August 4, 2008
A Resource Based Economy
Whilst the Group of Eight and the World Trade Organization chatter away to little effect, and Bill Gates ponders how to tweak capitalism so that the "one billion people [who] live on less than a dollar a day" can benefit from it, you may be wondering if there isn't a better way to organize society. In the 20th century the alternative most often put forward was communism. That doesn't seem to have worked out terribly well either though.
I suppose the idea is hopelessly utopian, but one man has suggested another alternative for the 21st century. Jacque Fresco was one of the founders of the Revell Plastics Company, he's written 13 books, he has produced hundreds of inventions, and he's been the subject of several documentaries including the award-winning "Future by Design". He advocates an alternative to capitalism and communism which he terms the Resource Based Economy, and he has set up the Venus Project to promote the idea.
Here's a few quotes to give you the gist of the concept:
The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.
This approach to global governance has nothing whatever in common with the present aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations at the helm, and the vast majority of the world's population subservient to them. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.
As we outgrow the need for professions based on the monetary system, for instance lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, marketing and advertising personnel, salespersons, and stockbrokers, a considerable amount of waste will be eliminated.
Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.
"Money is not necessary for survival" – Now there's a thought!
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