the moneyless manifesto
image links to free online version.
grazie Mark Boyle .. et al.
..the following is how I define a moneyless economy that respects all life on Earth – from humans to the microbes in the soil to wild animals – and not solely human life:
The moneyless economy is a model of economy that enables its participants to meet their physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs, both collectively and individually, on the basis of materials and services being shared unconditionally (i.e. no explicit/ formal exchange). Ideally (but not necessarily) these materials would be procured within walking distance of the people who benefit from them. Such an economy would be carried out in a way that considers the needs of all life (and future generations of life) in that geographical region, giving equal consideration to all, and seeing it as an interdependent whole whose overall health is inextricably linked to that of its component parts, and vice versa.
A pure moneyless economy, in my definition, is the meeting point of the gift economy and the 100% local economy, and I believe that the physical and spiritual benefits of combining both are huge. Until the day that such an economy is either desirable or possible for you, just apply the aspects of it that work for you and your unique situation, keeping one eye on the converging crises that we will all have to face, together.
A gift economy, in my definition, is simply a society within which people share their skills, time, knowledge, information or material goods with each other without any formal, explicit, or precise exchange. The forms that gift-based societies have taken historically vary widely. But there are a few constants. No money changes hands, no bartering takes place (despite what ill-informed economists would have you believe), and no credits or IOUs are accurately noted in little books, ready to be cashed in like a £20 note. In the type of gift economy I advocate, giving and receiving is done on a largely unconditional basis, which stands in stark contrast to the rather ironically named ‘free-market’ economy, which has very successfully managed to turn every aspect of our beautiful little planet, whose bounty was once indeed free to all, into an inherently meaningless set of financial valuations.
Gifts may be given in return at some point down the line (and in most historic gift-based economies, almost always were), and they can strengthen such a society if they are. The key to this is that they are not a condition on the original gift, that they are not immediately returned, and that they are never exact. Otherwise, as we saw earlier, you are effectively saying “my relationship with you can now be ended”. Gifts create bonds, and it is these bonds which create real community, not the superficial type we try to recreate today in a desperate response to our tangible lack of any authentic sense of community.
In its ideal form, there would be no emotional or psychological ‘credit’ in the gift economy either, though given the state of our mental landscape today, this is admittedly very unlikely, initially at least.