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 The Abolition of Money

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PostSubject: The Abolition of Money   Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:22 pm

Now that there is less money about, and a great deal of debt, I'm proposing a discussion on the abolition of money.

The abolition of money assumes that we are able to produce and distribute at least our basic needs.
Its not a new idea and in was a hot topic throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries:

Quote :
Money, which has hitherto been the root, if not of all evil, of great injustice, oppression, and misery to the human race, making some slavish producers of wealth, and others its wasteful consumers or destroyers, will be no longer required to carry on the business of life: for as wealth of all kinds will be so delightfully created in greater abundance than will ever be required, no money price will be known, for happiness will not be purchasable, except by a reciprocity of good actions and kind feelings.
Robert Owen, Book of the New Moral World, 1842-4

There is no money in the Star Trek Federation: people work to fulfill their ability and the needs of society.
http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/star-trek-how-we-will-abolish-money.html

Karl Marx suggested that the lower stage of communism would involve some kind of voucher system rewarding labour time expended by a person and the higher form would mean “from each according to her ability, to each according to her means”. While anarchists like Proudhon favoured a “chit” system based on time worked, Marx said that money could only really be abolished when commodity production was abolished.

http://www.newsandletters.org/Issues/2005/July-Aug/Youth_July-Aug_05.htm

Discussion of the abolition of money is constant:

http://libcom.org/forums/thought/money-its-abolition-02102007

I'm interested in the discussion here on ethical and co-operative banking, but in the present global financial chaos and with the present unsustainable environmental pressures, the abolition of money is a strongly appealing idea.
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:29 pm

Not going to work. We need a store of value, a standard for deferred payment, a unit of account and a means of exchange for goods and services. We will have money for a good long while yet. As much as I love Star Trek, that world is pretty hard to envisage in the real world and in any case the real moves to abolish money only came in the late 21st/early 22nd century. This was in response to Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight in 2063 which piqued the interest of the Vulcans in our Solar System and set in chain the events which did indeed render money largely obsolete. I say largely because even though replicators mess up with the economic system of the Federation, other cultures, most notably the Ferengi, continued to use latinum as a currency.
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:49 am

[quote="Ard-Taoiseach"]
Quote :
Not going to work. We need a store of value
Why?

Quote :
a standard for deferred payment

In a money-free society the concept and need for payment would be gone

Quote :
A unit of account and a means of exchange for goods and services
Again, this assumes a need for payment of goods, and private ownership of goods

Quote :
We will have money for a good long while yet. As much as I love Star Trek, that world is pretty hard to envisage in the real world and in any case the real moves to abolish money only came in the late 21st/early 22nd century. This was in response to Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight in 2063 which piqued the interest of the Vulcans in our Solar System and set in chain the events which did indeed render money largely obsolete. I say largely because even though replicators mess up with the economic system of the Federation, other cultures, most notably the Ferengi, continued to use latinum as a currency.
Yes indeed, money, or latinum, is only used in the less admirable and less successful Ferengi society.
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:51 am

cactus flower wrote:

Again, this assumes a need for payment of goods, and private ownership of goods

I always knew you would come around to the idea of you and I sharing our house...

When do I get the keys?

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:08 am

[quote="cactus flower"]
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Quote :
Not going to work. We need a store of value
Why?

Quote :
a standard for deferred payment

In a money-free society the concept and need for payment would be gone

Quote :
A unit of account and a means of exchange for goods and services
Again, this assumes a need for payment of goods, and private ownership of goods

Quote :
We will have money for a good long while yet. As much as I love Star Trek, that world is pretty hard to envisage in the real world and in any case the real moves to abolish money only came in the late 21st/early 22nd century. This was in response to Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight in 2063 which piqued the interest of the Vulcans in our Solar System and set in chain the events which did indeed render money largely obsolete. I say largely because even though replicators mess up with the economic system of the Federation, other cultures, most notably the Ferengi, continued to use latinum as a currency.
Yes indeed, money, or latinum, is only used in the less admirable and less successful Ferengi society.

I read a theory that money should have an expiry or "use by" date.

I'm afraid it was too complicated for me to understand at first go, I will have to study it further, but the premise is that financial problems come from using money to represent too many diverse and sometimes contradictory functions. It proposed that there should be different kinds of money for different uses.

Money invested in future development (like growing a business, or retraining staff, for example) is very different from moeny used to purchase goods. It's the "purchase" money that should have an expiry date, aparrently.

Still haven't figured it all out yet, so I can't give a definitive explanation of the article.
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:12 am

johnfás wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

Again, this assumes a need for payment of goods, and private ownership of goods

I always knew you would come around to the idea of you and I sharing our house...

When do I get the keys?

Very Happy

Your very welcome johnfas, so long as it is reciprocal. We could do a house swap when I want to see the city lights and you want to come to the country and look for a bed buried under ironing and last weeks newspapers Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:35 am

yehbut_nobut wrote:
I read a theory that money should have an expiry or "use by" date.

I'm afraid it was too complicated for me to understand at first go, I will have to study it further, but the premise is that financial problems come from using money to represent too many diverse and sometimes contradictory functions. It proposed that there should be different kinds of money for different uses.

Money invested in future development (like growing a business, or retraining staff, for example) is very different from moeny used to purchase goods. It's the "purchase" money that should have an expiry date, aparrently.

Still haven't figured it all out yet, so I can't give a definitive explanation of the article.
That's friggin interesting. Is the money my great grandfather saved up all his life from the age of 12 then left to me the same kind of money as I got last year for doing that software contract for xyz ?
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:45 am

Money is surely a way of managing surpluses and mismatches between supply and demand? Couldn't we find a different way now we have AI?
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:20 am

Ok here's how the concept is explained in picture form, as much as I understand so far: feel free to comment, correct, or question!

A large group of people are stranded on an Island. The only food is the fruit which grows at the top of the tall trees all around.

Some of the people find they can climb the tress, and so they gather as much as they can so that everyone will have something to eat.

Some of those who can't climb meanwhile discover that they can catch fish from the ocean.

An exchange system soon arises - 1 fruit for 1 fish and vice versa.

"Ah," someone then realises. "I recognise this type of tree. It's an annual, that means it wont be there next year, and we'll have no more fruit to eat."


"Well," someone else says, "how about if, intead of EATING all the fruit now, we plant what we don't need to eat. For each one fruit we plant,there'll be lots more later on."

"and what about the fish we catch that we don't need?"

"Oh well if we dont eat them, they'll just rot in the sun, and be useless. Better just to catch as much as we all need for the time being, each time we go fishing."

"So," ask some of the fishermen and women - "does that mean a fruit that's in the ground is now worth more than 1 fish, because it's going to grow into lots of fruit in the future?

Some think yes, beacuse it promises more fruit next year.

Others said "that doesn't make sense, because it's still just a fruit, and if it were a fruit you were only going to eat it, it's just worth one fish." An interesting debate ensued.

"Remember,"someone finally says, "we have to ensure we plant enough fruit so that we have enough to eat, and enough left over to plant again next year"
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PostSubject: Re: The Abolition of Money   Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:43 am

Ah that's a good one but I've no questions now so I'll have to sleep on it. Something about the convertible values of fruit and the needs of the people in that model. What if someone there doesn't eat meat ? How much fruit do you need ? Just because it's one unit of one thing does it mean it's equivalent to one of another ? Is the society static or growing ? etc.

Here is Peter Schiff talking about the collapse of the American Dollar. He tells a similar story at 1 min. 10 sec. I think it might be a true story though.
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=2xK1Yiaw3FU
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