A world without money

From SusoSight

A world without money
Number: 110  
Date created: 2004-07-13 17:10:37
Previous Thought: New article email notification feature?
Next Thought: Presidential Elections.
Voting results: I think it would work: 41

I do not think it would work.: 53

After putting this thought in the background for several years, I have finally come back to it after reading a short post on Jasun's BLOG.

Have you ever heard someone say "I'm going to make money". Sure you have, it comes up all the time. Usually it's when contemplating a carrer path or a make money quick scheme. Well making money is counterfieting, in more way than one.

Ok, joking aside about the nuances of the english language, when people say "I'm going to make money doing X", they are prioritizing their financial gain over the quality of work that they are doing to make that financial gain. In the end, the money problems cause the quality problems which cause failure of the overall plan or business.

Quality is only an afterthought, second place to more important financial needs.

What if that where to be changed. What if we changed the world so that currency, money and value in objects simply didn't exist.

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

  • It would have to happen on a global scale (no country could be left out).
  • People would be REQUIRED to work or do something during a certain age range (Which really isn't any different than the case now).
  • The children growing up in said society would be less wasteful and more accepting of such an idea.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The majority of the current population need to change their attitude regarding their own responsibilities to society. This and the first point are the major reasons communism failed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We'd have to slow the population explosion so that we don't extinguish our resources. We would have to work on mining resources from other unpopulated planets.
  • 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 numerous and unimaginable:

  • Possibly an end to war.
  • End to hunger
  • Formation of a world government.
  • MUCH MUCH less waste of raw natural materials and time. People may shared used items instead of buying new ones more often because there would be no worry of something breaking, etc.
  • 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.
  • No worry about job loss, homelessness, bankruptcy, and any other problem tied with lack of money or inability to produce finances.
  • 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. Yet people would start to do their job for different (better) reasons, which would result in higher quality output, healthier lifestyles and a better society.