Overpopulation – Is It a Myth?


The hype of ‘overpopulation’ has been going on for years in the media. And even some ‘philanthropists’ like Bill Gates is promoting de-population through vaccines and more to lower the population of this ‘overpopulated’ world.

Now, is the planet really overpopulated? Or will it be, if we continue multiplying? Obviously, it will be if we exponentially increase ourselves indefinitely, but there are many factors that works against that.

Overpopulation is most definitely a myth, and I’ll prove why.

I am talking about global overpopulation. For sure, there are many areas on the planet that are overpopulated, and all of them are what we call ‘cities’. But globally, we have more than enough room.

The reason for overpopulation in cities is blatant; The Monetary System itself. Money, trading and ownership has permeated so to say every nook and cranny of this planet, replacing real resources, like food, with the artificial resource of money, which is most abundant in cities. Thus, in need of this artificial ‘resource’, people flock to cities to get ‘jobs’ that will give them this ‘resource’. Had they stayed on the countryside, they would have had access to the abundance of nature, without much need for money.

Abundance of Space

According to Wikipedia, the definition of overpopulation is:

a function of the number of individuals compared to the relevant resources, such as the water and essential nutrients they need to survive.

Let’s also include ‘space’ as a resource needed to survive. Clearly, we need a certain amount of space around us for our physical and mental wellbeing.

There are vast amounts of land on this planet without a human soul living there. The abundance of land on this planet is so vast that it is unimaginable to most people. The image below illustrates this perfectly. Here we can see that the whole planet’s population would fit in the state of Texas with about one person per 100 m2. That is actually not too bad in itself. Except that we have so much more land available than only Texas. If we divide all the world’s 6,9 billion people on the available land mass of the planet, everyone would have about 22,000 m2 each.

the-worlds-population-concentratedWe have an abundance of space, that’s for sure. More than enough for all the world’s people to live upon. Considering that most people like to live in some form of community with others in the form of towns or larger cities (not because of ‘job needs’, but because of the social aspects, not ‘overpopulating’ any particular place), makes the space we have available even more abundant for settlements.

There’s no need for people to bundle up in huge overcrowded mega cities. If we use the whole planet, we easily have room for all with lot’s of space to spare. And then we haven’t even included the oceans, which also can be populated. Not that that is needed from a purely space perspective, nor a food perspective, as we will see.

Abundance of Food

Let’s repeat the Wikipedia definition:

Overpopulation is a function of the number of individuals compared to the relevant resources, such as the water and essential nutrients they need to survive.

‘Essential nutrients’ can be translated as ‘food’. Thus, for the planet to be overpopulated, or become overpopulated in any relevant future, there has to be too little food for everyone on this planet. The people who seriously talk about overpopulation must thus be seriously ignorant or misinformed.

Food Waste

Today we are wasting half of all food that is produced.  Clearly, we have a huge abundance of food on this planet, out of which half is wasted. According to Tristram Stuart

All the world’s nearly one billion hungry people could be lifted out of malnourishment on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK and Europe.

Thus, we have no food shortage. Do we? This number alone should be enough to debunk the ‘overpopulation’ myth. But wait, there’s more. Let’s take a short look on how much land we actually need to produce the food we need.

Biointensive Agriculture

With Biointensive Agriculture, less than 200m2 is necessary to feed one person an abundance of vegetables per year, including lots of protein rich vegetables like beans and spinach, even in colder climates. And this is without using any chemical fertilisers or pesticides. Check out this video for an example of how much food can be grown on a small space:

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A quick calculation shows me that here they produce about 3,6 kilos of food/day/200m2. Thus, the one person we talked about above would get 2-4 times as much food as necessary from this little plot of land, which is in a city, by the way!

Arable Land

The amount of so-called ‘arable land’ on the planet is according to Wikipedia about 14 million km2. If we only use this amount of arable land, we would have about 20 times the land we need (or 40 times if we use the last calculation above) to feed all of us on the planet. If we include permanent pastures, which amount to about 33 million km2 and is used for live stock, and grow vegetables there instead, we end up with more than 60-100 times of what we actually need. That is if we only eat veggies. But of course, we don’t need all that land, so there would be plenty of room for some grass fed beef or chicken with happy free ranging animals that can be managed holistically.

Increasing Agricultural Land

If we include some our deserts  in our alculations, we would have even more potentially productive land. According to Allan Savory we can re-green deserts through the use of live stock, as this TED presentation shows, thus fight both climate change and desertification, while at the same time increase our amount of agricultural land. Not that we need that for food production, though, but just saying to further debunk the overpopulation myth.

But, there’s more.

Hydroponics and Aquaponics

We already have more than enough food through the land that we have, but if we for some reason would want more, we can include Hydroponics and Aquaponics in our food plan. If we do, we would have such an abundance of food that we could feed a 100 more planets full of people, easily.

Hydroponics is growing plants directly in nutritious water. The nutrition comes from rotting unused plant matter.

Aquaponics is hydroponics with fish, where the nutrition comes from the fish excrements, while the plants clean the water for the fish.

Take a look at this video to see what I am talking about:

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According to this link, hydroponics (and thus aquaponics) can be up to 100 times (!) more efficient than growing in soil.

One – hundred – times…!

Thus, if we pop up a few aquaponic plants here and there, we wouldn’t even need soil.

Abundance of Water

There’s also a lot of talk about ‘water scarcity’, and that the available fresh water on the planet is rapidly shrinking. We are using up aquifers on wasteful agricultural practices, while soft drink companies are bottling free water and selling it. Both as a result of profit maximisation stemming from the monetary mindset and system.

But even if we use up the aquifers, we will still have rain water. Oh, it rains less as well, you say? Well, that will be amended with the re-greening we mentioned above, combined with lots of new microclimates created when we start to farm naturally, and not to speak of re-planting of forests, that all help create rain.

If this isn’t enough after the aquifers are empty, there’s a sun up there that gladly evaporates sea water for free trough Solar Desalination. In addition there’s also discovered some huge amounts of fresh water deep in the oceans.

As if this is not enough, we can get fresh water directly from the air through inexpensive water towers by harvesting atmospheric water vapor.

After all, we can’t really use up the water on planet earth. It has always been here and will always be here. The fresh water we have we have as a result of evaporation of salt water on the planet, and it raining down over land, in addition to aquifer, fresh water trapped under ground. It can’t really disappear. As long as we have an atmosphere, which the water we have plays a big part in creating and maintaining by the way, we will have water on the planet. And as long as we have the sun, we will have fresh water.

It is only our ignorance and monetary practices that creates scarcity of water, just like it creates scarcities of everything else.

Abundance of Resources

What is ‘resources’? Well, of course, food is a huge resource that we see we have and can produce in abundance. Other resources are ‘natural resources’; such as minerals like steel or aluminium.

Well, do we have an abundance of them? Yes and no.

It all depends on our consumption, technology and recycling. With today’s consumption and recycling patterns, and specific technology, we clearly have too little.

But, with an other type of economy that would maximise the resources we have through new inventions, technology, reuse and recycling, combined with new consumption patterns, we have an abundance of resources as well.

Consumption is created from the monetary system. We need to constantly consume to keep the system running. Since the monetary system is dependent on continual growth in consumption, if everyone cut consumption with only 10%, the whole system would collapse.

Paradoxically, the monetary system is creating both scarcity and a huge abundance of products through planned obsolescence and overproduction. Planned obsolescence is making sure products break or become obsolete due to out-of-date technology or fashion, thus creating a scarcity and need of a constant supply of new products. A perceived scarcity is created through giving the impression that you need the new products combined with the old ones starting to malfunction.

This cycle in the monetary system is the most wasteful cycle of all on the planet, wasting all the resources we possess, only to maximise profit for shareholders. We certainly do have an abundance of resources if they were only managed properly, which can only be done in a resource based economy.

Money

But the most scarcity is produced from the most elusive ‘resource’ we have; Money.

Money is and will always be, scarce, to about 90% of the population on this planet. Why? Because that is the nature and design of the monetary system. Money is not designed to reach the lower parts of the pyramid in any great amounts per person, thus creating not only a scarcity of money for that family, but also a scarcity of the needed resources.

Through interest and ownership money is naturally flowing upwards. The ‘trickle down’ economics advocated by the rich do exactly that with money; trickle. Just enough, barely, to keep the workers work ‘down there’, day in and day out. Just enough money is ‘trickled’ down in the form of small salaries for hours upon hours of work, thus, keeping money and most other resources scarce for 90% of all of us. Because too much of it would cause inflation, as we all know. Or would it?

The discussion of a basic income is getting higher and higher up on government agendas around the world. The long lasting results of a basic income in the western world is yet to be known. But tests in Africa and India are very promising, with the communities flourishing and people doing more work than before. The difference being that now they do what they love, providing a needed service to the community, instead of slaving away at something for a corporation, if they could ‘get a job’ at all. With a basic income more people could create their own jobs, minimising the for corporations and governments to create the jobs for them.

Money could easily be abundant for all the world’s people, and it would probably not create inflation, but rather more collaboration, inventiveness and community. It might also increase consumption and boost the ‘economy’ even more, which in our monetary system would be good of course, but not necessary for the wellbeing of the planet.

This topic is an article in itself. All I will say about it here is I think a basic income could be used as a stepping stone towards a global resource based economy as it promotes a decentralisation of resources and an empowering of people, which is exactly what a resource based economy is all about.

Conclusion

There is no overpopulation on planet earth. We can easily provide in abundance for everyone here, and even double, triple or quadruple that if we really like. All we need to do that is to create a resource based economy, making sure food and resources is created where people need them, and empower people to create their own lives wherever they live.

To keep the population manageable, though, and prevent any unnecessary population increase, education and living standard are the best methods for that. Statistics show clearly a decrease in birth rate in several developed countries where the population is educated and have a relatively high standard of living.

A resource based economy can easily provide all of the above, when we stop relying on measuring everything in money, hoard through private ownership and trade for profit, but instead maximise and share our resources, use custodianship and usership, and create a truly free world for all.


Transitioning to a Green Economy


While we’re facing grave economic and environmental challenges globally, Holigent addresses both issues with the Holigent Village—a blueprint for redesigning and reconstructing the way we live, work, commute, consume and govern ourselves.

Holigent Village Los AngelesThe Holigent Village is a proposed live/work, car-free affordable housing community with a hybrid socioeconomic arrangement. It’s a bottom-up approach that can be implemented one community at a time, branch out into networks of similar communities. then go worldwide, reducing the burdens (and power) of centralized governments in the process.

Physical aspect: The Holigent Urban Village will be a walkable, human-scale pedestrian community that consists of low-, mid- and high-rise mixed-use residential and commercial structures. The majority of its residents will be the employees of businesses that occupy the office, commercial and light industrial spaces. The Village will also feature a shopping promenade, parks with recreational facilities and other public spaces.

Critically, many of the features of this compact community facilitate a transition to a post-carbon world. The village will utilize the most advanced green technologies in local energy generation (wind/solar), recycling and waste management, water reclamation, bike- and electric car-share programs, light rail and local food production in the form of rooftop gardens, vertical farming, etc. Aside from a low carbon footprint, this non-sprawling and efficient layout promotes the myriad of health benefits that accompany increased physical activity.

A Holigent Urban Village will not sprawl beyond its designated capacity, so that walkability is preserved and the need for long commutes is eliminated. To satisfy growing demand, additional villages will be developed and joined by a high-speed train or monorail.

Delta Plan 1The economics: A Holigent Village features a hybrid socioeconomic arrangement known as the Delta Plan. Resident workers earn salaries at the local companies, but also do community service for community credit; they can then apply that credit in varying degrees to their rent. The nonprofit management company invests rental income back into the community. This flexible arrangement ensures somewhat of a “firewall” against recessions and depressions. There is no need for home or car ownership in this setting. Please see the attached document for specifics on the Delta Plan.

It’s possible that by addressing social, business and ecological needs together in a holistic way, a new and more secure quality of life will emerge.

As a nonprofit organization, our mission is to make the Holigent (holistic-emergent) socioeconomic and environmental sustainability concept and community retrofit and reconstruction guidelines widely available to individuals, organizations and institutions. To that end, we created a free online course outlining our principles and how to put them into practice. You can find it at www.udemy.com/the-holigent-solution. As of this writing, we have nearly 200 students—many of whom probably found us by searching “sustainability.” As you know, there’s a real hunger for that—and not just in the sense of renewable resources, but SYSTEMIC sustainability that takes the whole person, community, country and world into account. We think the Holigent Village concept offers social, economic and environmental justice, quality, and sustainability. Looking forward to thoughts from fellow societal innovators; we’ve read your posts with a lot of interest!

Delta Plan 1Delta Plan 1


Human Nature


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.

How The Monetary System Works


This blog is mainly about focussing positively on a resource based economy, how it works, and how it can be implemented. Still, there seems to be a dire need to address the workings of our present monetary system, since some people doesn’t seem to grasp how detrimental this system is to our society, our health and the wellbeing of the planet in general. I think most people reading this blog ‘gets it’. This article is overemphasized towards those who don’t.

All of the elements below are self evident and clearly present in today’s world.

Our wonderful monetary system

Banks, loans, bills, taxes, bankruptcies, corruption, products that stop working right after the guarantee runs out. Competition, profit, buying, selling, trading, shopping, fashion, TV, advertising, cars brake down. Pollution, tar sands, oil spills, wars, nuclear disasters, asthma, deformed newly borns. Grades, neurosis, pharmaceuticals, doctors paid by them, prozac, more corruption, politicians, drug abuse, drug trade, financial crisis, unemployment, ingenious inventions that never see the light of day because they are bought up and shut down or outcompeted by the big corporations so they never reach The Market. Financial crisis, scarcity, inequality, injustice, greed, prostitution, pollution, clerks, meaningless jobs, police, military, terrorism, sell, sell, sell, sell, the media, homelessness, problems and crisis making the richer richer and the middle class into poor and the poorer even poorer. Overfishing, waste, consumption, bureaucracy, red tape, accounting, fraud, depression, suicide, crime.

Don’t you just love it?

You bet I do.

And the irony of it all; 99% of the ‘99%’ doesn’t even see it.

See what?

The problem. The cause of it all.

For some time I thought that ‘there will always be wars between people’. Sometime, somewhere on the planet, there will always be a war going on. I thought that this was a part of ‘human nature’, and after all, a war served as a contrast to ‘what we didn’t want’.

Now I understand that this is complete and utter bullshit.

Human Nature is not greedy. Humans become what society and their surroundings make them. If their surroundings are 100% greed, they become greedy. When they grow up in a world where the credo is ‘You Have To Make Money!’, ‘You Have To Succeed!!’ and ‘The More Money You Have, The More Successful You Are!!!’ then it is no wonder they become greedy, rip of others in a brown collar, blue collar or white collar way, become bankers, stock brokers and robbers, or simply….take a job.

Humans, when given the chance, are helpful, caring and sharing beings. This is who we really are. And this has been proven again and again.

So, if it is not ‘human nature’ that causes all of the shit we have in the world today, then what is it?

The answer is, it is the system itself. And when I say ‘the system’, I mean both the monetary system and the system of values that comes with it.

So, what came first? The monetary system or the value system? It’s a good question, but not really necessary to answer. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that it is here, and one is reinforcing and strengthening the other.

The profit based monetary system is leading to greedy values, while greedy values again lead to the monetary system. It has been a vicious spiral that has been going on for thousand of years with a culmination in present day.

Profit Motive

The profit motive is the controlling factor in the monetary system.

Today we are all slaves to the profit motive whether we like it or not. All adults has to make a profit, to ‘earn a living’. This goes for companies and corporations too. Without profit, they go bankrupt, people loose their jobs and everything collapses.

The Profit Motive rules the world. It doesn’t matter how good intentions you have. If you can’t reach the market and make a profit, it doesn’t have any value in today’s world.

No matter how much you want to help people in need, you have to buy your own way in this world. If you want to create new sustainable and efficient technologies, you still have to make a profit. No matter how great artist, painter, dancer or singer you are, you have to earn your money. The company have to earn money. The organization have to earn money. The corporation have to earn money. The government have to earn money.

We all have to make a profit.

Trade

Thus, we have to trade with each other. No matter how much you want to simply give your services and products away, you have to get some money back. No matter how much you want to share your skills, you have to ‘make a living’.

You have to trade whatever you have with others and get money back for it to pay your bills, buy your food and all the stuff you need to simply live. So, in this system, we have to trade.

We can of course give something away, but that’s not the point. The point is that we have to trade in this world, or else we die. If we give away all that we have, we won’t have any money to buy what we need ourselves.

We could of course try to live of the land, scavenge dumpsters or rely on kind friends to feed us, maybe in return for our services. And some do this. Still, the majority have to work and use money. If everyone abandoned money, well then we would of course not have the monetary system anymore, but rather a resource based gift economy which is what this whole blog is about.

Property and Ownership

Now, here’s the kicker. In nature there’s no real ‘property’ or ‘ownership’. It doesn’t exist. What exists is usership, possession and access. But in our monetary system, we have ‘property’ and ‘ownership’. What this means is that you can get a paper that say’s that ‘you own something’, making that thing ‘your property’.

These concepts are the basic building blocks of the monetary socio-economic capitalistic system. The concept of ownership and property is what has made it possible for a few in this world to own a lot. It is what makes this whole system go around. Still, ownership is only a concept. Not a real thing.

The 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 boats and 2 farms, you can only use a very small amount of time on each thing. Most of the time, ‘your’ things will be idle. Unused.

Still, you own it. You have bought it with your own money. Or…maybe not. Maybe you bought it with OPM. Other People’s Money. Loaned money.

Money and Banking

Money is the ‘blood’ that nurtures this whole system, and makes the monetary system possible. With money we can charge each other and pay each other. We can fine each other and tax each other. We can invest and become rich, or loose and go bankrupt.

But where does all the money come from? The money comes from the banks, and it is made out of fresh air (as a Bank Of England employee called it). Yes, today money is created by The Federal Reserve and the central banks around the world when needed. And the money is given it’s value in decree, meaning that it is the government that decides the monetary value of each ‘coin’, even though 99% of all the money today is electronic. The ‘gold standard’ that once existed has been abandoned a long time ago. Now, money has no relationship to anything real.

The central banks in turn lends the money out to other banks, who then lends it out to customers. And here’s how this process happens, through fractional reserve banking: 

Bank A gets 100 million dollars from a central bank. It can then lend out up to 90% of this (this percentage varies from country to country, some can lend out up to 100% of these money) to a customer. This loan is then deposited to an account in another bank, or in the same bank (this doesn’t really matter, since most of the banks work together in a cartel anyway).

As soon as this money is deposited, the bank can then lend out 90% of these money to another customer, and on and on. So, from 100 million (which was created from fresh air), the banks can multiply this to around 1 billion dollars through repeated lending. You might ask, ‘but what if the customer want to withdraw his money, and the bank has just lent it out’??? Well, of course, that’s the problem. Here’s where the banks are gambling.

Most of the time the customers does not want or need to withdraw a lot of money. If a customer want to withdraw a reasonable amount, that is no problem. The bank then takes that money from the pool of money it has. The problem comes if many customers want to withdraw a lot of money at the same time. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it might threaten the life of that particular bank.

Interest

Anyway. This is how our money are created from ‘fresh air’. And of course, the loans has to be paid back, with interest. Now, this interest isn’t created in the system, which leads to a larger and larger deficit in the system, which shows up as bankruptcies around the world. And this is what we see today with even whole countries practically bankrupt. There’s simply not enough money to go around. The system is bound to collapse.

What is funny, is that the banks, in addition to interest, demand ‘security’ from the lender, while the bank obviously doesn’t have any security for the money themselves, other than the ‘fresh air’ they were made of in the first place.

If you doubt any of these claims, just Google ‘fractional reserve banking’ do your own research, and you will get it confirmed.

Now, many people are very upset about the banking system and the financial crises. Still, almost as many doesn’t see how the whole monetary system is at fault, not only some bankers or the banking system.

Capitalism

Now, to further elaborate on how our monetary system upholds itself, let’s see how the ingenuity of it makes some people on the planet live lives in leisure, while others have to work by the sweat of their brow, if they are ‘lucky’ enough to have a job, that is.

When the ‘common man’ takes up his much needed loan to buy his much needed home, what happens? Well, the interest he pays on the money he has loaned goes to the bank, who in turn pays another customer his interest on money he has deposited.

So, if you have 10 million dollars, and put them in a bank on 3% interest, you get 300.000 dollars each year from the bank, for doing nothing. But who pays these money? Well, that is of course the man and all the others who took up a loan at 5% interest. And the ones who are taking up loans and paying interest is of course a much larger group than the ones who have money in the bank and gets interest.

This way, the rich can live lives in leisure, while the rest have to work, paying back their loans. Pretty smart system, if you ask me. For the rich, that is.

So, capitalism is really a pyramid scheme. On the very top is a secret group of some very very few people, who effectively controls the money supply in the world, and through a conglomerate of companies, banks and corporations owns and controls most of the planet and it’s governments.

This pyramid is controlled by money and ownership and everyone tries to climb to the top, which is one of the smarts mechanisms of the system. Everyone wants better lives, and better lives is found in more money, more money is found in better jobs, more investments, more ownership and so on, so everybody steps on everybody else to get there, and on the way they pay and reinforce the system through loans and taxes. And this happens 100% voluntarily by the people in the system. They are voluntary slaves, serving the system with their jobs and investments.

On the bottom of this pyramid, we find the population at large. The ones who actually holds this pyramid up by obediently going to work, paying their loans and taxes and buying their products as good consumers.

The ones who are outside of this pyramid are the many jobless and poor who doesn’t have loans or jobs and doesn’t pay taxes, and the very few who have effectively abandoned money and property and tries to live different lifestyles. But these are disparagingly few.

Cyclical Consumption

In addition to the money and banking system, the monetary system needs us to constantly buy new stuff for it to survive. If we stop buying, the system will collapse. This is called cyclical consumption. We have to buy, buy, buy, buy and consume, consume, consume.

Notice how we are called ‘consumers’ without anyone even getting slightly insulted. That is how deep the system have indoctrinated us into believing that ‘this is the way it has to be’. Read with a robotic voice: ‘Yes, I am a consumer. I buy things. I consume. I am important because without me the whole system collapses’.

So, are you a consumer? Or are you a human being?

Planned and Perceived Obsolescence

As a result of the need for cyclical consumption, products can not be made to last as long as they could have. Thus, products are designed to break. The first nylon stockings, for instance, never broke, which made the corporations redesign the stocking to be weaker and have a shorter lifespan, so that they could sell more and make a profit.

This kind of planned obsolescence is designed into most products we buy today. The products can not be made too sturdy and long lasting, and have to be made in such a way that they become obsolete in themselves. Instead of being updated, they have to be replaced.

In addition to the planned obsolescence, we have perceived obsolescence. This is when a product is still working fine, but the customer still wants a new one, because of sentimental reasons, like fashion or perceived higher quality or style in ‘the new’ product. And these feelings and wants are of course produced by advertising and marketing in the media. And the reason for all of this is? To make a profit and uphold the monetary system.

Competition

Competition is another factor built into the monetary system.

Instead of companies collaborating to make the best, longest lasting, most efficient, smartest designed products of the highest quality, they have to compete for market share, patent their ‘intellectual property’ and keep it away from competitors. So, they are burdened with both competition to ‘stay alive’, cyclical consumption and planned obsolescence.

It is a fine balance they have to keep. They have to present a whole host of seemingly different products in different price ranges to give the so-called consumers (us) a so-called ‘choice’. All in the name of profit.

But, of course, it has to be like this, or else our whole system will collapse!

We must consume and buy stuff. We can’t have long lasting products. We must be brainwashed to buy new stuff all the time. The companies has to make a profit, or else we will be all out of jobs!!! 

Yes, of course, this is how it has to be. In the monetary system.

But, what would happen if we used much less? If we took up fewer loans? If the companies made long lasting products? If 50% of all food wasn’t thrown away? It is obvious. With lesser consumption, which is many people’s goal, the system will collapse. Then, what do we do? No jobs for anyone. No money. What shall we do???

Corruption and crime

Corruption is the result of money. Not dishonest people, not greed, not poverty. No, money, property and the need for profit are the causes of corruption.

When you have a system where the people constantly have to trade with each other, compete for jobs and resources, buy and sell to each other and earn money, corruption automatically arises.

Because in a system with money, scarcity is a needed factor. If something is too abundant it will have no value. Money itself will have no value if it is too abundant. Thus, constant competition is needed and people need to pay each other and try to get as much out of each other as possible. To me, this itself is corruption.

Anything that is not given freely, but demanded money for, is basically corruption. The monetary system itself is built upon fraudulent money designed to enslave the population on the planet, and thus the use of this currencies is itself corruption, except we don’t know it.

The monetary system also leads to crime. Since scarcity is needed and built into the system, this will automatically create big differences between haves and have nots, which leads to crime; poor people wanting to have the standard of living of the rich.

The Benefits of The Monetary System

Hm….can’t think of any. At least not any that serves all of us, and not just a few.

If I should think of one ‘benefit’, it would have to be the possibility to use money as a measurement of gratitude.

In any case, I think this one little benefit can easily be replaced in a resource based economy with true gifts instead. Gifts you have made yourself. Like a song, a dinner, a cake. I am not talking about bartering here, only gifts.

We Know

We know that the oceans are overfished. ‘They should fish less!’ We know that the rainforest is cut down to make room for soy bean plantations. ‘We should save the rainforest!!’ We know that there is a huge drug trade in the world. ‘We should stop them!!!’ We know that there is trafficking, with both children, men and women. ‘They should stop that!!!!’ We know that there are millions of hungry and homeless in the world. ‘We should give them food and shelter!!!!!’ We know that there are more than enough alternative energy sources to fuel the whole world. ‘We should use them!!!!!!’ We know billions is spent on war. ‘They should spend it on health, schools and the old!!!!!!!’

Now, why are they going to war? Why aren’t alternative energy used instead of oil? Why aren’t all the hungry and homeless fed and sheltered? Why are people suffering in trafficking? Why is there a huge drug trade in the world? Why is the rainforest cut down? Why are the oceans overfished? Why? Why?? Why???

And the answer is:   Profit.   Money.   Greed.   Property.

Do    you    get    it?

The System

It is the whole monetary system and the mindset behind it that is at cause. It isn’t the ‘bad guys’ or ‘freak coincidence’. No. It is our system.

We can’t stop these things happening within this system. Why? Because THE WORLD NEEDS TO MAKE  A PROFIT!!!

Every person, every business, every corporation and every government NEEEDS TO MAKE A PROFIT. That’s why.

Everyone needs to make a profit from what they do, and they do everything they can to make a profit. Be it going to war, overfishing, cutting down rainforest, smuggle drugs, traffic children, give irresponsible loans, trade money, trade gold, trade fish, trade, trade trade, trade and kick the ones who can not pay out or their homes. The profit incentive leads to greed which again leads to more want for profit.

We can’t avoid planned obsolescence and cyclical consumption, we can’t make products that last, we can’t feed and shelter all the hungry and homeless, we can’t stop wars, we can’t stop using oil, because these things are non profitable, and if we try to stop it, the whole system will collapse, because there would be no jobs, and no one to buy the products, big corporations would not earn money, go bankrupt and more people will be out of jobs, and so on. 

It is not ‘bad people’ who do these things. It is normal people like you and me. But, like you and me, they are infected with this thought of money, property and profit. Now, can you see the problem?

Now, can you see the solution?

Just imagine for a second, if we simply removed money, profit, trade and property.

Then we replaced it with natural sharing, giving, usership and accessibility.

Wooooooh…………….

Can you see the consequences? Can you reeeaaaally see it?

What would happen if we all shared? Simply shared. Shared our skills and knowledge. Shared our resources.

No competition. No profit. No money.

Instead: Collaboration. Joy. Excitement. Enthusiasm. On a global scale.

For everyone.

We could simply go out there and do what we need to do. Feed the ones who need it. And not only feed them, but build a whole new world for all of us. A world we can all live happily in together. Build up the soil. Make it thick and black and full of juicy nutrients for succulent vegetables to grow in.

Build up our knowledge about everything. And just do it! No need for patents anymore. No need for secrecy. No need for war. No need for money. No need for investors. No need to overfish the oceans. No need for trafficking. No need to drill for more oil. No need to worry about jobs and unemployment. No need to cut down the rainforest or kill the gorillas. No need to. No need to.

If we only let go of money. Property. Ownership. Profit. And greed.

What we are left with are the resources. What we can actually use. What we can actually eat, build houses with, make clothes with. All our common material and mental resources.

Resource Based Economy

What we are talking about is a resource based economy, which you can read all about on this website and on the sites of The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement.

In a resource based economy, we focus on the actual needed resources to produce anything. And we abandon trade, barter, money and ownership. Instead we have giving, sharing, accessibility and usership.

On a personal level, you can call it a gift economy, because whatever you do for anyone, you have to give away for free. But of course, when everyone thinks and acts like this, you will get a tenfold of gifts back as well.

Still, you giving something is also a resource, whether you sing a song for someone, share your knowledge on a subject, program a new application, make a movie or grow delicious food.

When we all live in a giving society, we will also get much more than we give. Why? Because that’s the power of a network of giving. When our mindset shifts from thinking only of ourselves, to thinking of others just as much, everyone will get more.

You giving of your skills and knowledge can be called sharing mental resources. All the other resources would be the material resources, like food, land, houses, transport, tools, energy, etc.

Do you know what the average usage time on a power drill is in today’s world? 20 minutes. In average, every power drill produced is used only 20 minutes in it’s entire lifespan. And the same goes for many other things in our world today. Cars are only used a fraction of their time. So are private boats. Skates. Skis. Etc, etc. Not to speak of all the waste we get from producing all this stuff.

In a resource based economy, we could actually focus on producing long lasting products, and then share them, instead of hoarding them. And we could focus on producing it without waste and pollution.

And instead of ownership, we would have usership. This means that whatever you use and need, you can use as long as you need it. And when you’re done with it, it goes back into the pool of resources. Be it a power drill, a car, a house or a piece of land.

All the resources on the planet would simply be shared and used where they were needed in the most environmentally friendly way. In fact, we wouldn’t have to weigh the balance between environment, jobs and profit. We could actually focus on the environment and ’employ’ as many as needed for the task of those who wanted to contribute to that, and then some.

No need to ‘get funding’, ‘find investors’, etc. etc. As long as we provide food and shelter for everyone who want’s to participate, we are good to go.

And again, we would of course utilize and develop as much technology as needed without the ‘technological unemployment’ ghost threatening. If we were to build a new dam, we wouldn’t need thousands of workers. No, we would construct machines to do, not only the heavy lifting, but the majority of the work itself.

Not that we would have to construct any new dam at all. There are plenty of alternative energy resources today that we can do very well without any new dams on the planet.

And within the resource based economy we could actually take the technologies that work the best and utilize them for everyone, without any competition or greedy corporations trying to ruin it for us, or the market not buying it. Now, we would simply work together, globally, to invent and develop the best new solutions. Solutions that save the environment, rather than ruin it. Solutions that help people, rather than hinder them.

Then, why would anyone contribute to any of this? Because it would be in everyones interest. It would be 100% meaningful and purposeful. It would be interesting and challenging. It would be liberating and joyful. It would be work that actually meant something.

Without the need to set different price tags on everything, we could set one; Priceless.

Many people might think of this as a kind of utopia. Getting all the worlds people in on this sounds daunting. Still, I think it is already in us. Giving and sharing is normal and natural in all of the world’s cultures.

We buy friends dinner without thinking about it. We share knowledge without cost, both on- and offline. People constantly help each other all around the world. Be it doctors, nurses, aid workers, computer specialists, or someone simply helping old ladies across the street.

On Cuba you are considered a taxi driver if you have a car. And that goes for tourists too. You have to stop for hitch hikers and share your car.

On Fiji, they basically doesn’t have any private property. Usership and sharing is the norm. If you are there and comment positively on the TV of your Fiji family, they will feel compelled to give it to you.

I think our basic instinct is to share. Our human nature is not a greedy one, but a sharing one. It has only been buried under layers upon layers of money and property for millennia.

Thinking about a global resource based economy in today’s crazy money world might be a long shot.

Still, I think it is the best shot we have.


A Desert Island


This article is extracts from a longer discussion on The World Freedom Demo group on Facebook.

You might also want to read the post ‘Will a Resource Based Economy Work?‘, for a more in depth look at RBE.

Picture a group of 100 people on a desert island. They only have what nature provides. There are no banks and no money.

What will be most efficient and meaningful to do?

1. To establish a ‘monetary system’ where everyone gets ‘points’ or ‘promissory obligations’ based on how much they contribute, and have one part of the population manage this system. Still, they would get in trouble when one person says, ‘I spent all day fishing! I deserve a full day’s wage!’, while the other one say’s ‘But you didn’t catch any fish! I, on the contrary spent all day building bungalows, I deserve a full day’s wage, not him!’, while the third person say’s ‘I’ve been sitting and thinking all day, coming up with much better solutions on both building bungalows AND catching fish! I deserve 3 day’s of wages!’, while the 4th person say’s ‘I have been working my ass of managing our monetary system! I deserve a weeks wages!’. No matter if there is interest or not interest on the money, one would have to establish the worth of all the different activities and ‘products’. How to one really do that? Of course, supply and demand, which really is totally manipulatable. One day one guy picks all the bananas and say’s ‘I picked all the bananas, now you have to buy them from me’. And of course, in a matter of days, they rot, the others get’s pissed, war is inevitable.

or

2. Skip the whole monetary system, get out of their egos and simply contribute where it is needed. And of course, not everyone will be fit to do everything, so the ones who WANT’S to fish and are good at it, they fish. Those who WANT’S to cook and are good at it, they cook. Those who WANT’S to sit and think out better solutions to stuff and share that with the other, do that. And everyone needs places to sleep, so everyone contributes to building bungalows. And yes, there might be discussions and arguments about what works best, who did what and how much. But then again, we are talking about THE EGO’s here, the ones ALL OF US have to get out of. In any case, they won’t have to toil with a monetary system on top of it. It is much much easier for them to simply be humble, helpful and creative and cooperate in building the best world they can for each other there on the island. In fact, they are already living in a paradise with free bananas and coconuts, fish and more. And interacting with this wonderful world and each other gives them tremendous joy. Non of them would ever think of hoarding bananas or fish, to sell to each other later. This would be meaningless. And of course, non of them would claim any of the others beds as ‘theirs’. They would live in a gift economy where no accounts are made on ‘who did what’. Everyone has a conscience that feels if one has been lazy for too long, others will start to grumble and say ‘get of your ass’!

The monetary system is BASED on egoism and indoctrination to a scarcity mindset. It is based on greed. It is based on an illusion. It is based on keeping the population brainwashed as to what is really relevant and necessary in the world. We live in a paradise. But the paradise has been corrupted by money and property.

People DO contribute as needed in many many many many many cases without monetary reward every single day on this planet. The family is one example, where one might cook dinner, while the other is washing clothes. There’s no money or ‘promissory obligations’ involved. Another example would be volunteers on a project, where some might plant trees, while others spread mulch. And true friends help friends every day for free. www.doctorswithoutborders.org/ is a good example of where doctors and nurses contribute as needed without any monetary incentive. A lot of software we have today has been made free of charge. Wikipedia is another example of people who do contribute as needed, where thousands of article writers all over the world share their knowledge for free. And these examples are only a tiny fraction of the millions of people volunteering every day all over the planet in countless projects and fields. If you don’t call that ‘contribute as needed’, I don’t know what is. To me this is outstanding proof that a resource based economy not only will work, but actually is working as we speak.

When it comes to tools and property, I think you misunderstand, Mike. No property doesn’t mean no tools. Why should it mean that? Let’s go back to the desert island again. Every tool they make and use there is of course shared with the ones who need them. The guy who made an axe from a rock, a stick and some straw of course lends his axe to the next person when needed. Why wouldn’t he? And of course, he also teaches others to make the same type of axe. The same goes for the fishing rod, the trunk canoe, the fibre rope, the ladder, the cutting tools and the paddle.

Now, sharing tools is a highly relevant topic in regards to RBE, and to make our world much more efficient and sustainable. If we all had shared a lot of our ‘tools’ (cars, boats, power drills, golf equipment, skis, etc.) instead of each one owning them, we could have managed with a lot less ‘tools’, and thus with a lot less production and strain on the environment. Not to speak of that we would ALL HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF TOOLS. Instead of one measly drill or an old car we would instead share top super quality items. So, ‘no property’ doesn’t mean ‘no tools’. Quite the contrary. It means much more efficient use of tools. Also, instead of trying to minimize the cost of producing super cheap tools like power drills and such that have a short life span, we could have made only the best possible tools in all areas, lasting many many times longer, since we now would only need a fraction of them. But of course, our monetary system is based on continuous consumption, so to optimize production like this would mean the loss of too many jobs. This might be a bit better with MPE, but a certain amount of continuous consumption must always be there with a monetary system.

You’re right about EGO, though. Ego is not the only reason people do or don’t contribute. Their upbringing and environment is another, just as important, reason. What one is taught to do from childhood is paramount in this regard. And yes, this has nothing to do with ego, but simply how one is ‘programmed’ to think from day one in one’s life. MPE might be a brilliant ‘first step’ to alleviate us all from the devastating banking system and introduce a more human and actually functioning economic system. And we might stick with the ‘MPE’ system for several decades. Still, in the end, a moneyless system is not only possible, but it is the most stress free, natural, uncomplicated and most desirable system we can implement on the planet. When you think about it.


Will a Resource Based Economy Work?


There has been a longer discussion recently in this article whether a resource based economy will work or not. And the opposer’s argument was largely centered around a notion that in RBE there will be no contracts, that people can just walk away from their ‘job’, and that this will lead to a lack of mining ‘ore’. That we won’t find people to work in the mines to dig up minerals needed for our ‘social production’ as he calls it, to produce our cell phones and laptops, etc.

Of course, he does have a point. But not only in regards to mining ore, but in regards to the operation of the whole planet. I understand his concern as I have it myself. The complexity of the world we have today is extremely vast when it comes to the production of goods and services. Of course, mining of ore to extract minerals, is one of the aspects of this complexity. We have a huge production of different products that need everything from aluminum to plastics to glass to silicon to mention but a tiny percentage of the whole. And all of these minerals and raw materials are processed in a lot of different places and manufactured into a huge amount of different products. And this goes on on thousands of locations all over the planet.

All of the ‘alternative solutions’ to the problems we have in the world today deal with solutions within the monetary system. We have ‘recycling’, ‘carbon shares’, ‘cradle to cradle’, ‘environmental protection’, and so forth. All of these deals with the industry and the monetary system staying as it is. ‘Recycling’ means that we have to recycle the minerals and raw materials used in many of our products. ‘Carbon shares’ is a ‘monetary way’ for the society to be able to continue to pollute the environment, but it will cost a bit more for the polluter. ‘Cradle to cradle’ means that industries produce everything with the termination and recycling of the product in mind, not using any harmful agents in the product. ‘Environmental protection’ is the total of all measures taken in regards to protect the environment, but still within the monetary system.

All of these measures assume that the monetary system, the industry, the free market and so forth stay largely as it is. With recycling, cradle to cradle and carbon shares thinking, we still think in terms of continuous consumption and unlimited economic growth.

It is understandable that the majority of people can not think in terms of changing the whole system, from the root and up, because it is very difficult to think that far ‘out of the box’.

We have all become used to our way of life, with tonnes and tonnes of different products in thousands of different categories. And we all think that this has to go on. We all think that we need hundreds of different producers of cell phones, lap tops, cars, mattresses, guitars, etc. etc.

Yes, we, humans are an industrious race. We have ideas, we produce, we manufacture, we consume, and we do it all over again. This is who we are. Isn’t it? Humans have proven to be full of ideas and ingenious solutions to many of the problems of being human. We are also very good at creating problems for ourselves, so that we can have yet more to solve. We constantly do this, and it seems to be human nature. And we all wan’t to be free. Free to do what we want, travel where we want, think and say what we want, work with what we want and live wherever we want. Of course, this kind of freedom is limited to only a few in our world today.

My point and question is; How can/will a resource based economy work on a global scale, without it becoming a ‘totalitarian’ system? For sure, none of us want’s any ‘global machine government’, even though that is what Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project proposes. We all want’s to be able to make our own decisions. So, how can it work, then? We are all so indoctrinated into thinking that if there’s no ‘penalty’ in terms of ‘job loss’, ‘money loss’, ‘property loss’ and so forth, we can’t get people to do what is needed in society.

We think that if everyone will be able to ‘do whatever they want to do’, then we will lack a whole lot of people to ‘dig ore’ as our commenter puts it. No one will take on a dangerous job like going into the mines and dig out the urgently needed minerals to produce our cell phones, because when he/she get’s everything he/she needs, he/she could simply walk away whenever he/she want’s. Since there wouldn’t be any binding contract (in terms of money/property/job loss) in a resource based economy, the whole of society would simply collaps.

Trust me, I truly, really and utterly understand this concern and this disbelief in a resource based economy.

The first time I heard about RBE, I immediately got a feeling that ‘this is good’, but at the same time, I couldn’t get it to work in my intellectual analyzing mind. And that’s why I started this blog. I felt strongly that RBE is possible, and not only possible, but the best alternative humanity has ever been able to choose. But I couldn’t prove it. Because I too was totally indoctrinated in my mind in regards to thinking about money and property as givens. As something that’s always been there, like air. It has taken me a couple of years to ‘dedoctrinate’ myself into seeing how RBE can be possible.

So, back to our question. If we have no money or need for money, and everything is provided for everyone, what will make people ‘work in the mines’ and do all the ‘dirty work’ needed in our society? It is a very good question, and I am not sure that I can give a 100% answer to that. Because I don’t know. I can only speculate and imagine, which I have done for a couple of years. And my answer goes like this:

Firstly, we have to think of RBE as a totally and utterly different society. We can not think of an RBE society with our ‘monetary goggles’. We have to take them off. We have to be able to imagine that the individuals on this planet can actually shift their way of thinking from a ‘penalty based’ society to a ‘freedom of contribution’ society where we do what we do because we want to contribute to society in meaningful ways. Many people think this way already and refuse to take jobs ‘just to earn money’ but do what they do because of their conviction in a different society. They have an inherent need to do something meaningful that truly contributes to this world. Thinking that there has to be a ‘monetary penalty’ lurking in the background to get people to do what is really needed in society is seeing this with the old ‘monetary goggles’.

The truth is that the monetary reward is over rated in terms of production efficiency. There have numerous studies that support this. Take a look at Dan Pink’s TED Talk about this phenomena and the animation made from it. What is shows is that higher incentives leads to worse performance. It sounds like a self contradictory statement, but when you think about it and see the background, it is not. And these results have been replicated over and over again by psychiatrists, sociologists and economists. For simple, straight forward tasks, ‘if you do this, then you get that’, monetary incentives are great. But when a task get’s more complicated, when it requires some more conceptual thinking, the monetary incentives don’t work.

What the research continues to show is that money is a motivator only when it gets people to take on a job. After getting the job, there are other factors that leads to better performance and personal satisfaction, and they are; Autonomy, mastery and purpose. Money only plays a part if the job doesn’t pay good enough for people to make a living. As soon as people are paid enough, then these other factors are the important ones.

What this shows is that the true values within humans are not ‘penalty centered’, but rather centered around our previous notion of ‘freedom of contribution’. Autonomy is a vital value. People want’s to feel that they have a freedom to choose what they do and how they do it. Mastery is an equally important value. To have enough education and experience to really feel that one masters and succeeds in resolving the tasks at hand. And last, but not least: purpose. We all have to feel a sense of purpose in what we do. It has to be meaningful. In other words, money, and the threat of a ‘monetary penalty’ is not the reasons why people do stuff.

This shows to prove that people actually might be ‘digging ore’ if there is a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose in the job.

Then we come to the point where we have to take off the ‘monetary goggles’ and put on the ‘RBE goggles’ instead. When we have this totally brand new world and way of thinking, there would be so many things that would be different. Since people doesn’t have to take a job because of money anymore, what would people do? Why would they do anything? Well, the former section should give the answer. People would seek meaningful and purposeful tasks. We would seek tasks where we feel a sense of autonomy and mastery. I think we also can add several reasons why people would do stuff that the mentioned research doesn’t show. Like excitement, interest and fulfillment.

So, meaning, purpose, mastery, autonomy, excitement, interest and fulfillment are what really drives people, and what will drive people in a resource based economy.

Now, back to ‘digging ore’. If this activity brings any of the above mentioned elements, people will do it. But, when we have a resource based economy, where most people have waken up from the continuous consumption cycle and where most people want’s to contribute to the betterment of society, things like ‘digging ore’ will not be as needed as before. Why? Because of several things. With the new mindset of humanity, consumption will go drastically down. Not so much new minerals and raw materials has to be dug up. Production will go down too, as products will be made to last and instead of postponing the release of new technology to maximize profit, the newest technology can be released right away, thus saving millions of tonnes of raw material that other wise would have been used in the never ending ‘new products’. And lastly, technology that ‘digs ore’ will be developed, minimizing the need for human personell way down in the mines.

To see how a resource based economy can work, we can divide it into 4 categories:

1. The human values has changed, or rather, has become acknowledged.

2. Technology has become more and more developed, removing the need for humans doing dangerous and repetitive tasks.

3. As a result of RBE, society as a whole has changed drastically.

4. The notion of ‘property’ and ‘ownership’ has changed.

 

Human Values

The most important first step for RBE to work is the human values. As we see, people are intrinsically motivated by other things than money, like a sense of purpose and meaning. It is only today’s need for money that locks people into a ‘mind prison’ thinking that money is what motivates them, when it really is not.

So this is about education and awakening. For RBE not to be a totalitarian, global, machine based government, which non of us want, people have to wake up one by one into the truth of their own motivation. We, as individuals have to train ourselves and each other into thinking of ‘why we are here’ and ‘what we really want to do’, not in terms of money, but in terms of what we feel as our true purpose here on the planet.

I am training myself everyday to think this way. And the way I do it is to tell my self that every thing I do, I do of service to the planet and humanity, service to others, and service to my self. Service to my self in terms of what I want to do here on earth. And, I have already had the epiphany that being of service to others can be extremely fulfilling for my self. Thus, doing what I do the very best way I can do it, is a fulfilling thing. And this has nothing to do with money. What is funny, though, is that since I started thinking like this, I have had more to do in my business than ever before, which of course brings in much more money than ever before as well….

Of course, we can say that money is a means of gratitude, a ‘flow of appreciation’, going from one person to another. I am not opposed to that way of thinking. Far from it. It is just that money and property and the whole management of the whole planet has been so thoroughly fucked up by the ‘money logic’, that trying to think of a world totally without money and property would do us all very good. It certainly does me good. And I realize that as soon as I start to think in terms of money, I immediately get that old stressful feeling again. It is me not thinking about money but at my purpose of being of service that brings the money in! Because when I think that I don’t need money, I become relaxed, and the ‘law of attraction’ works in my favor.

And then, my friends, what would be the logical consequence of this? Well, if all of us started thinking of our purpose, rather than money, and doing things out of purpose rather than money…….we wouldn’t need any money! When our purpose is to be of service, to give and share, then everyone will always have enough of everything ever needed. And low and behold, we would actually live purpose- and meaningful lives. Every one of us. No need to stress for more money, paying bills, pay taxes, take up loans, do accounting, pay insurance, and what have you.

For a resource based economy to work, more and more people on the planet have to wake up to this reality. It is a human choice that we have to do as individuals. There are already a whole lot of volunteers around the world working for non-profit volunteer organizations. So the notion is not new. The question is whether it will spread to the rest of society as well. But that a whole world could ‘work for free’ for each other should be totally possible. At least when enough (critical mass) people realize the benefits of doing this, rather than toiling with money and all that it entails.

 

Technology

When the new value system is in place, when enough people realize the above mentioned, both people who now are in ‘normal jobs’, but also those who are in politics and those who run large corporations, the abandonment of money will be a reality. Then, with the profit motive gone, technology can be developed without the hindrances that patents and greed used to be for unlimited development.

When we can concentrate on developing the best technology for everyone in every circumstance, and we can truly let technology replace 99% of today’s jobs. Jobs that now are ‘kept open’, since replacing them with technology would be devastating for the economy. Today, millions of people still work in factories doning work that easily could have been replaced by machines, robots and technology. There are already a whole lot of machines and technology in place, but again and again, I see people ‘closing the lid’ on cardboard boxes and other meaningless repetitive tasks easily replaceable by technology.

And back to the ‘ore digging’ metaphor. I am pretty sure that this field is also one where technology and machines could do much more work then it does today, replacing the need for human personell in mines. Besides, when we truly make products to last, and human values have changed, we won’t consume as much, and we will be able to recycle 100% of all ‘waste’, maybe extracting enough of what raw materials we need, not needing to dig much more holes in the planet. In other words, technology teamed with the new human values, will make the need for constantly new stuff much much less, and thus the need to constantly dig up new resources.

And to me, being a part of a world where we all try to maximise human and environmental potential and protection, rather than profit, and where we work to develop technology to serve these ends is very interesting and fulfilling.

It would also be a true investment in humanity and the planet. An investment where we strive to take care of the environment, build up the soil, educate all humans and build a sustainable world. A world we all can truly enjoy for the rest of our lives and for all coming generations.

 

Society

Now, with the human values and the new focus on technology in place, society will change drastically. We all work to fulfill our purpose in life, for our own and others betterment, to master new skills, to share our knowledge and experience and to have exiting and meaningful ‘work’. In a society with no money or property we can all truly care about each other with no ‘secret agenda’.

All humans will be educated to serve other humans and the planet itself. The population will automatically stabilize when everyone understands that every person can not have more then one child in his/her lifetime, meaning maximum two children per family. When this is followed we will have a ‘one birth per one death’, securing a stable population on the planet. And this is made by individual choice, not by force. By choice, because people now are educated to see the whole picture, and their own place in it.

What used to be companies and corporations will transform to be hubs of knowledge within their respective fields. There can still be ’employees’, but they won’t be there because they need to collect a pay check. They will be there because it is their field of interest and of expertise, because they want to be there. To participate and collaborate. People can still start ‘businesses’, but not for monetary gain, but to work together on new solutions to old or new problems, to create works of art, to draw new buildings, develop new transportation or new types of energy, new medicines or what have you. It will be a purpose driven world, rather than a profit driven one. It will be a world where human potential is maximized in all aspects.

So then, what would the ‘ore miners’ do? Maybe some of them have been working in the mine for years and years and know nothing else. Maybe these would want to continue doing what they do, but maybe a little less. Maybe take a long vacation, or only work a couple of days a week. Maybe this leads to a deficiency of Coltan for a while, but so what? So what if we don’t get the new iPhone 5 this fall. So what if we don’t get the newest flat screen 52 inches LED powered Full HD TV this christmas. So what!?

The only ‘thing’ in this world that ‘needs’ this is the never satisfied, always craving, always consuming, never stopping Monetary System that needs cyclical consumption, planned obsolescence and endless waste to exist. But WE don’t need that. We are not ‘consumers’, it is this system that has made people this way. It is this system that needs us to constantly consume and crave more and more and more, and no wonder, cause if we don’t, the whole system will collaps. Just like that. If we stop buying our cell phones, our cars, our flat screens, our new jeans, our jewelry, our what have you, there will be no more monetary system. So, that’s why we need an alternative ASAP. And here we are, discussing RBE.

Back to the ‘ore miners’. Some other of the ore miners might have thought of smarter ways to do things, might have ideas to ease the process of getting up that ore. But, he can’t tell anyone about it, because if he does, he might loose his job. Because his idea is for a machine that can DO his job. But now, in the new resource based economy, that is exactly what he can do. Of course, the mining company doesn’t need to earn money any more either, so they might also relax a bit, digging that ore.

They have now become a part of a global cooperation of former mining companies, working together in coordinating what is really needed of mined minerals in the world. And the former ore miner workers idea to a new machine that can replace the humans needed down in the mine is welcomed with open arms. He becomes a part of the new global mining cooperation, working together with researchers, scientists and environmentalists on how to provide what is now needed of new minerals in a most planet friendly way.

Some of the other miners also want’s to be a part of this and becomes a part of the global team. Then again, other miners might grab the opportunity to do something completely different. One of them had always had an interest for sociology, but never go to study it. He goes of to university. The university that is now open for everyone. And the learning is now strongly aided by new technology, facilitating the possibility for many more people to learn than ever before. Another one had wanted to travel the world. Off she goes, being able to go anywhere she wants for as long as she wants. She learns a lot on her trip, and want’s to study anthropology to understand indigenous people better, and how they can contribute to the world. A third one had several inventive ideas for improving and cleaning contaminated water. He quickly finds other people within these fields where his ideas becomes picked up, improved, tested and used in the real world, improving water everywhere it is needed.

All former patents are now made public, for everyone to study and contribute to. All secrets ever held by governments are let out in the open. All borders are opened and totally free travel by every one made possible. New efficient, environmentally friendly, energy independent and healthy transportation, housing and cities are built all over the planet. And everyone can live anywhere they want, according to their own interest and need. Everyone can contribute in the fields that interest them the most. Everyone can educate themselves in new fields at any time. The world has become 100% efficient in terms of human satisfaction and development. The question is, ‘what do you want to do?’. Not in terms of money, but in terms of what is needed on the planet at any time and what the individual feel is fulfilling to spend his or her days on.

There is a natural coordination in this. When a beach is full, one goes somewhere else. When a field is full, when an area is full, when there is no need, one finds something else to do, elsewhere. And there will always be needs that needs to be met. And we meet them in our full ability. If it is too much, we say so and get more help. We all collaborate in this world.

Humanity has discovered it’s true purpose here on earth. It turned out that it is not to compete for imaginary money and to hoard property, but to build a better world together, so that everyone can participate in true challenges and feel true and lasting joy.

 

Property and ownership

Property and ownership have, as money, been around for thousands of years, and has been the key building blocks in the development of the capitalist socio-economic system. So, what about property and ownership in RBE? I feel the thoughts float towards ‘communism’ and other not-so-nice ‘isms’ here. Shall we have no ownership and own no property in RBE?

I will make a distinction here between ‘personal property’ and ‘public property’. ‘Personal property‘ is your movable items that you own, also called ‘movable property’. ‘Public property‘ is what today is dedicated to the use of the public, owned collectively by the population or the state. Today, one person can own vast amounts of land and other property as their private property. More and more state property is now also becoming privately owned. This has been the constant struggle between the capitalists and the state for millennia. The state and the public want’s to have property available for it’s citizens, while the capitalists want’s to secure as much property for themselves.

In RBE, some different models can be discussed. Obviously, no one person can own huge amount of land, like there is today. Still, if a family or a person want’s and needs some land to have a ‘family domain’ to live on and to grow their own food on, this could be accommodated. Then ‘who’ would accomodate this, one might ask. In Jacque Fresco’s RBE, there wouldn’t be any ‘state’. Instead, there would be computerized decision making, determining the fate of humanity. I can not see this working on a large, global scale. For sure, computers can, and does, make a lot of day to day decisions. And for sure, they can and will definitely be extended to make more societal decisions than they do today. But, many decisions will still have to be up to us, the humans. And not to forget, WE are the ones who will be programming the computers, based on what we want out of them.

I foresee some kind of coordination, where coordinators and informators are assigned to different areas on the planet. The persons will not have any deciding power, but will coordinate and inform, together with data technology, what is decided on a particular place. They will be coordinating and informing the community, so to speak. But the community will have constant voting power in all relevant areas. Not like today, where someone are elected, and you have to stick with that person for the remainder of the period. I say ‘relevant areas’, because some things can not be voted upon, like the best angle for the pillar under the bridge that is to be built. These types of decisions are up to the specialized personell.

Computers and coordination aside, back to the land. The Venus Project proposes to build completely new cities that would be 100% self sufficient in terms of energy and food production, and very efficient in terms of transportation, energy use and waste management. This is something that would be a natural extension of RBE, when the majority of humans starts to think not in terms of money, but in terms of the betterment of people and the planet. So, new and more efficient cities is a natural way to use the land. At the same time, existing cities will be optimized as much as possible in terms of energy use, transportation and waste management. Buildings and parts of cities that are too difficult to optimize, will be recycled into new uses.

Today we have a lot of farming on the planet. Outside our existing cities there are hectare upon hectare of fields of all sorts, producing everything from maize to potatoes and rice to grapes. Today, all of the production of food is dependent on oil, both for transportation, but also for fertilizers and pesticides. An lot of today’s food production is simply thrown away to uphold the food prizes on the global marked. Too much bananas? Then we throw some mega tonnes away, so that the rest can be sold for a good prize. Today, millions of tonnes of food is thrown away every day, because unsold food rot away in supermarkets waste containers. At the same time our earth and soil and water gets contaminated with all the artificial fertilizers and pesticides used to grow the food.

I RBE, the new cities will be 100% self sufficient in terms of food production, utilizing both hydroponics, aquaponics and permaculture principles, providing clean, safe, nutritious and locally produced food all year round with absolutely no use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Very little food will go to waste in RBE, and we will thus need to produce much less of it, than today. So, some land around the cities will be used for food production for that respective city. And since there is no competition between food producers, the food production can be optimized to the true need of the population, minimizing wasteful production and transportation.

Of course, there will be a lot of room for individual choice in RBE, much more than today, where individual choice is determined by ones money amount. If one want’s to live on an ‘old type’ farm, on the country side, one can do this. This is not problem. There is still plenty of land on the planet, and people who want’s to live in wooden old houses, redecorate themselves and grow their own food, can do that. If they want’s to combine and use the latest technology on ‘their’ land, they can do that too.

Just as today, we will in RBE have three major categories of land:

1. Cities

2. Country side

3. Wilderness

In difference from today, we will all have access to all of it. Of course, if someone is using it already, and that use is needed, then that part of the land is ‘taken’. Just like when you come to a beach, you don’t put your towel on top on someone else’s. No you put your towel somewhere else on the beach. And if the beach is full, you go somewhere else, or come back another day. And property will be used ‘purposefully’. If there is a factor there, producing clothing or something else, then that property is used for that, just like today, except that no one ‘own’ the factory, but all of us. Someone has responsibility over it, but no one ‘owns’ it.

In today’s world, we see that in many cases, things work better if they are privately owned and sold to the public. At the same time, privately owned corporations can be responsible for a lot of pollution and misbehaving. In other cases, public services work better than private. It seems like it all boils down to the individuals behind it. A corporation can be (quite) environmentally conscious, treat it’s employers well, and work pretty well for all parties. Still, it is totally binded by the demand of the owners and employees to make profit and ‘go well’ economically speaking. This, more often than not, ruins the businesses possibility to act in a responsible way when it comes to the environment and to it’s employees.

Then we come to today’s public services. Some work well, some work terrible. At least, there isn’t as pronounced profit motive here, as with the privately owned corporations, so more regards can be given to environment and human health. But again, public services are also dependent on money, and thus, are also somewhat a slave to the profit motive.

Privately or publicly owned. What is best? Again, it seems like it boils down to the persons and the intent behind it. It is the individual persons with their stronger or weaker intent that drives the results in this.

Non of us want’s a resource based economy to be a new totalitarian dictatorial system. So, back to our first premise, ‘human values’ and ‘human awakening’. It all boils down to this. We, as individuals have to wake up and consciously choose this new direction. We have to consciously choose to share our property and give it up as our ‘own’. We have to understand the value in RBE against today’s system, and choose based on what works best.

‘Property’ is a mindset. As written in another article, we don’t really ‘own’ anything. ‘Ownership’ is an illusion. We think we own things, we believe we own stuff, but really, we don’t. At best, we can say that ‘this is in my possession as long as I need it and use it’. This is the only ‘ownership’ we will ever have over anything. You have a pair of jeans. You might have bought them in a store, you might have gotten them as a gift, or you might have picked them up for free in a used clothes container or sharing market. In any case, you are ‘in possession’ of them right now. You might lend them to a friend, you might give them away tomorrow, they might be ripped apart by your dog, you might loose them on a trip, or you might throw them away. In any case, when were they ‘yours’? Were ‘yours’ when they were made at the factory? Are they still ‘yours’ after you have given them away?

No, the notion of ‘ownership’ and ‘property’ is only a construction to make the capitalistic society work. Ownership and property has been tools to create the economy and the system we have today, the monetary capitalistic system. There is no real ownership in nature. There is only temporary use and respect for each other. As long as we respect each other, our ‘personal space’, then we will have no problems. You can keep a pair of pants for as long as you will, but they are never truly ‘yours’. You can walk in the forest, and as you walk on the path, you are using the path, but it is never ‘your property’.

So, how will property and ownership work in a resource based economy? It will work like it works in nature. You will ‘own’ your creations, but not in a way that prevents others to use them and continue to develop them. You will ‘own’ your pants, but only as long as you need and want them. You will ‘own’ everything you need as long as you need it. In other words, all land will be public, but you can grow your own vegetables on a plot of land and take care of that as ‘your own’ as long as you would like that. But you can’t claim vast amounts of land as ‘your own’ if you or your family doesn’t need it. You will ‘own’ your ‘personal property’ for as long as you want and need it, and the rest will be public property.

In other words, all land will be public, but one can get designated areas to have for instance a ‘family domain’ or to grow you own vegetables. In general, we will work together to use land and grow food in the most sustainable ways, with or without machinery.

Housing will also be common and open to anyone. Meaning that if you want to live one place for a longer period, you can do that for as long as you want. But if you want to move, you can do that too. And you don’t need to bring all the furniture with you, since that will exist on the new place. To travel and visit other countries and cultures will also be much easier in a resource based economy.

In genreal, the distinction is between ‘ownership’ and ‘accessibility’. It should be pretty clear by now, that when no one owns anything, but have access to everything, we all will have much much more access to all the things we today have limited or no access to. At the same time, a lot less would have to be produced of the same things.

Take cars, for instance. Today we have a vast amount of cars on the planet, and more are produced every single day. Still, most of them stands still for 90% of the time, not being in use. So, we have parking lots brim full of unused cars, because we all have to own one. When we instead own nothing, but have access to everything, we wouldn’t need one tenth of the cars we have today. When we instead share cars, we can all have access to a lot more cars than when we all have to own one car each. We will even have access to cars we never dreamed of driving before.

When we share everyone get’s more. Both of land, cars, travel possibilities, boats, clothing, furniture, technology and what have you. Our choices becomes virtually unlimited in RBE vs. in today’s ownership system.

For example, Google (one of the new knowledge hubs in RBE) have developed technology for cars so that they can drive themselves (See video here). With this kind of technology, there wouldn’t be any problem with sharing cars. One could have a ‘car pool’, where one could simply order a car, and the car would show up on your front porch. You wouldn’t even have to drive it if you didn’t want to. You could get in, and relax with a good book, check out the scenery, or take a nap, while the car safely drives you to all the way to your destination.

Of course, this is only the beginning. Eventually, cars will also be electric, non-polluting, and maybe even fly!

 

Conclusion

In summing up, a resource based economy is hard to imagine from our existing mindset and what we are used to. It sounds to good to be possible. But why not? This might be the only solution we have if we want to survive as a species. Maybe we simply have to make it work.

Personally, I think RBE is more than possible. I think it is viable and a real solution for humanity. We are already half way there, with all the voluntarism that exists in the world.

The future is limitless. But only if we let go of the hoarding and self centeredness and look at what is really possible when we abandon money an focus together on our common future.

Maybe we can look at a resource based economy as the world today, only without money and property, the hopeless financial crisises, wars and backwards thinking, but with an emphasis on sharing, experimenting, exploring, collaborating and celebrating.

With a common effort, focussing on values and technology, we can do it. Why not?

 


You Never Really Own Anything


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

You use it.

You don’t own it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Yann Arthus-Bertrand – Home – The Movie


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

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

See the film here:

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