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.


What can we learn from the Internet?


Internet pioneer Danny Hills has a TED talk about the early days of the Internet. On that talk we see that the Internet, on its early days, was essentially an obscure network based on trust.

Today, the Internet is much bigger, and much more important. Despite its massive importance, governments and corporations are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to mess with it, reducing its usefulness for their own profit and power gain. They get away with this because it is technically feasible to do so, and it is in the reach of their power.

The technical reasons behind this vulnerability are not particularly interesting for this post. The interesting part are the responses the Internet community is deploying to this perceived threat of control. These responses seem to fall into the following three categories:

The first kind of response is to fight in the political space to keep the Internet open. This essentially means that, as members of our societies, we get together and complain to those in power and to each other until they change their minds. This has stopped the progress of bad laws such as “SOPA” and “PIPA” in the U.S. We will call this approach “begging.”

The second kind of response is to start designing an alternative to the Internet that would not be controllable. Designing theoretical alternatives, or prototyping these designs, is not really too difficult. The harder part is seeing how these alternatives would grow beyond isolated localities adopting them and into a global mesh that would, eventually, be easily accessible by anyone, like the current Internet. We will call this approach “forking.” Not really “forking,” as these networks would probably end up talking to each other, but it has to be conceived as to stand on its own, as if it were a fork.

The third kind of response is to build a network that’s better than the Internet in some sense, but on “top” of the Internet, that is, an application using the Internet, as opposed to beside it, as a “physical network” like the Internet. That’s what the “peer-to-peer networks” do. They are not “networks” in the same sense that the Internet is a “network.” In academia, you would say that these peer-to-peer systems, such as BitTorrent, FreeNet, Napster, Bitcoin or GNUNet, are “logical networks” or “overlay networks.” They are networks “overlaid” (built on top of) an existing “physical” network such as the Internet. We will call this approach the “overlay” approach (sounds simpler than “if you can’t beat them, add a layer on top of them that makes it do what you want.”)

So, in the case of transforming the system known as the Internet, what is the correct approach? The answer is, of course, all of them. When a system is as important as the Internet, then it is not a matter of “which is the right way,” but which is the right way for you. All of them are valid, and we’re going with whatever works.

I have a hunch that these paths can be translated to the paths we have available to transforming “The Economy” into a “Resource-Based Economy” or “Love Economy” or “Gift Economy” or whatever it is that we would call it. That problem is, similarly, very important and worthy of all kinds of response we can come up with.

We have many people enacting the first response, of “begging” the current governments and corporations to do things differently.

The second response, of “forking” the current systems, is similarly receiving lots of attention. Simple and small-scale designs, such as designs for specific villages or communities, have been working for decades. Some communities even cut economic ties with the rest of the human world, essentially creating a private “world” where they can claim to exercise a “world-wide” and pure resource-based economy — but you still have to at least negotiate land ownership with some existing country, last time I checked. Larger-scale designs, on the other hand, if not deployed, at least are the focus of much discussion and study.

The third path, I think, is where we would start making some interesting progress.

Consider the following: given any criteria for allocation of the existing money tokens in circulation, which one of the following two entities would be more likely to be capable of capturing more of it?

The first entity is a group of people who each live on their own apartment, and drives each day, on their own car, to the same job site where they work. When these people meet, they pay each other for things, and every transaction is taxed by the local government.

The second entity is the same group of people, but now using a gift economy of some sort between them. They not only share things, being more physically efficient, but they also avoid having their internal economy be implemented using taxed government tokens. Whatever government money they hold in total, it disappears slower from each individual’s bank account simply because they are not taxed for circulating it internally.

Yes, money is a fiction, a convention. But so is any economic game. Even if you have a global network of computer processes monitoring all world’s resources, the representation of these resources is still a model, still a game, still a fiction. An error in modelling of the world’s resources would produce sub-optimal allocation, much like the current government money systems produce sub-optimal allocation. A much better model is still a model.

What this means is, instead of abolishing the fiction of money, why not just satisfy it? Get together with some people, and agree to collectively play the game better than those who won’t build their own gift economies and who will live physically inefficiently. Then just watch the cash pile grow. The government will have no rule it can design to not reward the people who actually want to build something different. And the more “money” you have… well, let’s just say that, in the current system, having money is not exactly a bad thing. Want to build Jacque Fresco’s futuristic town? Amassing a few hundred billion dollars couldn’t hurt. It is all fiction anyway. Gather the fiction, then give it to people who still want it. These people will give you access to the land you need to build a town, as well as deliver all the resources, material and mental, that you need to build it for the first time. Since it is a sustainable town, once it is built, you have one place that doesn’t need money.

The “overlay” path is not without its own difficult challenges, however. When you design an overlay, be it for the Internet or for the human environment sharing problem, you have to keep two worlds in your head instead of one, and constantly remember which kind of thinking goes where. If you are not careful while designing your peer-to-peer system, you may end up recreating its supporting layer without intending to. Having money may cause us to exclusively “buy” our way into simply surviving on the fruits of the global unsustainable production machine, instead of taking whatever first step, even if small and feeble, towards freeing ourselves from depending on these unsustainable (destructive and violent, really) systems. I can “have” a million “dollars,” but that shouldn’t stop me from personally spending part of my day trying to grow some tomatoes.

Final note. Becoming a billionaire solving practical problems and then donating it to charities that also solve practical problems, or funding start-ups that want to “innovate,” is not what I’m talking about here. That’s simply trying to do good within the current economic and financial system, and validating and reinforcing it in the short term. This would be simply using the existing network as it is presented, not using it in a way that makes it emulate what a competing network would be. It is certainly possible that this alone — a “correct” application of business as usual — may bring about sufficient “real” transformation that problems disappear on their own through sheer business, technological and scientific ingenuity. That is, the beautiful communities based on trust and gifting that we envision are actually just around the corner — if only we would let the great Capitalist dance finish its performance on this planet, then we would see how wonderful things could and will be. Then again, it is also possible that trying to grow a new system as a mere “product” of the diligent application of the current system will continue to not work.

Original Post : thinking.nfshost.com/wiki/index.php?n=Main.OnResourceBasedEconomies


A Conversation About The Venus Project with Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows


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In this interview, Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows of The Venus Project answers some inquisitive questions about everything from design to decision making, with the interviewer playing ‘devils advocate’. The interview aims to get answers to questions not answered before by The Venus Project.

All images and designs in the video is attributed to The Venus Project and Jacque Fresco.

“The Venus Project advocates an alternative vision for a sustainable new world civilization unlike any socio-economic system that has gone before. It calls for a straightforward redesign of a culture, in which the age-old inadequacies of war, poverty, hunger, debt, and unnecessary human suffering are viewed not only as avoidable, but totally unacceptable.” – The Venus Project

You might also want to see this recording from their lecture in Stockholm 2010: http://www.theresourcebasedeconomy.com/2011/03/the-venus-project-stockholm-lecture-july-2010/

Experience more on their website: www.thevenusproject.com


With The Help of Technology


What is technology? Really. There is so much talk of technology this, technology that, and all the time, it is implied that we all know what ‘technology’ really is. But do we? I think we will all agree that a car is one type of technology. But what about our bodies? Wikipedia defines ‘Technology’ as ” the usage and knowledge of tools, techniques, craftssystems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or serve some purpose”.

Well, with our bodies we can walk, talk, hear, see, feel, etc. We use the tools our hands are when we write, eat, drive and fish. We use the tools our eyes are when we see and focus. We use the tool our brains are when we solve a problem. So, yes, I’d definitely say that our bodies are one form of technology. And when we use a fishing rod, we extend the tools our hands are to that fishing rod. When we use a calculator we extend the tool our brain is to that calculator. And not only humans have built in technology, all animals and plants have that too. Like when a fly uses it’s wings to fly. Or when a leaf converts CO2 in to organic matter with the help of solar power.

Our world is filled with technology. Every plant, insect, animal and human is a walking, swimming or flying technological wonder. And Man has through the inspiration from the world around him created new technology that extends Man’s capabilities in countless ways. So, technology is not only all the wonders Man has created. No, technology was here long before us.

Since Man’s first use of external technology with clubs and the discovery of fire Man has developed technology that has helped him fly like the birds, dive like the dolphins and go faster than an antilope. Today we have technology that was unimaginable only 20 years ago. Many people think we have come far and are in awe of all the new technology we have. Others doesn’t like the technology, thinks it ruins nature, are afraid of it, and want’s to live without it. Still others are afraid the technology will take their jobs and leave them unemployed. They are all in their full right to think this way.

It can certainly seem like technology is the one to blame when it comes to the pollution of the planet, wars and bombing, technological unemployment and the dumbing down by television. But, is it really ‘technology’ per se we can blame for all of this? Isn’t ‘technology’ only a neutral tool that can be used as the user wishes? Certainly, a knife can be used both to kill with….and to cut bread with. Is it the knifes fault if someone uses it to kill his neighbor? It most certainly isn’t. It is the user’s fault, not the knife’s.

And this can be extended to all technology. Bombs doesn’t drop themselves. Guns have to be aimed and the trigger pulled for it to harm anyone. Even with today’s advancement in war technology, the computers that run the missiles still have to be programmed. So, is it ‘technology’s’ fault? All the wars, the pollution, the ‘alienation’. No. Technology is not at fault. At best, we can excuse ourselves with saying that ‘we were taken by surprise’. That the technology has developed so fast that it can be hard to keep up and put the technology to the right and good use, but not more. We can’t blame technology.

Technology is neutral. Technology is nothing but a set of tools that we can use to better our lives and the environment on this planet to it’s fullest, or it can be used to destroy ourselves. And it is certainly not technology’s fault if we use it to the latter.

Technology has gotten a ‘bad reputation’ in a lot of ways, but this reputation is definitely undeserved if we just open our eyes to look at what the development of technology has done for us. Things that was utterly impossible a hundred years ago. And the things I am thinking of are obvious and too many to count. We can fly from Paris to New York in a few hours. We can look through our bodies and get clear images of the inside. We can talk to anyone anywhere on the planet at anytime from almost anywhere. I can sit and write on a keyboard and letters pop up in black and white on a crisp and clear screen. I can even record moving images in crisp color and transfer them to the other side of the globe in a matter of minutes. If you have bad vision you can get it fixed in minutes with a lazer beam. We have satellites mapping the planet, making it possible to navigate anywhere with a little flat box with a screen.

Today, technology has come so far that we doesn’t think of it anymore. We take electricity for granted, running water, computers, the internet, shoes, nylon stockings, loud speakers, windows, DVDs, television, plastic bags, cardboard, paper, books, stainless steel, aluminum, concrete buildings, cars, planes, space shuttles, printers, cell phones, ovens, refrigerators, watches, water closets, rubber balls, sunglasses and cameras are all just ‘there’. We don’t gasp in awe anymore when someone turns on the fosset.

Hollywood and media has depicted technology as something to be afraid of, through films like Terminator. It should be utterly clear, though, that it is not ‘technology’ we have to fear, only some mad men’s use of it. As we can see, technology has helped, and is continually helping Mankind in it’s quest towards a better life. Even if you are a ‘nature person’, likes to be in nature, grow your own vegetables, doesn’t have television, maybe not even electricity, heats your home with a wood stove and copes without the internet.

Even you are using technology when you use your spade instead of your hands to dig with. Or when you put wood into your stove instead of burning it on the ground. Even using wood and fire is use of technology. Or when closing the door to your house behind you instead of living outside. Or when you put on a warm jacket in the winter. Or….well, you get my point. We are all using technology in some way or another. As mentioned earlier, even our hands and brains can be called technology, since they are tools that can help us solve problems and serve a purpose. And with them, we might even design a needle and a thread to sew together the two fur parts of the bison we just killed with the spear we had also made from a rock.

We can’t escape technology. Since we have hands to do things with and brains to think with, we are doomed to solve problems and try to make our lives easier for our selves. And in that, we most certainly have succeeded, even though it might not feel like it, since technology can be quite overwhelming at times. But for those who think we have ‘come far’ when it comes to technology; this is only the beginning. The technology will continue to develop beyond our wildest dreams in the years to come. And it will be far easier to use, safer, more user friendly, more integrated with Man, and we will notice it even less. It will be built in to our environment in a larger degree than ever before.

Some might be afraid that ‘the machines’ will ‘take over’. That maybe some day, when our lives are so controlled by technology that we can not control it anymore, one computer will say ‘Man is a threat to this planet’ and simply annihilate us. Or they may be afraid that technology will replace all our jobs, and we will all be out of work. In any case will neither of these scenarios be the fault of ‘technology’, but rather the fault of Man and the systems Man has created for herself through the mindset he has harbored and through technology she has created. So, technology is not to fear, only our mindsets and the systems it creates. Bear in mind that we already let technology control a huge part of our lives, even today. When we get in our cars, we trust the speedometer to tell us the speed, the cruise control to hold it and the breaks to stop the car when we press them.

If we are to ‘save’ this planet, we can only hope to do it with technology, not without. If we are to do it without any of the present or coming inventions we have to do it without humans as well. The question is how we use the technology. We have established that the technology itself is not to blame for the problems we have, our mindsets and systems are. And the biggest system to blame, is the monetary system with the free market system. The system of money and profit is a so ingrained mindset in the mind of humanity, that few people even think of it as anything ‘unnatural’, but rather take it for granted, as air and water, something that has always been there, and that has to be there for our survival. But, has it? Certainly not. There are no money in nature. And guess what? It thrives and grows abundantly.

A lot of the technology we have today has been developed to maximize profit and to serve the monetary system in one way or another. This is the reason technology is not always serving Mankind and planet Earth. This is the reason technology has been used to develop weapons for wars, gas guzzling and polluting engines for cars, lightbulbs that only last a 1000 hours, nylon stockings that rip for a good word, genetically modified soy plants that harm the environment, supertankers that leaks and kills millions of birds and fish, cell phones that breaks and cars that rust. Instead we could have had electric pollution free cars that outrun gas driven ones, if the development of batteries hadn’t stopped a 100 years ago, when the electric car was invented. We could have had nylon stockings and light bulbs that had lasted a lifetime, if it wasn’t for the profit motive. We wouldn’t have had huge oil tanker accidents, atom bombs and wars if it wasn’t for the monetary system, demanding we all hoard for our selves.

No, technology is not to blame, we are. When we finally wake up, we will see that technology is, and will always be, like a knife. We can use it to cut apples and share them with our neighbor, or we can use it to kill our neighbor for taking them. The choice will always be ours. When we realize that money is not what we need, but rather the communion with each other, and the sharing of experiences and information, water and food, land and energy. Then we will realize that technology will be our indispensable and invaluable helping hand in all of this. With a new mindset, a mindset freed from the slavery of money, trade and ‘ownership’, then we can start to create a truly sustainable world and use technology in it’s fullest extent to help us with this.


The Awakening of Humanity


“How can we get a resource based moneyless economy without a global totalitarian dictatorial regime? Wouldn’t we have to kill off populations to preserve resources for others?” Someone asked this recently.

It’s a very good question, and one I’ve been asking myself several times. The only answer I can come up with to this is this:

  1. The global population in general has to have a ‘spiritual awakening’ where we see all people as One, as we see our close family and friends, wanting to share equally with them.
  2. In addition, the ‘no money’ paradigm has to be seen as more beneficial for everyone than the money paradigm we’re in now. People have to share more and more without money, and this praxis has to ‘take over’ from the trading praxis we have today with money.

I can see many evidences for both of these directions today. There is a huge global rising awareness about ‘who we are’, about consciousness, about how our thoughts influence the world, etc., both within and outside science, and there are more and more people doing things ‘for free’ all over the planet. I am thinking about everything from volunteers in, which you find millions of, in all kinds of projects and organizations, free software (like Linux, WordPress, etc. etc.), free information (Wikipedia, + + + + + + ), and free efforts in all kinds of places.

Throughout history, there has been several ‘paradigm shifts’, like when the earth turned from flat to round, or when the earth was not longer the center point of the universe, but actually circled around the sun.

We’ve been living in a ‘money paradigm’ for millennia, and I think we are on the tipping point today. On one hand, money has a bigger stronghold on the planet than ever before, with millions of people in need of money, not knowing about anything else. On the other hand, there’s a strong rising of people wanting to simply share and stop this whole ‘money charade’ and create a moneyless society.

In any case, most people on the earth are fed up today with the situation we are in, and something has to happen. Which way we will fall depends on the totality of the people on this planet. But the more people wake up and become aware of the ‘no money’ possibility, the bigger is the chance that we will get there.

So, I can not see any ‘totalitarian world regime’ controlled by machines. Far from it. What I see, IF we get a no-money-paradigm, is something completely different.

What we have to try to picture is HOW WILL PEOPLE ACT WHEN WE SIMPLY SHARE, RATHER THAN TRADE.

How will people act? And what will the world look like?

Of course, most greed has to be gone, most ego has to be gone. We have to realize that what we do for others we actually do for ourselves. And this can be illustrated well when one person makes an invention that will benefit both her AND society. When someone comes up with an idea to a betterment of something, one usually does that because it is something that one wants oneself. So, to realize this invention through the joint effort of others will of course a very exiting thing. It has got nothing to do with money. The same goes for art, or food, or basically everything you can imagine. Creating and sharing something and taking part in this is what it is all about. Not hoarding, competing and trading. This is a game we have played for so long. Now it is time to change.

People think that ‘we need money’. They live in this mindset and that is why everything is the way it is on this planet right now. The so-called ‘scarcity’ is money based. There is no real scarcity, and there definitely is no need to ‘kill off’ parts of our population to ‘save resources’. All of these thoughts are based in the old money mindset. There’s more than enough land, water, food and resources on this planet for everyone and then some. I have to say it again; ALL scarcity is money based. All scarcity is PERCEIVED. The system NEEDS us to feel this scarcity for the system to stay alive. If we were to wake up and realize that there’s abundance all around us, and that with our own minds, we can create more of this abundance, the system would simple cease to exist. And of course, the system doesn’t want that.

‘Famine’ is economically based, not environmentally. Today, we have the ability to change, design and help nature give us it’s best, and at the same time create sustainability. We can produce food for everyone, there’s no doubt about that. 50% of all food is thrown away today. And this is because of our economic system, the monetary based market system. It is because food needs to be sold to those who have money. If is was simply given away instead, based on who needed it, one could streamline the distribution 100% without waste. This is but one example of the wasteful system we have today.

The capitalistic system produces more waste than any other system on this planet. Which means that without this system, but RBE instead, the resources we HAVE will go a whole lot longer. That’s the point of RBE. It is resource based, not money based. There IS enough resources for everyone WHEN they are managed properly.

Instead of hundreds of TV and computer producers competing with each other, releasing hundreds of new models each year, each model doing almost exactly the same, and depleting resourced needed to produce these models, a resource based economy would never let that happen. In RBE, we would rather produce ONE model, the best. Or maybe 5 models, of say different sizes, to cater for some different needs. But we don’t need one model WITH USB, and one model without. ALL models would have USB, if you see what I mean. There are minuscule differences on different models of products today, only to give the manufacturers more to sell, and the consumers (it’s a shame we are called ‘consumers’) a so-called ‘choice’. In RBE, we would focus on producing the best, most efficient solutions for everything. We would focus on not producing any waste, and make lasting products for all people of the planet to enjoy for a much much longer time than today.

So, what will society be like when people wake up from this mindset? If people woke up, say, tomorrow, what would happen…?

Well, that is many things. With a ‘no money’, ‘no property’, mindset based on sharing, accessibility, compassion and real resources instead of trading, competition, ownership and fake money, we would:

  1. Close down all banks and other so-called ‘financial institutions’.
  2. Get rid of the so-called ‘government’ and develop a direct computer aided democracy instead, to take care of real needs, rather than fake ‘money needs’.
  3. Start to survey what we actually have in terms of resources on this planet. Both human, animalistic, plants and minerals. Both locally and globally.
  4. Start to make sure everyone has what they need in terms of food, housing, clothing, medicine, etc.
  5. Start to develop new more efficient and automated distribution systems.
  6. Start to develop and use new sustainable energy and materials.
  7. Start to respect each other more and more.
  8. See this planet as ONE HOME for everyone, and think in terms of all people on this planet, rather than ‘this country’ and ‘that country’.
  9. Get rid of all artificial borderlines.
  10. Get rid of all military.
  11. Start to organize ourselves based on need, want, skills and abilities, rather that ‘heritage, race, money and greed’.
  12. Educate everyone about real and important aspects of life.
  13. Not get too many children, knowing that we have to stay within the caring capacity of the planet.
  14. Not need to punish each other, but rather help each other reach our full potential and get well of any disease.
  15. Work together to develop the best technology for the planet and everyone.
  16. Still have ‘jobs’, some more desirable than others, which of course depends on your interests, but be able to change ‘job’ more often, and do tasks that are really fulfilling, because you will know that what you do is actually needed here on the planet.
  17. Utilize this planet and this world to work for everyone in every way, everywhere.

When we truly get out of our money mindset, this is all feasible. Not only feasible, but desirable and the best we can all experience. ‘When we all share, we all get more’. Instead of being limited to ‘one car each’, we could have automated cars (Google have developed that already) that we can simply order when we need it. Much fewer cars would be needed, and we would all have access to a whole lot more cars!

Access, rather than ownership would be the new value, when people really open their eyes. Instead of ‘owning land’, we could use land where and when we need it. We could travel anywhere we want. We could move to anywhere we want and live anywhere we want. We could basically DO anything we want, as long as we all live in this NEW MINDSET. As long as MOST PEOPLE live in this ego-, money- and propertyless mindset, this mindset of giving, sharing and collaboration, this world will change automagically based on this mindset.

This whole blog is about ‘what it will be like’ and ‘how society will work’. This blog is about visualizing this new society, keeping a steady focus on this until we get there, and then keep focussing and creating. Not focussing on what we don’t want. We have to constantly imagine, visualize and focus on what we want in order to get there.

These new times is not about ‘grabbing positions’, ‘running in the rat race’ or ‘competing for resources’. No, these new times is about realizing that every little thing I do, I do not only for myself, but for everyone. For everyone to benefit. Even if it is me making myself a better person in any way, this will also benefit others and the whole. When everyone benefits from what I do, I will benefit too. In a much much higher degree than ever before, because it will all be free. For everyone. Even the richest of today will be freer, since they too will benefit from this new society. A society where true collaboration and sharing is possible and where everyone can travel freely everywhere and contribute anywhere it is needed.

It is about doing things for the joy of doing them. Just like I do now. I write this because I enjoy using my mind to visualize this new world. Not for money. Not for any egotistical reasons. Not even to be credited, as I even do this anonymously. I write this because I believe this world will be a better world to live in. Both for me, and for everyone else. And everything written here I share freely for anyone to copy.

So, in answer to the question I would say that this new world will not work through any dictatorship of any kind. No, it will be created through the awakening of Humanity, and work through self governance, with people deciding over their own lives wherever they might live, or want to live. And it has to be based on the notion that ‘it is better to share and collaborate than to trade and compete’. This notion has to be the NEW BASIC VALUE, like money and trading is the basic value today.

It has to be like this: Instead of the majority of people thinking ‘what’s in it for me’, the majority has to start thinking ‘what’s in it for all of us, both locally and globally’. This mindset has to WIN, somehow.

Many people think this way already today, working ‘for free’ on projects, but they haven’t realized that it might be possible to build a world totally with this mindset. Even those people; volunteers, developers of free software, artists, doctors that work for free, etc. etc. think that ‘yes, I suppose we need money to build roads, hospitals and schools and to pay for resources, teachers, doctors and nurses’ and so on. Actually, most people don’t even think this. Most people think of money and ownership as AIR: It is something that’s always been here, that always will be here, and that we can’t live without. Most people doesn’t really think about the possibility that we can live without money. It doesn’t occur to them. It didn’t occur to me either, until I heard about TVP and TZM a couple of years ago.

Now I see these ideas are spreading like an unstoppable wildfire. Projects are popping up everywhere. New thoughts are emerging. More resources are shared. More people are collaborating.

As you can see, the new ‘no money’ mindset will change this world so drastically in itself, that it is difficult to imagine exactly what it will look like in praxis. But if you imagine a world where the emphasis lies on global cooperation, rather than competition, global sharing, rather than hoarding, free travel, rather than restricted, a focus on fast development of new efficient technology, rather than sticking with old outdated models, global and local direct democracy, rather than fake politics, and compassion rather than cynicism, well, then you’ve come a long way in picturing this world.

And if you’ve read this far, you’ll probably be interested in seeing this:

YouTube Preview Image

 


Waking Up – An open source film about a positive future


Do you want to contribute to the writing of a film about a positive future with a resource based economy? Now you have the chance. There’s a scene made from this film, called Waking Up. And it is an ‘open source’ movie, meaning that others can contribute to the writing of the story, the script and to the realization of the whole film through it’s website. Take a look at the scene here:

If you have trouble watching the clip here, or would like to contribute with a translation, you can go to the YouTube version.

This is a submission to the Cinema Out of Your Backpack film festival. If you like the clip you can VOTE for it by Pressing ‘Like’ on the clip. You have to hover the mouse over the clip and the ‘Like’ button will appear top right. You have to log in or become a free member on Vimeo to do it. Last chance to vote is the last day of July 2011.

The film is about Ben, who froze himself down in 2010, in the hope that humanity once might be able to thaw him up and cure his disease. And this is exactly what happens. In the year 2110, the world has gone through massive changes towards the positive. Both technology and human values has developed into a whole new world, positive in all aspects for humanity. One of the aspects is that money and property is gone, and people do things for other reasons than hoarding wealth. Waking Up is about Ben’s experiences in this world and the difficulties he faces in waking up to this new reality.

In the scene, Ben is walking in the woods with his newly acquainted guide, Aweena. He has only been awake for a few days, after several weeks of curing and restituting his body while he was asleep. He is a bit confused, and can’t really understand what has happened. He feels somewhat attracted to this new world and to Aweena, but at the same time he has trouble believing it is real.

This movie is a unique chance to actually contribute to describe and create what the world will look like in a hundred years, and what steps we can take now to make it happen.

 


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?

 


The Best Resource Based Gift Economy Transition Presentation I’ve Ever Seen


How can the transition happen, what would a possible transition look like, and is the transition we are talking about even unique in Earth’s history? And what can we do today?

Sebastian Chedal presents the connection between current world changes and past evolutionary patterns. We look at evolutionary cycles, energy curves, growing cycles of innovation and adaptation.

Concepts from Spiral Dynamics, Ken Wilber, Integral Philosophy, Venus Project, Permaculture and Gift Economics.

The final part of this presentation analyses global initiatives related to the Venus Project and the Zeitgeist Movement so that people who are interested in making a change today have options regarding where they can get involved. Finally local Portland chapter initiatives are also mentioned. For more information, and links to the resources mentioned, please visit zeitgeistpdx.org/zday2011

Now that The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement have split up, it is appropriate to say that instead of ‘The Venus Project’ as and overlying structure, it should be a ‘resource based economy’ as the overlaying structure.