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Could we build a world without money?

Money has taken over our lives, both when we have it and when we do not. Money is also responsible for a big part of the suffering happening all around then world, i.e. people not having access to clean water because it would cost too much to install the necessary machines to filter and provide water. We have the technology to remove the salt from the oceans, so why are there still people dying of thirst or from diseases unhealthy water? Is money a reasonable excuse to allow our fellow humans to suffer and die? I believe not.
I do not think that everything about money is bad, but it has been used for so long, and it has not really improved our condition as human beings, did it? I does make trade easier, but as I asked previously, is that a reasonable excuse to allow so much pain and suffering all around the world?
That is why I was wondering if there could be any kind of way to build a world in which we would not have to depend on money, and still improve technologically, as well as morally.


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  • Dec 13 2011: Money is just a tool that has appeared out of necessity, to facilitate exchanging and expressing value - when selling/buying products or services. It is not the ultimate tool, because it cannot measure all types of value - how much does a sunset cost? Or the support of a friend?

    Money in itself is not to be blamed for what people do or don't do with it.

    I am happy to see though that people are interested and moving towards using money more fairly. (ethical banking, fair trade)

    And I think we can improve morally without needing to eradicate money.
    Instead we could also improve how we see and use money and build it into a better world.
    • Dec 14 2011: I do agree we can improve morally while still using money, and as much as I wish there could be a way to use it more fairly, our current system does hardly prevent one from doing whatever he/she wants to do with his/her money.

      Perhaps what could work is keeping money for anything that does not directly affect our basic needs, being food, water, and shelter. If we could promote free access to the bare minimum for the whole planet, it would already be a huge step forward...but then again, where should the money for this come from? The government? Well one of the problem is that the political systems in the Third World are often unstable, or under a dictatorship, two conditions which could prevent this kind of project.

      Yes, money is simply a tool, but even with a higher knowledge of morality, it would still be too easy for a rotten apple to ruin it all for everyone.
      • Dec 14 2011: Nobody is perfect, nor is the system. We can't expect it to be. If we want it to be different, well nobody will change it for us, we need to express what we think is appropriate and what isn't. And use proper arguments as to what decision is made.

        I think the examples of fair trade and ethical banking are a step in the right direction.
        It means you only give your money to companies or banks that you trust will use it fairly, ethically. And there are rules they must follow and people who make sure they do. So when you buy a product, you are supporting that company. And by choosing what you buy, you are choosing who you give your power to, quite directly.
        And if more and more people step into this, unethical companies will... run out of money. Problem solved!
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      Dec 14 2011: Hello Zsofia

      nice post

      I agree that there are somethings that money cannot buy (as you pointed out.
      I also agree with you that there should be a more ethical/moral approach in how we deal with money in regards to other individuals.

      What I don't agree with (to a degree) and I'd love to hear your response is your statement "Money in itself is not to be blamed for what people do or don't do with it". I just want to ask, you do not see money as a motivator for some of the injustice that goes around in the world? the reason as to why people are very anxious to kill someone for money. Divorce their wives, etc. Now I understand that a piece of paper does not have an intent of its own but what it symbolizes is the problem.

      Nonetheless are you stating that people are not motivated to do injustice due to money or do you think the issue of injustice extends well beyond the issue of money?
      • Dec 14 2011: Hi Orlando, thanks for your reply.
        As to your question, how I see it:
        When people feel compelled to cause suffering in order to gain money, that is not because money exists, eradicating money wouldn't make them stop. People in those situations don't just want some pieces of paper or numbers in their bank - they want the power and security and prestige and whatever else comes with it.
        Money in itself is Worthless.
        It is the value of it people crave and if it didn't exist, people would pile up other things that express value such as jewellery or luxury goods.
        So what I meant is that people do what they do whether or not money exists. And in itself the existence of money is far more helpful than harmful to us, as humans.
        Yes, injustice is not caused by money, it is people who act and use it for better or worse purposes.
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          Dec 15 2011: Hello Zsofia

          I do agree that the establishment of money would not make people stop doing unjust things. I mean even before the creation of money or wealth people were still killing each other. Perhaps that is just part of being an aggressive animal.

          I do agree that power and security but I would have to say they are looking for security more than anything because you can't have power if you feel unprotected. I

          As a matter of fact I'll just say it now, I agree with most of what you say but I'll just extend my point:

          I hope that I was not coming off as if I was stating that money is the only means for someone to act unjust but don't you think that if money were to be eradicated, many bad things would go away given that fact that: 1) their motivations would not be based off obtaining more money 2)since we live in a society that is based off money and that (at least in the U.S.) money is the root to most of the issues that go on out here (I'm sure it happens other places as well) 3) that poverty is a great contributor to many of the the worlds ills and can contribute to many negative, psychological states of mind.

          In the end, as mentioned it does come down to the individual of course but the environment that they are brought up in also contributes to this sort of behavior and the values that they have. There really is a difference between and Individual living in a capitalistic, democratic society like the U.S. and an individual living in a Buddhist community.
      • Dec 15 2011: Yes, I agree that individuals are greatly influenced by the type of society they are born into and they mostly inherit the values that are encouraged and shared in that society. There is a multitude of ways on earth to live and see life.

        I don't think many bad things would go away without money. I think suddenly many many bad things would happen... Because people would experience it as a crash, a regression, creating a huge feeling of insecurity. (But that's how I imagine it) And it could be called a regression, because it wouldn't be moving forward, improving on what we have already invented - it would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

        I think it is a question of what we focus on: the money or the behaviour.
        I don't know if you've heard of the finger that points at the moon. If you just look at the finger, you'll never realise that it is pointing to something else. I think that if there's a feeling of money not being used well, we should look at what that is pointing to, what it reveals, and acknowledge what is going wrong and try to fix that, not cut off our finger...

        This is a very interesting conversation to me. I just wrote the response I felt, let me know if you think I didn't fully respond to your points.
      • Dec 16 2011: Hi, In response to "Money in itself is not to be blamed for what people do or don't do with it",I have to disagree. In order to fully understand Money we have to sit outside and look in - If you were new to "earth" and saw millions of people dying because of a piece of paper(or lack of it) you would consider humans to have lost their minds. Put it another way - If we had an asteroid heading for earth threatening to wipe the entire planet out would we say "We don't have £200million to build a defensive missile?" The cost of everything is irrelevant. We have enough resources to do anything. Money creates unecessary jobs, (put in place for the sake of making more money). Without money we would have no need for accountants, investment bankers, the list goes on. There used to be a time humans would live for 25 years and spend almost every hour LIVING - Now we live till 100 and spend 80% of that working for the sake of it. I work and have done since I could, however I do have to question sometimes who has the better STANDARD of living. Most of my family who don't work, don't have much money but spend most of their days with their children, LIVING, or me, someone who has quite a few material possesions yet the last time I did anything other than work/ sleep was.... well i don't remember. It also HINDERS innovation instead of helping it. Companies sue each other over patents instead of welcoming the help to improve technologies. Technology is made to fail to continue the spending of money. Things are not made to last, they are made to break. If a company made something that was perfect they would have a short life. The saddest thing about this is I see no way to change - For us to change the richest of the richest people/ companies/ governments would all have agree on the same day that money is worthless however everyone should continue to contribute to the future of our kind, now who would do that?

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