TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Can you suggest a different or better rule/s to use in our society instead of the current exchange rule?

Why is our society based on the exchange rule? For instance if we go to the supermaket and get food, in exchange we have to give some money to the owner of the supermaket. If we want to have water in our houses we have to pay a water company so they can supply it to us.

I can see this rule being adopted thousand of years ago by our ancestors and back then it probably made sense. They possibly could not come up with a better idea. But why in the 21st century are we still using it? Why can't we come up with a better or different rule?

Has anyone a different rule or rules to suggest that we could use instead?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jun 20 2012: using logic, there can only be 3 other methods

    1. you give, but you don't receive. i doubt you want that.

    2. you get, but you don't give. it is luring, but where do you plan to get things if nobody gives?

    3. you don't get and don't give. this is the neanderthal way of life, and not very pleasant.
    • thumb
      Jun 20 2012: To embellish this a little, you could in theory have a society in which some people only give (or typically give and seldom receive) and others only receive (or typically receive and only occasionally give). Those roles are either enforced by some governing body or occur on an opt-in basis.

      Systems of forced servitude or a caste system might work this way? Planned economies? Neither has a pretty record.

      Doing this on an opt-in basis, where people decide what to offer and what to take without any sort of expectations of a balance of some kind seems unsustainable in a society, though it might work within a very small group.

      I am not arguing for either, as I think exchange systems tend to be both more efficient and more fair in practice, counting the sort of exchange system Colleen describes as an exchange system and allowing for some transfers without exchange.. I am only trying to put some shape to options for purposes of the conversation.
      • Jun 21 2012: Fritzie,

        This kind of reminds me of ant colonies. Where roles are specific to types of ants, except in economic form.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.