Originally Posted by Beingist
This sounds like the Zietgiest thing, which I was initially interested in, but quickly lost that interest after seeing its originator in an interview talk in such a technocratic way as to only lead me into utter confusion.
Otherwise, I can dig it, MU, though I think it's utopian. There was a barter movement starting up back when I was in high school, and those that I spoke with at the time thought along these lines. But, like socialism, although it might look good on paper, it doesn't take into account human nature, which has always seemed to me to be inherently greedy (though I'm trying to get over that. I really am
About the highlighted part: I'm really glad to hear that
Regarding the old ''humans are inherently greedy'' argument, I think there's some truth to that. However what about everyone seems to be ignoring is that our system encourages
greedy selfish behaviour. I think compassion and sharing are also a part of human nature. I'd like to see a system that would effectively promote that type of behaviour over what we have now. All those protesters and rioters could really work on something like that. They could really make a powerful impact if they got organized. Unfortunately it seems to me they're more about disrupting the status quo than coming up with creative answers to our systemic problems. That's my take on it anyway.
I know what I'm talking about is utopian. I suppose saying I don't think there's any chance of any of it happening is quite enough for some people though
Yet I'm talking about this because I think there's a limited perception problem. I like thinking outside the box. I think it's very useful for situations like this.
Originally Posted by Acting Like Godot
You are a singer. You wish to take a cab. It's a barter world. The taxi driver doesn't like music. What do you do?
You are a butcher. Your neighbour grows cabbages. You would like some cabbages, but your neighbour is vegetarian. How do you trade with him?
I didn't mention bartering for a reason: it's just a more ancient form of trading. Essentially the same as using money, mindset-wise. Let's use our imaginations. What if we made it top priority to make sure that every living person's basic needs are met? I think we could effectively eliminate the fear of scarcity. We'd be much more open to sharing. We could see the futility and unsustainability of the accumulation of material goods upon which our entire system is based upon.
Basically I wonder what we could accomplish if we removed the profit motive. I think we'd have to replace it with some other motive. I don't know what that would be. I would love hearing some ideas.
I notice you equated one person with one trade by the way. I think as human beings we have much more than a single ability. It's unfortunate that a lot of people fall into single-function lives. It seems to come with the limitations of not having enough money for a lot of people. In any event I think there's more and more people who are doing multiple jobs or careers and to me that's encouraging.
Originally Posted by Beingist
Indeed, and then there's the practicality thing.
But, although I could be wrong, I think MU isn't talking about the needs end, but rather the giving side of the equation. Something along the lines of the cab driver offering free rides on some sort of open exchange, and then checking out his book (if, hypothetically, he prefers reading to music) as he so desires.
Am I close on that, MU?
What I'm saying is that giving for the sake of giving feels wonderful. Once the fear of scarcity is removed from an individual exploring the joy of giving becomes a natural curiosity. I know for a fact that I would be doing what I am doing right now if money wasn't a factor. What if money wasn't a factor for anyone? I think the individual would practice, on the whole, a lot more different lines of work than today. If we got bored or unfulfilled we could freely explore other ways of contributing.
Regarding the Zeitgeist thing...I've had an idea like this since before hearing about them. I like their approach. I don't see how their idea could be gradually implemented. They don't seem to see it either. I don't think using some centralized supercomputer for everything is a good idea though. In fact it's downright scary. I'd rather look for other alternatives.