Friday, July 9, 2004

I just had a thought

A dangerous thing, is me thinking.

Anyway, I thought what if currency did not exist and everyone worked for free, but you could have whatever you want? Business and society would not work very well would they? Even so, it's a nice thought because you could have whatever you wanted - but then again so could everyone else.

We should all appreciate currency.

Post ID: 437, posted by jase at 10:15 PM
Permalink | TrackBack ID: 410, (1) | Category: Misc | Google Search

I thought about this back in the mid 90s during my true college years. I came to the following conclusions about the idea:

1) It would have to happen on a global scale (no country could be left out).

2) People would be REQUIRED to work or do something during a certain age range (Which really isn't any different than the case now).

I think I'll post this comment to my own thought o f the moment page, as it is one of the reasons I started that page.

3) The children growing up in said society would be less wasteful and more accepting of such an idea.

4) At first people would be wasteful as they try to acquire "everything they ever wanted". But then later they would all get the feeling of not needing most of it and being more responsible.

5) The majority of the current population would be very opposed to this idea because most would think it is communism. Which is unfortunate because communism had a lot of good ideas to it. Most of all, to help people over all have better lives.

6) The majority of the current population need to change their attitude regarding their own responsibilities to society. This and (1) are the major reasons communism failed.

7) Something would have to be done about the idea of trading of favors, because this would eventually lead to simply a different kind of "bartering and currency". This has a lot to do with people's attitudes.

8) The root of most problems in this world is money and the fact that we value objects. Money has eroded good will and good people from turning the earth into a good place. Almost any problem you can think of in this world can be traced back to people's greed and desire to compensate for their lifestyles.

9) We'd have to slow the population explosion so that we don't extinguish our resources. We would have to invest in mining resources from other unpopulated planets.

10) It would take a long time to make such a change, such as 100 years or so. People would initially have to make some sacrifices that wouldn't be immediately rewarded by the goals of a moneyless society. So you might have problems with people wanting to go with such a system since they wouldn't see the results in their lifetime.

Most of these are qualifications for such a system to work, but the benifits are numorous and unimaginable:

* Possibly an end to war.
* Formation of a world government.
* A focus on the things that are important. (Money itself is not important, but yet in our current society we place such high value and time on it)
* Ability to do good things that previously would have drained valueable resouces for an intangeable gain.
* Higher quality of life and products because there would be no reason to not make things the best you could make them.

I later found the wonders of the Open Source Software world, where these ideas where being put into practice. Software, being virtual, does not require valuable resources to develop. But it was easy to see the trade off. Because income and marketing where not involved and not the goal, the quality was much much higher. There was simply no reason to not make the best quality software you could, with all the features you needed.

Why couldn't the rest of the world be this way? If everyone just kept doing the same job that they are currently doing, but simply for a different reason, the world would continue to function.

I always wanted to explore this further and have found other people who where interested, in fact one of the people who I encountered told me that she knew of an organization that was working on developing this idea. I think it had "Jefferson" in the name of the organization.

Posted by: Suso Banderas at July 13, 2004 05:40 PM

A world with money removed would only work if people were as frugal and slow to acquire as they are when using money (on average). It certainly wouldn't work for a bunch of people who's purchasing is only limited by their ability to borrow credit. Of course, in such a world producers would actually seek to make things people need and not thing they could advertise and create a market for. Some saving may offur that was. The system does indeed sound a lot like the communistic ideal, but it turns out that people don't end up working hard, and eventually there are shortages of things people need.
To get rid of money, we'd need to get rid of the idea of posessions, especially real estate. We can hardy have you claiming some place as your home when anyone else can expect to walk up and claim it as theirs as well. To remove monry and ownership from our lives probably takes us to the level of the social insects (ants, bees, wasps). We'd work together to make homes and food, and we'd share both. Yes, we'd get around to making other things, but I'd guess we really make only those things that would protect and perpetuate the colony.
It's not so different from a commune or large family (one that you don't leave). You share a house and money, and thus don't worry much about who (in the family) owns a specific item. In a family, we have expectation as to what each person should do to contribute, and we enforce these through peer pressure. I suppose in a larger colony (where one lived closely with others) this would work as well. I think a commune would fail to work if you start allowing personal property and dwellings. I know I have very little peer pressure I can exert on my neighbors. I just don't see them nearly enough for my opinion to matter to them.
So, while communes might be viable, they'd only be viable so long as we're willing to give up all those personal possessions, personal space, and some personal freedom.

Posted by: Andrew at July 30, 2004 08:59 PM
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