Recently, a study was carried out on how to live without money. The idea came from Jacque Fresco, founder of the Venus Project, who believes that the world has reached a level of technology that allows us to build fully self-sustaining communities around the world that, when optimally designed, not only provide unimaginable levels of abundance for all residents, but also give a much greater sense of shared purpose in the community. And this vision is based on the principles of a resource-based economy. As Jacque Fresco put it: ‘In a resource-based economy, all goods and services are available to all people, without the need for exchange, credit, barter or any other means. To achieve this, all resources must be declared the common heritage of all inhabitants of the Earth. Equipped with the latest scientific and technological marvels, humanity can achieve extremely high levels of productivity and create abundant resources.” And what is expected of the world, of the society that can come from this, is that without the profit motive, individuals within the community will naturally turn their energies towards efficient maintenance of infrastructure, problem solving and innovation for collective well-being, as the happiness and well-being of the community will naturally be expected to be identified with their own happiness and well-being.
Since money is nothing but a means of exchange, it is rendered obsolete by the abolition of exchange or trade. This is the reason why in a resource-based economy all resources are declared to be the common heritage of all earthlings. In a lecture, Colin Turner challenges the idea that trade is the only organisational model for life on the planet, and outlines the ways in which trade is actually at odds with human abundance and well-being. He says: “We all more or less accept commerce as a real way of running society, so much so that we regard it as a kind of universal law. It may be surprising, however, to know that trade has existed only essentially in recent times, and that for ninety per cent of the time of our modern humanity we have not actually traded, since there are no archaeological traces of this activity. In these early tribal, agrarian communities, what actually happened was a tacit understanding that everyone in the tribe looked out for each other. This is how tribes functioned for much of the early history of mankind. So we now see trade as a very important way of doing business, and we can say that trade works: I get what I want and you get what you want, and we’re all happy. But if you scratch a little bit more of the surface of how trade actually works in the real world, you can see that it’s not such a pretty story. It seems that the theory is better than what actually develops in practice. For example, the most obvious case is that there are about three billion people in the world living on $2.5 a day or less – many of them on much less. Obviously they are starving or dying of curable diseases, so I mean, we have to ask ourselves, does trade really work for these people? Obviously not.”
Colin Turner is the founder of the Free World Charter, which currently has nearly sixty thousand signatories from two hundred and fifteen different countries. The Charter lays down basic premises that truly formalize the idea that all people have a right to an equal share of the Earth’s resources, but also outlines the natural responsibilities and practices that all would assume for optimal and h The common good of all living species and the biosphere together is the most important concern of humanity.
All forms of life are precious and free to flourish in the common good.
The Earth’s natural resources are the birthright of all its inhabitants and can be freely shared for the common good.
Every human being is an equal part of the worldwide community of humanity and a free citizen of the Earth.
Our community is based on the spirit of cooperation and understanding of nature that basic education provides.
Our community provides all members with the necessities of a healthy, fulfilling and sustainable life, freely and without obligation.
Our community respects the limits of nature and its resources with minimal consumption and waste.
Our community’s solutions and progress are achieved primarily through the application of logic and the best available knowledge.
Our community recognises the duty of care and compassion towards those members who are unable to contribute.
Our community recognises its responsibility to ensure a diverse and sustainable biosphere for all future life. Some may see this initiative as a friendly preparation for communism. I have to say frankly that, despite all my sympathies, I find what has been described rather utopian. It would not have been a bad thing to realise it, just as it could not have been so bad, in fact, if communism had been realised in the form in which Rousseau and Marx had dreamed it. Without terror, dictatorship and blood, as if that were a matter of course. But this is far from being the social form that man takes for granted, it is the ruthless savage capitalism. How can enthusiastic philanthropists base a society on a theory that completely eliminates property, the very human instinct of possession? The first sentence of the little man, the two or three year old who wants to own everything: “Give it to me.” I fear it is also the last sentence of the great men.armonious coexistence in a money-free community and world. Here are the ten principles: