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Author Topic: A Resource Based Economy  (Read 261008 times)
LightRider
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April 04, 2011, 07:51:25 AM
 #1

Greetings,

I was very excited to learn about the Bitcoin currency several months ago, and I am very pleased to see it growing. I am part of an organization called the Zeitgeist Movement, who advocates a resource based economy. We are interested in seeing a radical redesign of society and an associated shift in values. We understand that the major cause of human suffering today is the current monetary system and the warped values and corrupt behavior inherent in its implementation. We know that we can provide food, water, shelter and a highly technological life style to every one on the planet if we chose to do so. What generally prevents us from doing so is the idea of money, which paralyzes us as a society, in terms of technological advancement, quality of education and healthcare, and a sick culture that encourages us to be competitive and cruel to our fellow human beings.

Knowing and understanding the underlying mechanics of a monetary system is fundamental to not being abused by it. Currently, the vast majority of people are unaware of the destructive and unfair nature of our current fractional reserve banking system, and that makes them vulnerable to all the abuses we see today. Poverty, war, crime and hunger are the result of inequitable economic practices, and will not significantly change until we end or significantly alter our subservience to this and associated institutions. I believe Bitcoin would make for an ideal transition currency until a full RBE can be implemented.

An RBE is basically the realization that there are no arbitrary restrictions on reality. Being bound to the imaginary rules of a monetary game, we limit how much we can accomplish and provide for each other. If we declared all of the earth's resources as common heritage for all the world's people, and used the methods of science to construct and provide all of life's necessities for all people, then there would be considerable reduction in hunger, crime, war and poverty, not to mention unnecessary suffering due to lack of access of medical care or inadequate educational opportunities. If people were given all that were necessary to survive, they could devote themselves to the benefit of all man kind. These would be the values of a resource based economy, not the competitive and acquisitive value based behavior we see today.

I encourage you to learn more about these ideas if they interest you. I hope to support the bitcoin system as long as I am able, and I hope to see it become a dominant and thriving ecosystem in the months and years to come. Thank you for your time and attention.

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April 04, 2011, 08:10:48 AM
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The reason money exists in the first place is to allow the allocation of finite resources. Where resources are limited but wants (and to a lesser extent needs) are not. With regards bitcoin as a god intermediary step, sure fine. The fact that bitcoin cannot be manipulated and diluted the way that fiat currency can is a big bonus and helps prevent governments or other groups stealing wealth by manipulating currency.

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April 04, 2011, 08:18:20 AM
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The only way you can enforce a resource based economy is through totalitarianism (at a degree that is probably impossible). Otherwise, people will acquire wealth, and a money will emerge spontaneously.

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April 04, 2011, 09:15:16 AM
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If we declared all of the earth's resources as common heritage for all the world's people, and used the methods of science to construct and provide all of life's necessities for all people, then there would be considerable reduction in hunger, crime, war and poverty, not to mention unnecessary suffering due to lack of access of medical care or inadequate educational opportunities.

Seriously, this approach has been tried multiple times in history. Declaring all earth's resources as common implies in more hunger/crime/war/poverty.

Although Zeitgeist people do see the evil in the monetary system - and for sure there is - they fail greatly in understanding economics and ethics.
The main problem in the monetary system is the monopoly of money and central banking, not the existence of money itself. Money is fundamental.

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epii
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April 04, 2011, 09:55:38 AM
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Money is fundamental.

I'd say private ownership and trade is fundamental, inasmuch as - regardless of the society - it arises spontaneously and can only be eliminated by force, but money itself is only "fundamental" to a certain kind of society.  A society with a large population, an active economy, and easy communication over long distances could not plausibly be sustained without money... but theoretically if we were willing to go back to the bronze age, money wouldn't be necessary.   Wink

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April 04, 2011, 11:11:55 AM
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Radical redesign of society, huh. This kind of thing comes up every now and then. Usually it leads nowhere. Sometimes it kills millions.

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April 04, 2011, 11:16:11 AM
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I am part of an organization called the Zeitgeist Movement
tl;dr

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April 04, 2011, 12:09:02 PM
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Money is fundamental.

I'd say private ownership and trade is fundamental, inasmuch as - regardless of the society - it arises spontaneously and can only be eliminated by force, but money itself is only "fundamental" to a certain kind of society.  A society with a large population, an active economy, and easy communication over long distances could not plausibly be sustained without money... but theoretically if we were willing to go back to the bronze age, money wouldn't be necessary.   Wink

Even in the bronze age they had the concept of money, I think. The romans I'm sure they did.
Only a very primitive, aborigine-like society can live without it. And in such societies, you won't have true private ownership nor trade.

It's interesting though, because most of our "way of thinking" comes from the times when our ancestors used to live like that. No wonder why so many people seem to hate money, profit etc, as well as think the economy is a zero-sum game. It was indeed from a zero-sum world that we evolved. A very interesting text on this subject: http://mises.org/daily/4700

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April 04, 2011, 12:57:52 PM
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What generally prevents us from doing so is the idea of money...

I stopped reading right there.

Money is a tool that allows people to easily convert their labors and goods. It's an essential tool that allows for wealth creation otherwise bartering would add an unsustainable amount of overhead.

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April 04, 2011, 04:51:10 PM
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Even in the bronze age they had the concept of money, I think. The romans I'm sure they did.
Only a very primitive, aborigine-like society can live without it. And in such societies, you won't have true private ownership nor trade.

My only point was that money, as we think of it, is an abstract representation of wealth.  It is possible to have an economy with only concrete representations of wealth (i.e. bartering), but such a system is necessarily extremely inefficient compared to what we're used to.  If somebody says "money is the problem", they propose reverting to an extremely primitive sort of culture.  If somebody say "ownership is the problem", they propose reverting even further.

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April 04, 2011, 08:10:12 PM
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Hi there LightRider,

I'm actually very happy that you guys have noticed Bitcoin and see it as a stepping stone to Jacque's resource based econamy. Being on the anarcho-capitalist side of things, I was very excited when Stefan Molyneux and Peter Joseph had that debate recently. I personally think the shit is going to hit the fan pretty soon, and I'm glad that people with differing ideas are talking things through before it all kicks off. Although I have to say I agree with Molyneux's critique of the Zeitgeist Movement, I do also wish you guys the best of luck.

If you think that bitcoin will help you get to where you want to be, then I encourage you to spread the word and get more people involved. If you can convince Peter Joseph to do a video on bitcoin, that would be awesome.
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April 04, 2011, 08:11:47 PM
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The reason money exists in the first place is to allow the allocation of finite resources.

+1.  That should be the end of the discussion right there.

I hope to support the bitcoin system as long as I am able, and I hope to see it become a dominant and thriving ecosystem in the months and years to come. Thank you for your time and attention.

Why would you want to support bitcoin money, if your goal is the abolishment of money?

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LightRider
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April 05, 2011, 02:03:56 AM
 #13

Thanks for the responses, I am glad we can discuss this idea.

The reason money exists in the first place is to allow the allocation of finite resources. Where resources are limited but wants (and to a lesser extent needs) are not.

It is important to note that we can have abundance of all necessities of life if we so choose. We don't because it would not be profitable. I'm sure everyone here would like to see all people have everything they need to survive. What they don't realize is that we can provide this, we simply do not value those goals, because we have been manipulated into being greedy, competitive consumers. We can choose to be better.

The only way you can enforce a resource based economy is through totalitarianism (at a degree that is probably impossible). Otherwise, people will acquire wealth, and a money will emerge spontaneously.

I don't think so, not in a society that values life and has access to the neccessities of life. We are taught to believe that people are naturally greedy or need someone to keep them in line. People will choose to work together if they are brought up to do so. We are currently raised to be competitive and dominant, at least in the dominant monetary system culture.

If we declared all of the earth's resources as common heritage for all the world's people, and used the methods of science to construct and provide all of life's necessities for all people, then there would be considerable reduction in hunger, crime, war and poverty, not to mention unnecessary suffering due to lack of access of medical care or inadequate educational opportunities.

Seriously, this approach has been tried multiple times in history. Declaring all earth's resources as common implies in more hunger/crime/war/poverty.

Although Zeitgeist people do see the evil in the monetary system - and for sure there is - they fail greatly in understanding economics and ethics.
The main problem in the monetary system is the monopoly of money and central banking, not the existence of money itself. Money is fundamental.

This approach is unprecedented. I believe what you are referring to is the failed attempts of single countries trying to maintain governments, armies, false authority and a flawed monetary system that tried to impose their will on others. Not to mention the fact that they did not have access to the production and communication technologies we have today. There could not have been a positive outcome when you maintain such destructive values and institutions. We have been conditioned to fear changes like this because of our flawed education and ignorance of the real differences between those failed attempts and a chance to have real change.

Money is fundamental.

I'd say private ownership and trade is fundamental, inasmuch as - regardless of the society - it arises spontaneously and can only be eliminated by force, but money itself is only "fundamental" to a certain kind of society.  A society with a large population, an active economy, and easy communication over long distances could not plausibly be sustained without money... but theoretically if we were willing to go back to the bronze age, money wouldn't be necessary.   Wink

Private ownership is a reaction to scarcity. What we are talking about is the abundance of access to all of life's necessities. We do not need to return to an ancient technological state to achieve this goal. We can have a far better lifestyle for all people, in fact the "wealthiest" person today would live far better in a society that values life and the environment that sustains it.

Radical redesign of society, huh. This kind of thing comes up every now and then. Usually it leads nowhere. Sometimes it kills millions.

Millions are being killed now in the name of the profit motive. We are seeking to put an end to this type of outcome.

It's interesting though, because most of our "way of thinking" comes from the times when our ancestors used to live like that. No wonder why so many people seem to hate money, profit etc, as well as think the economy is a zero-sum game. It was indeed from a zero-sum world that we evolved. A very interesting text on this subject: http://mises.org/daily/4700

The fact is that people are kept ignorant of the way the economy works because it is ultimately a false and destructive institution, manipulated by the people in control for their own benefit. This is antithetical to the way we have evolved, and that is why we have negative reactions to, and a desire to leave, such ways of life. It is antithetical to life itself. You would not survive if your organs operated in a market style economy. We cannot survive as a species if we continue our present course.

Hi there LightRider,

I'm actually very happy that you guys have noticed Bitcoin and see it as a stepping stone to Jacque's resource based econamy. Being on the anarcho-capitalist side of things, I was very excited when Stefan Molyneux and Peter Joseph had that debate recently. I personally think the shit is going to hit the fan pretty soon, and I'm glad that people with differing ideas are talking things through before it all kicks off. Although I have to say I agree with Molyneux's critique of the Zeitgeist Movement, I do also wish you guys the best of luck.

If you think that bitcoin will help you get to where you want to be, then I encourage you to spread the word and get more people involved. If you can convince Peter Joseph to do a video on bitcoin, that would be awesome.

Thanks! I just want to point out that I do not speak on behalf of the movement, I am just an individual who wants to make the world a better place for all people, who also happens to be interested in computer science and technology. I think that Bitcoin can be an interesting and better alternative to our current system, but I don't desire it to be dominant in the long term. I favor a transition to a global RBE that benefits all people, not just those with access to power and computational ability. I doubt PJ will produce a video about this system, but I'm sure it will interest the movement some day soon. I agree that things are going to get very bad for many people in the near future, but we are trying to help make people aware that we can choose to do better.

I hope to support the bitcoin system as long as I am able, and I hope to see it become a dominant and thriving ecosystem in the months and years to come. Thank you for your time and attention.

Why would you want to support bitcoin money, if your goal is the abolishment of money?

As I mentioned in the OP, I think this could be an interesting transitional system between our current destructive model and a true moneyless society. I understand that this change will not happen instantaneously, but I think it can be helpful to demonstrate how technology can be a far better alternative to our old traditional and false institutions.

Thank you again for your thoughtful responses.

Bitcoin combines money, the wrongest thing in the world, with software, the easiest thing in the world to get wrong.
Visit www.thevenusproject.com and www.theZeitgeistMovement.com.
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April 05, 2011, 02:09:30 AM
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I was just minding my own business, skimming along to see whether something interesting would be said, and then I saw this.

Radical redesign of society, huh. This kind of thing comes up every now and then. Usually it leads nowhere. Sometimes it kills millions.

Millions are being killed now in the name of the profit motive. We are seeking to put an end to this type of outcome.

What? This has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read, seen or heard. Where are these millions of people? What do you mean by "profit motive"? I know of no definition of profit that would permit the killing of people, and I can't think of any legitimate way to earn money by so doing. So what exactly are you talking about?

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LightRider
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April 05, 2011, 02:42:32 AM
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I was just minding my own business, skimming along to see whether something interesting would be said, and then I saw this.

Radical redesign of society, huh. This kind of thing comes up every now and then. Usually it leads nowhere. Sometimes it kills millions.

Millions are being killed now in the name of the profit motive. We are seeking to put an end to this type of outcome.

What? This has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read, seen or heard. Where are these millions of people? What do you mean by "profit motive"? I know of no definition of profit that would permit the killing of people, and I can't think of any legitimate way to earn money by so doing. So what exactly are you talking about?

Millions die annually due to preventable causes such as malnutrition, curable disease, no access to water and the immediate and lingering effects of unnecessary warfare, among other reasons such as an unsafe transportation system and other infrastructural system problems.

Bitcoin combines money, the wrongest thing in the world, with software, the easiest thing in the world to get wrong.
Visit www.thevenusproject.com and www.theZeitgeistMovement.com.
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April 05, 2011, 02:48:25 AM
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I was just minding my own business, skimming along to see whether something interesting would be said, and then I saw this.

Radical redesign of society, huh. This kind of thing comes up every now and then. Usually it leads nowhere. Sometimes it kills millions.

Millions are being killed now in the name of the profit motive. We are seeking to put an end to this type of outcome.

What? This has to be one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever read, seen or heard. Where are these millions of people? What do you mean by "profit motive"? I know of no definition of profit that would permit the killing of people, and I can't think of any legitimate way to earn money by so doing. So what exactly are you talking about?

Millions die annually due to preventable causes such as malnutrition, curable disease, no access to water and the immediate and lingering effects of unnecessary warfare, among other reasons such as an unsafe transportation system and other infrastructural system problems.

Non sequitur. None of those have any obvious connection to "profit motive."

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April 05, 2011, 03:15:49 AM
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I know of no definition of profit that would permit the killing of people, and I can't think of any legitimate way to earn money by so doing.

Come on, really?  It's like you aren't even trying.  I can think of about a dozen ways off the top of my head:  warfare, stem cells, insurance, pollution, GMO foods, von Neumann machines, etc..  Internet surfing (and Bitcoin mining) kills people via pollution from coal and nuclear electric plants.  That's an obvious one.

Regardless, the RBE argument seems to be something along the lines of "the free market is killing people by using corn to make ethanol instead of giving it away as food."  Basically, any time or resources that you spend doing anything other than working to support some idiot who spawned more kids than he can feed, is equivalent to killing people.  The RBE solution is apparently to end the selfish destructiveness of the profit motive through techno-utopian-psycho-babble.

Quote
We are currently raised to be competitive and dominant

You see, this is how I know the RBE philosophy is complete bunk.  For my part, I am selfish and competitive not due to indoctrination (because I was indoctrinated in quite a bit of crypto-communist "sharing" crap starting at a young age) but due to the fact that I have spent the majority of my life surrounded by morons who have absolutely no clue how anything works and engage in magical thinking as a substitute for logic and reason.  Capitalism just sort of naturally emerges as the obvious solution to the problem of self-replicating mouth-breathing retards who destroy everything they come in contact with.  So, ironically, you can say that RBE is part of the reason that people are competitive and dominant -- because placing any significant amount of resources in the control of people who say things like "What we are talking about is the abundance of access to all of life's necessities" is just such a horrifying alternative.

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April 05, 2011, 04:13:20 AM
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Regardless, the RBE argument seems to be something along the lines of "the free market is killing people by using corn to make ethanol instead of giving it away as food."  Basically, any time or resources that you spend doing anything other than working to support some idiot who spawned more kids than he can feed, is equivalent to killing people.  The RBE solution is apparently to end the selfish destructiveness of the profit motive through techno-utopian-psycho-babble.

Quote
We are currently raised to be competitive and dominant

You see, this is how I know the RBE philosophy is complete bunk.  For my part, I am selfish and competitive not due to indoctrination (because I was indoctrinated in quite a bit of crypto-communist "sharing" crap starting at a young age) but due to the fact that I have spent the majority of my life surrounded by morons who have absolutely no clue how anything works and engage in magical thinking as a substitute for logic and reason.  Capitalism just sort of naturally emerges as the obvious solution to the problem of self-replicating mouth-breathing retards who destroy everything they come in contact with.

Our proposed solution is to use our resources, knowledge and capability to provide for all people with access abundance. We look to shift societal values to life, learning, the environment and cooperation. This is not babble, just ideas that are not commonplace in today's zeitgeist. I understand that it sounds strange to many of you, but these are not impossible, idyllic fantasies, but very concrete and scientifically based assertions that can come into existence if we wanted.

As to the "morons" who have surrounded you, I think you don't grasp the fact that these people are products of our current system. People are kept ignorant so that they do not attempt to change things for the better. I think you would agree with me that if everyone had a better grasp of basic science and math principles, we could be a lot better off. That is what we hope to see encouraged in the future.

So, ironically, you can say that RBE is part of the reason that people are competitive and dominant -- because placing any significant amount of resources in the control of people who say things like "What we are talking about is the abundance of access to all of life's necessities" is just such a horrifying alternative.

I don't know how to respond to this, because I think you made a mistake while writing it.

So you believe that helping all people reach their fullest potential is not a positive goal to work towards? Are you afraid that having a cooperative society that values life and our environment would be detrimental?

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Visit www.thevenusproject.com and www.theZeitgeistMovement.com.
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April 05, 2011, 05:13:40 AM
 #19


So you believe that helping all people reach their fullest potential is not a positive goal to work towards? Are you afraid that having a cooperative society that values life and our environment would be detrimental?


That is not the issue here. The issue here what we believe is the best way to achieve things.

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April 05, 2011, 07:46:22 AM
 #20

cooperation

RBE holds collectivism as a fundamental tenet.  Collectivism creates risk.  Risk is an unaccounted-for negative externality, just like pollution.  There is no free lunch.  You can't beat the second law of thermodynamics.  Though there is room for improvement, no amount of cooperation can create an economy unconstrained by resource limitations.

Quote
So you believe that helping all people reach their fullest potential is not a positive goal to work towards? Are you afraid that having a cooperative society that values life and our environment would be detrimental?

Yes.  The "fullest potential" for a human mating pair, given current technology, is at least a dozen offspring and several hundred acres of resource consumption.  This is not sustainable.  Encouraging this is cultural suicide.  It is much better to encourage sustainable growth of living standards through resource conservation and technological advancement.  And the best way to do that is through individual property ownership.

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