What will happen?

Actually, we don’t go out of the house every morning because we are driven by the idea of making money. We go out because we’re used to it. It is quiet normal that there is money for it without thinking about it all the time.

If we move to the money-free society, we are not starting from zero. We continue what is already there.

If the politicians and maybe also those responsible in the churches have done a good job to motivate the people accordingly, not much will happen at first. Everything continues as normal, everyone goes about their job and their obligations and gets what they need for free. The only difference is that there is no money. With the Covid-19 lockdown, humanity has proven that even major interventions in daily life can be mastered with a lot of discipline.

What happens to luxury goods that are limited?

To know this, we must first ask why there are luxury goods. People do not have the natural need to drive through the city in a 500 hp SUV or to live alone in a large castle. These needs are created because automakers or real estate dealers make a lot of money selling these goods. If there is no money, and consequently no money can be made, one does not make an effort to create needs that are not there naturally. Who laboriously paves a road that leads to nowhere? I think that after a transition period, nobody will have the need for scarce luxury goods anymore, also because the social hierarchy is disappearing. In a really fraternal togetherness there is no need to have to stand out with outward appearances. And this transition period will be so exciting that one can safely neglect the transition problem with luxury goods.

What happens to the willingness to develop new things?

Our motivation and curiosity will not go away just because there is no money. The pace of development, which is increasing exponentially today, will perhaps approach a straight line again. We will continue to have ideas and it will be much easier to find like-minded people to make the idea a reality. It is likely that fewer ideas will disappear in drawers because there are no financial support for the realisation.

We are in a very fast moving time. A symptom of this time is that far too much waste is created and natural supplies are used up, precisely because newly developed items are thrown onto the market at ever shorter intervals. Who does not mourn the good old washing machine that was no worse than the newest but lasted for 20 years. It wouldn’t hurt us if we use our cell phone for maybe three years and not throw it away every year because a new one is being advertised.

But won’t it be like in former socialism, where creativity has been thwarted?

As a freshly graduated from the university, I worked in a research institute in the former GDR. My ideas were not listened to because there was a hierarchy and the superiors got their money, regardless of whether there were new developments or not. Why should they do it? And that is exactly the point. In the voluntary society there is no hierarchy based on salary levels. Whenever there is an idea, a cluster of like-minded people is formed who put that idea into practice.

You cannot compare this new society at all with socialist forms of society, it is the complete opposite. In socialism there is money but no property and here there is property but no money.

We must not be afraid of the changes. We have to try not to imagine the free supply like the battle at the cold buffet or Black Friday, but perhaps more like a completely relaxed all-inclusive vacation where we know that everything will be free tomorrow too. Many of our innate good qualities will come to light when we are no longer forced to work daily due to lack of money but go to work voluntarily.

What happens when the market no longer regulates?

The regulation of the supply, which is now carried out by the free market with all its disadvantages such as overproduction or the creation of artificial bottlenecks, is taken over by today’s communication options. What is now being striven for with Industry 4.0 in order to make competing large companies more competitive will then be used for general communication with one another and to ensure the welfare of all people.

Large and global companies will break up into smaller companies. The trend to save labor will be reversed and there will be job opportunities for many.

Small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly being run like real family businesses. The ownership structure is clear and simple and since there is no competitive pressure, the company management will be able to take care of the good working atmosphere even better. Your reward is recognition by your employees, the best reward.

It will be similar in agriculture. Since there is no competitive pressure and no incentive for management to get rich with money, the fields and stables will become smaller again. Over time, people’s mobility will return to a comfortable level. This will free up large agricultural areas for food production that are now needed for the production of biofuels.

Civil society, made up of commons, will grow very rapidly as there is no longer any difference between paid and unpaid work. Everyone will find work there according to their abilities and inclinations.

A strong civil society will probably also devote itself to major tasks that are unthinkable today because the money is lacking. Areas of the earth that have become deserts through human activity could be reclaimed. That is much easier than the realization of existing plans to colonize the moon or Mars.

Our leisure behavior will change in two ways. Since the social hierarchy disappears because there is no “rich and poor” but solidarity with one another, we will also place less emphasis on external appearances. Instead of going to the shopping center, we deal with our hobbies. Of course, also because nobody pushes us to make new purchases through advertising.

What impact will it have on our economy?

One can imagine the world economy in a very trivial way as two cycles. A small cycle that encompasses ordinary food and consumer goods production, production of energy, provision of drinking water, services, trade and consumption through the satisfaction of daily needs.

Almost all material values ​​are concentrated in the small cycle, the simple “market”. There is no active intervention in this cycle. It works smoothly even after the Covid-19 restrictions (if you disregard hamster purchases). It will work even without money, there is no reason to doubt it.

The principle of the market is based on growth. But since we cannot eat infinitely much, a second cycle has emerged. It has nothing to do with people’s basic needs, that’s why we call it the speculative cycle:

The speculative cycle consists mainly of non-material values ​​such as share prices, speculation in oil, gas, seeds, raw materials or cash flows, global trade, multinational construction and pharmaceutical companies, drug and human trafficking, etc. If the money disappears, this cycle will simply dissolve. Nothing will happen to the people who are active within this cycle today, because they are supplied by the small cycle and it stays that way.

Of course, the disappearance has certain effects on the small cycle, since many things then have to be produced with more effort. But that will again offer employment opportunities. Certainly some things will feel scarce temporarily. However, those who are mainly concerned – we in the developed industrialized countries – live in abundance without us being happier than we were a few years ago when the standard of consumption that we mistakenly call the standard of living was much lower. With this buffer we can safely cushion the decline in productivity due to the slowing down of the small cycle due to the elimination of the large cycle.

Why?         How?         Democracy      The third alternative

Eberhard Licht
Brussels

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