I find it confusing that several countries are being crippled economically when they still have their people.
What do people really need? You would have to say that housing, food, and clothes would be the bare essentials. In order to be ‘civilised’, one could say that electricity, roads, health care, and computers are essential too. But to survive, we only need the necessities.
So how do we go about getting the necessities? We have to work for them.
If there is no money in the economy, then it becomes harder to pay people and therefore jobs dry up, so things don’t get done. Can you see the problem? People rely on jobs and jobs rely on money. So by proxy, people need money in order to live.
Why have we allowed ourselves to become dependent on money when we already had what we needed?
Essentially - we have created an artificial step in this process of getting what we need.
Originally, humans simply hunted and gathered, built their own shelters and made their own clothes. Work and the rewards of that work, more or less, directly corresponded to each other. In these times, there was little choice, you worked to live. Getting the food you needed was completely in your own hands. If you didn’t work, you didn’t eat.
There was no lack of jobs in those days.
But this way of life quickly became more complex, as humans started working together, sharing the workload, separating the tasks. From this separation of labour, emerged the concept of exchange.
The following video highlights beautifully how the mechanism of exchange, which is a unique human feature, “creates the momentum for specialisation” – which increases productivity/prosperity.
I especially like the bit where he said: “Self sufficiency – we call that poverty these days.”
Working for each other has dramatically raised our living standards. Our society has been interconnected by trade and a collective brain has emerged. This collective brain has allowed us to exceed our individual capacities and create incredible technology which we enjoy the benefits of in our daily lives. This is only set to increase exponentially now that the Internet has emerged as an even more powerful platform of exchange where ideas can mate and evolve.
Of course, this interconnection caused interdependence. Everything is so connected to everything else that a break in this connection causes the entire system, the technological world which we rely on, to break down. This system is infinitely fragile – especially while some links in the chain are based on falsities.
The ever increasing job shortage is creating a fundamentally devastating gap in this connectivity.
We can plug this gap to allow our technological evolution to continue, increasing the quality of life for us all. But it’s going to take a fundamental change in our society. It is simply imperative that jobs and the economy are decoupled from each other.
Trade and exchange originally allowed us to increase our prosperity. But the introduction of money saw the opportunity to cheat this system. By introducing an artificial entity (or even an entity of perceived value but little functional use, such as gold) we have been tricked into believing that this “currency” equates to something of real value, and is necessary for trade. It isn’t.
What money does, even when it is not being manipulated and printed from nothing and undermining the entire value system, is put an artificial restriction on prosperity. It says “I am all important, all trading must correspond to a quantity of me.” This stops us from being able to trade without it. (By ‘trade’, I don’t mean barter, but rather ‘share’ and integrate, as the video above explained.)
If we took money out of the equation, do you think the millions of unemployed around the world would just sit around and starve because they couldn’t get a job? Of course not, they would take matters into their own hands, learning to hunt, and becoming self sufficient. They wouldn’t worry about money because it’s not really money they need, it’s food and shelter and clothing.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, self sufficiency essentially equals poverty, even though it means survival. We need the labour of others to uplift our standard of living.
We have just built this system around money and been made to think that money is essential to our way of life. But it’s not really money that is essential to our technologically advanced society. It is just the labour of others.
I hope you can see where I’m going with this. We don’t need money to survive, we just need our essentials, which we can achieve by ourselves. Likewise we don’t need money to allow our advanced technological society, we just need the work to be done.
When we realise this, we realise that even if there is no money, we can still have this amazing society. But it’s up to us. We need to realise that without money, we can not only survive, but we can prosper.
By individually rejecting money, we survive – albeit self sufficiently. By collectively rejecting it, we retain our standard of living without being subservient to it.
By rejecting money, we are suddenly forced to address what is truly valuable. What contributes to our survival, and what contributes to our standard of living. Anything that doesn’t, such as fighting in a war, working in finance, possibly even retail (when the purpose of the company is just to sell something at a markup), appears counter-productive.
If we reject money, and realise where true value lies, then it doesn’t matter if all the money in the world is in the hands of the elite. If we no longer value it, it becomes useless and the elite become powerless.
Large corporations would find no benefits from withholding knowledge, monopolising markets, or unethical practices. With no profit motive, they would probably cease to be in their current form, replaced instead by people-driven enterprises, working for the good of the community instead of the bottom line.
In addition, governments lose their power too. With no incomes, they have nothing to tax. No austerity measures can harm us. They can’t take our money and give it to the banks if we have none. With no way of squeezing an income from the general population, governments would only be able to do what the general population deemed of value.
The power belongs to us – the workers. We are the creators and the builders and the scientists and the helpers and the artists. We make society rich without money, it is money that makes us poor.