What if we could. Get rid of money.


The money economy is driving the world to ruin. We need an alternative.

Ecologically wasteful, socially destructive, money makes of life a living Hell. Leveraging the notion of the six degrees of separation, we want to create a new means of living, free of money.

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Great changes happen when a given system reaches a breaking point. In our view, capitalism as a global system has reached such a point. We await something totally new, or a catastrophic global collapse.

Cognizant of three things — the global financial crisis, which is far from over, the coming end of the age of oil, and the indignity and inequality inherent to the money system — we turned our eyes towards barter as an interim solution to survival on a planetary scale.

The revolutionary principle:

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degrees down, everyone on the planet is connected.

The likes of The Venus Project speak of tomorrow. Barter is possible today. We want to encourage life without money, not only in theory but in practice.

Learning to live without money may be the only way the human race can prevent the global war that capitalism’s collapse will almost certainly lead to.

Stepping away from money is also a way to get out of the rat race and off the wheel, taking back one’s own life from organised slavery centred around power and the market.

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Watch Zeitgeist’s primer on the true origin and destructive nature of the money system.

Now read where we started, and where we want to take this:

Global Barter Revolution Manifesto, v1.1

From WordNet (r) 2.0:

Barter

n: an equal exchange; “we had no money so we had to live by barter” [syn: swap, swop, trade]

v: exchange goods without involving money

Some time ago it suddenly struck us that social networks like Facebook allow people to see the six degrees of separation in their lives — layered connections of friends of friends. We do favours for our friends all the time and money never enters the equation.

What if this principle could be extended to the friends of friends, reciprocally?

What if the six degrees of separation meant that you have millions of friends, and money could be delinked from these friendships?

Capitalism and the money economy are in crisis while they are also forging the base of a one world currency and one world tyranny. Ecologically, the planet is being ravaged, and millions starve or are marginalised. When we look at the planetary reality, it is shameful. The situation continues, in part, because we perceive those outside our immediate circle as strangers, not the friends of friends — though statistically six degrees of separation connect us to everyone.

Barter is the alternative to surviving by monetary exchange. In the barter economy there is no such thing as private property; rather, all that exists is transferred and acquired according to need. Anything not needed, at any particular time, can be offered and exchanged for anything of need. Indeed, the basis of barter is to reciprocally fulfil the needs of the other.

We are not techno-evangelists, but it nonetheless struck us that social networks, like Facebook, could be used progressively to ground a different reality of the world. A world where wars couldn’t happen, where poverty could be eradicated, and where the needs of all could be answered, via the six degrees of friendship. Non-monetary bartering would be the base of this alternative world, and would help it come into existence.

The beauty of the six degrees of separation is that, in effect, it could be possible to disconnect the direct reciprocal relationship in traditional bartering. A friend needs something that you have. Perhaps the friend does not have something that you need, but a friend of that friend does. Via the six degrees of friendship reciprocal benefit could be attained.

You could trade a camera for a car; an art class for a set of books you no longer read; a meeting with a theoretical physicist for a week on a beach. Amid the complexity of six degrees of reciprocity, and the divergence in what people may need and find useful at a given moment in their lives, monetary value would be broken as a standard, offering a way to move beyond money as a measure of value. Use value would also explode the basis of the consumer economy, and necessarily lead to an exponential growth in community interactions, both locally and globally.

— WE THINK social networking technology suggests this possibility. So we want to build an interface based on this idea, to leverage the possibilities of global interconnection. The world needs to get beyond money, but it lacks a means — until now. The first step in developing the means is to understand the vision: a world of non-reciprocal barter, where no one owns, but where abundance exists for use.

— WE ASK that if you agree with this vision, and are interested in developing it, that you discuss it with your friends, and help us find and build a team who could achieve it. We need programmers, mathematicians, web developers, UI designers, and marketers. We need to come together to imagine the possibilities, and make the possible real.

According to the theory of the six degrees of separation, anyone can reach anyone else alive through friends and their friends. Imagine that via bartering and the six degrees of separation the whole world could open up to you.

We need a global barter revolution!

Updated: 30 October 2013

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Okay, wait. How would it work?

You or a friend has a need. You put a request into the network. If it can be met by your immediate circle of friends, great. But GBR! is about thinking big. It’s about asking for something essential. Something transformative. Something necessary — now.

If the need cannot be met by the immediate circle, it feeds down to deeper and wider circles in the network. If the request is something that could, in theory, be met by someone alive on the planet, by the 12th circle it has the potential of reaching everyone alive.

The principle that drives the network is reciprocity. But reciprocity in use value does not have to be confined to direct exchange between two people. Reciprocity, rather, exists in the network. The “trade” or barter is between the individual person and the potential of the entire network.

Core principles.

1. Replace value with use

When people ask for something essential, it is about use, not value. The “trade,” in being non-direct, is about the satisfaction of use-based needs. Market value becomes irrelevant.

2. The point is about destiny

We are prevented from thinking big by money. But if we negate market value, and replace it with use value, things become simultaneously priceless and without price.

3. It is about living life bigger

Without money, we would naturally be placed into a socially-dependent life. We should depend on others. This is about being here, and expressing ourselves.

4. Ownership ends

This is about more than sharing. It’s about understanding that what you “own” is actually common property, not private property. It’s also about ending waste.

Building the means. Practical steps.

We have a vision for how to do it, but we need help.

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Let’s make this work.

Join us

MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT

Okay. Let’s use what tools we have to hand. So we need to make this simple, and accessible.

INFRASTRUCTURE ANGELS

We’re going to need some basics, so we look for angel investors who are open to barter in concept and practice.

MATHEMATICIANS NEEDED

We need proof of concept studies, so we need mathematicians and information architects.

WE NEED UX/UI DESIGNERS

The end product should be simple and effective, so we need UX/UI designers, to take the concept and make it work.

Your next adventure begins here.

Leave the vile money economy behind and experience life without distractions, or limits.

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