I consider this one of my most important posts to date, some of this may be boring and even uncomfortable but I implore you walk with me and explore a whole new concept of society.
-What Is A Resource Based Economy?: In a currency based economy goods and services are provided to the highest bidder. The main concerns of economic growth put profits first and well being of its consumers and the environment second. A resource based economy is really something we’ve never tried before, and puts the well being of the people and the concerns of the world before all else. There are many ideas as to how a resource based economy would be ran but the general premise is that technology and resources are distributed where they are most needed and beneficial as opposed to the most financially profitable buyer.
There are some concepts central to a resource based economy that may be difficult for some of us to swallow. The first of these is a world with no money. Some believe in a hypothetical society absent of currency, apathy would abound, and no one would have incentive to do their jobs grinding civilization to a halt. I say the apathy stems from a disdain of one’s job rather than inherent laziness. imagine if you could have any job you wanted, doing something that mattered to you and impacted the world.. What if you didn’t have to worry about money to get there? Would you still be working your dead end job? Imagine if all restaurants were ran by those who love cooking food, who didn’t have to struggle to get there. In a world with no financial boundaries would you sit on your ass all the time dreading each day or would you want to explore and follow your dreams? We are all capable of performing the tasks that push society forward without money, the interests of every human being are so diverse we would naturally allocate ourselves to where we were happiest and able to perform our best. If you have a problem that needs to be addressed our natural inclination would be to solve it both for our well being and that of the community.
Concept two, the end of ownership. This is not to say we cannot have personal possessions, but we must completely redesign our view of consuming products. There are two aspects we need to look at, since a resource based economy is focused on sustainability it’s logical to assume products should be made to be as durable as possible, needing to be replaced as little as possible. Our current economy manufactures products with “built in obsolescence”, because though it is inefficient and detrimental, a currency based economy’s main concerns are profits. We have all the technology and resources at our disposal to feed, clothe, educate, and create abundance for all the people on earth. In this new society if you had a need for anything you would go to what you could think of as a store and simply request whatever it was you needed. When you were done you would simply return these things to the “store”(much like how a library operates). In this way we give up our idea of “ownership” in exchange for free access to whatever we need. Things like theft would become a thing of the past because nothing is withheld from the people in this new economy eliminating a vast swath of crime and hostility.
-The Rough Blueprint: This is by no means a perfect plan, but I think it’s time for us to start throwing out ideas even if they are rough. We need to stop acting like helpless children and do something for ourselves. We can’t rely on our governments to implement something so monumental but we can do it without them if we do it together.
What we can do is use our current economy to our advantage and change it from the inside out. With tools like the Internet and kick-starter we can fund localized community based projects, aimed both at lessening financial strains and laying the foundation for a resource based economy. This can manifest in many ways such as funding community vegetable gardens. Initially run on donations, the soul focus of these gardens would be providing members of the community with food. Focusing first on helping the low-socioeconomic population, people would be able to withdraw a specified amount of food, lessening their financial burden and the general poverty of the community.
The first of these local projects should be concentrated on providing necessities such as food, clothes, and water. Relieving those first couple financial drains would give communities the foothold they need to start pooling more of their money into funding additional projects and upgrade the ones they already have running. These projects could then progress towards providing utilities and energy, and in the eventual future things such as healthcare and technology. The thing is once we initiate something like this we create a new force in our economy that is much less susceptible to financial corruption. The mere presence of any/all institutions of this nature will force our current corporate and economic structures to change and evolve.
-This Goes Beyond Charity: We aren’t funding some government program here for relief work, this isn’t donating to a foundation that gives some of its proceeds to famished children and fraudulent campaigns to end a disease. Instead of focusing on global, foreign, or national issues we begin at the local level and build outward, slowly alleviating our own economic burdens. If even a few towns can pioneer new projects like this it creates the inspiration and foundations need for others to do so. In this way we also reduce the need for big government. Gravitating from the inefficient method of a singular figurehead managing the actions and resources of large diverse providence towards empowering local regions to manage and sustain themselves. As these new-found resource based communities stabilize their abundance, they can begin to collaborate and direct their resources to aiding the rest of the world around them spreading as a global movement.
-Closing statements: Nothing changes over night. We can’t instantly free ourselves from this economic slavery, but that doesn’t mean we are stuck. There are many avenues we can pursue and this is just one idea I’ve been mulling over in my head. I plan to do more research on the concept of a resource based economy and produce more posts on the subject. In the meantime I’d love to hear any feedback and ideas you have! We can do this together!