Isaac H asked in Social ScienceEconomics · 7 years ago

Is there any evidence that non-monetary and non-barter systems would work?

The concept, as I understand it, is that the basic necessities of life could be provided through technology/automation. This would, in theory, free everyone up to pursue their true interests.

However, doesn't example after example show that people are not satisfied with the basics? Is it really possible to remove monetary/barter value from material goods, when those goods have intrinsic value stemming from usefulness, rarity, and resources expended to acquire them?

There are precious few occasions when this system has been attempted (I think of the early Christian church, for example), and these were extremely short-lived due to what is arguably a fundamental human materialism.

Is there any evidence that a resource-based economy is actually feasible, given human nature and our material world?

4 Answers

  • Bkyle
    Lv 5
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes. There are plenty of examples in early human history of people working together and providing for one another without a money or value system. Take the Incas, for example. They grew to become the largest South American empire ever, and had no monetary system. Instead, they focused on science, efficiency, and productivity to create a civilization where the needs of everyone was taken care of. This lasted a hundred years. It probably would have lasted longer except the Spanish conquerors came and destroyed the Incas completely with their war, robbery, and disease.

    We live in a society that trains us (brain-washes us) to always want more. There are many people in the world that live outside major urban centres and live happily with what they have.

    The problem is that our modern societies need us to want more. The economy must keep growing or everything falls apart. It's essential.

    However, it will also be our civilizations downfall. We live on a finite planet. Exponential growth is impossible. No one can argue that the planet's resources will not run out unless we start carefully managing them. For the future of humanity, we must find contentment with a steady-state economy.

    The important thing to recognize is the difference between the world today and the world of the past. Historically, humanity has lived in a world of scarcity where, like animals, we fought for the resources we needed. This fight led to a value-system, which led to money. We're still fighting for resources today, but instead we call it commerce. Whenever you see someone hungry or homeless on the street or someone that dies from a treatable illness, this is structural violence. We're not personally committing the violence, but the system we take part in is certainly unleashing violence to many on a daily basis.

    Instead, today humanity has the technology and understanding to create a world of abundance, and do so in a way that manages the planet's resources to be available for all future generations. Food, homes, clothing, medicine, education, transportation and everything else we need can be automated. In fact, they are already automated today, but we're still charging for it.

    What's being suggested with a Resource-Based Economy (RBE) is NOT going back to a primitive agrarian society where we live on the bare necessities of life. To the contrary, a RBE would give everyone a better life than they have today. The stress of money and debt would be gone. Everyone could truly do what they love. Creativity and passion would be embraced. It would be a true cultural renaissance. Only then can we call ourselves truly civilized.

    With the reality of technological unemployment, overseas outsourcing, and on-line efficiencies, our current monetary-based economy which depends on pay-for-labour cannot continue. It's already starting to fail. The politicians know it, but don't know what to do about it. Take the "Buy American" campaign. How's that working out?

    We've created our own "human nature" and the material world we live in. Humanity is adaptable. We can change. We can only hope we rise to the challenge before collapse and suffering takes place like the world has never seen.


  • 7 years ago

    Sure, including in times of industrial society. "Anarcho-syndicalists" had a trade union called the CNT. During world war 2 (1936) they found their workers armed with not only revolutionary economic/social theory, but also with guns. They overthrew all authorities, police, the church, the state, and then the revolution spread throughout much of Catalonia (in Spain). In some places, the social change went so far as getting past money and ownership completely. The event involved upto 9,000,000 people at its peak, and last until 1939. Eventually, the communists (of the Stalinist variety, the most dispicable social/economic theory ever), aligned with the republicans and other forces, defeated the anarcho-syndicalists.

    Source(s): I've been in The Zeitgeist Movement since I discovered The Venus Project in March 2008, before TZM even existed. I don't think Anarcho-Syndicalism will bring about a Resource Based Economy, but I sure honour their attempts and successes. There's a really good film about it, I can't retrieve the name. Increasingly over the last 18 months, and entirely today, I consider myself a revolutionary Marxist- Leninist- Trotskyist- Cliffist- (forever-evolving as new social movements, upheavals and revolutions occur and teach us things), and this could lead to a moniless society that defeats counter-revolution. Russia's revolution, however, due to its circumstances, had failed completely by as early the 1920's (contrary to the stalist's view). Please read my blog about how a united workforce can brign about a moniless classless Resource Based Economy.
  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Some economists convince that it would work. The reason is when our earth has reached the saturation point due to lack of resources, overpopulation and climate changes, people will have to manage the waste. As you said, most of outputs have less and less intrinsic value.It is a wasteful resource allocation. Finland and Denmark will be there for the first example.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    no, there is no evidence for them, and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

    Evolutionary instincts make every person want to have more than average, view their own needs as stronger than others', and avoid work whenever it is not rewarded.

    You must agree that iPad is not a necessity. Would your resource-based economy produce it? What happens when you cannot produce them for everybody? Brainwash teens into thinking they do not need an iPad?

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