Life without money

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Post by OpenMind »

I live without cash

Recently, I tried this test down my local and asked my fellow patrons if they could imagine life without money. Most of them looked at me as though I was mad. "You need money" was a common reply. They couldn't conceive the idea that money is an invention, not a natural necessity of life. It is forced upon us and allows others to control us.

The guy in the above article wouldn't need to live like he is at all if society was not governed by a price for everything.
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Post by along-for-the-ride »

You may find this article about the barter sytem interesting:

Barter Services - History of Barter System
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Post by CARLA »

Wonder how it would work if he had a wife and kids. ??
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WOO HOO!!, what a ride!!!"

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Post by OpenMind »

Thanks for that, AFTR.

Money made bartering easier. It provided a 'measure' for want of a better term.

The point is, however, is that money, and bartering , is based on the principle of exchange. Exchange is based on the principle of wanting something back on the one hand, and offering something in return on the other. As kids, we would call it doing swaps. If you were a bully, you would exchange the right to forego a bashing in return for the object of desire.

As I said in my text, people cannot imagine a life without money or some system of exchange. It has become as instinctive as wiping the crumbs from your mouth after eating (another social requirement). The rules of exchange have played a very important part in shaping our social world.

Nonetheless, we humans have reached a point in our evolution where we can surpass this necessity and the only people preventing this evolvement are those who exert power over us, those institutions based upon money, and ourselves.

However, in order to pursue this argument, I need to build on spiritual values. We, as a species, have developed enormously in spiritual terms. Yet, we have reached a cusp, as it were.

Thanks to education, we haved become very aware of life and the true values of life. Yet there is a resistance to taking the next step that I can only compare to that point just before water comes to the boil - latent heat, or latency.

So, before I take this argument further, can you imagine a world that does not depend on money or the need for exchange? If not, why not?
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Post by OpenMind »

CARLA;1325513 wrote: Wonder how it would work if he had a wife and kids. ??


Who? Me?
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Post by Clodhopper »

So, before I take this argument further, can you imagine a world that does not depend on money or the need for exchange? If not, why not?


No, I can't.

Money is the answer to a need for exchange.

To get away from it...

...I think we would need a change in basic human nature. I value education a lot, but I don't think it could do this over the long term.

It's why Communism failed: "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need" only works when people are completely altruistic. And we aren't, and can't be. In my opinion.

Sorry to be so depressing.
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Post by OpenMind »

Clodhopper;1325521 wrote: No, I can't.

Money is the answer to a need for exchange.

To get away from it...

...I think we would need a change in basic human nature. I value education a lot, but I don't think it could do this over the long term.

It's why Communism failed: "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need" only works when people are completely altruistic. And we aren't, and can't be. In my opinion.

Sorry to be so depressing.


I believe that we are so entrenched in the concept of 'exchange', most people simply cannot imagine a different system.

Yet, have you never performed a favour for someone?
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Post by OpenMind »

In the last century, Americans came up with the phrase - "what goes around, comes around". And there is apparent proof that this works.

I would say that in a social system without money, the most important commodity would be friendship. I would even go as far as to say that most people would shy away from being overly possessive.
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Post by CARLA »

No the guy in the article.



Who? Me?
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

We have bred a global culture of greed, recklessness and Idleness especially In the West.

The recent global meltdown was due to the reckless spending money they did not have and then running to the Banckruptcy courts when they could not re-pay It expecting the Government and Tax Payer to foot the bill and whinging that It was all some-one else's fault but their own.

I do not not believe that we could now live lives without money due to the next generation being born Into a money-orientated world. It is a mind-set that has been bred and nothing to do with Governments. Only when we begin to start Jailing our debtors, may future children appreciate money.

The problem Is sheer greed and selfishness and I see It every-where I go. I even see Fathers being held to ransom on visiting rights to their child unless money Is handed over first without any thought to the childs relationship with both parents.

I also believe It would take a 3rd world war to put right the selfish nature of this middle generation we seem to have bred.
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Post by OpenMind »

oscar;1325531 wrote: We have bred a global culture of greed, recklessness and Idleness especially In the West.

The recent global meltdown was due to the reckless spending money they did not have and then running to the Banckruptcy courts when they could not re-pay It expecting the Government and Tax Payer to foot the bill and whinging that It was all some-one else's fault but their own.

I do not not believe that we could now live lives without money due to the next generation being born Into a money-orientated world. It is a mind-set that has been bred and nothing to do with Governments. Only when we begin to start Jailing our debtors, may future children appreciate money.

The problem Is sheer greed and selfishness and I see It every-where I go. I even see Fathers being held to ransom on visiting rights to their child unless money Is handed over first without any thought to the childs relationship with both parents.

I also believe It would take a 3rd world war to put right the selfish nature of this middle generation we seem to have bred.


Your second to last paragraph sure punched me in the heart!

"...sheer greed and selfishness...". Yet, in my experience, I have found my fellow person (don't want to be sexist by saying 'man') to be enormously helpful. I find that the basis for a system without money or exchange already exists in the way we help each other out. And I am not basing this observation upon my experiences in Yorkshire where people generally are friendlier. I have found this is so in the southern parts of the country where I have lived most of my life.

Whether this is through education or a natural evolvement of our species, I cannot say. But it is there.
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Post by Clodhopper »

I believe that we are so entrenched in the concept of 'exchange', most people simply cannot imagine a different system.

Yet, have you never performed a favour for someone?


Yes, I have. And received. As have most people. (As I'm sure you know, probably from personal experience both ways, given neither you nor I could be called "young" anymore! :wah:)

But there are always those who believe we are all targets for their greed, that anyone who falls for their bullsh*t is fair game by virtue of their gullibility.

To be fair, they argue that there are always winners and losers and they just want to be winners; that those who are poor deserve to be so; that winners are the only real people. Subtext: kill 'em by the millions - those who are poor deserve it, and the true "humans" will survive.

Snarl.

Not aimed at you, Openmind.
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Post by OpenMind »

Clodhopper;1325536 wrote: Yes, I have. And received. As have most people. (As I'm sure you know, probably from personal experience both ways, given neither you nor I could be called "young" anymore! :wah:)

But there are always those who believe we are all targets for their greed, that anyone who falls for their bullsh*t is fair game by virtue of their gullibility.

To be fair, they argue that there are always winners and losers and they just want to be winners; that those who are poor deserve to be so; that winners are the only real people. Subtext: kill 'em by the millions - those who are poor deserve it, and the true "humans" will survive.

Snarl.

Not aimed at you, Lon.


That is indeed so and doing away with money would not change that. There will always be the greed. It is a state of mind for some. As is power and control over people - a state of mind, a psychological need to dictate the terms of life.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Hang on...did someone just run screaming off this thread???
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Post by Clodhopper »

No. Just me being dumb.
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Post by OpenMind »

In fact, I am not intending to argue for the end of exchange. Rather, I am arguing that we have reached a point in our evolution where we no longer need to be dependent on it. Further, if we arre no longer dependent on exchange, we would no longer need money which is the main basis for most exchanges.
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Post by Clodhopper »

That is indeed so and doing away with money would not change that. There will always be the greed. It is a state of mind for some. As is power and control over people - a state of mind, a psychological need to dictate the terms of life.


Yes. Agree completely. While these bastards exist the exchange life is going to be much, much more complex. And there is nothing we can do to stop these bastards apart from recognition and ostracism.

And as far as I can see, there are too many of them.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Phrase, "Keeping up with the Joneses" mean anything to you...?
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Post by OpenMind »

Clodhopper;1325543 wrote: Phrase, "Keeping up with the Joneses" mean anything to you...?


This is the difficult one to get round. Mostly associated with the Middle classes I believe but I've seen it in the lower classes too.

The only way around this one is to realise that 'keeping up with the Joneses' is a psychological need to be seen as pulling one's weight, or doing one's bit, not letting the side down, and so on. However, social networking would not end if money or exchange were no longer existent. I believe it would intensify because the most valuable commodity without any form of currency would be friendship.

After all, if you wanted some of yer mate's corn, you don't want to fall out with him.
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Post by OpenMind »

After a century or so, even friendship would not be so important. The 'economy' would balance itself and even accommodate for 'lazy' people who would find their particular niche in society and thereby serve a purpose.
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Post by Clodhopper »

This is the difficult one to get round. Mostly associated with the Middle classes I believe but I've seen it in the lower classes too.


I think it's there in all classes. Put it another way: I think it's classless.

I think what you are describing is tribalism. It's fine, as long as you are a member of the tribe. As long as you share all the values of the tribe and none other. Since Liberal Democracy could not exist if that had been the case through all history, I object to it.:)
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

Clodhopper;1325547 wrote: I think it's there in all classes. Put it another way: I think it's classless.

I think what you are describing is tribalism. It's fine, as long as you are a member of the tribe. As long as you share all the values of the tribe and none other. Since Liberal Democracy could not exist if that had been the case through all history, I object to it.:)
That is a very good analogy.

For a non monetary Civilisation to exist In harmony, the mind-set has to be the same In all or It can not exist.
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Post by Clodhopper »

That is a very good analogy.


It's not an analogy. It's a description of fact. Tribalism is exactly what I described it as. All tribes have ways of getting rid of those who donn't agree with the values of the tribe, the church just took over the burning in our tribes.
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Post by OpenMind »

Clodhopper;1325547 wrote: I think it's there in all classes. Put it another way: I think it's classless.

I think what you are describing is tribalism. It's fine, as long as you are a member of the tribe. As long as you share all the values of the tribe and none other. Since Liberal Democracy could not exist if that had been the case through all history, I object to it.:)


I believe that it would take a complete collapse of the economy before tribalism could reinstate itself. We have evolved beyond that by a very long chalk. Tribalistic tendencies die out by the time teenagers grow out of their little gangs.

I certainly see communities playing an important role but national identity would continue to exist and would only become replaced by a global identity.
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

Clodhopper;1325552 wrote: It's not an analogy. It's a description of fact. Tribalism is exactly what I described it as. All tribes have ways of getting rid of those who donn't agree with the values of the tribe, the church just took over the burning in our tribes.
My apologies for I was merely commending you on a good post. Wish I had not of bothered.
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

OpenMind;1325553 wrote: I believe that it would take a complete collapse of the economy before tribalism could reinstate itself. We have evolved beyond that by a very long chalk. Tribalistic tendencies die out by the time teenagers grow out of their little gangs.

I certainly see communities playing an important role but national identity would continue to exist and would only become replaced by a global identity. We live In a world where one half's teenager throw the fries they can not eat In the street and the other half of the world scrabbling In the dirt for morsals. Until me amend that, there Is no hope for a non monetary system.
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Post by Clodhopper »

oscar: I wasn't attacking you. Thank you for the compliment. I stand by what I said about tribalism, though: wonderful if you are in it, appalling if you are not. Sorry - can't help it.

I believe that it would take a complete collapse of the economy before tribalism could reinstate itself. We have evolved beyond that by a very long chalk. Tribalistic tendencies die out by the time teenagers grow out of their little gangs.

I certainly see communities playing an important role but national identity would continue to exist and would only become replaced by a global identity.


I would love it if I believed that were true. I think if civilisation collapsed, tribalism (which is, after all, the extended family) would be the first thing that would happen to us. That's including the process that took us from 60,000,000 to about 6,000,000. (6,000,000 being the rough figure we could probably support off our own land)
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Post by Clodhopper »

Right, given the number of typos in my last post, it's definitely time for bed. Oscar - sorry for any offence caused.

Goodnight.:)
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

Clodhopper;1325560 wrote: Right, given the number of typos in my last post, it's definitely time for bed. Oscar - sorry for any offence caused.

Goodnight.:)
No Offence taken...



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Post by OpenMind »

Initially, the main problem will be the lower classes - the poor or low paid - who resent being so. These are the people who are most likely to become tribalistic and cause trouble. However, they would be easily kept in line as long as they retain their creature comforts. Their offspring, however, would not be restrained in the same way and the 'poor ideology' would disappear.

The new social problem would be those who could not make friends; these people would constitute the new poor.
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Post by OpenMind »

oscar;1325557 wrote: We live In a world where one half's teenager throw the fries they can not eat In the street and the other half of the world scrabbling In the dirt for morsals. Until me amend that, there Is no hope for a non monetary system.


Why do you think those teenagers have become disprespectful? Why is it the others are starving?
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Post by OpenMind »

Clodhopper;1325559 wrote: oscar: I wasn't attacking you. Thank you for the compliment. I stand by what I said about tribalism, though: wonderful if you are in it, appalling if you are not. Sorry - can't help it.



I would love it if I believed that were true. I think if civilisation collapsed, tribalism (which is, after all, the extended family) would be the first thing that would happen to us. That's including the process that took us from 60,000,000 to about 6,000,000. (6,000,000 being the rough figure we could probably support off our own land)


Should I take it then that you equate civilisation with currency? Did we not have a civilisation before Babylon was built?
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Post by OpenMind »

While we do still have individuals and communities with problems, our race as a whole has evolved intellectually and spiritually. Particularly so over the last few decades, and this evolvement has been furthered to a great degree by the onset of the Internet.

Individually, we are still animals. But as a species, we have evolved into a caring force.
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Post by gmc »

The days when we could all have a wee plot of land and support ourselves are long gone and not likely to come back. Subsistence living always sounds better than the reality.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up cash, which I initially decided to do for a year. I got myself a caravan, parked it up on an organic farm where I was volunteering and kitted it out to be off-grid. Cooking would now be outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove; mobile and laptop would be run off solar; I'd use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode, and a compost loo for humanure.


I would like to see him set up his caravan in a park in Birmingham or maybe hyde park in glasgow or how about any field anywhere and see how long he lasts. Dropping out of society and living an eco lifestyle is like the hippies of old, unrealistic, only possible if you have money behind you in the first place - he can always go back to his old life, without that old life to give him publicity and kudos. he would just be another, traveller, tinkers, tramp etc etc. He had cash to give up in the first place.

I'm not saying he doesn't make valid points but his approach is unrealistic as a solution for everybody.
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Post by Clodhopper »

Should I take it then that you equate civilisation with currency? Did we not have a civilisation before Babylon was built?


No and yes, respectively.

Actually, I think I'm about half way between your eco-bloke and a "normal" one.

I run a very low cost lifestyle which depends on the fact that (through no virtue of mine) I was able to pay off the mortgage. I don't run a car (BIG saving!) and I have no dependents. As a result, I am able to live very quietly off my own land and use much less money than most. I've started growing some of my own food, but am very much a beginner and would starve if I had to rely on my own efforts. I suspect I could be pretty much self-sufficient - at least in veg - if I had an old style 60' garden, but with only 30' I'm a bit pushed. I am gradually growing more.

Now, all I have to do is set up my micro-brewery, and I'm sorted! :wah:

But I can do this because I had a big chunk of money come in (totally unexpectedly). If it weren't for that, I'd be a 9-5 wage slave. Shrug. There are worse fates. But I saw my chance to get out, and took it. So far (touch wood) it's working. I am now time rich and cash poor.

I hope you are right about the internet making us better people. Certainly it allows communication across the world in a way I never imagined. But whether that will lead to universal peace and understanding... I don't know. In some situations, yes, I think discussion can improve things. I feel I have a better understanding of Americans as a result of being here, for example. In others, probably not. Haven't noticed much improvement in relations with muslims who come on here... They find we aren't going to convert to their religion (or any other) and depart in a huff.
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

OpenMind;1325564 wrote: Why do you think those teenagers have become disprespectful? Why is it the others are starving? If I had the answers I would be rich.

It beats me but I see It every week... They will buy a large kebab and then what they can not eat gets slung down on the pavement outside the shop when they could simply ask for a regular.
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Post by cars »

OpenMind;1325541 wrote: In fact, I am not intending to argue for the end of exchange. Rather, I am arguing that we have reached a point in our evolution where we no longer need to be dependent on it. Further, if we arre no longer dependent on exchange, we would no longer need money which is the main basis for most exchanges.
Well I for one seem to still need exchange. As I don't want to grow my own veggies, meat, fish, make my own clothes, & the like. I also can't fix today's cars, washing machines, toasters, and the like, so I will still need "money" for exchange of services provided by others. :wah:
Cars :)
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Post by LarsMac »

For two years, I lived in the Florida swamps, and had little to do with the rest of the world.

I caught fish, trapped the occasional raccoon or possum, and ate wild citrus and other fruits I could find.

It was a very cleansing experience. I had no money, and needed none.

However, I must confess that after two years, I became quite bored, and wanted to do something else, and found that unless I had an agreeable means of exchange, I was doomed to spend the rest of my life and a swamp rat.

So I went into town and found some work in exchange for food and beer.

I decided that I liked people, after all, and re-joined "society' and never looked back.

Without a common means of exchange, a people will be limited to a fairly small-level society where subsistence is their primary accomplishment, and growth will be limited. I do hope we have evolved beyond that.

As for control, you are only controlled to the extent you allow yourself to be.
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Post by Oscar Namechange »

LarsMac;1325702 wrote: For two years, I lived in the Florida swamps, and had little to do with the rest of the world.

I caught fish, trapped the occasional raccoon or possum, and ate wild citrus and other fruits I could find.

It was a very cleansing experience. I had no money, and needed none.

However, I must confess that after two years, I became quite bored, and wanted to do something else, and found that unless I had an agreeable means of exchange, I was doomed to spend the rest of my life and a swamp rat.

So I went into town and found some work in exchange for food and beer.

I decided that I liked people, after all, and re-joined "society' and never looked back.

Without a common means of exchange, a people will be limited to a fairly small-level society where subsistence is their primary accomplishment, and growth will be limited. I do hope we have evolved beyond that.

As for control, you are only controlled to the extent you allow yourself to be.


So you are 'Swampy' then?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swampy
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Post by OpenMind »

gmc;1325583 wrote: The days when we could all have a wee plot of land and support ourselves are long gone and not likely to come back. Subsistence living always sounds better than the reality.



I would like to see him set up his caravan in a park in Birmingham or maybe hyde park in glasgow or how about any field anywhere and see how long he lasts. Dropping out of society and living an eco lifestyle is like the hippies of old, unrealistic, only possible if you have money behind you in the first place - he can always go back to his old life, without that old life to give him publicity and kudos. he would just be another, traveller, tinkers, tramp etc etc. He had cash to give up in the first place.

I'm not saying he doesn't make valid points but his approach is unrealistic as a solution for everybody.


This is what I meant when I wrote that the guy in the article wouldn't need to live like he is at all if society was not governed by a price for everything. I, for one, don't want to live like that.
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Post by OpenMind »

oscar;1325614 wrote: If I had the answers I would be rich.

It beats me but I see It every week... They will buy a large kebab and then what they can not eat gets slung down on the pavement outside the shop when they could simply ask for a regular.


This behaviour warrants its own thread. As far as this thread is concerned, I can only say that, apart from a lack of proper parenting, our economy does tend to promote this behaviour.
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Post by OpenMind »

cars;1325647 wrote: Well I for one seem to still need exchange. As I don't want to grow my own veggies, meat, fish, make my own clothes, & the like. I also can't fix today's cars, washing machines, toasters, and the like, so I will still need "money" for exchange of services provided by others. :wah:


I am actually arguing that we, as a race, can evolve beyond the exchange mechanism. I am not arguing for its replacement or abolition. I'm just saying that we no longer need to be dependent on it.
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Life without money

Post by OpenMind »

LarsMac;1325702 wrote: For two years, I lived in the Florida swamps, and had little to do with the rest of the world.

I caught fish, trapped the occasional raccoon or possum, and ate wild citrus and other fruits I could find.

It was a very cleansing experience. I had no money, and needed none.

However, I must confess that after two years, I became quite bored, and wanted to do something else, and found that unless I had an agreeable means of exchange, I was doomed to spend the rest of my life and a swamp rat.

So I went into town and found some work in exchange for food and beer.

I decided that I liked people, after all, and re-joined "society' and never looked back.

Without a common means of exchange, a people will be limited to a fairly small-level society where subsistence is their primary accomplishment, and growth will be limited. I do hope we have evolved beyond that.

As for control, you are only controlled to the extent you allow yourself to be.


See, as I said earlier, we don't have to live like this if we do away with money as a whole. Neither would the practice of exchanging items cease to exist. Exchanging goods is a natural part of human life. But, as an evolved race, we no longer need to depend on it. I would even go as far to say that the need for money is preventing us from evolving further.
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Life without money

Post by OpenMind »

Clodhopper;1325599 wrote: No and yes, respectively.

Actually, I think I'm about half way between your eco-bloke and a "normal" one.

I run a very low cost lifestyle which depends on the fact that (through no virtue of mine) I was able to pay off the mortgage. I don't run a car (BIG saving!) and I have no dependents. As a result, I am able to live very quietly off my own land and use much less money than most. I've started growing some of my own food, but am very much a beginner and would starve if I had to rely on my own efforts. I suspect I could be pretty much self-sufficient - at least in veg - if I had an old style 60' garden, but with only 30' I'm a bit pushed. I am gradually growing more.

Now, all I have to do is set up my micro-brewery, and I'm sorted! :wah:

But I can do this because I had a big chunk of money come in (totally unexpectedly). If it weren't for that, I'd be a 9-5 wage slave. Shrug. There are worse fates. But I saw my chance to get out, and took it. So far (touch wood) it's working. I am now time rich and cash poor.

I hope you are right about the internet making us better people. Certainly it allows communication across the world in a way I never imagined. But whether that will lead to universal peace and understanding... I don't know. In some situations, yes, I think discussion can improve things. I feel I have a better understanding of Americans as a result of being here, for example. In others, probably not. Haven't noticed much improvement in relations with muslims who come on here... They find we aren't going to convert to their religion (or any other) and depart in a huff.


I like your post, Clodhopper, and god bless you for sharing it. I believe most people set out with the hope that they can become self-dependent in one form or another; even if it's just trading shares and other financial commodities. There are those, also, who expect to work until retirement age whence they will have their knees up. Unfortunately for the latter, they are increasingly likely to be very disappointed. For my part, I know that I cannot afford to retire.

Nonetheless, your post says it all. Those of us who had the choice would not go to work for someone else (except possibly as a favour to get them out of trouble if they were a good mate).
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Life without money

Post by OpenMind »

cars;1325647 wrote: Well I for one seem to still need exchange. As I don't want to grow my own veggies, meat, fish, make my own clothes, & the like. I also can't fix today's cars, washing machines, toasters, and the like, so I will still need "money" for exchange of services provided by others. :wah:


Do you think that these services would cease to exist if we didn't have money? What about your own interests? Would they cease to exist because you didn't have money or would you be more able to pursue your interests if you didn't have to depend on money?
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Life without money

Post by OpenMind »

I would add that exchange will not magically vanish as it is intrinsic to human existence.
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Post by cars »

OpenMind;1325856 wrote: Do you think that these services would cease to exist if we didn't have money? What about your own interests? Would they cease to exist because you didn't have money or would you be more able to pursue your interests if you didn't have to depend on money?


Unfortunately, (or fortunately however one looks at it) I pursue intrests that "cost money"! If I didn't have money, then I would be forced to "settle" for other lesser desired intrests.

And yes, services required that were a huge pain in the arse, would fall by the wayside. If it were not for a luctricative exchange to the service provider, so to have that service performed by others!
Cars :)
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Post by OpenMind »

cars;1326085 wrote: Unfortunately, (or fortunately however one looks at it) I pursue intrests that "cost money"! If I didn't have money, then I would be forced to "settle" for other lesser desired intrests.

And yes, services required that were a huge pain in the arse, would fall by the wayside. If it were not for a luctricative exchange to the service provider, so to have that service performed by others!


I hope that I can show you that 'services' would be better tailored towards your needs if we did not depend upon money - assuming, of course, that you are not taliking about financial services.

I hope, also, that without the need for money, you would be able to put as much into and take as much out of your interests and also be able to focus more on quality rather than 'needs must'.
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Life without money

Post by Clodhopper »

Just wondering if the missing ingredient in your recipe for the Good Life is free unlimited power. Would solve an awful lot of problems...
The crowd: "Yes! We are all individuals!"

Lone voice: "I'm not."
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Life without money

Post by OpenMind »

Clodhopper;1326186 wrote: Just wondering if the missing ingredient in your recipe for the Good Life is free unlimited power. Would solve an awful lot of problems...


What type of power are you referring to? Political, energy?

Personally, I believe the 'missing ingredient' you refer to is a spiritual attitude.

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