Eric Wright

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Get rid of currency

HaHa sounds crazy right? Well its not. What is currency but our adherence to it?

I would say a decent amount of people wouldn't mind "working" for brotherhood and advancement rather than "money" and materialism.

Of course an idea as opposed to "the way things are" as this one is, cannot simply just sprout up, but needs to be cultivated. But I think it is do-able, and greatly needed. IMHO of course.

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    Jun 28 2011: Instead of getting rid of money how about we update it. Trading goods and services is a good thing and money allows for easier trade so for all the faults you listed it does serve a noble purpose. The problem is money has a bias to consolidate itself. There is no reason to use only one type of money, since it's a faith based technology. Having a local dollar that is only good for local goods and service would have a tendency to circulate more freely. It would also be somewhat useless for transactions that could not be made locally. Cell phones, plane tickets, and such can not be purchased at a local mom and pops store so we need a national if not global currency. There is much people can produce on a local level. There are needs that need to be met, there are skills we either have or can learn. What we need is a means of transaction. Money as we know it falls short of this.

    If you haven't yet I would recommend reading "Life Inc" It does analyzes money from a media theorist point of view and give doable advice as how to bring it into the 21st century.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOBWhVe68os&feature=related
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      Jul 6 2011: Thanks for the link, looks interesting.
  • Jun 24 2011: I have read the arguments and counter arguments below. It appears to me, you are simply replacing one currency with other.
    Currency by definition allows you to attribute a value to effort or commodity. You can replace dollars by vouchers, it will still be "money".
    If you trace our history, you will realize that we moved from bartering "stuff" to "money" as it was the more logical method.

    Money in any form is not the root of evil, the evil lies in how people use it. A laser can be used to perform surgery or to kill. It does not make the laser evil.
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      Jun 24 2011: I would say it is much more then simply "replacing one currency with another". It is in fact replacing one world with another.

      Of course money itself is not "evil" or the root of it, it is a inanimate object how could it be evil?

      All the responses I have gotten have taken the "idea" on the purely face value level of: Then what could i use to buy stuff???

      The point, or at least why i think it would be a valid and wise decision for a people to make to rid the society of "money" is not to simply kill of money, but rather to kill off mentalities that are dominate in modern money driven societies.

      As it is today In America, people live for money, they chase it their whole lives, working to spend, spending to debt,

      If people are content living in societies where their one existence is spent chasing money, paying bills, and buying alot of "stuff"... Then so be it, forced to go down with the ship I guess... But if not, if people say hey i would like to live in a different society with different goals and meaning to life... Then the best way to start the path towards that is destroying the destructive elements. Materialism, so on and so forth etc.. And all the "encouragements" to screw over your fellow man that come along with modern mentalities.

      Like i said to the guy about the chair: Money was not a needed factor into making the chair: The man was, the wood was, and the know-how was...Money is just something we added long ago; and its evolution can be seen around the world; lo and behold its evolved into a god-damned ugly hydra, that is long past the time of the needed sword blow to the neck.
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    Jun 23 2011: Your sesond paragraph sounds like a few dystopian literary novels I have read! Need a title??? ;-)
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      Jun 23 2011: Thanks for the link Richard.

      Nationally (in the society where money was removed) the medium for exchange" would be "work" ( remember work is a very vague term as well) you are credited for your work, and your "credit" becomes the currency.

      If you went traveling abroad, your government would have to provide you with that countries currency, so you may enjoy yourself on vacation and get a refresher on what a society of money slaves looked like .
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          Jun 24 2011: No I haven't, but I looked it up after reading your post.
          Looks like the promising beginning steps, except I don't believe in the "equal pay" for every job part.
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        Jun 24 2011: How are 'credits' different than dollars?
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          Jun 24 2011: No "wall street" for "credit", no loans for "credit", no interest on"credit", removal of the motive to make the cheapest product and sell it for the maximum price. Im sure the list could go on and on.
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          Jun 24 2011: Yes actually I have heard of the Ithaca currency. Actually I have also heard that more smaller towns are returning to some sort of local currency, which is a very good sign showing people are getting sick of the games played by the current mass currency printers.
          I have not taken anything you have said as hostile, or mockingly. You have provided me with some good links on the topic and I Thank You for that.
  • Jun 23 2011: YES! It does sound crazy! Just because you say it is not crazy does not make it not crazy!

    I'm getting rather tired of these proposals to "get rid of money" as if money were something so simple and useless.

    Does nobody read history? Times without stable currency or no currency were horribly inefficient at resources allocation at best. At worst people starved to death. Resources based allocation cannot work in our current reality.

    Read the Wikipedia article on money and save us the trouble of having to explain why money is important.
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      Jun 23 2011: " as if money were something so simple and useless."

      The funny thing is- it is!

      "Read a Wikipedia article " is your response?
      • Jun 23 2011: "it is!" is your response?

        Go live without money then and attempt to achieve the same standard of living. If you can start your own "city upon a hill" and keep it from collapsing like the Soviet Union then you have a chance to prove me wrong.

        Until that time, I see ignorance about a system that is not perfect but has worked out rather well and so I have recommended beginner basic reading material.

        Feel free to read more than Venus Project grandiose half-truths and government conspiracy theories.
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          Jun 23 2011: '"it is!" is your response?" Yes quite to the point, right?

          "go live without money" in a world run by money? Even tho it is technically possible to live without money in this world, it would be a pretty barren existence.

          I have never heard of the "Venus Project", so I do not understand your little snipes at me.

          You haven't even grasped the concept I am talking about, but yet you try to wag your finger at me? Laughable. Please re-read what i have said both to you and others. Understand it, and then attack it. Thank You
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    Jun 23 2011: So in this moneyless world, why wouldn't I spend the rest of my days flying around the world, staying in nice hotels and eating good food? How would anyone know I wasn't one of the decent ones.
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      Jun 23 2011: Nobel ideals become noble realities only through noble people. With that said. I would think harsh penlites and/or expulsion to those who would rather find ways to scheme the system rather than be a part of it.
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        Jun 23 2011: O.K. people who scheme will meet harsh punishment, fine. But now you've just moved the problem and created a new one: how do you know who is scheming? You need a way to monitor your population to make sure everyone is pulling their own weight. Already it's beginning to sound repressive.

        The problem of schemers however is nothing compared to the problem of the mildly delusional. My flying around, staying in hotels wasn't a scheme to get a free ride, no, I fancy myself a travel writer. But I'm not a very good writer—like most people, I just think it would be a great job, much better than being a janitor. So how do make sure we have enough janitors and not too many bad travel writers?

        I'll save you some time. Sooner or later you will need a way to assign value to a person's skills, talents, and work ethic. The direction we are heading above leads to a central system of deciding who gets to be a travel writer and who settles for janitor. But a central system of assigning value to a person's efforts turns out to be dystopian despite your utopian intent.
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          Jun 23 2011: I would think, such a society, that decided to get rid of currency for work. Would be an collective society built around meritocracy. Your job is guided by your talents and ambitions. Obviously when I say a "collective" society I mean strong government. (How else work your "work" = "currency", if nobody was enforcing it.)

          I would think it would be alot less "repressive" then modern day liberal democracies. Its not the size of the government or their means of keeping an eye on you that makes them "repressive" but their intent. I would have to think that in a society about community, knowledge seeking, etc..Our leaders would have much better intent then modern day politicians.

          And to add to that, you wouldn't need to personally watch your citizens like prisoners out on their yard time. You would be able to judge the over-all productivity by the results. Sure some people may be able to "cheat" the system, but that happens under every system.

          But even bigger then the government you need to live in such a society, is the people, as always it comes down to the people. If you agree and I agree that our one life on this Earth should not be spent in debt, chasing money, stressing bills, then we already took the first step. And needless to say it is a revolutionary idea (like the bankers, and such would just give away their strangle hold) So you thin out society as the "money lovers" will fight the "free from money" crowd... you get the picture.

          I am pretty sure that, there will still be minimal class distinction amongst work, and more valued work, but nowhere near the gaps we see today in liberal democracies. It wouldn't be a gluttonous society as is our current society, but as we all should know by now, in order to have a better surrounding we sometimes need to make personal sacrifices.

          If someone is an individualist, then of course they would have a problem with the above said, because life is about "I" not "we" in their eyes. No currency land needs "we" thinkers!
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        Jun 23 2011: Eric, I applaud your faith in humanity. I think I'm a bit too cynical to share it. Also, I can't get past the inescapable problem that our corporeal existence requires food, water, shelter, and healthcare. None of these are easy to produce. While we are busy in our society 'about community and knowledge', somebody has to do the heavy lifting, the grunt work.

        A few people you might be interested in:

        Marshall Sahlins who famously regarded hunter-gather societies as more affluent than us because some were able to meet their immediate needs rather easily and didn't want for much else.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_affluent_society

        John Ruskin, very famous, influential art critic and not so influential social critic (although Gandhi counted him among his influences) who thought we should replace the economy based on competition with one based cooperation. Your basic view of mankind sounds a bit like him.
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          Jun 24 2011: Please dont applaud my faith in humanity, because my faith in humanity (without guidance) is very little. Hence the need to get rid of "money". And change the everyday focus of the mass citizen.

          As far as the "heavy lifters", they would be much better off in a society without currency.

          Look at the "heavy lifters" "working-class" "middle-class" today in liberal democracies... They get it the worst of it in our current societies---living paycheck to paycheck always in debt.

          I guess I should have been more detailed in my original idea, I just said "lets get rid of currency" without stating how to replace it, and what it would look like.

          Thank You for the link and recommendation, I will be sure to check them out. :)
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        Jun 24 2011: "As far as the "heavy lifters", they would be much better off…"

        If you do some research you will find that slave holders in the U.S. South were often quoted as saying that slaves were better off under slavery. Personally, I find the idea repugnant.
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          Jun 24 2011: What does one have to do with the other?
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        Jun 24 2011: The connection is that you seem to be describing a system that requires a strong central authority who will be tasked with deciding how to distribute work. You acknowledge that somebody has to do the 'heavy lifting' but since few people would choose to be the manual laborers in this utopia, I can only imagine that some would be 'chosen' to be the heavy lifters. It doesn't seem much different from having some sort of forced servitude system . But hey, they wouldn't be in debt, right?

        The underlying philosophy of working for a common good, the eradication of class distinction, and the elimination of coveting material goods and money, sounds a lot like plain old communism to me. Maybe you could form a workable system that borrows some of the idealism from communism, but it's hard to see it through without ending up with corruption brought on by a strong central power, and bread lines because of an inefficient economy.

        People like to blame money for the evils in the world, but I think power is much more dangerous than money. You have proposed eradicating money, but haven't avoided centralizing power. Somebody has to watch the system to punish cheaters, distribute work credits and decide who gets to work in fun professions like travel writing and who has to clean the toilets. To me, it sounds much worse and dehumanizing. The very idea of "mass citizens" as you call them is dehumanizing.
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          Jun 25 2011: Ah one of those "manual labor is low people work" types are you? Let me let you in on a secret that might blow your mind. Some people (yes i know em,) prefer to swing a sledge hammer for 8 hours rather than push a pencil... Wild right? But they do exist. Some people see the benefit in working a physical job, rather than a "sit on your ass" job.

          I have in fact sated, a few time I think, that i am against the concept of "equality" I believe in "classes" just think the gap between classes should be shortened a bit.

          As far as the rest of the stuff on your fears of central governments...Well, yeah, like I stated already if you are an individualist, the concept might seem like a horror show to you. There is nothing I can tell you to clam your irrational fears of government...

          "Mass citizen" is dehumanizing? Well how should I refer to a big population of people? By their first names?

          Power and money are synonymous...You do not have power without money.

          Yes i believe in a strong central power, I.e "Nationalism"

          I know every American was born to hate that, but I have come to see the motives for teaching us to hate such concepts. Therefore I dont fear "big government" just shity politicians:)
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    Jun 22 2011: that "decent amount" is probably one tenth or less than the current amount.

    money is an ingenious tool that facilitates exchange of goods. why get rid of something that facilitates exchange of goods?
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      Jun 22 2011: "why get rid of something that facilitates exchange of goods?"

      Because it is really not needed.

      You can "facilitates exchange of goods" without "money".

      The idea of money itself puts the value of numbers or accumulation of numbers over that of the worth of the living being. As the old saying goes about the "root of all evil" and so on.

      The meaning of life itself, has become the pursuit of "money", everyone living their one existence trying to accumulate paper, in turn to buy comfort or power. Its a primitive idea and I think we need to outgrow it.

      Wouldn't the collective pursuit of knowledge or understanding, be better than the collective pursuit of "money"?
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        Jun 22 2011: i don't know about your social circles, but in mine, there is nobody who wants money just to accumulate "number". they want to buy stuff. because money represent a claim to get stuff. because you get money if you do some service to someone else. so you can claim something in return. i think everybody understands that. even children of age 12.
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          Jun 22 2011: Accumulation of “numbers” and “buying stuff” is the same thing. At least in the way I am using the term.

          Yes, I understand how and why currency is used, and I am saying it needs to be eradicated.

          Instead of people “working” for money to “buy stuff”. They “work” for community, advancement, growth, knowledge, and understanding.

          “Currency” is unnecessary; “stuff” can be had without currency. Currency is just a slave mentality we have yet to free ourselves from. Do you understand? You understand that “money” does not create material right?

          So, if “currency” became “work” or “contribution”, instead of “money” – It would lead to an explosion of unity with a people and growth(upward growth that is).
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        Jun 23 2011: then please say accumulation of stuff. it is not meaningful to address this attitude to money. the concept of money is unrelated. in any society in which personal property exists, people will accumulate property for their own pleasure.

        i fail to see though, why would that be a problem. it is bad to collect money to visit the varanasi, the sacred city? or to attend a broadway theater? or to want to buy a book? a bottle of good wine? have a nice painting on the wall? these are things you condemn? these things are not growing on trees. plane trips, wine and acts don't provided us by nature. someone needs to work to provide those.

        500 years ago if you wanted a chair, you made it for yourself. if a man made a chair he didn't need at the moment, he was called hard working, farsighted. today if you want a chair, you can work on anything, earn money, and buy a chair. if someone not in need is working more to get more money for future expenditures, some people call him "material" or "greedy". this does not make sense.
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          Jun 23 2011: We must be have some kind of language difficulty here. let me try to explain as clear as possible.

          In the original Idea post I stated : ". What is currency but our adherence to it?" Do you understand that statement? If so please explain to me what is said in that statement.

          Secondly, As I already stated to you---- "“Currency” is unnecessary; “stuff” can be had without currency. Currency is just a slave mentality we have yet to free ourselves from. Do you understand? You understand that “money” does not create material right? "

          What is being said there is, you can still have your good bottle of wine and etc.. I did not say replace your comforts or enjoyments, I said replace the methods in which you obtain these things.

          You have a society where people "work" and/or "contribute" not for "money" but for advancement of people, society etc. A very homogeneous society.

          "money" did not make that chair you spoke of, a person did. Therefore money is not an needed element of that chair. The person, knowledge and wood are the only things needed to make that chair. "money" is just something man created. And just as easy as man created "money" can they eradicate it.
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        Jun 23 2011: and i said:

        "money is an ingenious tool that facilitates exchange of goods."

        do you understand that statement?

        btw i find your tone not acceptable. please correct it.
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          Jun 23 2011: My tone? Well I have not compared your intelligence to that of a 12 year old child, yet, so my "tone" is still alot more respectful then yours.

          Yeah i understand your statement. Maybe it started as an "ingenious tool", but it has in turn become an ingenious yolk I would say. Once again my friend :

          "What is currency but our adherence to it"?
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        Jun 23 2011: "money is an ingenious tool that facilitates exchange of goods."

        and that was the last time i said it, so no reason to ask once more.