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Author Topic: Maybe we all should just live Currency Free ?  (Read 6014 times)
Technomage
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May 05, 2012, 01:02:16 PM
 #21

Some people here are confused about living without money. It's living in a gift economy. Many economies in the past were based on gift economies. It's an economy without money but not without barter. The barter happens mostly informally, based on assumed debt relations.

In fact I know a guy fairly well who has lived without money for at least a year now. He doesn't have a bank account, a credit card, nothing. He has traveled all over the world hitch hiking, mostly around Europe though. At times his life is tough ethically but it's not like he isn't giving something away when he travels and meets people.

He is a really smart and nice guy so of course he will provide company. He will help with all sorts of things in return for some food and shelter. It helps that he has a very large social network of friends so he can basically go to any country in Europe and meet people there.

Recently I talked to him about Bitcoin. He was very suspicious but I convinced him that Bitcoin is actually a very good tool for a gift economy. He doesn't support anything else than a gift economy but he thought that Bitcoin could work for something like that. So he is now setting up a Bitcoin donation address on his blog page as I instructed.

Bitcoin is actually used quite a lot for all kinds of donations and tips which is gift economy in action. Bitcoin makes it very easy to give valuable gifts.

The power of giving is always better and healthier than the power of taking. Keep that in mind.

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May 05, 2012, 01:05:47 PM
 #22

Division of labour is good, and having a common medium of exchange brings more opportunities to trade. There are no downsides to money.
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May 05, 2012, 01:09:54 PM
 #23

Division of labour is good, and having a common medium of exchange brings more opportunities to trade. There are no downsides to money.
Even though I support money (when done right) I still think that there are a hell of a lot of downsides to money. Earning and hoarding money promotes greed and it has been proven by scientific studies that richer people are less moral, meaning that they care less about other people in general. Personally I think that one of the strongest attributes of Bitcoin is that while it's a better type of money in itself, there is actually a fairly strong gift economy spirit in the community. People give away a lot of coins as donations and tips, which is just great. That enhances a sense of community and caring for other people.

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May 05, 2012, 01:13:23 PM
 #24

It is money that has promoted greed, it is not hardwired but programmed into us, no one is born greedy, at the invention of "the economy" it was meant to help people, to minimise waste, but it has not, it has failed and it is time for a new "system"

I think you've got it backwards. Everyone is born greedy. Just witness two toddlers (who have no understanding of money or economics) fighting over a toy. [...]

I do not remember myself as a toddler, but none of my younger siblings have been greedy or knew greed until they went to school and learned it, it is a basic truth to me that the more i help people the more they help me, abd that is how i personally live with minimal money, i would love to be moneyless but i am not there yet...

by money i do mean fiat money, not bitcoins

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May 05, 2012, 01:20:17 PM
 #25

I do not remember myself as a toddler, but none of my younger siblings have been greedy or knew greed until they went to school and learned it, it is a basic truth to me that the more i help people the more they help me, abd that is how i personally live with minimal money, i would love to be moneyless but i am not there yet...

by money i do mean fiat money, not bitcoins
+1

This is the spirit of the gift economy, which Bitcoin is actually very suitable for.

Greed by the way is a product of scarcity. A simple test with small children demonstrates it fairly well, if you put 2 children in the same room and give them one set of toys, they will eventually start fighting for them. If you give them two identical sets of toys, they will be quite happy.

In fact many of the problems in the world today would be less costly to solve by just giving people what they want. The costs of crime are fairly high overall. Smiley

Anyway, it's great that Bitcoin can be used in different ways. Even though formal trade is probably necessary for many things, such as good manufacturing, don't underestimate the power of a gift economy. If you give to the world, it will give back.

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May 05, 2012, 02:08:29 PM
 #26

Quote
Maybe we all should just live Currency Free ?
Things don´t loose their intrinsic value just because you can´t pay with a currency for them.
The purpose of currency is to be able to move wealth around. There is nothing wrong with that.
It´s a tool that can be abused, of cause. But then stop the abuse, rather than abolish the tool.
On the other hand, if that idea is sustainable let it live, it will grow and overtake sooner or later.

Shortcut: I think it´s an astoundingly stupid approach.

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May 05, 2012, 02:49:19 PM
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Thanks for this! There is plenty to think about on his website. Quote:

Before our white brothers came to civilize us we had no jails. Therefore we had no criminals. You can’t have criminals without a jail. We had no locks or keys, and so we had no thieves. If a man was so poor that he had no horse, tipi or blanket, someone gave him these things. We were too uncivilized to set much value on personal belongings. We wanted to have things only in order to give them away. We had no money, and therefore a man’s worth couldn’t be measured by it. We had no written law, no attorney or politicians, therefore we couldn’t cheat. We were in a really bad way before the white man came, and I don’t know how we managed to get along without the basic things which, we are told, are absolutely necessary to make a civilized society.
-- Lakota Sage Lame Deer

https://sites.google.com/site/livingwithoutmoney

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May 05, 2012, 03:06:42 PM
 #28

Roll Eyes

"For the first time, I was seriously realizing I could live totally moneyless."

Um yeah... because you hitch hiked off other people's generosity, and used clothing and tools created by the money-society you are pretending to reject. And then took a flight to Thailand and India, using a plane built by thousands of years of human ingenuity and progress which was enabled by trade and exchange, which was in turn facilitated by money... and then reported about it on a computer.

The dude is a 'tard. Wanna live off the grid? Fine, that's cool. But unless you're crafting tools from wood and stone and living in a shelter made of logs with clothes made from grasses and deer skins, then you're just fooling yourself.

A moneyless society is a society of starvation and utter poverty, and a world without trade, production, and exchange is a world without the leisure time one might desire for the purposes of reflecting on such fantastical notions as "a world without money."

Idiot, what makes you think a world without money is a world without trade, production and "exchange" ?

Calling someone a 'tard then come off as a completely idiot is priceless - (or should i say moneyless? )



A world without money IS a world without trade, production and exchange. Money is impossible to avoid when people trade with each other, for they begin by bartering, and soon discover that certain goods are most easily bartered for (grain becomes easier to trade than bicycles, even if the other person doesn't want grain for his own consumption). Thus, you quickly discover that certain goods in the barter economy become traded very commonly. And voila, that's called money.

In other words, in order to have an economy WITHOUT money at all, there would need to be a law that you could only trade for things you would personally consume or use, and nothing could be traded twice. If a society actually had those rules, I suggest that trade, production, and exchange would be rare, inefficient, and burdensome.

Thus, I think my point was a fair one. Without allowing for money, an economy is not an economy. Whether the money is grain, cigarettes, seashells, gold, pieces of paper with leaders' faces, or Bitcoins... money ALWAYS emerges when people trade with each other. Money is intrinsic to exchange - they cannot be separated.
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May 05, 2012, 03:46:28 PM
 #29

Roll Eyes

"For the first time, I was seriously realizing I could live totally moneyless."

Um yeah... because you hitch hiked off other people's generosity, and used clothing and tools created by the money-society you are pretending to reject. And then took a flight to Thailand and India, using a plane built by thousands of years of human ingenuity and progress which was enabled by trade and exchange, which was in turn facilitated by money... and then reported about it on a computer.

The dude is a 'tard. Wanna live off the grid? Fine, that's cool. But unless you're crafting tools from wood and stone and living in a shelter made of logs with clothes made from grasses and deer skins, then you're just fooling yourself.

A moneyless society is a society of starvation and utter poverty, and a world without trade, production, and exchange is a world without the leisure time one might desire for the purposes of reflecting on such fantastical notions as "a world without money."

Idiot, what makes you think a world without money is a world without trade, production and "exchange" ?

Calling someone a 'tard then come off as a completely idiot is priceless - (or should i say moneyless? )



A world without money IS a world without trade, production and exchange. Money is impossible to avoid when people trade with each other, for they begin by bartering, and soon discover that certain goods are most easily bartered for (grain becomes easier to trade than bicycles, even if the other person doesn't want grain for his own consumption). Thus, you quickly discover that certain goods in the barter economy become traded very commonly. And voila, that's called money.

In other words, in order to have an economy WITHOUT money at all, there would need to be a law that you could only trade for things you would personally consume or use, and nothing could be traded twice. If a society actually had those rules, I suggest that trade, production, and exchange would be rare, inefficient, and burdensome.

Thus, I think my point was a fair one. Without allowing for money, an economy is not an economy. Whether the money is grain, cigarettes, seashells, gold, pieces of paper with leaders' faces, or Bitcoins... money ALWAYS emerges when people trade with each other. Money is intrinsic to exchange - they cannot be separated.

Fair, if your definition of fair is utterly stupid.

First of all , "A moneyless society is a society of starvation and utter poverty" is completely false. You are pulling crap out of your ass.

While a moneyless world would make trading inefficient, it doesnt mean its an inferior world in anyway. Trading originally is a way to share resources and transfer wealth. Its now an exploitation of modern slavery. In a moneyless world, trading is not necessary.

Moneyless world is a world without production? really? You're such naive to think its money that gives ppl incentives to work and produce.

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May 05, 2012, 04:51:30 PM
 #30

Well now. My kind of thread on a Saturday morning.  Smiley

First, on human (animal) psychology/hard-wiring:

Humans (animals) consume. If you don't consume you die. Period. I won't delve into the subject of being born greedy, but instead explain the fact that humans are hard-wired to survive. Put any human in a situation where they begin to die from lack of something needed to survive (like food, oxygen, etc.) and they will begin behaving more instinctively and animal-like. For example, life guards are trained to know drowning victims will instinctively pull them underwater in effort to push themselves up.

The only way/reason gifting type economies work is when basic human needs are otherwise always provided for. See what kind of hospitality you get when the society around you is food-less.

The second thing to understand is that resources on Earth are finite. That's not to say they can't sustain a very large population, just not an infinitely large one.

The third thing to understand is that humans/animals are also born to procreate. This is intrinsically hard-wired as second priority after basic survival needs are taken care of.

The fourth thing to understand is humans/animals are hard-wired to, in general, be lazy. I suspect due to physics... The Law of Conservation of Energy; and an object at rest tends to stay at rest (Newton's 1st law). This is not to say all humans were destined to be sloths, only to explain their physical tendency when unmotivated.

Taking all this into consideration it should be easily seen why a capitalist society (when done right) is logical for many reasons and fair.

Quote
Things don´t loose their intrinsic value just because you can´t pay with a currency for them.

Exactly, @Kettenmonster.

As for the reflective quote by Lakota Sage Lame Deer, such a moneyless society/culture is nice I'd agree, but doesn't lend itself much to advancement. For example, an entrepreneur/inventor or dreamer among them might imagine escaping the gravitational pull of the Earth and reaching the beautiful glowing orb that presented itself every night, but the fact is such an undertaking requires many things including, primarily, capital. The naysayers and the uninterested couldn't block such a visionary in a capitalistic society.
 
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May 05, 2012, 05:00:08 PM
 #31

The one thing that people often do not realize about being lazy, is that it isn't actually something that needs fixing by offering outer incentives. Thing is, laziness is the main reason people develop technology, to make things easier. There are countless of examples of this, one of them is how Linux (the operating system) came to be. Basically Linus Torvalds just wanted a better OS, that's it. Then he made it. There were no monetary incentives involved. This is just one example among thousands.

In fact monetary incentives are often counter-productive. There is a brilliant book called Drive, by Daniel Pink, which goes through the contemporary science of motivation. Monetary incentives are not useless however, it's just that their role and importance is widely overestimated and the biggest problem of all is that they're sometimes used as an incentive in ways that is actually counter-productive.

Real incentives are based on curiosity, a need to make life easier, a need to better ourselves at what we're interested in, having the right kind of challenges, having a purpose that matters and of course autonomy, the ability to be free, to choose when to work, what to work on, with whom and where. Monetary incentives are useful as well but often overestimated especially in modern types of work.

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May 05, 2012, 05:11:20 PM
 #32

The one thing that people often do not realize about being lazy, is that it isn't actually something that needs fixing by offering outer incentives. Thing is, laziness is the main reason people develop technology, to make things easier. There are countless of examples of this, one of them is how Linux (the operating system) came to be. Basically Linus Torvalds just wanted a better OS, that's it. Then he made it. There were no monetary incentives involved. This is just one example among thousands.

In fact monetary incentives are often counter-productive. There is a brilliant book called Drive, by Daniel Pink, which goes through the contemporary science of motivation. Monetary incentives are not useless however, it's just that their role and importance is widely overestimated and the biggest problem of all is that they're sometimes used as an incentive in ways that is actually counter-productive.

Real incentives are based on curiosity, a need to make life easier, a need to better ourselves at what we're interested in, having the right kind of challenges, having a purpose that matters and of course autonomy, the ability to be free, to choose when to work, what to work on, with whom and where. Monetary incentives are useful as well but often overestimated especially in modern types of work.


I totally agree with this for the most part, especially the last paragraph.

But you have to understand that the right environment must first exist for such opportunities to flourish. Basic needs must be taken care of;  your surrounding and personal circumstances cannot be of concern. For example, would you ever expect a Linus Torvalds to have come from Iraq?

Politics (which includes monetary policy) is just how humans organize themselves to live together.
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May 05, 2012, 05:16:54 PM
 #33


As for the reflective quote by Lakota Sage Lame Deer, such a moneyless society/culture is nice I'd agree, but doesn't lend itself much to advancement. For example, an entrepreneur/inventor or dreamer among them might imagine escaping the gravitational pull of the Earth and reaching the beautiful glowing orb that presented itself every night, but the fact is such an undertaking requires many things including, primarily, capital. The naysayers and the uninterested couldn't block such a visionary in a capitalistic society.
 

That reminds me of a thread from a few days ago:

Bastiat is the greatest. I have a man-crush on him.

The concept of the unseen is one of the most important economic concepts for people to grasp. Consider the government-built sports stadium. Hundreds of millions of dollars in cost. When it's built, the people see it and marvel at the wondrous building, and thank the government for creating something so great. They do this because they SEE it.

What is unseen, however, is all the goods and services that did not come into existence, because the resources which would've been used to purchase those things was taxed away to build the stadium. But, because it's unseen and distributed over many people and over much time, the population doesn't realize the cost, and instead they stand in naive admiration of the sports stadium, and lavish praise upon the government which has likely made them all poorer.

It is a phenomenon present in almost every government program, and it deceives the public in perpetuity. If only people would read Bastiat in school  Cry


All the money that was spent sending a few people to the moon could have saved many, many people from starvation instead -- which one is more important?

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May 05, 2012, 05:30:22 PM
 #34

All the money that was spent sending a few people to the moon could have saved many, many people from starvation instead -- which one is more important?

That is a strawman.

First, removing NASA from world history would not have removed starvation from it.

Second, I'd much rather it was Thomas Edison (or similar) that made our moon landing possible. Entrepreneurship appears to be the way we are going for our first landing on Mars.
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May 05, 2012, 05:34:49 PM
 #35

Roll Eyes

"For the first time, I was seriously realizing I could live totally moneyless."

Um yeah... because you hitch hiked off other people's generosity, and used clothing and tools created by the money-society you are pretending to reject. And then took a flight to Thailand and India, using a plane built by thousands of years of human ingenuity and progress which was enabled by trade and exchange, which was in turn facilitated by money... and then reported about it on a computer.

The dude is a 'tard. Wanna live off the grid? Fine, that's cool. But unless you're crafting tools from wood and stone and living in a shelter made of logs with clothes made from grasses and deer skins, then you're just fooling yourself.

A moneyless society is a society of starvation and utter poverty, and a world without trade, production, and exchange is a world without the leisure time one might desire for the purposes of reflecting on such fantastical notions as "a world without money."

Idiot, what makes you think a world without money is a world without trade, production and "exchange" ?

Calling someone a 'tard then come off as a completely idiot is priceless - (or should i say moneyless? )



A world without money IS a world without trade, production and exchange. Money is impossible to avoid when people trade with each other, for they begin by bartering, and soon discover that certain goods are most easily bartered for (grain becomes easier to trade than bicycles, even if the other person doesn't want grain for his own consumption). Thus, you quickly discover that certain goods in the barter economy become traded very commonly. And voila, that's called money.

In other words, in order to have an economy WITHOUT money at all, there would need to be a law that you could only trade for things you would personally consume or use, and nothing could be traded twice. If a society actually had those rules, I suggest that trade, production, and exchange would be rare, inefficient, and burdensome.

Thus, I think my point was a fair one. Without allowing for money, an economy is not an economy. Whether the money is grain, cigarettes, seashells, gold, pieces of paper with leaders' faces, or Bitcoins... money ALWAYS emerges when people trade with each other. Money is intrinsic to exchange - they cannot be separated.

Fair, if your definition of fair is utterly stupid.

First of all , "A moneyless society is a society of starvation and utter poverty" is completely false. You are pulling crap out of your ass.

While a moneyless world would make trading inefficient, it doesnt mean its an inferior world in anyway. Trading originally is a way to share resources and transfer wealth. Its now an exploitation of modern slavery. In a moneyless world, trading is not necessary.

Moneyless world is a world without production? really? You're such naive to think its money that gives ppl incentives to work and produce.



Inefficient to the point of starvation and utter poverty. I consider that inferior, but you're welcome to disagree with that judgement.

You did not address the point of my prior post - that money is intrinsic to exchange. If you are opposed to money, you are opposed to exchange, because money is just the name given to that good exchanged most commonly.

And please explain how "trading is an exploitation of modern slavery"?  When I trade my eggs to Bob in return for several loaves of bread, which of us was exploited? Also, was money involved... were the eggs money, or the bread? Has either of us done something wrong by agreeing to the trade? Now... what if instead of eggs I actually traded Bob a small bar of silver for the bread? Has exploitation occurred? Is silver money... or is bread? And one step further, what if the silver is cut into round circles. Is silver money yet? What if... I actually previously traded my bar of silver for a deposit receipt from a man who promised to guard the silver from bandits, and then I trade the receipt for the bread?  Any exploitation occurring yet? Did I use money?

My point is this: money is not anything weird or separate from barter. Money IS barter. It's just the name given to the most commonly bartered item. And again, if you're opposed to money, you must necessarily be opposed to barter, and thus trade, and thus exchange. And if so, you are condemning man to live with only what he is able to produce himself. This is a world of poverty and starvation, and if you don't think that's inferior, then we can disagree on that point.
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May 05, 2012, 06:01:02 PM
 #36

if I do a trade with bitcoin there's a lot of effort in the pricing.
if I do a trade with gifting it comes more naturally and there's more lee-way. its more what we are used to genetically if not socially.

giving is the more efficient transaction but it doesn't scale beyond 120 people.

I'd like to live in a small community and trade a limited amount outside with btc, that would be a compromise
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May 05, 2012, 06:04:35 PM
 #37

Money is one of the greatest inventions ever!

Only 2 forms of economy can exist without money, barter or communism, and both suck balls. Exchange enables the division of labour, money enables it to its fullest extent.

As another poster said, poor people are less selfish (outwardly), but then isn't every bum gonna convert to altruism? They have nothing to offer anyone!
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May 05, 2012, 06:09:59 PM
 #38

if I do a trade with bitcoin there's a lot of effort in the pricing.
if I do a trade with gifting it comes more naturally and there's more lee-way. its more what we are used to genetically if not socially.

giving is the more efficient transaction but it doesn't scale beyond 120 people.

I'd like to live in a small community and trade a limited amount outside with btc, that would be a compromise

What people have to realize is that capitalism does not prohibit gifting.
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May 05, 2012, 06:10:19 PM
 #39

if I do a trade with bitcoin there's a lot of effort in the pricing.
if I do a trade with gifting it comes more naturally and there's more lee-way. its more what we are used to genetically if not socially.

giving is the more efficient transaction but it doesn't scale beyond 120 people.

I'd like to live in a small community and trade a limited amount outside with btc, that would be a compromise

You guys are completely oblivious to the wealth you enjoy due to the vast division of labor around the world. A society limited to 120 people would not be a society anyone on this forum would enjoy living in, I assure you.

You would spend your days toiling for food, and die before you were 45 years old, if you were lucky enough not to die as a child.

An no, jago25_98, it is not "more natural" to trade via "gifting" than via money. Again, for the thousandth time, "money" is just that good which is most commonly "gifted" within a community. There is no difference between "gifting" your neighbor a dozen eggs or "gifting" your neighbor a gram of gold or a bitcoin or some US dollars, save that gifting with the later examples is far more convenient and permits a less costly transaction and thus more wealth for both participants.

Try to REALLY live without money entirely... just trade things you have for things you want (without using any intermediary like dollars, btc, or bullion) and you will discover it is not the romantic, peaceful, pleasant thing you imagine it to be. You will impoverish yourself swiftly, for you are surrendering the utility of one of man's greatest technologies - money.
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May 05, 2012, 06:16:21 PM
 #40

@evoorhees - I think you are misunderstanding what is meant by "gifting". The fact that it's a gift makes it the opposite of a trade. To give a gift means you don't expect anything in return.

That is what @jago25_98 says is more natural, not that I agree.
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