New Civilization News: “No money? Without money, I can’t buy anything!”    
 “No money? Without money, I can’t buy anything!”6 comments
30 Apr 2008 @ 07:44, by FreeSociety Project

The idea is audacious, laughable, even blasphemous in today’s globalized, branded and capitalized culture; in a strange sense, however, we are in a moneyless society today.

Consider the major world currencies: the Euros, Dollars, Pounds Sterling, Rands and Rubles. Do we mine for these currencies? Do we grow these currencies? Do we harvest them from volcanic eruptions or stardust? Are they receipts for stores of value? Are these currencies backed by anything, just as your pay cheques are backed by the currency in a payroll account? Do they represent ownership of anything, just as a stake in a business backs a share of stock?

Wake up, friends: the precious money in your bank account has as much true substance as your dreams and nightmares. It’s been this way, nearly everywhere, since 2000 at the latest. If it’s a love of money we’ve become accustomed to, it’s a love of empty value we’ve received.

I hope that didn't sound too Big-L Libertarian (I was one for many years). Keep reading, there's a point to this.

At one time, most of these currencies were truly receipts for collectible stores of money. As time has gone on, even the money capitalist societies love so much has turned into nothing but board-game currency. It only retains a value, due to the fact that enough people believe that money still has a value.

Consider the Pound Sterling itself: a note redeemable for one Pound (as a weight of measure) of fine Sterling Silver (itself a store of monetary value, defined as at least 92.5%, or just over 22-carat-1-quart, pure silver). Today (as in, the day of this writing), a pound of sterling silver costs £123.95. If you believe that fiat money (what the Pound represents today) has value, then, the British Pound Sterling has inflated nearly 12,395% since the end of the silver standard on the Pound in 1816. This is a 5.031% yearly devaluation per Pound, from 1816 until today in 2008. If you don’t believe that fiat money is worth anything (and outside of trading, it isn’t), then the Pound has seen an infinite devaluation to zero.

Also consider the United States Dollar. The original 1792 US Mint Dollar was a bimetallic (gold and silver) standard, bearing 371.25 grains (0.7734375 troy ounces) of silver, or 24.75 grains (0.0515625 troy ounces) of gold. 1834 saw the first metallic deflation of the Dollar, when the gold value was reduced to 23.2 grains (0.04833333 troy ounces). The dollar’s gold value was later inflated in 1837 to 23.22 grains (0.048375 troy ounces). In 1900, the silver standard was eliminated, though the gold standard stood until 1933, when the dollar was devalued to 13.71 grains (0.0285625 troy ounces). In 1968, the gold standard was shifted again, repeatedly, until unelected bankers and the Federal Reserve abolished the standard in 1971, and beyond into 1975, when the peg to gold was ended by unelected bankers and the Federal Reserve. So, if you still think fiat money is worth something: One 1792 US Gold Dollar would be worth $44.89 today. A 1792 US Silver Dollar would be worth $12.77 today. Respectively, over 216 years, that’s an increase of 4,489% (gold) and 1,277% (silver). That is a 3.97% yearly inflation on gold dollars, 3.666% yearly inflation on silver dollars.

Of course, all this means naught if you understand that fiat money is worth nothing: again, an infinite devaluation to nothing.

But this is not about a return to a gold standard or a silver standard. This is not about maintaining our present zero-standard. And this is certainly not about instituting a materials standard, food standard, housing standard or fuel standard.

This is about no money at all. It then must be asked: in our present world, what do we use money for?

We use money to buy and sell investments, which may return us more money. In a moneyless society, there is no need for investments, because there is no need for returns, gains, profits or yields. Livelihood is the greatest investment of all, and even in the present world, one can improve it without money, nearly as easily as one can destroy it with money. Ownership becomes far less important when money is not a factor. Excess ownership becomes nearly useless when inconvertible to a liquid asset like money.

We use money to buy and sell food. In a moneyless society, food is grown within households, cooperatives, partnerships and large collectives. In times of need or want, this food can be traded or consumed or stored.

We use money to buy and sell clothes. In a moneyless society, clothing and other textiles are made for personal use, trade and gifts.

We use money to buy and sell toys, tools, vehicles, gadgets and electronics. In a moneyless society, large collectives may still crank these out in exchange for food, textiles, charity or enrichment. This is a tough one. Would we still build CPUs, games, televisions, routers, smoke alarms and cars? Inevitably, yes. It might not be the same large engines driving the market forces past Moore’s law, but then, some say that we move too fast in engineering already. Leveling the playing field for anyone with an idea and a hope may turn out better for us all in the long run.

We use money to buy and sell works of art: music, movies, pictures, paintings, sculptures and more. Ask any true artist worth their salt: you can put a price tag on your art, but the money you make will never truly replace the art you’ve lost.

We use money to buy and sell education. There is an obvious problem with this, as our education dictates largely what we have the capacity to become. Passing tribal knowledge and taking profit out of education – leaving people that only care to teach, rather than scrape by making a living of making humans pass arbitrary, non-real-world testing – might enrich the entire species far more than a for-profit system. This will take time to refine. Time is the one commodity we still have plenty of.

We use money to buy and sell classifications. Rich and poor. Affluent and peasant. Good and evil. Predator and prey. These are largely classifications bought and sold through media, advertising, special interests and people that just do not know better. When none of us has to worry about bank accounts, perhaps classifications are limited, at worst, to tribes and collectives – historically, we see that violent, savage collectives earn those types of classifications. At best, these kinds of classifications will soon cease to exist as civil humanity becomes more important than a balance sheet.

We use money for noble and ignoble purposes. We use money for charitable and greedy purposes.

Too often, we use money in the wrong ways.

Why, then, should we obsess over money any longer?

I don’t have the answer to transitioning to no money. It would take minds far more brilliant than my modest one to come up with the answers. I hope they’re reading, and listening.

Long have I been fascinated with the idea of Star Trek Socialism: that with the right resources and technology, all of us can have clean food, clean water, ample housing, quality education, excellent entertainment, purpose, focus, the end of classification, and unparalleled quality of life.

Think of replicators, star ships, Starfleet, the Federation, alliances and our quadrant of the galaxy as a playground (where we’ve learned to respect as pieces of it, rather than trying to be the masters of it).

This, then, is a type of society where we each have so much we can explore, hear our calling, live it for all it’s worth, passing our discoveries to the next generations, being remembered as pioneers in the fields we’ve chosen to follow. This would be a society where we’re working not because we have to, but merely because we want to explore and give back.

I just hope we’re able to find and build a society like this before we have to go to space, due to ruining our present environment so badly that we have no other choice but to go to the stars.

Even more importantly, I hope we find it before our sun goes red giant in 5 billion years: because we cannot go on the way we have for too much longer.

These are lofty goals, for sure, but at least someone out there is working towards it.

The Free Society Project is our meager attempt to reach this type of society, in a micro fashion. We’re a small collective of peers that seek access to land for farming and housing, possess innovative ideas, received decent education, has a willingness to learn, and intent to apply knowledge for a societal experiment that is sustainable, scalable, and adaptable. We do not seek or expect utopia. We only seek a free society without money, without authoritarian watchdogs, without ownership squabbles, without high politicking, without agenda.

If you don’t wish to join us, feel free to watch us and our progress. We don’t profess to have the Grand Unifying Answer For Society, and we don’t seek control of anything but our own destiny. It’s not perfect, but we believe we’ve worked it out pretty well for ourselves. And if it works for us, it can work for any honest and open collective willing to try it.

- The Lightcrafter

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1 May 2008 @ 10:22 by deepwater : Good on you people.
You are being the change that you want to see in the world. A fine example for others to follow for sure, stay with it folks, blessings, I will keep watch.
Love and light.  

1 May 2008 @ 15:21 by delateur : Good topic!
And a great method for diverging into thoughts of a more lofty purpose than the practical uses of money, and what money actually represents. I've had a few of these thoughts, because these sorts of ideas come up when you begin to explore anything to do with the IRS or the Federal Reserve. I've come to see money as a very versatile tool and nothing more. In many ways, it is an inadequate tool for the more meaningful pursuits of one's life, and in discovering this, my relationship to money has become much more surreal, as has my desire to possess those things which money can buy. Money does, however, represent to me a very real indicator of my own self-worth, because I've been unemployed for quite some time now, and because I had a fairly significant store of money and the ability to manage its use fairly well, I survived quite well for a bit. When the money ran out, though, I discovered that while I needed it to pay my bills and keep functioning within society, it was not the true goal, only a measure of an even greater goal - to be of use. While these years of joblessness have not been totally kind to me, they have imparted a small bit of wisdom and perspective. They have most certainly given me a much better outlook on what sort of future I would like to be a part of creating, and what sort of role money will play in that future. I can say this, however, that money finds itself completely divorced from wealth except when used in a way that benefits others. This means not only donating to charitable works, but spending deliberately in a way that respects the businesses and people supported through my consumption.  

6 May 2008 @ 03:23 by anandavala : Food for Thought
Hi Lightcrafter,
Some great food for thought here!

Money, in whatever form it takes, is a medium of exchange to facilitate human interaction. It is like the bio-chemistry of the collective organism.

Whether it is through direct trade or abstract exchange, some important questions are:
What system of interaction do we use?
What interactions does it encourage and discourage?
What collective phenomena arise out of our individual interactions?
How do those collective phenomena impact on individuals, the environment at large and the long term process of evolution of which we are a part.

I have performed a quick {|system analysis of my own} that is relevant to this subject - you might find some more food for thought there.

Welcome to NCN Lightcrafter and everyone in Free Society :)  

3 Dec 2010 @ 19:20 by lloyd russell @ : awakening
very good read, unfortunately I am not the mind to squeeze out an ultimate plan to completely transition to no money lol.
I do think in order for this type society to exist the strong must manipulate the weak to follow in they're footsteps because i look at unconscious people at work and i cant see any hope for them awakening, therefore they need a bigger older brother figure to pull them through to this land of prosperity, which leads me to a problem.... if someone cannot self awaken and has to follow an idea instead of being inspired by their own then how can we change as a whole? 80%+ of the 6 billion+ population cannot be dragged through the door they have to find their own way otherwise they will never learn.  

19 Mar 2015 @ 20:55 by vaxen : Fiat
The use by the early coloies of 'Fiat' money is what lead to the so called 'revolution.' King George didn't want to be repaid for his investments in Franklins' (Remember he had a 'printing press? ☺) Fiat currency (Script.)

Thanks for this article & welkommen to NCN! Glad you're here.  

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