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Is There a Future for Money?

In our digital age, where banks and even nations fail through reckless monetary spending and policies, it seems that our monetary system is becoming the big elephant in the room, yes even obsolete. Automation replacing humans seems to be one of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism and may be the demise of the system itself leaving the looming possibility of fascism or military dictatorship to arise and flourish if we fail to arrive at any alternatives.

While some believe taking us back to the gold standard will fix things, and others believe that debt forgiveness is the solution, we hear talks about access/resource based economies, where we simply declare all of Earth's resources as the common heritage of mankind and make goods and services available to all without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude, through technological abundance.

In fact, let's rephrase the question. At what point in the future do you think that our technology will make automated systems possible and allow us to move out of a monetary system?

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    Aug 22 2012: I'm hoping we keep money, but lose the hypnotic power it has over us, in making us believe it has a sacred power - one which is really just implied. No man has power over another except that which we choose to give.
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      Aug 22 2012: money does not have hypnotic power over me. it does over you?
    • Aug 22 2012: Would it, however, be necessary to keep money if we could create an abundance of materials/resources with technology, providing the necessities of life and a high standard of living to everybody?
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        Aug 22 2012: If everyone's happy with what they got, then there's no need for money. But there's no such thing as a free lunch. How would we achieve that state, at what cost? And everyone will always want something more/new, or else we would be incredibly bored and have no reason to live.

        So if there is a way to make everyone happy, of course people would vouch for this solution, but as of right now, it's impossible. Until we figure out how to get to that Utopian state, money is the best solution we got so far, despite the greedy influences it has.
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          Aug 22 2012: >or else we would be incredibly bored and have no reason to live.

          Look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. What are at the bottom? Physiological and safety needs. My money satisfy these needs. While they satisfied I don’t need money. Do you think I have no reason to live? I can create, develop(self-actualisation by Maslow), love and being loved(love, belonging by Maslow). Scarcity only creates these basic needs(physiological and safety). The real life begins when human satisfies his higher needs. So the really happy people today are those whose job satisfies both their higher and basic needs. And there are always bored people. In scarcity and post-scarcity. Who have only their basic needs.

          >Until we figure out how to get to that Utopian state, money is the best solution we got so far

          I agree. Post-scarcity has very high technological requirements. Firstly we must reach this technological level. I love money. In this society they help me satisfy my higher needs.
        • Aug 22 2012: James, I invite you to read about a resource based economy at http://www.thevenusproject.com/en/the-venus-project/resource-based-economy. Let's have this discussion after that if you still feel this way.
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        Aug 22 2012: @Mats, ok, lemme check it out first then get back to you on that
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        Aug 23 2012: Why was money invented in the first place? Wasn't it meant to be a way of circumventing the complexity of multi-trading? Like if I had ten sheep and you had two cows, but you didn't want my sheep but chickens, I then needed to find someone who would trade my sheep for chickens so I could get your cows...
        • Aug 23 2012: Yes, but this is no longer necessary. We have reached a point in our civilization where technology can provide all of us with food, clothes, shelter, clean water and a high standard of living. In other words, we have the possibility to create an abundance of resource if we intelligently manage them through technology and the scientific method.
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      Aug 23 2012: Hi Luke,
      This is a response to your comment:
      "I'm hoping we keep money, but lose the hypnotic power it has over us, in making us believe it has a sacred power - one which is really just implied. No man has power over another except that which we choose to give".

      I wholeheartedly agree...nothing has power over us unless we give it/them power, and that is our choice in each and every moment.

      BTW,
      I apparently misunderstood/misinterpreted your comment in that other discussion, and now it is closed. I was going to send you an e-mail, and you do not have that feature in your profile. So, I'll tell you here....I got it with your explanation.....thanks:>)
      • Aug 23 2012: An easy way to lose the hypnotic power is to separate money from survival instincts. Like universal health care has done in many societies. If we as a society provide for all primary needs, like food, shelter, security, then we loose the hypnotic power that money has, and it becomes what it was always meant to be, a tool for rational trade. Expand the welfare-system to include basic needs as the security of food, shelter and healthcare. It´s so obvious when money becomes hypnotic, it´s when you really need it... We need to elevate people above the risk of being hypnotized. Make them more "upper class" in their confidence in their economic security.
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          Aug 23 2012: I agree Johan, and that seems difficult for some people. When people are vulnerable and frightened in survival mode, they tend to cling to something that is known. Even when they don't have money sometimes, the hypnotic power is still there with the "wanting" of it. I agree that elevating people above the risks would support them/us in being less hypnotized by money. Where do we begin????

          I would say empowering and building confidence in people is good, and that of course supports a lot of other good things in one's life as well. What do you think?
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          Aug 24 2012: Did you know that here in Australia they sued to have underground tanks at each home to collect rain water. However, the GOVERNMENT of all people abolished this because they didn't think people had the right to free water! Seems to me the agenda is to make us very dependent on money for basic survival needs to perpetuate the hypnosis. But are these people doing so out of "evil" or it is that it's all the know how to be? In fact, should we even judge on intent, if the action is still appalling?
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          Aug 29 2012: Luke,
          That is very unfortunate, and I guess I'm not surprised. I believe governments often try to make people more dependant....easier to control....right? I believe the welfare/public assistance system here in the US keeps people poor and dependant, and that is not what it was designed to do. I generally do not believe that people are intentionally "evil". I just don't think they are thinking about the long term ramifications to the people they are disempowering or to the whole. We cannot "judge on intent", because we don't actually know what the intent is....do we?
      • Aug 23 2012: I can´t reply to your post so I´ll reply to the one above :)

        In our world of accelerating change, I think it´s increasingly important that we elevate people above survival mode. The job-market will probably continue to be disrupted at exponential rates, and we need to be very altruistic to help each other adapt to this brave new world. I believe everyone is beautiful in their own way, and don´t want to see my fellows loose the race against the machine. So I believe we should just empower people financially, with money, through citizens dividends or basic incomes or something like that, divide the wealth surplus, and make the transition to a better world a little smoother, and give each other time to adapt, and the economic resources and confidence to be altruistic and friends and work together to reinvent our identities and find new niches. I wholeheartedly believe in this :)
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          Aug 29 2012: I agree Johan, that one underlying factor is to elevate people above survival mode. I agree with your previous comment to expand the systems..." welfare-system to include basic needs as the security of food, shelter and healthcare"...etc. I do not agree with empowering people with too much money in the beginning of this process, for the simple reason that many people do not have money because they are poor managers of money. I think empowerment is better first....as you insightfully say..."give each other time to adapt". I wholeheartedly believe it could happen too, and I am realistic enough to know that it will not happen over night. It's good to ponder and plan however!
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        Aug 24 2012: No problem at all. The good thing about TED is that everyone here is open and honest, with the goal of finding a solution to a better society. Peace :)
        • Sep 4 2012: @Collen
          >I do not agree with empowering people with too much money in the beginning of this >process, for the simple reason that many people do not have money because they are >poor managers of money.

          I think economic anxiety is a root to "their" poor management "skills", lack of "economic" freedom has forced them/us to become less then our "full potential".

          Future generations will be better managers :)

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