The Money Less Society

I have been asked to explain how a society witout money works. The true answer is I don’t really know, all I can do is guess how it might be! I don’t actually see a moneyless system as a foolproof replacement system, more as a possible direction to go in if we so choose, individually or collectively. We could have less money, or be completely moneyless. A world without money is nothing to be frightened of, but we have been brainwashed into fear of having no money, and most people are constantly worrying about this at the back of their minds.

Other cultures around the world manage without money, arguably better than we do. Amazon rainforest tribes, Tibetan and Mongolian nomads, Australian aborigines, North American Indians. Though tptw (the powers that were) don’t like this and they are constantly trying to destroy any such cultures that remain. These cultures are not controllable because they can’t be bought. When tptw invade a new place where people are self sufficient, tptw (often in the guise of a transglobal corporation) first set themselves up as owners of the land. They steal the land, which was previously unowned. Then they charge rent. So the people have to work for the new owners to get the money to pay the rent for what was their own land. As time goes on, they become unable to afford the rent for land to grow their own food, and depend on the new owners for food. The people become deskilled, controlled and unhealthy.

No money means no mortgages and no rent. The houses will still be here though so we will have somewhere to live. Hard to imagine big housing developments going up in a world of no money. They are motivated by profit, so will die. What is more likely to happen is that if, say, a family is in genuine need of a home, people will get together to help build one for them. Just one home at a time. If you are not busy working to pay off all your bills and housing costs, you have more time for your community and to help others.

I often ask myself how many people would do their current job if they weren’t paid to do so. I would probably carry on with mine, but maybe with a bit more flexibility for time off. That’s because I have got jobs I like that don’t take over my life. Many people do voluntary work already, either officially for an organisation or helping out neighbours, or looking after their family and home, or growing their own food, or sharing their homes or possessions, or giving things away instead of selling them.

One thing that is interesting is lottery winners. They often choose to continue with their job even though they have no financial need to. Many people say they would reduce their hours if they won the lottery, but would still like to keep their job.

Obviously lots of people would stop their job immediately if they no longer needed to earn the money it provided. What sort of jobs are these? The not very nice ones. The Chinese slave labour market might go out the window, and factories might close down. It is impossible to predict, but anyone who is mistreated would be in a position to walk away from their job if they were not desperate for the money.

We would have a lot less materialism and gluttony and waste in the West. Less Chinese made shoes, maybe none, for a start. But we might have better quality stuff that is made with our own skills, that we value more and treat better. We might relearn some skills and enjoy making things again. I don’t think we would get cappuccino any more, which is a tough one for me, but I think I would cope, lemon balm tea is nice too.

A lot of our total collective time worked would be freed up. No more accountants, tax people, marketeers, price structure managers. All that effort could go elsewhere.

How would the Queen fare? I actually think a lot of people would still want to take care of her for free! Look at how many volunteers the National Trust has taking care of big houses and gardens. The point is that people would choose work that is useful and fulfilling and is what they believe in and like doing, rather than working for money. To me fulfilling work is a natural and essential part of the human existence.

The main obstacle is people’s mindset, which is unlikely to change overnight. Small steps towards less money are quite easy to take, and if many people are inclined to do this, a gradual mass shift will take place. If people like the new way, and it seems to work, they might do it some more, and the whole thing would grow. I would not want to force anyone to do this, nor impose a system. But the beauty of it is that anyone can do it without waiting for some external system to be put in place. No need to lobby politicians, or sign petitions, or devise administrative systems and committees.

I find that the less I use money, the less I need it, the more I have, and the less it controls me. I still need a certain amount in order to exist in our Western society as it is today, and I keep that to as small a part of my life as I can get away with. Our real wealth is not money, but the joys of life.

(See earlier posts: The Gift Economy, The Cost of Money, The Queen’s Debt)

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12 Responses to The Money Less Society

  1. George Silver says:

    Money is a natural extension of bartering. It is a necessity when perishable goods are involved.
    Money should only be Gold and Silver because it’s transportable, divisible without losing it’s relative value. Gold and Silver have a rarity brought about by the difficulty to find and refine it.
    Precious metal money must not be controlled by governments and banks but by the people for the people.
    What is needed is an effort to get away from “CENTRALISATION”. This is a really evil word.
    “Centralisation” can be found in Religion, Socialism, Communism, Collectivism, Rigged Capitalism and all the “isms” that you can shake a stick at. Governments of all colours are “centralists”. “Centralism” can be found in Central Banks, Multi-national companies the EU and even Supermarkets.
    “Centralism” is good for the few and bad for the many. As a small example:- A small country with a local fishing industry supports many people. The fishermen the people on-shore and the local community. Along comes a foreign multi-national factory fishing conglomerate that smashes the local fishing industry and puts everyone out of work. You benefit for five minutes because the fish is cheap at Tescos. All local industries and people’s livelihoods have been destroyed by “Centralisation”. I could go on about this for ever but I will leave you to think about it.

    • George Silver says:

      P.S. I left out two Centralist evils. Social housing (council estates) and State education. These are both clever devises to provide a subdued pool of cheap ignorant labour for the “elite” who control the “Centralisation” system

  2. suliwebster says:

    I totally agree with you about centralisation, and a need to build our own localised diversified structures.
    You may be right that money is much more workable when it is in gold and silver and decentralised. It would certainly be an improvement. But I do not see it as a necessity. I still am more inclined towards the gift economy.
    If gold and silver are rare, surely it won’t be too long before someone hoards it, thus putting themselves in a position of power. And there is still this issue that gold and silver is of no actual use, other than to exchange it for something else. And would it encourage mining and more gold rushes?
    And if we are all decentralised, how do we centralise the exchange system for gold and silver? Would that be banks again? The gift economy is universal.
    There is a good North American Indian quote, I will see if I can find it….

  3. suliwebster says:

    Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man’s worth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorney or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We were in a really bad way before the white man came, and I don’t know how we managed to get along without the basic things which, we are told, are absolutely necessary to make a civilized society… Lakota Sage Lame Deer

    • George Silver says:

      Strange I sometimes have someone called Running Deer who pops into my head from time to time.

  4. Pratik Patel says:

    Let’s make a small group which work by free giving and free receiving. Be confirm that all are working as this main article say for each others benefit and cooperation
    We need to start a google group where people post 2 ways. One person has 3 mobile phones so one is extra or something he has extra with him of no use. He will post in google group as I offer this…..
    All group members will receive this message and the one who really need it will put request to receive it. He will be given that stuff.
    If more than 2-3 people demands the same stuff which is offered the priority or the person who is offering will decide whom to give.
    2nd type post will be…. For such kind of purpose I want this kind of stuff or service. In reply from group members the one who can do this will do it.

    When someone want some stuff or service and if it is not possible by any group member it may not be given to that person. Also it is not compulsory to be given but as this group is working as a extended family, group members try to fulfil one group member’s genuine requirement.

  5. Pratik Patel says:

    The truth is endless possibilities…..

  6. suliwebster says:

    Pratik, there is an online organisation called Freecycle which does almost exactly as you suggest! You can sign up to your local group. There are two types of posts WANTED and OFFER. There are some conditions, one is that no money is exchanged, everything is free. Another one is that there are no animals. Freecycle is about stuff. I have given away lots of unwanted stuff this way, usually to younger people who are setting up home for the first time. It feels good to clear out my unwanted stuff and help others at the same time.
    There is another scheme called Timebank which is about offering and receiving services, though there is some banking involved here. Your time is measured and recorded in number of hours, regardless of what sort of service you offer.
    I think both of these are good systems, but stuff and services can also be given and received without any structure or organisation or group or rules involved at all. Just give or receive to people around you, or complete strangers that cross your path in life.

  7. Pratik Patel says:

    I gone through it and I found local group. It is really helpful. Thanks

  8. suliwebster says:

    Cool! Interesting how you came up with almost exactly the same idea without even knowing about it! Shows how connected we all are.

  9. pret1102 says:

    You are 100% right. 17-18 months before I was near to finish my conclusion of basic governing rules of the world, naturally I started thinking a society living with each other cooperative way what here people define it as gift economy or sharing economy or Resource Based Economy. I had written almost A4 size 30 pages of paper about that kind of living. Then after that I had not paid much attention on that and just before 10 days my that desire became strong in me and I started searching on google with words ‘ Moneless society’ and ‘World without money’ and I got many people and some organizations working on it and your this article too.

    Pratik Patel

  10. suliwebster says:

    That’s a really good sign, that so many people are moving in that direction. It’s also a nice way to research things. To do your own thinking first, come to your own conclusions, then find out that lots of other people have independently come up with very similar ideas! Your own truth is always the best truth of all, but having corroboration from other sources is very heart warming.

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