FREE WORLD WITHIN REACH?

A website set up to promote the merits of an open access, moneyless society has reached the landmark of 50,000 signatories, representing almost every nation on the planet.

The www.freeworldcharter.org site was set up in March 2011 by Irish songwriter and music producer Colin Turner with visitors able to sign up and support ten objectives aimed at creating a fairer, far more sustainable world.

The 50,000th signatory was Neno Crvelin from Croatia. Reflecting sentiments shared by many who sign the Charter, Neno commented: “I have opened my eyes to think about what we can all do to progress, instead of just thinking about myself.”

Founder Colin Turner explained: “This is a magnificent milestone. I never believed that the site would strike a chord with so many people around the world. We are now aiming to reach 100,000 signatories!

“Slowly but surely we are waking up to the many errors of our ways. The current trajectory we are on is unsustainable both environmentally and economically. Without caring for the planet and its people, we are destined to go the way of the dodo.

“The Free World Charter, like many similar organisations and movements set up in recent years, seeks to address the many existential issues we face holistically. Our problems are all interconnected and, until we realise that money lies at the root cause of most of them, then we will keep making the same mistakes

“We are a long way from our goal of building a harmonic, progressive and moneyless society but millions of people, including our 50,000   signatories, recognise that it is wholly possible. It is just about empowering a collective will to challenge the prevailing and, literally bankrupt, status quo,” added Colin.

The busiest day occurred on the 27th March 2013 with over 1,000 signing up to the Charter. Around 19% of signatories hail from the USA with France, Germany, the UK and Canada constituting the remaining top five positions. A total of 206 nations are represented. You can view the full breakdown HERE.

He continued “It’s a spiritual evolution in the minds of individuals as much as anything and, to quote Albert Einstein, ‘we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’”

Colin has also recently set up a free world clock that acts as a countdown to this proposed sea change in thinking with a target date of July 4th, 2040. He has also attempted to trek around the world without the use of money getting to the edge of Europe before being forced to abort his odyssey.

“That was an incredible experience that taught me that everyone is capable of being open to this idea, no matter what their background, personal wealth or circumstances.

“There’s a spirit within humanity that is so much more vivid and alive than that allowed by the limited, existing paradigm of greed, debt and serfdom. When we truly think for ourselves, we think for everyone!” added Colin.

Colin was also been behind a 2015 Eurovision Song Contest entry  (VIEW HERE) together with musicians from across Europe. It was well received as part of the Swiss qualifying process and he’s also initiated a campaign to encourage Iceland to become the world’s first resource based economy.

“The more people that wake up, the more the genie is out of the box. Once you have planted the seeds in people’s minds that we are capable of building something so much better together, the closer we get to its eventual implementation.

“Back in 2008 we saw the incredible limitations of a global, debt-consumed economy starkly exposed. We need to build a much better, fairer, more secure world for everyone! It’s in all our hands,” concluded Colin.

 

For more information about the Free World Charter or to receive a pdf of the Charter and all of its signatories please contact Colin Turner on colin@freeworldcharter.org / +353 87 2299031colin_with_charter


If you built it, will they come?

small tree growing in crack2

Julie Glasscock and Vladimir Alzamora
Kadagaya (www.kadagaya.org)

There is an increasingly large global community promoting, advocating and discussing a resource-based economy and many working on designing what such a future might look like. We can be sure that if such a wonderful society existed there would be no shortage of volunteers willing to try it out. However, the path from here to there, the so-called “transition” is much less clear. An RBE by definition is not a fixed-point utopia with a clear operation manual, but rather uses the scientific method to evaluate concepts and technologies to continuously upgrade and improve. Therefore, the transition period is not a clearly defined route that we implement when we have the time/money/resources, but rather should be a time of vast experimentation to test out all these ideas and see what works and what doesn´t.

So why does there seem to be much more interest in promoting the concepts than developing and living in RBE communities to test the theory in the real world? We speak from the experience of building such a community and finding it very difficult to attract people to help grow the community with us. In early 2014 we founded Kadagaya (www.kadagaya.org) after becoming disillusioned and unsatisfied with life in the system and inspired by the opportunities provided by an RBE-type society. We began a pilot project in Peru to evaluate the enabling concepts and technologies that have the potential to take us steps closer to an RBE. In the early stages of such a project, while the basic infrastructure is being constructed and daily life is not as comfortable as that in the system, it is easy to understand why joining the community is not so attractive. We have no shortage of volunteers (mainly travelers) excited to spend a few weeks or months in the jungles of Peru helping us build the community, but finding long-term/permanent residents is much more difficult.

In the transition period emerging RBE communities look a lot like self-sufficient communities or eco-villages and have some overlap with hippie communes and alternative/spiritualist groups. Even some of the groups that consider and label themselves as RBE communities incorporate spiritualistic, religious and other beliefs which are not consistent with RBE concepts. This can be problematic in differentiating ourselves and attracting people who are interested in growing as a community and working towards an RBE rather than a personal spiritual journey.

In general small “intentional communities” have a very high rate of failure. Community living can be difficult and these days it is something that is quite foreign to many of us. Although a lot of these communities are trying to be self-sufficient and escape the system, there are inevitably problems created by money, politics of management/ownership and ego. Therefore it is very important to focus on educating the community about human behavior, psychology and social interactions in order to understand ourselves and the original of these potential conflicts. We feel it is important for the community to grow together over time, which is why it is advantageous to have long-term/permanent members from the beginning, rather than joining an established community.

Of course there are numerous reasons why people prefer to join a mature community. Most of us are trapped in the system in one way or another (with mortgages, debt, family commitments etc.) and leaving that life for an alternative has financial, emotional and social risks. As we are highly social animals there a large element of discomfort in breaking social conformity and challenging the homeostasis of “normal life” (even when we recognize the negative effects of such a life). The current system (and in particular the media) very effectively uses fear to maintain the status-quo and hence most of us have a well-established fear of the unknown and tend to worry about what we have to lose. Even though there are big opportunities for improving our lives by living in alternate systems, very few want to be the guinea pigs. Despite the growing awareness and dissatisfaction with the system, perhaps life is still too good and things need to get really bad (e.g. another huge recession) before the risks of trying something new don´t seem so bad.

In the meantime, we and other like-minded communities, are working towards self-sufficiency, increasing our knowledge and consciousness, and testing enabling technologies. By interacting with the wider community of RBE supporters we hope to share our knowledge and experiences, helping others to make the transition and be ready to support those wishing to leave the system when they are ready.

We recognize that such a life of experimentation, exploration and relative isolation from the system is not for everyone. Explorers in the past ventured off into the unknown, some fearing they would fall of the edge of the Earth, motivated either by an adventurous spirit, or a life of necessity. While the process of building an alternate society seems like hard work, those who have realized that there is no other option for their life prefer this “hard work” (outside their comfort zone) to maintaining a life within the monetary system.

 “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”

William G.T. Shedd

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