A response to arguments against moneyless living
Whenever civilised people comment on my online articles about the philosophy behind moneyless living, the same arguments against it - as a realistic model - inevitably emerge. They go something like this:
"My mother would have died of cancer if it wasn't for chemotherapy."
"That's all fine if you're a single man but he hasn't got a family to clothe and send to school."
or my favourite, "he's an unrealistic extremist, all we really need to is reduce our consumption."
If it is in a mainstream publication, I also get these types:
"I've got the right to choose."
"He's a communist", or
"If it was up to him we'd be going backwards and living like animals."
These are all really fine arguments. But whilst I'll respond to each one individually, the late, great David Fleming said it much better than me when he once said "Localisation stands, at best, at the limits of practical possibility, but it has the decisive argument in its favour that there will be no alternative."
Let me let you into a little secret: I call my philosophy 'moneyless living', simply because it gets people who've never heard of the word 'permaculture' curious enough to want to read more. I studied marketing, and the psychology behind it, for four years, something I obviously keep a little quiet about. Don't tell anyone. But the moneyless living label is just a gimic, really. What I am really talking about is a way of life where people live off the land in which they are based, in a community whose radius is defined by the extent to which they can have a real relationship, based on symbiosis and trust, with all within that radius. In modern civilisation that radius is roughly about the width of your house. But with a bit of courage - and less reading of the Murdoch Media - that radius really could be extended to the distance you can walk in a day.
The moneyless element really is secondary, it's only marketing. It just happens that within a 100% localised economy - one in which we actually trust those we live with every day - money becomes obsolete. Instead, people's reputations become their currency. Which means no need for laws other than laws of Nature, and certainly no need for police to enforce them - if you act like an ass everyday, eventually you don't eat. In civilisation, you can behave as destructively as you want regularly, as long as you do it within the confines of the law, and the cashier down at the 'local' Tesco won't really give a damn. They won't even know your name.
Whilst all those arguments against moneyless living (which from now on I'll intermittently call 100% local or Wild), are understandable, they're based on the delusion that anything other than a 100% local economy is sustainable. Civilisations - societies which have grown beyond a level in which people have a real relationship with each other or the land on which they dwell - depend on huge imports of materials and food, and - as Derrick Jensen, in Endgame, points out - is inherently based on violence and exploitation.
If you're unclear about this, go and ask the marine life in the Gulf of Mexico, the people of Iraq, or the 50,000 species each year who had to retreat so far from civilisation that the only place they could go was extinction.
So those who argue against a non-monetary economy (remember, read 100% localised economy), where money is seen to be as toxic as depleted uranium, are in fact technically insane, in that their belief system and behavioural patterns are not rooted in reality. Since the moment you were born you've - through no fault of your own - been fed a story about the world to the point where you don't even realise it's just a story, meaning it's impossible for you to even imagine a different story. If we go extinct, or at least have a dramatic reduction in numbers, it'll be because we're terrible story-tellers, nothing less. And completely lacking in imagination. And courage. But mostly a story-telling deficiency.
OK, that aside, I still feel it's important to address the delusional comments on articles anyway, if for no other reason than to save myself having to respond to them individually any more.
Let's start with the most popular, and emotive argument against. "My mum/husband/kid is only alive because of 'medicines' from industrialised society". On a basic level, yes, so is my Dad, and a few of my friends probably myself to boot. But that's not an argument for it - it just means we're all willing to sacrifice life on this planet to keep those close to us - whom our love is restricted to - alive.
This, in turn, stems from a deluded sense of self, or as Alan Watts once put it, the 'skin-encapsulated ego'.
On a less simple level, one of the reasons they or I had to use western medicine was because this current human culture killed both the plants, and any knowledge of them, that could have healed many of our ailments naturally a long time ago, leaving only the branded products in little plastic packets on pharmacy shelves left to chose from.
On a slightly more controversial, honest level, that dialysis machine may have saved your mum's life, but it's made up of thousands of components - oil, minerals, rubbers, and ores. The war against brown people and Nature which is required to acquire these raw materials kills millions of people every decade in the most violent circumstances, not to mention the billions of wildlife, their habitats and the entire planet that is home to us all. Western medicine, being based on industrialisation, kills far more dads than it saves, they're just not your dad; unless he's brown or black, in which case it may one day. In fact the industrialised infrastructure required for it will eventually kill us all. But hey, that's not so important, lets just bury our heads in the sand and pretend it won't.
The second most popular deluded argument: "That's fine for him, he's a single guy, he doesn't have a family to feed and clothe." True, I don't. And I've said throughout that within the economic model we live in now, it is easier for me to do it without a family. But that's not because Wild, 100% localised living is flawed, it's because the political and economic model we live in now is! So whilst it's a completely understandable concern, it's not actually an argument against. If you really care about your children, do whatever it takes to build them a world they'll have a chance of living within. The other option is a life of semi-voluntary economic slavery - or, more likely, an uninhabitable planet that even a Masters Degree in Media Studies won't save them from.
Argument number three is: "We just need to reduce our consumption and go a bit more local." Bullshit. This argument always comes from people who don't have a combined clue about economics and ecology, which means from 99.99% of the population. Most think economics is about money, not as a philosophical debate around how to meet your needs. For you to have one radiotherapy device/blender/van/dildo that will cost you less than the equivalent of 15 years of hard labour, everyone has to have one, otherwise the human investment in building the global infrastructure required to produce one is completely unviable and illogical. These gadgets require huge economies-of-scale to justify the R&D alone, and very specialised division of labour. This division of labour means that the bottom 95% of wage slaves hate - at the very least - five sevenths of their life.
Not only that, it also means that they are all completely disconnected from Nature and the stuff they consume as they no longer have time to produce their own needs (such as food, basketry, clothing), leading to alienation, isolation, purposelessness, consumerism and an endless list of social, ecological, and humanitarian crises.
So given this, a mere reduction in consumption is ridiculous - if we did all reduce, and I mean all of us and not just the tiny pockets of greenies who actually live in accordance to their beliefs - the global system that gives us all this stuff we're pathetically addicted to would collapse anyway, and we'd be forced to live 100% locally. That's Economics 101. Except they don't teach you it in those words.
Now, onto the the more mainstream arguments. Having said that, whilst they're rarely stated in the blog section of the online articles of green publications, the lives of those who read them would still suggest they do actually believe these arguments anyway. Lets start with this old one: "I've got the right to chose". That's right, you do. And I've got the right to chose too. Which means that if you chose to attack the rest of the community of life that we share the planet with - however indirectly you delude yourself the attack is - in a completely violent and exploitative way, then I can chose to stop you, the attacker, by whatever means is necessary.
Surely if you have the right to destroy, so have I, no? As Derrick Jensen points out, is violence - however indirect and silent - only for the powerful (in this case, you and me and six billion others) who construct ridiculous laws to legitimise and protect whatever they fancy doing?
"He's a communist". My only response to this is that life isn't just a choice between a few political and economic models we humans have constructed. In fact, there is only one model we can, in reality, live within, and that is Nature, a.k.a. Wild. Communism, capitalism, socialism - they're all just anthropocentric delusions.
"If it was up to him, we'd all go backwards and live like animals". You are. And we would. Except it is impossible to go backwards. We're travelling in spirals. By going forwards we eventually get back to a point close to where we once were, either upwards or downwards depending on how wise we've been. Does winter go backwards when it turns to spring? Does night go backward when it turns to morn? Will I be going backwards when I die and the illusion of separation from the rest of Nature finally dissolves?
Then you would finally live according to your true nature, and all that comes with it. It may not have the facade of comfort that aspirational TV tells us this stress-, anxiety-, fear-ridden culture has; but you know what, it's based in reality, it's truly sustainable (as a little bonus), and it's not based on exploitation and violence towards those we view as weaker. It really is to live amongst the rest of Nature to which we are invisibly linked - the boar, the cod, the squirrels, the earthworms, the bees, the shrews, the badgers, the deer, the swallows. What better way to live? Is it better to live beautifully and in harmony for fifty years, or to exist out of harmony and disrespectfully for all else for a hundred years, killing everything that gets in the way of you having a centenary birthday party.
Civilisation needs to go. Non-violently, preferably, but really by whatever means is possible. If the rapist is getting his way down some dark alley, you get him off the person he's attacking by any means possible first (therapy can come when his genitals are back in his pants).
Oh no, is this someone who was once inspired by Gandhi, preaching violence? No, I deplore it. I want an end to all unnecessary violence, which is why I want an end to civilisation and a beginning to 100% localised economy. By not doing anything you're deluding yourself into thinking you're living non-violently. You're not, so face up to it and respond appropriately. Inaction, in a culture such as the one we've been born into, is the greatest violence, as our entire lives are fuelled by violence and exploitation. Our global supply chains just allow us to delude ourselves into innocence.
Let me be clear. I am not Wild yet. In fact, I am far from it. But the process has begun inside of me. I've decided to be honest with myself. To stop deluding myself with gestures that make me feel like I am doing my bit. Is a rapist, who could rape every night if he wanted to but chooses to only rape once a week, doing his bit?
Filling the kettle half way, car-sharing, growing a couple of token tomatoes in the back garden isn't going to do it. Civilisation needs to fall in order for life - human and non-human alike - to flourish again. So instead of buying solar, go and be honest with yourself. Is photo-voltaic really sustainable, or are you - like I've done for the last three years - deluding yourself in order to align yourself with this reality so that you can feel good. If you aren't prepared to go on this journey, stop paying lip-service to caring about the Earth and all you share it with, because your behaviour says you don't.
By the way, I love you all. That's why I say this so brutally.
(*I've now moved to the land where we're planning the first moneyless village, and we're in the process of creating it as I write. So far it is looking fantastic and is a very exciting time, so I'll update you all on that in the next blog).
Comment on this Post:
Claire Gilmour comments ...
Thank you - appreciate your clarity and honesty. And..can't wait to hear about your creation! Btw - everytime, I talk about the necessity of civilisation falling - i get 'oh claaaaiiire' said in some utterly exasperated tone like I am some doom, gloomy forecaster wishing misery on people. I think I'll copy this blog out and keep it on me to hand to people! :-)
A group of us here in inishowen looking for land btw - it's a step - just gotta keep taking them. Just a bummer that land still so tied up in 'money'.
All the best...
Thunderbloke comments ...
It sounds harsh and I'm sure a lot of people won't like this post, but you are telling the truth. Great entry Mark.
Ha! love you.
jean-michel comments ...
speaks the Truth as usual! Thanks for writing that so clearly and simply. Not easy to walk the talk for my part so kinda maddening to live in this insanity...be well and keep raising awareness...once aware it's hard not to keep it True and if not aware....anyway dis-ease will be there to do its own job of raising awareness......Nature will always prevails anyway, it always has so far :)
Quent in comments ...
keep on pushin thru..
Justt Wanderrinn comments ...
The real argument against "moneyless living" is that you depend on the handouts of the people that do work to make money.
Jusst Wanderrin comments ...
And this argument of yours is completely bogus: "Then you would finally live according to your true nature, and all that comes with it." Humanity's true nature is to civilize. This is why it has done so. If its true nature was to live like wild animals they would have never made the leap to civilization.
William Gilson comments ...
7 billion people can live locally? I don't think so, which means terrible things must happen to reach the level you're describing...the old ways.
William Gilson comments ...
Your efforts are inspiring.
Todd Ryan comments ...
Awesome! I find my creativity stifled by the cultural stories I've been told, but find your brutal honesty refreshing and instructive.
Emma-Louise Hardman comments ...
Great blog, thank you. I love the brutal honesty in it. Best of luck with the moneyless village.
Mark Gates comments ...
justt, do you believe people like mark live like wild animals ?
also id just like to point out that humans are the only race to be known to commit suicide. in my opinion humans have got above their station and ignore mother natures guide and recipe book to our detriment...just my opinion wud like to hear others....
Jusst Wanderrin comments ...
This guy is a delusional hippy and a scammer. He claims to be moneyless, yet sells a book for money, lives in a trailer that others made, wears clothes that others made and I suspect he eats food others produce. So he's basically scamming a...nd bumming. Even if such people managed to go back to the wild (they can't, because they wild is depleted), they would suffer the same fate as the indigenous of the whole world - the civilized people will wipe them out when they need the space and resources they're sitting on top of. He might be right that civilization is detrimental and will eventually come undone and deplete the planet, but it will not come tomorrow and there is no turning back. This is just plain silly.
Justt Wanderrinn comments ...
My opinion is that humans are the way they are and that is their true nature. Anyone saying that their true nature is different from what they are expressing is a fool. And if he doesn't live like an animal, that is only, because civilized working people give him handouts.
Mark Gates comments ...
thanks for your opinion, i believe mark has to wear clothes mae by people and live in places manufactured by others because thats the world that is forced upon him and us. if we decided to walk around in a loin cloth made from natural prod...ucts then the so called civilised world would see that as an offence and lock him/us in a cage ie prison. i also believe civilised working people may on the surface look like they are giving handouts but i believe they are instead causing the problems that we have in existence today. if i were to try to live by barter and have as little impact on the world i would be seen as a bum and as not contributing to society when i reckon i would be contributing to the planet and paying it back to the earth instead. im not trying to get you to agree with me and im not trying to attack your opinions but i feel the words delusional hippy and scammer are harsh words when i believe its society that are scamming the planet and the people on it. thanks for giving me the time of day tho mate i wish you well.
Justt Wanderrinn comments ...
How is he not a scammer? He preaches "moneyless" lifestyle and attacks people who have jobs and are part of civilization while selling a book on a high tech site for MONEY. He preaches going back to the wild, but he himself uses the amenities of civilization. And he thinks this can actually work for all of humanity? This is what makes him delusional.
Ya Vez comments ...
I salute you, Mark
Justt Wanderrinn comments ...
And yes, civilization is destroying the planet. But guess what? If there were 7 billion elephants on Earth, they would destroy the planet as well. Humans are just superior. Where will it take us? Only God knows. You could I guess pick being... an animal, this would change nothing, but either kill you now or kill your gene pool later. Either way it's a suicide. Or you could pretend that you're moneyless and wild, while you're actually not and thus scamming your readers and anyone else who has a job/money and is willing to support you. This makes you even more of a parasite than the people who have jobs.
Moss Tibet comments ...
shut the fuck up you idiot, he's not scamming anyone, it doesn't matter if he uses that money from his book to set up a community, we live in a world where money is god and you can't change that by just boycotting it. YOU'RE MISSING THE WHO...LE POINT. While you're getting so worked up about someone who has honest intentions, remember that the "hard work he's living off" is made by people under appalling conditions, and that the worlds biggest bludgers are those who cause the most destruction. Go protest outside buckingham palace or the vatican and get informed, idiot
David Watts comments ...
After reading your book, and having a lot of respect for what you have done, this article confuses me. Your response to, what you admit to be 'really fine arguments' appears to be an angry rant, rather than cohesive well balanced responses. The tone of the article, which you describe as brutally honest, seems to me to be bullying, condescending and judgemental. The message you are conveying is that unless people are living their lives exactly like yours, then they are in the wrong.
Personally I try to minimise my impact to the environment by sourcing local suppliers, never using the car for short journeys, and skill sharing wherever possible. I do not think I am deluding myself, as I am fully aware that my life has some negative impact on the environment. You claim that this is not enough, and insinuate that unless I imitate your lifestyle, I probably shouldn't bother trying. If so called half measures are not enough, maybe it would be better to not be environmentally conscious at all, and to simply wait for civilisation to end and enjoy the party!
I do agree with many of the sentiments that you express. It is probably true that the earth would be a better place without the civilisation that we have today. However, in my opinion there are many benefits to civilisation in spite of the problems that it causes. In addition, can we be sure that the fall of civilisation is the best answer, or would murder, rape and cannibalism become prevalent? Is it possible that the vacuum created by a lack of authority would be filled by a more oppressive and destructive regime than that which we have today?
These are complex arguments, and your responses are in my opinion simplistic and unrealistic. I do however urge you to keep up the good work and look forward to hearing about the first moneyless village.
Forest Campaigner comments ...
Nice blog Mark...thanks x (though having read some of the responses here I wish facebook would give us the option to 'unlike' :-)
Justt Wanderrinn comments ...
lol, someone's ego got hurt, judging by the name moss tibet, i'd say it's my all out attack on hippy bums, understandable.
Lynzi Leroy comments ...
Great blog :)
Timothy Donald Jeffrey comments ...
thanks for sharing your lifestyle with us. it's an inspiration
Rachel Hannam comments ...
Justt, read Ishmael or some other works by Daniel Quinn. You are under Mother Culture's spell about human superiority and our being fundamentally flawed. Humans have only lived this way for a fraction of our history and tribal folk still surviving today do not share your views of humanity. Peace to you :)
Stratigos Svejk comments ...
Questions related to angry people: Is bartering a scam? Don't the majority of scams involve money and doesn't money actually make it easier to scam people? Do you need to be perfect in order to suggest a different way of doing things? I haven't seen Mark actually attacking people for their choices and it seems like a perfectly good experiment to those of us without hippyphobia.
Chrissy comments ...
wow, you have blown so many of the arguments against living moneyless. The only one you can do nothing about is the one where I cannot survive without the medication I receive, and cannot sleep on sheepskins! Wish I could put LOL after that, but it is a reality, not a joke.
There are some of us who fight the good fight as best we can, meanwhile we need people like you to lead us. Change takes time, maybe growing some token tomatoes and sharing a lift can lead to much more. How we live in this society can help this change, I know there is not much time, meanwhile I prepare for living in new/old ways, if I survive the big changes coming.
Knowing where our materials are produced, and how, does make a huge difference, not buying cheap clothing at tesco for example, (because of slave labour etc and yes that's another debate) not buying new clothes cos the colour changed this year, and doin my best not to live of the backs of others, and doing my best to protect and love the mother earth is the best I can do right now.
If I made the changes I really want, I would not be able to live in the physical pain I would have and so I would not be able to care for myself.
So Mark I know you have so much knowledge and a real desire for good changes, but please don't be so rough on those of us who have to wait for the changes and a society that accepts our true values as worthy beings, Chrissy
Rachel comments ...
@David Watts, I really recommend Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn. Nice short summaries about why the people of many long-standing civilizations around the globe over padt 3000 years eventually abandoned them, as well as food for thought re modern tribal ventures!
Rob G comments ...
Sod what everyone else thinks. Theres no way there going to like this or even share your vision because the majority of them are too comfortable in there 9-5 lives becoming depressed and fat. They criticise because they do not have the conviction to think of a solution to the greed and selfishness we see on a daily basis in the world and would like to continue to sit on the fence. This is simply a man who has seen a problem with the way the world is and chooses to do something about it.
The birth of our species = 200,000 years ago
The birth of money = 3,000 years ago
We survived for a long time without it!
David Watts comments ...
@Rachel I'll see if I can get hold of a copy, thanks for the recommendation!
Aldas comments ...
Thanks Mark for your updates, always nice to read them. All the best with moneyless village, would really like to see separate blog or pictures website.
We also are doing something similar but on much smaller scale in the backyard on 50 square meters:
2010 - https://picasaweb.google.com/Flegmatike/Garden_SodasDarzas
2011 - https://picasaweb.google.com/Flegmatike/Garden_2011
Jonathan Gadsby comments ...
Hi Mark, as I have said before, I do admire your views but I wish you would stop using "nature" as the basis for what is otherwise a very very strong set of moral arguements about how to live a sustainable life. Unfortunately, however irrit...ating, "Justt" is perfectly correct in one sense: it is no more "natural" for humans to sustain or to destroy. In fact, there is no argument that anything we do is unnatural - we are natural and if we are doing it, it is of nature. However, it might still be dreadful and there might be very good reasons to stop doing it. I believe you have articulated some of those reasons. But instead of claiming them as "natural", which will probably only convice those who feel the same way, just be explicit about why you think they are wrong. In ethics, three things tend to be said to make something wrong: 1 Consequences (you have excellent arguments here) 2: Principles, such as rights, fairness etc (you have another set of excellent anti-exploitation arguments) and 3. More complicated "Neo-Aristotelian" ideas around character, purpose and virtue, which tend to run fowl of the same "natural/unnatural" problem, but most people still feel it is valid to claim that there are simply things which are "good for" us. Just don't call them "natural"!
Jonathan Gadsby comments ...
God that all sounds pompous when I read it back. Sorry.
Mark Boyle comments ...
@ Chrissy - I empathise with you 100% and hugely admire your approach for life and care, and fully appreciate your position. It is always a fine line between speaking your truth, without holding back, and not being too hard. If it makes it any easier, this article is aimed at myself also, as I am by no means living 100% localised either, though it is what we are actively working towards as I speak.
aeddon comments ...
indeed, if you seek answers to questions that are limited to your own ideological structure it is not possible to understand the root of the question and find an alternative answer. When you combine this with a culture that doesnt have a functioning media, in that it mealy comments on topics or 'news worthy' stories (at best predefined, bias and censored) and people sway between existing arguments of a particular issue, then i can be very difficult for people to grasp "a different story" as you put it. How we are manipulated and controlled by the government and corporate interests, nothing controversial and widely accepted, prevents the general public from from redefining their ideology in an easy way. Sitting back, withdrawing from these arguments and taking time to adjust yourself to new information and looking at why people usually only have one way of doing things, even if they havnt worked in the past. Basically if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. You/we/us may have a chance of living in a a different way and be able to tell our children a different story.
sceptic comments ...
Historically has there ever been an indigenous population that has not been in conflict over scarce resources?
How much of the technology that we use today evolved from R&D from military use?
Liam comments ...
Mark, this is not brutally honest, it is polarizing. You are coming up with shocking statements to address valid criticisms of 'moneyless living'. As David Watts has suggested, the issues you are addressing are quite complicated and answers or solutions might not exist. For many people this will detract from your ideas and philosophies as a whole, and will invite more of the nutty criticisms and accusations of communism etc, further polarizing opinions. Is this productive, or divisive? 'This argument always comes from people who don't have a combined clue about economics and ecology, which means from 99.99% of the population.'
Robert comments ...
Balanced and fair blog Mark... I think life is a balance and we as a civilizations are way off balance towards money and power instead of time and happiness. I have awakened from my money fog and now enjoy lots of quality time with my family and friends. Medicine cost money, this is true and the persuit of money is making people sick, spiritualy and physically. Its a balance.... I have found it :-) Great blog Mark and take care and enjoy your freedom :-)
Kelly Basford comments ...
I get the same response to being (almost) vegan... My favourite by far is "Its ppl like YOU (always a great opener right? ;) who want to anish animals from the countryside! HOw would you like to look at the countryside with no cows or sheep grazing!" .... Ah damn, never thought of that how selfish of me..... oh wait! XD
Isadora Bonilla comments ...
The arguments you're discusing and responding are very simple all, I think i need to write you a proper email to explain some othersideas I have :P
eamon hayden comments ...
I really love the moneyless idea and way of life and the moment i heard about you on a rte radio documentary my heart stirred strongly with this practical and courageous way of life.
I find it hard to make progress.. I cycle, swim in lakes local, gather firewood and fruit when i can, grow some veg in my garden which is small semi. I feel alone though as i feel sometimes that people look at me as a bit essentrick.. also i feel society is very disconnected, as I find it hard to connect with people in my locality. Also i feel that religion polarises people into groups of them ie non believers vs us believers and hence those in the out group get margenised. Same with monetary system. the first thing people ask you in a small talk conversation is what do you work at? if you cannot categorise yourself according to an acceptable occupation type, you are instantly put into the out or reject group.
I suffered with depression for years and lost jobs as a result and really felt this during the celtic years in Ireland. Others were in jobs when I was not, and I felt margenised. I have made good progress and now work as a carer in a nursing home looking after people with dementia. I try to live ecologically and as money free as i can because with the depression I dont know if i can always hold down a job. In a funny way this is good because i learnt so much about being happy with simplicity in life. An example is when i go into my garden, a bird always sings because I usually unsettle a few goodies like earthworms etc for him/her to eat. I know this bird loves to see me, he sings it. and I only know about this love between birds and humans because I dibbled with my garden. But i feel that in general people find me essentric, maybe a bit funny.but my stories sometimes bring smiles to faces.
I also find when I cycle, bypassers are more likely to wave or say hello, if I drove, I would not make any interpersonal connection.
I feel something has stirred wethin me for a long time now, but i feel torn about this transition. It is only recently than I began to get to know about a moneyless way of life. I still need money and my job. I would love to be more fully local and ecological and inclusive but feel held back somewhat by internal resistance wethin myself and fear of being isolated from my social/family/friend network who still very much are deeply committed to monitary way of life. That's why im here. I want to connect with others who might understand me.
Sorry if this message is all over the place, this is my first posting and I feel I have lots to say.. Ps i feel it ironic that i am communicating using a mobile internet phone that costs money to use operate etc and hence this is an example of how I am confused about how i could harmonise an internal transition that is happing wethin myself, as a device such as this, seems to be necessary to connect with other likeminded people.
Thank you for your patience in letting me express stuff that I wanted to get off my chest and sorry if it sounds confused.
I would like to know where to go from here? I am sure the universe or higher power will guide me but I would love if other humans could too..
Laura Kidd comments ...
Really great post Mark ... lots to think about, but it has opened my mind to other arguments. Thanks x
Eko Chef comments ...
Mark u gone to Portugal yet??? I know someone who is driving over in August if you're still stuck and maybe doing so myself, I have been kindly donated £1500 to get a van which I will then give back to them on their return to England later in November...lemme know if you're still looking ;@)
Ember Love comments ...
thanks Mark. clear and direct. brutal is only when lacking compassion, and i personally feel plenty compassion from what you wrote :) looking forward to hearing more about progress on the land :) x
Robert Martin comments ...
Money is just a crutch that disenpowers a person in my opinion. If your not enough without money, you will never be enough with it. I am not against money, I just feel we have become to reliant on it to solve our issues. We purchased bikes for our children for 2 bucks and 5 bucks and they love and use them everyday. New bikes for both boys are well over 400 bucks!
Gareth Pashley comments ...
good thoughts going your way Mark..... Merlot says hello...
Peter Murphy comments ...
dogs cant talk can they?
Eko Chef comments ...
U trying to say dog don't have language Peter Murphy??? oh dear slippery sloppery...
Peter Murphy comments ...
Not since Thats Life 'dogs saying sauages' episode
Frederick Dsouza comments ...
@William . By commenting or joining you are already on the FREECONOMY BOAT . I just hope you did not get on to rock this boat intentionally. Yes this boat can take 7 billion people or more. This boat has exit and entrance just incase anyone wants to get off it or on it again. I would recommend standing ovation to those last million people who gets on this boat.
Dale Marxandswor comments ...
Too much weed, dude. Get a job. You have an argument that can only be put forth by your experience as a total human failure.
Frederick Dsouza comments ...
Time to celebrate dancing on what Charlie Pride have to say it all in his two songs. One is the website title song "just for the love of it" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60JRbRbMl4Q and the other is "pay it forward concept" "chain of love" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PybvRUz6JnM&feature=related
glenno comments ...
I, like thousands of others was inspired by your book to move closer towards a moneyless local society. I was inspired by your ACTIONS much more than your political and environmental beliefs and idealisms.
You now seem in danger of alienating many of your supporters (including me) by being overly critical of other peoples actions and motives.
It was your ACTIONS more than your IDEALISM that was so inspiring. You were 'walking the path'
I feel your personal blog has become more a mouthpeice for your RHETORIC rather than an inspiring journal of your direct ACTIONS towards living in a permaculture without the need for money.
Please Mark lets have some more uplifting practical examples of your day to day successes and struggles in moving closer to a local community.
Less rhetoric, less navel gazing and less badgering of others please.
Frederick Dsouza comments ...
Mark is doing way more than 90% of people . Its the powerful people who is obstructing people like mark from doing what he wants to do to change the world for good, hence the delay but if more and more people make their efforts to put pressure on their politicians etc by voicing their support for people like mark, things will speed up practically
David comments ...
Good luck with the village - let your actions speak louder than your words - but yeah please write about the village story too!
jeff zekas comments ...
hi mark, why is moneyless living so controversial? many folks ALREADY live a "semi-moneyless" life-- my son trades and barters all the time & the "underground economy" is flourishing here in the USA! ("underground" in that the government can't tax trades and bartering). A vision of the future: the film "The Book of Eli"-- ALL is trading and bartering an moneyless, due to the collapse of consumer society, after a nuclear war... is this so far-fetched? I think not. Anyway, what really came to mind, after hearing about you on TreeHugger, was this: he is a comrade-in-arms with Henry David Thoreau. Best of luck. regards, jeff
Mike comments ...
"My mum is alive because of western medicine."
This argument raises the good of individuals above the good of societies, species or the earth. Whenever I think about myself getting sick with something that would take more than natural healing, I think, "Well, maybe that will be my time to die." Besides, it's also our cultural mythology that death is a Bad thing. (As long as we believe it's bad, we can be controlled.)
Mike comments ...
By the way, Mark, I'm as inspired by your IDEALISM as by your ACTIONS. Keep it coming.
Char comments ...
I hope that one day I will have learnt enough about voluntary simplicity to have arguments like these with people. For now I'll just nod and let people think I'm a failure because I have no idea how to respond.
Sandie comments ...
I really do want to agree with what you say, I love the idea of moneyless living, free sharing and local communities. However, Mark, you wrote a book that was published; did that not rape our planet's resources to produce the paper and distribute the book? Did you not get paid with money? Did you not buy your moneyless village's land with money? You must have used a solicitor to purchase the land and paid for thhis service too? How can you be so brutally honest and single minded with your opinions on one hand, when on the other you are doing the very things you say you deplore?
Oceanic comments ...
Well said Mark! A voice of truth and sanity in the chaos of delusions.
It's precisely because i am expecting my first baby
that i am keeping a very close eye on your progress and plodding along on the inner journey that is making it possible for me to let go of all this nonsense and be able to join you one day soon.
I don't want my child to be hooked into the world of addiction and pointlessness that i've spent the last 20 years waking up to and recovering from. I don't want to be shouting at them on a beautiful morning to get their shoes on because the clock tells me that if i don't bundle them into the car immediately, they'll be late for their daily bout of soul destroying brainwashing....
I don't want them to feel the sense of disappointment i felt when i got to university and realised i had little hope of directing my own learning according to my interests and found it was just more of the same hoop jumping....
I don't want them to get to the age of 30 and realise the vast majority of what they do every day is utterly pointless....
I don't want them to wake up one morning and understand deeply the pain and emptiness inside of them is a hole where connection and rootedness should be....
I don't want them to get to the end of a months retreat in beautiful pocket of pristine, wildlife rich woodland, to be told that a local farmer has just bought the land to raise pheasants for rich, bored people to shoot....
I do want them to know their neighbors, people, plants and animals alike. I want them to feel deeply connected to soil and community and their deep selves. I want them to actually have a choice....the choice to not 'need' entertaining, the choice to be comfortable and at peace with silence and aloneness, the choice to experience clean air, clean food, clean water. The choice to be free, live life as an experience and not just a series of events. The choice to die at the end of a life fully and completely lived, however short or long that life maybe...
Thank you for your courage and inspiration Mark. xx
To all the cynics who consistently argue that Mark is only surving on the handouts of others and on the back of civilisation, I would ask you all to ask yourselves what is the alternative in the current climate? Mark can't change the world over night, and in this extremely long philisophical and beautiful phase of working toward truth he must work with what is around him. We can't create another planet with a no society to test this theory; it must, at the moment thrive in the one we currently have to endure. This is not something to critize, it is something to celebrate. In terms of 'sponging' or 'begging'; it is important, in a gift economy, or rather any that isnt monetary, to not only be able to always give as much as you can, but to also to be able to accept gifts freely. For the gift cycle to continue and to keep the gifts circulating then they must be freely given and taken, without expectation. This is what allows more equal distribution and protects us against the situation where some people are able to accumalate and store wealth, in whatever form. I am sure that Mark gives all he can to anyone willing, and is allowing his ideas to spread and circulate; giving his time to write his book/blog and give talks. He is part of the cycle too, and I can bet, without firsthand knowledge of this man, that he is not selfish in any way. @Mark- would love it if you could write a blog about land laws, dwelling rights ect.. We are also strongly considering buying some land but would love to know more and read a personal experience.
Sophie WildGurung comments ...
Do you know of anyone doing similar who does have a family? Thinking of going moneyless but have a 4 year old boy, just don't want to risk social services or someone coming and taking him away.
Village comments ...
We are starting a moneyless eco village in Gloucestershire, details can be found on the forum
John D Starling comments ...
I would like to share a thought with you all on “Goodwill”.
If we see Money as “Goodwill”, a material form of “Thanks” it puts the whole picture into a much clearer perspective.
If you undertake a piece of work for someone and make a good job of it, and they pay you joyously, “Goodwill” has flowed and both parties feel happy with the exchange.
If on the other hand you do the same good work for someone else, who then withholds their payment or is mean with it, “Goodwill” is withheld and it becomes an unhappy or poor exchange.
Money is just a Material way of exchanging “Thanks”.
It is the way that people abuse the Thanks and Goodwill that is wrong, and that abuse will occur in a moneyless society as well.
Furthermore, Capitalism is not wrong or evil either, it is the excessive greed and the hoarding of “Goodwill” for pure self indulgence that is wrong.
Mark Boyle comments ...
@ John D Starling - I have to be honest and respond that your view of money is a gross over-simplification - money isn't 'just' a material way of saying thanks. It has other critical ecological, social, emotional, mental, spiritual and physical consequences.
If money was just a way of saying thanks, there would be a lot of thanks in the world right now as we exchange money in almost ever social interaction now. If anything, we're much less grateful than ever.
kyle comments ...
Arguments against moneyless living will always be presented by those individuals who don't wish to let go of the perceived benefits of the moneyless system, until the point when humanity is standing on a catastrophic precipice with no point of return. As the world quite literally fragments there will be those people who argue that we needed the monetary system in order to provide better health care etc., as they fall to their death (with so many others, who never had the luxury of health care to begin with).
Albert Einstein said: "A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to enhance all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
I believe a way to free ourselves from this prison is to stop thinking that we need money in order to survive, and in order to create a truly "progressive" society, or community, or whatever. I'm completely with Mark on this one. The belief that money makes the world go round (or is the only way that people could receive health care) IS the prison.
It is hard to ask someone to leave a prison of their own making. The arguments of Mark and others throughout the centuries who have seen through the money myth are chinks in the wall, but even when those chinks break through to the prison room inside, some people stubbornly refuse to leave because they have grown accustomed to the perceived (false) security those four walls had offered them until the time of their potential liberation.
The prison walls will come down one way or the other, but it's much wiser for people to just choose to open the door and walk through to the other side of their own volition.
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. "
David Watts comments ...
@kyle I do not agree with your opening comment: 'Arguments against moneyless living will always be presented by those individuals who don't wish to let go of the perceived benefits of the moneyless system'. To truly believe in any argument, one must be prepared to debate it and consider alternative points of view. To ignore any contrasting opinions risks falling into the dogmatic stance usually evoked by religious or autocratic leaders, rather than that of a free sharing community. I believe it is necessary to raise arguments against moneyless living in order to challenge and to affirm my own beliefs.
Hi David, I agree with what you wrote about the need to seriously debate and consider alternative points of view. I also believe that proponents of moneyless living, such as Mark, need to consider arguments for and against what they do. I think Mark does a particularly good job of this, by the way.
However, this doesn’t negate what I wrote:
Arguments against moneyless living will always be presented by those individuals who don't wish to let go of the perceived benefits of the moneyless system… (by the way, I meant MONETARY system here, not MONEYLESS!)
Just to clarify, I was not saying that ALL the arguments against moneyless living that ever get raised, or ever will be raised, will be raised by people who don’t wish to let go of the perceived benefits of the monetary system. (I can see that my use of the word “always” in the context that I used could have led to this assumption, so I’m sorry for the confusion that was caused as a result of this wording). What I was trying to convey, is that individuals who don’t wish to let go will continually raise arguments, but that doesn’t stop people who do choose to let go from raising arguments too - both for and against.
Of course, the more important question is whether the arguments are sound, or not. Another question is, why are we raising the arguments in the first place? This is where sincerity is so important. Do we have a bias/attachment which is behind our arguments? If we don’t then, great… we can argue until we come to a conclusion that will force us to act (or not act). However, if we are not sincere, then we will continue arguing even after we have been shown that our arguments are not reasonable. Of course, the person we are most hurting in this situation is ourselves. This is what I was trying to express in the prison metaphor I used above.
A sincere person is more likely to think deeply enough about a situation/issue, to the point of acting one way or the other – even if this means changing one's perspective, attitude, life etc..
However, if we are attached to something (and we are being told by others that this attachment is harmful to ourselves and others) then it follows that we will come up with arguments for why we should not let go of what we are clinging to. Of course we may or may not choose to express these arguments, but just because we haven't expressed them does not mean we have not raised them, with ourselves.
People who do not wish to let go of the benefits of the monetary system will continue to raise arguments for why moneyless living is not possible, irresponsible, grossly naive etc. It is not really the argument that is necessarily wrong, but whether it is right to make these arguments without being open to being shown otherwise.
David Watts comments ...
Well said Kyle. I also admit that I was quick to criticise the opening paragraph of your post without mentioning that I do agree with the rest of what you have to say, in particular two very thoughtful quotes from Einstein and Gandhi.
Nath from France comments ...
My husband, my daughter (6) and I, are about to live the same way like you are. Nobody will be able to oppose you again it's impossible with kids ! best w, Nath
Peter comments ...
Impossible with kids? Build a home, grow a garden, move to that land and educate them by yourself. True education comes is learning how to take care of yourself, not remembering useless information you read in some "educational book"
Sandie comments ...
Well, my friend Clare is getting down and doing it: She's having a FREE SWAP this Saturday 2pm 'till 5pm (16 July) in Bath. 8, Axbridge Road, Bath, BA2 5PW. Come along to share Ideas, Stuff, Food or whatever ...... I'll be taking along a heap of kids stuff to share for free, so why not join us in the spirit of Freeconomy.
firstname.lastname@example.org comments ...
A gimmick! That's it. It was all but a gimmick :O!!!!
My stupid peasant mind didn't get it. I fell on it head long.What a simpleton I am. That's why we peasant will never rise above our brutish life, we miss that subtle cunningness.
Now here I apologize for whatever I said beforehand.
Can you also tell me-us how much Money has make your book so far? Oh came on we won't tell to the tax man.
Well, you certainly are a shrewd businessman. You must have had your degree on economy on maximum votes.
Can you spare some change mate?
Now dear Kyle, I'm not arguing about a moneyless life, because I can't make without the "benefits" of money.
I lived without money: first on my childhood in the peasant community I grew up.
Then on my own choice in my late twenties when I left a very well remunerated job, to the chagrin of my family, because I thought I wanted live in a world like the one Mr Mark is talking about.
Those were my best years of my life. But it was cut abruptly again by a law that reduced the rights of squatters. Again the Law destroyed my way of life.
The Law is against the poor. You can call me a communist, I am.
Now dear Kyle where we were?
What I've been awaiting for Mark to reach was the simple fact that you can't live moneylessley without land.
And when he realized it, I wished that he would have gone all the way, but not he buys the land. Then he plans to build a Moneyless Village or whatever he may choose to call it in the future, with MONEY.
Now forgive my simple peasant's mind, but all I can see is a confused man to say the least.
Love to all
That peasant of Benito
Hi Benito etc.,
You say that it is impossible to live moneyless without land. Are there any people alive today who do not own land and who live moneyless? Aboriginals come to mind and some other tribes holding out. There was a tribe on one of the Andaman Islands who refused to make contact with "civilised" people, at least 10 years or so ago. I'm using these examples because, while they may be in a small minority, they still go to show us that it is at least possible to live moneyless without necessarily "owning" land. Yes, they may inhabit land, or use the land. However, money has no part in this occupation/existence. Aboriginal culture is such that they believe the land owns them, rather than the other way round, from what I can remember hearing. I like this attitude very much. :0)
I think that, while it may be extremely hard in today's world to live moneyless, that it is important we do not get fooled into making blanket statements like you have, Benito. If we say that it is impossible to live moneyless it is a LOT more likely that we will fail to find the kinds of solutions Mark and others are experimenting with, because we will have begun to talk ourselves out of finding them. I know of several people who experiment with moneyless living. I don't think Suelo over in the U.S. owns any land (although he occupies a cave for several months in a year, from what I can gather). How many other people dotted around the place live a moneyless existence without having a piece of paper certifying that a piece of land is in their name? Heaps.
From memory, Mark wrestled with the issue of whether to wait for someone to donate a piece of land on which he could set up the first freeconomy village, or use the proceeds of his book in order to set up a charitable trust which could buy back the land, which should be "ours" to share anyway. Mark has admitted to what appears on the surface to be a hypocritical solution, but one it is worth reminding people that he enlisted the entire Freeconomy community in finding. However, I think it is common for people who accuse Mark (and others) of being hypocrites to miss the bigger picture. The real question will be, once Mark is occupying a piece of land with others, in community, can they make it work? Can it be self-sufficient? Can it flourish? Or, to put it another way, before people allowed a means of monetary exchange to hijack the world and its resources, was it possible to live a fulfilling moneyless existence?
A further question I have (for another time) is, is it possible for us to have a moneyless world with all (and/or indeed MORE) of the perceived benefits of "civilised" society? What is often possible is only made impossible through the choice of the person who inserted the prefix to the word "possible". I digress...
What is learned as a result of the freeconomy village being set up will answer the question more than how Mark ended up procuring the land for the village, at least in my opinion. In other circumstances Mark may have been given a plot of land, or owned a plot of land... or (more importantly), the land had not been divided into plots that people could own in the first place, so a community of individuals could get together to set up a gift economy village on a piece of it. However, unfortunately the latter is not the case. So, Mark is just trying to do his best within the more limited parameters modern society offers. The fact these parameters exist is not Mark's fault. The fact that it is extremely HARD to live moneyless is not Mark's fault either. However, Mark has lived moneyless for the last two years. He has purchased a piece of land, which I gather is not even owned by him, but a charitable trust, to experiment with moneyless living. Transition may well be necessary in order to get back to a fully moneyless existence, which Mark and others hope to achieve. In the short-term, people have different options if they wish to live a moneyless existence without the kind of long-term transition Mark envisions, from my understanding. They can squat buildings or land until they get moved on, or put in jail. They can storm the government and oust the corrupt forces from power (although often this creates a worse scenario when a proper transition to an ideal has not been thought through)! People can find areas of land that existing land owners may be willing to share, or areas of wilderness that still exist on the planet, although in ever decreasing amounts. There are solutions, even though I realise they may be FAR more limited and limiting than we would like. They still exist though. Worst-case scenario and it becomes illegal NOT to own land (!) and/or illegal NOT to use money... what would we do? Do we conform because it is easier to do so? Or do we say to ourselves that it is better if we starve to death than to sacrifice our freedom to be human and decent, while doing as much good between now and the time we cop it? You never know, we may find that we live longer than we supposed at the start of our experiment, and we may find a great deal more solutions to moneyless existence than if we hadn't chosen this course.
For those people who argue that a moneyless existence could not work on a large scale in today's world, I both agree and I disagree. I agree that most people will not want to experiment in this way, due to the sacrifices, potential dangers, alienation that will inevitably occur, but I disagree that the vast majority of the world's population is not physically or mentally able to experiment with this, if they choose to do so.
My own feeling is that Mark is doing the best he can and knows how within the circumstances he currently finds himself in, which is considerably more than the vast majority of the UK population can say. So, people need to ask themselves before (and while) they start criticising Mark, what they have done already, or are committed to doing in the future, to find solutions to the kinds of problems being discussed here?
I believe the reason more of this is not happening is because most of us are not willing to forgo the comforts, conveniences and apparent benefits of the very system we know needs to change, and that unless we are willing to make those sacrifices and changes, things won't change to the degree necessary. How could it? And I apply this to myself as much as to anyone.
I'm sorry this response is much longer than I would have liked.
Frederick Dsouza comments ...
Today 2.5 billion people have access to computer to read what mark has to say. How would rest of 4.5 billion get access to what mark has to say. In fact marks says to approach library to get the book so that all can read for free. Probably hoping some people give up their land instead of money after reading the book for The Freeconomy Community on a "pay it forward" concept. Mark has also donated thousands of books. I dont think the proceeds of the book will get him to experiment everything needed for a freeconomy village but its something better than nothing. Mark might not even use the proceeds if its not needed. This website too is build through money after mark sold his boat and other possession.
glenno comments ...
I'm confused by some of your comments namely....."Filling the kettle half way, car-sharing, growing a couple of token tomatoes in the back garden isn't going to do it. Civilisation needs to fall in order for life - human and non-human alike - to flourish again".
I'm one of your many followers who is reducing their hold on money and reducing their level of consumerism and living a more ecological life.
Now you're suggesting this is no more than tokenism. Is this fair or helpful? Doesn't a revolution start with many small changes?
The need for the fall of civilisation as a starting point for your "wild living" seems so extreme and unrealistic without a huge natural disaster or major world war.
So if many small moves towards moneyless living is merely tokenism then I'm for it. Hang on to your idealism Mark it is very inspiring, but a more pragmatic acceptence and encouragement of a slow revolution towards "wild living" or "moneyless living" of many others may be helpful.
Keep up the good work Mark
email@example.com comments ...
when I say: it is not possible to live without money or to be 100% self sufficient without land, I don't mean you have to own the land, but you have to have access to it. I'm very aware of many people who are lucky enough to live on their ancestral land without owing it. About 30 million globally if you believe the last UN census.
Although this is their downfall when they have to keep out cattle ranchers- timber- oil-minerals prospectors. Probably the same minerals of this computer I'm typing on right now. And here I'm at fault like everybody else.
Because they haven't got any documents to prove the land is theirs they have no rights and no courts to appeal to.
That's why I believe we ought to fight for the right to the land by any means. When I say to fight I mean peacefully. But using all the tools that Gandhi used. Trough the human right bill, adding the right to grow your own food, clothes, medicines and why not wine and all the teaching plants too.
We, in the modern world, are all children of the Human Right bill, what it needs now is to be
extended, plus to recognize globally the right of Mother Earth too, that so far has been endorsed to the UN by the first indigenous president of Bolivia Evo Morales.
This man has all my respect because he is not afraid to be laughed at or to risk his presidency to bring forward such alien concept to the modern world.
There are other men I fully respect like Fool Crow, Leader of the Lakota. Also Known as Sioux>
Well he refused like 160 million dollars compensation for the loss of land inflicted by the USA government breaching their own agreement with them whom they jointly signed. His answer was: you took the land that you say was ours. Then you made a lot of money out of it. Then you come and say: look we are sorry for what happened, take this money and lets forget. But those money are already mine, since you made them out from the richness of my land. My name is Fool Crow not Stupid.
Now image what he could have done with all those money for his disastrous community. Where unemployment reaches more than 80%, drug abuse is rife, murder too, not to mention the highest suicide and infantile mortality rate in the western world.
My grandfathers never owned any land, and they fought for the right to live on it like any honest man and woman should have. One of them was arrested for disrupting the peace, but the guilty government
gave Him a Knighthood after his death, for negligence of his health while he was in prison.
Which my grandmother duly refused.
During my life time I've seen things that people believed were impossible. Like the fall of the Berlin Wall, the liberation of Nelson Mandela, the first black American president, although I think is just a stupid white-black man, like a Native American would say. Most of all the first and second indigenous president of the respective country of Bolivia and Ecuador. This all are the same people like Andaman's Island you mention, and although they had to embrace civilisation their stories live on so is their determination.
What if they gave up or compromised? The soul of their ancestors would not rest, and their way of threading on Mother Earth would never been passed on. It does not matter if many of them have died or lived a miserable life, what is important is the dream lives on.
We are all dead anyway. There's no death, but change.
What I mean with all of this, is we cannot ever loose the dream, we need to sustain the vision that we all can one day say we don't own the land but we belong to the land.
Now what Mark is doing is like fighting you enemy with the same weapons you abhor. It inevitably make you like them.
Why not join forces with the above people and act accordingly, occupy a land start growing, be moved on, and start again.
I did it for almost 8 years, over two countries, urbanely and in cities. I know I didn't obtain nothing and all seem useless, but I can tell you that many trees I planted are still up. I know that the people I did it with are all living a very ordinary slave life like me, and many now think completely differently and is something you don't put on your CV either.
Things on the world are now ripe for such argument again. Movements of people are springing all over, even here in Europe again, after the lull from my grand fathers generations.
So don't close yourselves up on a experiment that will remain just such.
That's going to fail, not because it won't work,but because it was bought alienating tree quarter of the world whom they will never have the money to do so.
Do not be elitist with words like Permaculture, that to me sounds like marketing an old thing for new.
For others link
youtube: Evo Morales speak at UN assembly
Sorry for taking such big space
Love to all
That peasant of Benito
PS once posted I always don't like what I've writtten. :)
firstname.lastname@example.org comments ...
one mistake I feel I need to correct from my above comments:
........"I've squatted urbanely and rurally"...........
You know, I was given a hoe when I was strong enough for it and not a pen.
Empty pages learnt by memory comments ...
Hallo every one,
here I am again. Oh don't worry this time I'm rallying on defending my luv, Mark.
1 Whoever says you can't live without money is a moron, as at least a billion people do everyday, although not all of them on their own choice they do it nevertheless.
2 Whoever say that reducing consumption would be enough to save all of us from this looming catastrophe, is deluded. Tell that to the 20 million facing starvation in east Africa after a freak weather denied them of the spring rains. Or the Islanders of many Islands who are going down. There's no time for reducing, we need to stop, the wars and catastrophes are here now. If you think I'm the profet of doom & gloom, again tell that who already is living the doom & gloom.
3 Why keep somebody alive at all cost here and let die millions somewhere else. Oh sod them. Is that what you think? I bet not, but if you do, at least you're honest with yourself. At the same I believe we can have that without money. Take the maker of the polio vaccine Jonas Salk, he refused to patent it and gave it to the world for free. Sharing that's it. Easy!!!!!
And yes most of the drugs nowadays are chemical compounds found in plants beforehand.
And more: acceptance of death is the first step toward spiritual freedom, but because you're so incapsuleted inside you're western social superior being you can't see beyond you're nose.
4 About Mark being single? I can say again that the billion of people I've told you about on the first chapter are families. And what future are you giving to you're children anyway. Pollution, giant plastic islands on the oceans, interminable wars for water, food,resources and not a whale that would save Pinocchio and his father nor a tuna fish that would take them back ashore. :-(
5 Oh no he's not a communist, I can tell you that for sure. There has never been a communist on the face of Earth since they crucified that guy what's his name? Ah!!! Jesus!!! That's was is it. He was who gave to humanity the ritual of Communion.
This is my body and my blood. The bread and wine to be shared with all. The bread and wine who come from the Earth and give us our bodies and knowledge.
6 About going forward. Well on my latest reading on quantum physic motion apparently is, but an illusion.
The only thing for certain is the here and now. You, me, all, are part of the all where time, space, motion, birth, death is just illusion of an inflated ego.
If you don't get it, the only thing I can tell you is take more time to sit and stare at clouds, water, fog, the blue sky, the starry obscurity of the day and listen to the wind, the trees, the rocks, be still, quiet and all the above may show you your true self; a being made of pure energy shining like a star. And that is true knowledge and it comes for free.
6 About defending oneself: the bandit said to Buddha, you know I can kill you in an instant. The Buddha replied: you know I can die in an instant.
But like Mark sometime I prefer to run for it.
7 Now a point where Mark didn't, on this occasion, defended himself is about land property.
This is a point that is close to my heart.
Although it really pissed me off hearing of him BUYING some land, smelling controversy if not hypocrisy, is after all a good idea. Came on all of you who's got some money out of all this mess, buy some land; but no more than 40 acres OK!!! Turn it on a moneyless hamlet. Don't wait.
Don't think like: oh first I do a course on permaculture, then a course on "wild" medicine etc.
Remember there's only the here and now. Out there is still indigenous people and peasants who will be more than happy to share their knowledge. Trust the Spirit, once a decision is made connected with it, therefore with your luminous being all will be come to you.
To all the indigenous, peasants, and unfortunates who haven't got money to do so, go and reclaim the land, the Parks (that are only a scum) from where you'd been evicted, the "wild-virgin-pristine" that has never been. Every crannies and niche on this Earth was inhabited and enriched by humans like scientist are saying now that the whale and other big fish, seals are making the sea richer, the wolf keep the herd healthy, and killing the old animals(like they do now to cull animals in Parks) reduce the ability of survival of herds, because the old knows where to find water, or where to cross a river. All knowledge that the "primitive" knew. So tell greenpeace,the WWF to pack it. The forest, the desert, the savannah, the prairie, all appeared to the "civilized" man so rich because of the presence of man not for his absence.
To all the moneyless villages, built with the money, you'll be like corridors for those who will fight for that right to sustain oneself given by our coming on Mother Earth, because if we don't resolve the problem of poverty it will come to haunt your "moneyless" villages like locust.
Another thing about permaculture, what about the Mexica (best known as Aztecs) Chimpas: the first ever aquaculture. You cut the reed growing on a lake, swamp, then make a raft with it cover with the mud of the same swamp, lake et lo you can grow anything without the need to water or drain the swamp. That can be done done on the Broads, and all the area prone to flooding. Or the black soil of the Amazon that still fertile well over 500 years after that's been made and used by the inhabitants of the big cities that are now uncovered in "pristine-virgin" forest. As you see permaculture is a buzz word of an old way of sustainable farming and gardening. Terracing to reduce erosion, water catchment, intercropping, forest, savannah management and seed selection has been always been done. Once every farmer had the right seed variety for that field. Over the last decade more than 3000 thousand varieties of rice has been lost. Varieties that could stand anything of that particular mini climate of that particular field.
The other day while I was walking barefooted on the moist soil I felt like a pressure from Mother Earth, and quieting my internal dialogue (you call it meditation) I realized that Mother Earth is giving to all of us the same pressure to awaken, like a boost to our consciousness and after I had a dream and I saw the filaments of energy that criss-cross the universe on all direction like a grid. A VOICE told me (the shamans call it direct knowledge): that those filaments where the string that Quantum Physicist say are the bottom line of the universe, and I didn't need no machine to see them. That I was the machine from which all,the machine where merely a copy of my body. Therefore we don't need all this apparatus we have built and all is run by few carrots and an onion.
On the same dream I could climb on these filaments and experience the depths of the universe and down below too experiencing other dimension too, although I needed all the care of the world because these world were as predatory as it is this giving me that alertness of the deer.
The voice told me also that the only thing I had to do to keep to have similar Dreams was to look after my battery. The battery is my genitals the only energy I have to create. When I, reluctantly, awoke I knew why Gandhi choose chastity.
There has been a thing about Gandhi that has always intrigued me. Once a reporter asked him how it felt to have achieved the impossible. He answered that on the real fight that everyone should take he had failed.
Now I think I know what he meant. The only worth fight we ought take Is to break trough the fog of our ego and see that what we really are is a luminous being that shine like a star and the only thing we need is to live on this Earth who has taken us and everything else to grow our consciousness. But it's also a predatory world like every-world and some deer has to feed the wolf. And some has misinterpreted this by making animals, humans, sacrifices to obtain favours from the Spirit. But we are different from the deer and our sacrifice is devolved trough love and care of our Mother Earth and live it richer still.
Before I say farewell to all of you I'd like to say one thing to that peasantbenito:
SHUT-UP!!! You bloody peasant!!! and get on the road again. I'm going to Romania to the Reclaim the field camp. Hope to see you there.
All the best to you all.
Ana comments ...
Technology and moneyless are not two incompatible terms. I think we have to distinguish between useful technology with useless, dangerous and letal technology like nuclear energy etc. we have to be more selective about it and make all technology sustanaible. Mark watch out you tendency to go on purist and nihilistic path is not helping your good cause and can alienate people. How far would you go refusing technology, as far as the wheel?.
You're going to start in small moneyless community out of the mainstream society, but the ones we are inside and have no intention/can't live in small moneyless communities for personal reasons,we can influence from within making small gradually changes to a more personal selfsufficient, sustanible changes.
Mateusz (troblodite) comments ...
I just read your book, in 2 days. AWSOME stuff. I dont have much time to browse right now through this site as my library time is soon to finish off so iam just writing here and have to ask you. Where is this village and how can i get involved. About month ago I had an oportunity to be part of my dads lucrative Jewelery bussiness but i said no thanks... i dont feel like spreading more vanity... i packed my stuff ... with my dads blessing... and hitchhiked from poland to london (my first time) with an intention of getting into charity work to find out how these work and to meet people that have the sort of ideas that you present. As well as to save some money (haha) to go volunteer abroad. Maybe even get enough skill... to do it without money.
Peace... and love... and nice ... fesh ... oranges ... :D
claude in Québec comments ...
Amazing and revealing comments !
The important thing is to get people to wake up. The first stage of true change, as for an alcoholic, is denial, then anger... we can see plenty of this on this blog !
If they are reading your articles, the seed has been dropped, the work towards the obvious is on Mark!
How to get land for free? People like me used to make a lot of money, bought land, paid for it, woke up, and are now building moneyless communities and searching for people who are awake.
If you can get your hands on the ENDCIV movie by Derrick Jensen, he makes an interesting observation on Ghandi.
I and my good friend, the planet, thank you for being normal.
Frederick Dsouza comments ...
@Mateusz(troblodite) . The Moneyless Traveler ,tomi astikainen of finland could be an inspiration to you and many http://www.tomiastikainen.com/
Mateusz(troglodyte) comments ...
Thanks fredrick... Good stuff... Couldn't find you on here
Allan comments ...
I did economics A level and it was never as sexy as sociology. There I said it.
As to a moneyless/local economy; it will never work. Not that I wouldn't love to work but there are just too many people to convince otherwise.
Do you remember LETS, hmm look how that took off.
The only way a local economy is going to happen is when the oil runs out.
Just to make it clear I am 100% for what you are doing just like I was when Krusty the middle class clown buried himself in that tunnel to save the world.
As for Ghandi he made some changes that really lasted didn't he, bless him.
OK, I think I made my point; your doing a good job but your going to need more than one lifetime to achieve your goals.
martin castle comments ...
Big posts >:(
I'd like to see them broken into smaller ones... like a small series with the first section in a post & then a series of posts titled "but medicines saved my mums life..", "I've got the right to choose..." etc - this is probably because I'm a grumpy git who's very lazy and likes small, bite sized bits of info that I can get my teeth into.
What say ye? and how ya doin'? ;)
Rachel from Brisbane comments ...
I agree with Colin Beavan in his latest blog post (aka No Impact Man) re innovation and sustainability. Check out : http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/2011/07/is-progress-good-or-bad.html
Hermit of the Forests comments ...
Your article is intriguing. Has human nature become so depraved that we associate our essence with destruction and self absorbtion. What happened to the collective?
Peter comments ...
I think the documentary END-CIV is a good one about this subject.
Peter comments ...
The system: Illusions tied together with sticky tape
Civilization backwards: The supermarket system; relying on others by outsourcing your primal needs vs self-sustainability: Why cavemen were more developed than us, since we don't even know how to build our own shelter and grow our own food. But looking at the point we are at; out reliance on oil, banks and money, jobs, government and supermarkets to supply what we think we need; that's not at surprise: We have been locked into a treadmill of ignorance.
teresag comments ...
Thankyou Mark. You are trying to let us know that maybe there is another way to live in this planet.I get you. For the people that do not agree with your views i hope that they bookmark this site and that they ll buy your book while is still available. Evidently they need more than the financial crises around the world, the famines, wars, natural catastrophies, what the need is to be in those situations, not reading them in the paper (make the News of the world..... please) or on the flat TV. I know You are fond of Ghandi, so am I,I like what he said .... There is enough in the world for man's need no for man's greed. Or the say.... I want to live simply so other can simply live. Love and bless to you. Teresa
AydinDubstep comments ...
This man speaks the truth.
GERT PRETORIUS comments ...
DO YOU KNOW IF THERE IS A PLACE LIKE THAT IN SOUTH AFRICA. I WOULD LOVE TO LIVE LIKE THAT, AND I SUPPORT YOUR THINKING 100% !
Jason Palmer comments ...
Peter comments ...
I am considering moving to some "wild" area of Africa to experiment with permaculture "greening the desert" and green building with earth - I am just trying to solve the VISA problem without money, accessing the country as a volunteer.
If you have a clue how to solve this and would like to join this project, post a message.
When we succeed in our test project I am planning to offer a "self sufficient solution" to all of Africa and similar countries where growing food is difficult "Self Sustainable World"
jason palmer comments ...
trick with critics is to ignore them, they never do anything, they just sit around being critics
Don Ferris comments ...
I've just finished reading a book that describes what (almost) moneyless living actually looks like; "Rainbow Pie" by Joe Bageant. He grew up on his grandparents' farm in West Virginia, where until just after WW11, they were mostly self-sufficient. The book is an eye-opener in many levels, not least because it's the way people may have to live when oil runs out for good. To get a preview read, look it up on Amazon and click on the LookINSIDE link.
Great blog, Mark--keep challenging us.
Mark Boyle comments ...
@ Don Ferris - I will do, sounds like a very useful book.
Just one clarification: WW11? Did I miss 9 of them? :)
Maia comments ...
The idea of a moneyless village is an amazing idea and it would be amazing if it really does work.
I mean in the past people used to barter and farm to survive, so why couldn't it work now?
It is definitely a great theory and I have great respect for you and others who are trying to put it into practice. Good luck to you.
littlewildrose comments ...
To all of the naysayers and idiots (like Jusst Wanderrin) who don't understand or appreciate what Mark is doing and sharing with others, I have some questions for you:
(1) What would you do if the plug was pulled on you? What if the lights went out and never came back on? Could you survive?
(2) What if the stock market crashes for good? Or countries come calling to collect our debt? What if oil is no longer available?
(3) Do you know your next door neighbor? Would you be able to ask for their help? Would they help you? Would you help them? If any of your answers are no, then you are in sad shape.
I think that Jusst Wanderrin is "just negative" and "just mean." Enough said about that person.
Keep up the good work Mark! You are using your brain. I wish more people would. I don't think you're a bum or freeloader. You are bartering, working hard to take care of yourself, and sharing your knowledge, talent and inspiration with others. What a concept!
Not everyone in this world are good people. Some are just rotten or close minded. Those are the ones who can't understand what you're trying to do and trying to change. That's why they post mean bullshit. They are afraid and in denial of any truth.
Some people will never change until forced to do so. They don't care about being independent - not yet anyway. Someday they may be forced to. They really don't care and they're lazy and would rather depend on the companies who control what's coming through the wires attached to their houses. They'd rather depend on those who pull the strings. That's true dependency. Those people are really just living for today . . and have no plans for tomorrow.
Kudos to those who think ahead and use their brains!
Lyssa M comments ...
@Sophie WildGurung Don't worry Social Services will not come down on you for moneyless living unless they are already involved previously (Not had experience with Social Services myself but know others that have and once they're in they're in for life and want to know every little detail but if they've never been involved with you or your children they'd have no reason to now). You don't have to worry about your child's eduction until they are 5 and even then you tell them you are home educating.
I do think it is perfectly possible to go moneyless with children but not neccessarily where you are at or with older children. I'm away at the moment in Albania (hubby's homeland) where I am (Durres Beach) is all very built up and it would be absolutely impossible to live for free... but in hubby's home town (Polican) There is plenty of unwanted land.... only problem is I'm the only one that wants to go live there.... would be very lonely, lol. The problem with older children is that firstly they are at school and you would have to disrupt all that... secondly they get used to a certain way of life that involves certain expectations when it comes to clothes, birthdays, xmas ect.... I personally think it's very unfair to them to bring them up a certain way and then suddenly change all that....
@Mark Boyle . Oh deary me, loverly. You do seem to go through little cycles of some rather shockingly harsh posts and then later on admitting you've been becoming rather judgemental and making some more inspirational and down to earth posts that all readers can take something away from. This post just inspires people to close up and become defensive.
One thing that does bug me is the whole "how can it be moneyless living when people buy your book?!!" Seriously? Am I the only person that actually understands why mark had to do it that way? It would be impossible to come by the land otherwise! I see it as just a little investment at the very beginning to start the villiage off so that it can then continue, moneyless, for many many years!!
celia perigord comments ...
i really agree with every word you've said, this is exactly the only way we can finally make our planet a better place. thanks for starting your project .
Jordan comments ...
I realize this is long, but it explains why the idea of a non-monetary society is incredibly bad, and why Mark is very wrong about most things. However, my arguments are nowhere near comprehensive.
The arguments that you describe as "fine" are actually rather bad arguments that do little to point out how flawed your ideas really are. The only decent one is that more people will die in a non-industrialized, non-monetary society. You assert that the benefits of modern medicine are outweighed by the negative impacts of industrialization. However, you have no data to support you and we know that you are in fact completely wrong. The average human lifespan has increased drastically as medical technology has improved. This means that a smaller portion of the population is dying at a young age, which is especially important when we consider that people who are now living longer are also staying healthier longer. Just today I read an article about a new medicine developed by MIT that is expected to be able to cure almost any virus. This will make people better off than they have been at any point in the past, and would never have occurred in a non-industrial society.
Perhaps even more importantly is the fact that global trade, which is made much easier by money, increases efficiency of production by allowing firms to specialize and forcing them to compete with one another. This allows greater production of goods and services with less labor than would be required in a so-called "local" economy. Let us remember that in the process of producing goods, people must expend energy as they work to create those goods. Because industrialization reduces the time that a person must labor in order to produce a given amount of a good, it reduces the energy expended on labor, which means that anything that would be produced in a non-industrial society can be produced with less energy expenditure in an industrial society. If people are consuming more energy, it means that they would have to consume more food, which is problematic when we consider that many areas (notice that they are the non-industrialized areas) frequently face food shortages. The raising of livestock also creates significant pollution in the form of methane gas produced from the digestion of food. Perhaps you can make an argument that at least we wouldn't be burning fossil fuels, but that simply means that we would be without a great many goods that significantly increase our happiness and overall well-being. Electricity has been instrumental in alleviating much of the suffering that afflicted mankind in the past, while vehicles have provided innumerable economic and personal benefits. Additionally, we will run out of those fuels within a few hundred years, meaning that we will soon be forced to switch to renewable energy anyways, and the pollution created by burning carbon-based fuels will end. However, those sustainable technologies can only be created through continuing technological innovation, which is greatly promoted by globalization and industrialization.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that all your plan would really do is move people back onto and inferior version the barter system, which is a ridiculous goal. It seems that the theory of a non-monetary society is that people will provide goods and services only to people who also provide useful goods and services. But you seem to think that it makes some significant difference if those people have to act on the faith that others will also spend their time working for free in order to effectively repay society for the goods they have received. Obviously this system promotes freeloading, which you propose would be unsustainable since freeloaders would eventually be recognized, and the group would no longer provide for them. Money prevents this freeloading since people must pay directly for the things they want to obtain. Money also resolves the inherent issue with the barter system, which is that people do not always have something that person they want to trade with would like to have. Rather than attempting to have people promise to do something in return for a good or service, money allows people to receive a store of value than ensures people who are providing the most benefit to the community also receive the most compensation. This is important since it leads people to develop valuable skills that allow them to create valuable things for others. If everyone in a community is equally well-off regardless of their profession, they have no incentive to pursue a more difficult educational path or to work more difficult jobs, even when their community would be better off if more people were doing those difficult jobs. Capitalism is the only way to effectively create incentives for people to work necessary jobs, and it is the only way to bring about an efficient allocation of resources that fulfills as many desires as possible.
I could write a lot more about how terrible your ideas are, but this is already too long for most people to read.
Matthew Joel Sforcina comments ...
Your honesty makes me want to cry. The tears well up but because I have been taught to repress them, they don't come so easily. I sit in the Sydney convention centre in Australia. Leaching free internet with my mini laptop. I live in a homeless ward at present. I just got a job at Greenpeace. I was volunteering on a farm in Tasmania. I run to and fro looking, searching.
I once did a trip that took me to a place that afterwards I asked myself what I wanted to do with my life if none of this world mattered. I looked at it honestly and I told myself, I'd like to live in the bush, living off the land, alone for the rest of my life.
I sold all my things and I went to live in the bush. I lasted a week. I called my parents on the otherside of the country to rescue me from my self inspired 'hell'.
Since I have traveled all around Australia. Leaving workplaces, friends and families in a non-descript manner. Burning bridges as my relentless desire to destroy what is burns. I see this rage within me. And the longer I stay within a civilised society the stronger it gets.
I like you, cannot wait until it comes to a point of finality. At whatever method it may choose to take.
Here's from a fellow in the city of Australia's flourishing economy, where no earthquakes happen.
licia comments ...
I didn't really understand the 23th paragrapgh ,from " So ,given this" .. to "In those words". Could you help me please ?
Krista comments ...
Eventually society will have no other option than to become a moneyless society or at least that is the way I see it. Those who are knowledgeable enough to provide themselves with food, clothing, shelter - they will be the ones surviving. Nobody knows when tragedy, economic ruin or "civilized" society will degrade to a point where we must rely on ourselves. The focus will shift away from a global market to a local one. I'm afraid many people will not know the tools and skills our ancestors once utilized to survive.
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David Boston comments ...
I agree with pretty much everything in this article.
I really love how approachable and simple your writing is and the great sense of humour you have when writing.
These are the kind of arguments I need to rebut people who offer these ridiculous arguments defending the current system.
Please also include a piece debunking the link between 'capitalism' and human nature, I think that is the greatest obstacle to your/our cause, as people always fall back on this supposed innate quality of all of us to support capitalism as 'real' and 'necessary.'
Where is your moneyless village, I want to come and stay!!
raymond borowiak comments ...
sweet jesus using a security code to keep the bots out is 20th century, the best blogs moderate the posts and won't post them if the moderator doesn't like it the cute thang is there are bots that can moderate for you so it's like I don't need no bot to keep the bots out I jsut use a stinking security code but that don't work neither lets just say if I had sum ICE-9 it would take care of the economy
Henry comments ...
In the end Mark, we are simply a bunch of intelligent apes on a small rock orbiting an average star. When the sun undergoes its first expansion, it will destroy all life on earth. At that point, whether we have trashed the place like locusts or cared for it will not matter. Which brings me to my question I want to ask you. Do you think that it is better that we enter space, wreck our earth, and consume planets, ultimately lasting longer as a species or live wisely and in a permaculture system, and perish with this planet.
I do not believe that we will have the capability for either myself.