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.
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.