The Global Gift Economy Is Here

Many people are afraid we will get some kind of totalitarian dictatorial system with RBE. The fear is understandable when you look at living examples of communism like North Korea, Cuba, China and the former Soviet Union. Some might even think that today’s rampant capitalism is better, but then they are forgetting all the corruption, pollution, poverty, war and crime it causes.

Everyone want to be ‘free’. And neither the tried communism nor capitalism has been able to give that to humanity.

What is happening today is an awakening on many levels. We have the Occupy Movement, Zeitgeist Movement, The Venus Project, and many many spiritual organizations where people meditate together for a better, peaceful world, in addition to millions of volunteers doing work for free to help people in need and get the reward of gratitude from them.

The human mind, that has been asleep for so long, is starting to wake up. And the only economic system I can see as a natural result of this global spiritual awakening, is a resource based economy. Why? Because when we realize that we are all one, when greed gives way to generosity and when ‘profit’ is replaced by ‘people’, there shouldn’t be any need for money either.

We have to realize that the monetary system, money, property and ownership are concepts in our minds, and not real things. They don’t really exist in nature. Neither does a state. In capitalism we trust the notion of trading to take care of all human needs. In communism we trust the state to take care of human needs. In socialism it is a more or less balance between the two.

In fact, there is no pure capitalism nor communism anywhere in the world today (except maybe for North Korea) as there are always elements of both free trade and government intervention in all countries. But there is one more element that is not counted in BNP or in any of the governments around the world, and that is gifting. If it is counted it is only counted as far as it is measurable in money. And in that regards, volunteer work amounts to several national budgets every year.

Gifting is a huge part of our lives already. Whether you are a volunteer in a project, or simply makes a dinner for friends, you are gifting. If you are contributing to the development of Ubuntu (Google it), you are gifting. If you write or edit an article on Wikipedia, you are gifting. If you have a band that doesn’t earn money, but give concerts, you are gifting. If you help your aunt move the lawn, you are gifting. If you give someone your newspaper, you are gifting. If you give of your self grown apples, you are gifting. Do I need to continue…?

You see, we already live in a large degree IN a gift economy. Only that we don’t know it. And we have let our ‘gifting’ be ‘smudged’ by money.

Just think about it. If we, instead of TRADING (‘I will only give you something if you give me something back’) simply starts GIFTING (‘I will give you something regardless of what you give me back’) we will have the same world in a way, but without money. We will then trust that we will get what we need from each other, since everyone thinks the same way. Just like everyone thinks in the terms of trading today, we will think in terms of gifting tomorrow.

Today we trust that ‘when I do work for you, you give me what I need back in the terms of money’. Tomorrow we will trust that ‘when I do work for you, society and nature I will get what I need back from you, society and nature’.

And what a world that will be! Just imagine when there is no money and everything is gifted (yes, it sounds far out, but it is not as strange as it sounds). When there is no money, we will need no banks, no insurance companies, no taxes, etc. etc. And there will be no ‘financial crises’.

Think, if a stranger gives you something you feel is of value to you, like a massage, you will automatically feel a certain amount of gratitude and feel like giving something back. But to give back to this particular person is difficult since you don’t know him, won’t see him again and is no good at giving massages. Then, what’s you option?

Pay it forward!

Not necessarily with a massage, but with something else that you are good at and is needed in society.

When we start giving to each other instead of trading with each other, the gratitude we feel will be the ‘currency’ that will flow around in this society. When you give to me, I can give to you, but I can also give to the next one.

And a giving society where we don’t keep track of how much we give (other than our own conscience) is a much much much much much much much much much simpler society than a trading society where there is kept track of every cent that changes hands.

Yes, our minds have to change, or rather wake up, to this reality. It is truly a liberating feeling to be able to, for instance, leave my bike unlocked at the grocery store without any worry. And then walk into the store and pick what I need and walk out without paying, and then do MY part in this world, knowing that my part then is something needed, not something that only contributes to perpetuate the monetary market system.

And then think about how all of us in this new society can utilize clean energy and technology, and develop technology to the best for everyone, without the need for patents or competition.

A resource based economy will be a network of local communities and cities sharing whatever resources they might possess in their vicinity that might be of use to the common good and at the same time optimizing their own practices in sustainable living.

On a small scale, we will have individuals doing their work ‘for free’ for each other and the community, and on a large scale we will communicate the need for different types of resources that might have to be brought from one place on the planet to another.

Today, we are coordinating a huge world of commerce with highly complex systems of production, transport and distribution all over the planet. Technically, there is no problem to do the same within a resource based economy. A resource based system would also be a 100 times simpler than the tiresome constant egotistical trade and competition that goes on all the time around the planet.

With the trade system we have all the money that has to shift hands, taxes, lawyers, accountants, banks, insurance companies, and what have you in ADDITION to the counting and weighing of the actual resources.

With an RBE system we only need to ‘count and weigh’ the resources to make sure we stay within the carrying  capacity of the planet. In any case, RBE is simpler, better, more natural, more just and more efficient that today’s monetary system will ever be.

This article was meant to show that it is not so difficult to imagine a moneyless economic system, since we in a large degree already have it.


The Resource Based GIFT Economy

Resource based economy

A resource based economy is a system based on the assessment of available resources and the development and distribution of those resources. A ‘resource’ can be a natural resource, like wind, oil, sun, water, plants and minerals. It can also be a human resource in the form of human ingenuity, human labour and human compassion. Lastly, it can be a technological resource defined by the level of technological advancement Humanity finds itself at any given time. The technological resource can play a huge role in the development and management of all the other resources, keeping in mind that the technological resource comes from the human resource of ingenuity. A resource based economy is a system where all the planet’s (and non-planetary, such as the sun’s) resources are taken into account in building and maintaining a sustainable and functional world for everyone.

Gift economy

A gift economy is a ‘system’, if one can call it that, where, instead of exchanging goods and services, those are given to each other. There is no ‘transaction’ taking place. The gift economy is alive and well in the institution closest to most people’s hearts, the family, and have been the traditional social system of man since time immemorial. In a family, goods and services are largely given, without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. There is also a huge gift economy in the world today, in the form of voluntarism, with millions of people doing work for free for a host of good causes.

In a sense, the universe is a ‘gift economy’. At birth we are given all of what this universe and planet has to offer. Nature gives in abundance if we let it and don’t destroy it. Mothers gives in abundance their love to their children. Dad’s do out of love whatever it takes to take care of their families. Brothers and sisters help each other the world over to learn and love. Friends help friends, especially in times of need, but also bring them over for dinner. Birds give their song for free to sweeten a spring or summer’s day.

The internet is filled with free services. Software producers give the results of their work as freeware and shareware. And there are thousands of organizations that provide free goods and services all over the world. We see that there is a widespread praxis of the gift economy, where goods and services are provided for free for each other, helping people in need, or simply giving something for free, without any hidden agenda. I think we can safely say that without the gift economy the world would not go ’round.

A combination

Today, though, above the gift economy, is the market economy, trying in vain (if it is even trying) to develop, manage and distribute the planet’s resources in the best way. As we have seen during the last 100 years, the market economy is in no position to handle the planet’s resources in the best interest of everyone. The economy that works on the level of countries and in international affairs we call the ‘macro economy’. The economy between individuals and businesses we call ‘micro economy’.

So, what would be the winning combination in the ‘new world’? Well, I think the answer would be this:

Our ‘micro economy’ would be the Gift Economy. This would determine the economy between individuals and groups.

Our ‘macro economy’ would be the Resource Based Economy. This would determine the global resource based economic decisions.

Resource Based Economy and Gift Economy goes hand in hand. In a money-, barter- and trade-less society a Gift Economy has to be the basis for human interaction. The main value norms has to reflect the benefits of simply giving to each other, rather than trading or bartering. In a Gift Economy, trust plays a major role. Not just in each other, but also in Life itself, trusting that whatever need you have will be met. By all means, trust plays a big role in today’s economy also.

So, with the basic norms and values in place, we can truly start to build this planet to it’s optimum state. Optimum, that is, from today’s possibilities. It will of course always develop when we find new and better solutions. There’s no end to this. But, as said, with the norms and values of the Gift Economy as the foundation, we utilize the Resource Based Economy to develop, manage and allocate resources in accordance to the needs of Humanity, including all peoples, animals and plants and the whole biosystem of this planet and it’s surroundings.

I hereby announce the birth of THE RESOURCE BASED GIFT ECONOMY, with the word ‘gift’ emphasizing the importance of the value system and the mindset in this new economy. That we all have to work together in this, giving our time and knowledge freely to build this new world. To me, this was what was lacking in the concept of the resource based economy with the strong emphasis on technology.

Now, we have the human aspect in the Gift Economy, and the technological aspect in the Resource Based Economy. When we put the two together we get the ultimate solution to the dilemma we face today.