on the ground (without harm to us or the planet and no losses of power).

      Then there’s tidal and wave power (could use oceans for this).

      Of course… these energy production technologies are outdated comparing them to today’s science.
      Today, we have the ability to generate power using meta-materials made from carbon-nanotubes (no exhausts whatsoever or need for power-plants).

      Molecular manufacturing (affecting molecular structure of matter via nano-technology and converting it into something else, or extracting necessary resources) is another technology available to us.

      Also keep in mind that Capitalism mainly creates technology using ‘cheap’ and ‘cost effective’ materials (more often than not those that cannot be synthesized in abundance) and methods of production.

      A Resource Based Economy would only/mainly use superior synthetic materials which can be made in abundance (reserving ‘rare’ resources for other uses instead of being wasteful like we are doing now).
      This would in turn produce light-years more advanced technology because RBE would be producing the BEST of what is possible to achieve with a synthetic material with highest efficiency in mind (all of which is in line with our LATEST scientific knowledge).

      For that matter, Robotic arms were invented in 1958.
      Mag-lev trains in the 1960’s. Had we used robotics wherever possible in production and construction from the get go, the ENTIRE planet could have already been connected with mag-lev trains (vacuum tubed ones achieving speeds of 6500km/h for transcontinental trips and city to city trips, while urbanized areas would use slower versions without vacuum tubes at speeds of 400km/h – these are speeds which we known/achievable in the 1970’s).
      Mag-lev technology is also 100 times more energy efficient compared to regular trains and as such consumes that much less power, and requires very little maintenance.

      Today – we can automate over 75% of the global workforce (although close to 100% is also doable).
      With the technology/resources at our disposal, the planet CAN be transformed in less than 10 years.

      And these are just tip of the very large iceberg.
      A lot of people fail to understand our fullest extent of technological capabilities because they lacked exposure to relevant general education – and there is a chance a lot of them would be scared of what we are really capable of.
      The mind-set of an ‘average’ Human is not tuned to our latest scientific breakthroughs.
      Most of the things I noted they’ve seen in some form in science fiction, therefore they perceive it as ‘impossible’ or a ‘fantasy’.
      Furthermore, they never ask themselves ‘do we have the resources/technology to make it happen’ – but they mainly ask :’how much would it cost?’ or ‘who would pay for that?’

      Money stopped representing resources over 100 years ago.
      We have had the ability to base our technology, tools, and everything else on superior synthetic materials that can be produced in abundance for every person on the planet (and industry) several times over, with sustainability and 99% efficiency.

      • Renard says:

        That is an Excellent overview. It would be productive imo to have a Forum format for discussions as a complement to a more formal Blog. There used to be a Forum on TZM site, but is there another accessible forum you or others know of where RBE related topics are often discussed and brainstormed?

        • Harald Sandø says:

          I’ve been trying to find a simple WordPress forum solution, but haven’t succeeded. I’ll check again to see if anything neat have come up. Personally, I’m not data knowledgeable enough for anything complicated. And I don’t have time to moderate the forum. If anyone have the time for that, please say.

          • Renard says:

            I’m in a similar situation, I have a phpBB Forum under the carpet I had used for tests, but even without telling anyone it existed ended up having scores of spambots, and since I dont have much time to moderate/clean it from spam, Im keeping it closed at this time.

  20. Lori says:

    There are no inherent features of human nature, i.e. there are as many types of human nature as there are humans.

  21. Benedict says:

    I agree, but I think you could have said the same thing in fewer words.

    Short, powerful message > long-winded essay

  22. Curbina says:

    I’m so glad these Ideas are starting to spread and gain momentum. It’s like a breath of fresh air in a world of profound dissapointed people.

  23. Tiffany says:

    Thanks for your article!

  24. dave de vries says:

    good article :P

  25. Brian Bors says:

    I think you are missing a crucial point that would strengthen this article. A resource based economy would work even if human nature is purely egoistic and competitive, I believe that is one of the strengths of it. Surely the transitional period would be even more troublesome, but once abundance is reached a purely egoistic and competitive agent within the system would not work towards destroying the system if simply going about it’s egoistic and competitive business.

    Great article non the less.

  26. Daniel Lloyd says:

    Excellent article, the points made grow stronger every day.

  27. Alexander Hoff says:

    Damn! This was an awesome article! Thank you so much for writing it.

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