Monday, November 25, 2013

Moneyless

My friend Susan has been urging me for a while to read the book The Moneyless Man.  She read it during her year of reading books about living a year of...  In The Moneyless Man, Mark Boyle decides to live for a year without using money.

What got me to read it was when Susan sent me information on Mark Boyle's new book, The Moneyless Manifesto. I immediately checked to see if I could get it through the library system and found that none of the libraries in my area have it.  They did, however, have The Moneyless Man and I requested it and read it.

The first chapter ('Why Moneyless?') outlines the reasons for going without money, including peak oil (see my post on Peak Oil, 7/18/08, for more information about that) and climate change (which is hard to avoid reading about at this point), money encouraging competition rather than cooperation, and 'money replacing community as security'.  This is the theoretical chapter.  He follows this with a chapter on 'The Rule of Engagement' where he outlines the rules he was going to live by over the year.  The rest of the book tells of his life and adventures living without money.

The book ends with the question of whether this is a year-long experiment or whether Mark Boyle will continue living this way indefinitely.  He does talk about his decision and anyone reading the book won't be surprised by it.

One of the things that intrigues me is that the author studied economics and business in college and then managed organic food companies in the United Kingdom for six years.  (Mark Boyle is Irish and the event in the book all take place in Ireland and England.)  It was during a discussion with a friend that he realized that many of the major world issues we all connected by one thread--our disconnection from what we consume--and money is the main tool to fuel that disconnection.  He goes on to point out all the marketing designed to encourage us to use money and consume.

This book encourages what I've been thinking for a while, that money is not a necessity in our lives--in fact, we would be better off without it.  For some of my ideas about what we do need, check out my series on 'Needs' (which I still think is perhaps the most important things I've written in this blog).  The series starts with Looking at Needs, 5/4/09, and ends with Our Needs: One Last Look, 9/19/09.  Perhaps the most important post in there, from the standpoint of living without money is Protection from Poverty, 6/18/09.  I may write more about going beyond economics at some point in the future.

Interestingly enough the whole of the book The Moneyless Manifesto is available to read (for free) online.  It's worth checking out.


Quote of the Day:  "Humans are not fundamentally destructive; I know of very few people who want to cause suffering.  But most of us don't have the faintest idea that our daily shopping habits are so destructive. ...
"... I wanted to find out what enabled this extreme disconnection from what we consume.  The answer was, in the end, quite simple.  The moment the tool we called 'money' came into existence, everything changed." - Mark Boyle

1 comment:

turil said...

Have you seen my video showing the math of a living freely? It's here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPlfKAHMWvI

It shows the logic of how money only gets in the way of a healthy economy. Once we start trusting ourselves to take care of ourselves, and let go of our dependency on corporate-government, we'll finally be free to have a healthy economy!