”Money has come to replace community as a primary source of security.” -Mark Boyle
There are an increasing number of people on our planet who are living without money. Though we are not living without money (for the time being), these people are proving a great source of inspiration to us, and we want to share that inspiration with you.
One of those people is Mark Boyle. He has been living moneyless in the UK for about five years now. For him it started as a social experiment which has become his way of life.
I found myself pausing his short talk below to write down a number of things he said. I agree with Mark that money has come to replace community as a primary source of security. You can see this in the investments we make. Generally, we invest more time in work than we do in, say, seeing our family, seeing our friends, nurturing our young people, caring for our elders. This doesn’t mean that we care about them less. In fact, it more than likely means the opposite. It’s just through some strange twist that the desire to be able to care for yourself, your family and your friends results in the desire to work more and earn more money.
It’s interesting to me because, despite the countless times I’ve begged and borrowed from my parents, family and friends, it’s not money I want from them. It is their company, their companionship and their love that I want.
I don’t expect parents (or anyone) to burn their money. That could be disastrous. Who would pay the rent, feed the children? etc. And this is exactly why we are dependent on money. Because in this current mode of living we require it to support ourselves and our loved ones.
What I admire about Mark and the many moneyless, is that they are in a position to be able to take the radical decision to live without money, and they’ve seized that opportunity. A fair amount of the comments and reactions to articles and blog posts about Mark and other people like him suggest that they are lazy idealists. But a little bit of research reveals that they invest a huge amount of time and effort into work that directly benefits various communities. For example, Mark helped to set up the Freeconomy Community, which “Aims to reconnect people in their local communities through the simple act of sharing”, and entirely without the use of money. This is just one such example of a multitude of open source projects that have come into existence as a direct result of people looking for alternatives to the fiscal mode.
And this is what is exciting to me. So many of us are in the privileged position to be able to at least take steps to begin to live without such a reliance on money. And as dependence on money decreases, many different spaces begin to increase. There is more space to think, to learn and to concentrate on things that you are good at, that you love, and that are useful. There will come the obligation to live in a different space, an open, free space, a shared space, perhaps on the road: the peripatetic worker. And of course there is more space in your day, more time. With more time comes the ability to work on things that are useful for yourself and your community.
To me, that is the key: there is more time to give. The more people give, without expectation of money, the more these spaces open up.
Mark says it better than I can:
”You’ve got to replace what you’d normally do with money with a relationship with the earth or those people that you have around you.”
Enjoy the talk: