Thursday, December 1, 2011

Moneyless Society

Here's one for you guys. I was discussing with my uncle today, and he brought up the idea of a moneyless society. I kinda dig that, and thought I'd share it here. Basically, it's simple-- there's no more money. You need something, you go to the store, get it, and walk out. Everything's free. Of course, I argued that without money as an incentive, there's a lot of jobs that would never get done. No one's gonna want to clean toilets or work in mines, for example. Not entirely sure how to resolve that, but my uncle had a great way to ensure that at least there wouldn't be any do-nothing slackers: either you do something, anything, productive for society, or you get stoned to death. I figure that with this system, we'd end up with a lot of artists, poets, musicians, and so forth, and mediocre ones at that, and still not have any janitors, miners, and so on. Maybe there could be a rotation, where the clean-up jobs get passed around, so no one's stuck doing it forever; you do so many days a year at janitorial stuff. The dangerous stuff, like mining, logging, and so forth, well, I don't know. You hate to incentivize it, or those incentives will become the new money. And anyways, I'm sure people will find a way to corrupt this, and end up with the same old ugly power/wealth hierarchies.

So I don't know, give me your ideas. I'd really like a discussion on this, hear your thoughts.


  1. automate all of the jobs. focus on developing the technology to do so. It's already happening in manufacturing jobs around the world.

  2. Reserve the really bad jobs for people who've demonstrated that they're incapable of living in a civilized society: criminals. This would serve as a disincentive for criminal behavior while also providing a labor pool for jobs no one wants.

    I'm guessing that something like this could/would be abused and you'd eventually end up with something like the old Soviet gulags.

    Interesting thought experiment, Brandon.

  3. Simple. You need to transform your body to one that does not need all the physical but necessary props like food, clothing and shelter. But the difficult part is how? I have been thinking for a long, long time too, that there is something very wrong, very wrong with the economic systems of the world. Some people just kick a ball around and earn indecent incomes. Others walk around swinging a silly stick and striking an equally stupid marble and laugh all the way to the bank. You and I work multiple jobs and can't put enough food on the table to feed the family. Isn't this indecent? Now, do we call the capitalist market rewarding someone for his labour? The guy who is responsible for all the sufferings and inconvenience is god. Fortunately for him he doesn't exist, OTHERWISE I have a solution for him.

  4. Gulag system, eh? I guess you'd have to figure something for the criminals; I almost thought that without money and everything free, you wouldn't need much of a government, but there's going to be some crime, if only crimes of passion. But you're right, that would probably be corrupted quickly.

    @ordinarymalaysian, not sure how you can get by without food, shelter, and so on, and yet live. But I agree about how ridiculously insane it is that grown men get paid millions for playing childrens' games.

  5. Even in a society where everything thing is free, you'd still end up with a black market because there are always people who want more and better. I've always rather liked the notion of job rotation...but someone would figure out a way to trade or compensate to get out of doing their stint in the latrine. Ask any woman how she's doing with sharing the housework and extrapolate from that.

    I had this idea myself, when I was about 10. but have come to understand it may only work in very limited communities (it doesn't even really work in families) with a very common mindset.

    I have seen no situation (at least in no modern technological society) where "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" ever really was equitable.