Getting past (our current idea of) money

Money means we do not want to do things. So we get to do them if people give us money for them. Basically there is a moment of the day (work) where we do things to get money so we can make other people do things for us… or for money to be more precise.

But wait! there are some things that I want to do! And I don’t need anybody give me money to do them.

Some people think that if it weren’t for money nothing would be done. They don’t have confidence in human kind: thinking that everybody would be lying on their backs if they don’t have the incentive of money to do stuff. Probably for them it’s true, they are so caught up in this money game that everything they do is derived from need of/desire for money.  They probably wouldn’t know what to do with their time.

Or that’s what they think, they would probably need a lot of mind adjusting to be done.

And, there are somethings to do that nobody wants to do, like cleaning sewers. But these things should be less and less with the advancing of technology and science.

Hey, if you do not know what you want to do, maybe you could research solutions to this stuff nobody wants to do!

Eventually mankind will outgrow this idea of money (maybe money entirely, maybe not). This idea of money being the main motivator of human activity will necessarily be put aside. Money get’s us a lot of activity and things done, but it is somehow not natural. It is manipulated, forced activity.

You can’t expect a child to pass all of his courses with “if you pass this one I’ll get you the bycicle you want”.

Take the film industry, there are some great films that move you deeply, touching a deep human emotion. And there are some films with a lot of budget for computer FX, cheap action, crowd drawing cast and taking advantage of a previous hit (Terminator 3 pops up as an example). You can see that the former kind was moved by a need to communicate or express something, whereas the latter was moved by the desire of making a lot of money.

Kids do not need money to play, they just do it: it is their natural expression, unmanipulated. And there is natural activity for grown up people, too. I refuse to accept this idea of the lazy humanity.

This may sound like communism but its definitely not. I am talking about unmanipulated human expression, not about eliminating private property, means of production, or evening workloads, blablabla. I am talking people doing things because they feel like doing. I am not talking about doing “all for myself”, egoistic kind of things. I am talking people doing things for others because maybe seeing other people happy is part of our natural expression.

Maybe there is something that you like to do that also helps other people. Do you not agree?


7 comentarios so far »

  1. 1

    Lacrymology said,

    I agree, partly. Just partly. I like the middleground where I do what I want to do, and get paid for it.

    I do not believe in money, and I’m very sad to agree with you in this, but as long as I need money to get food, a home theater system and tickets to go visit my friends in Amsterdam, I’ll try to make as much as I can without giving away my… call it “honor”, if you please.

    Anyways, I really hope we get ahead of this, and are finally capable of doing what we want, and wanting what we need.

  2. 2

    Elena said,

    Money has historically been a replacement for time spent, not for undesired effort per se. For example: It’s not that I don’t *enjoy* gardening – but growing enough food to sustain a life s a full time job – so I exchange money for time; my money at the supermarket, for someone else’s time to raise the food I eat, so I can do something else. Ditto with heating, cooling, and music.

    Moreover, money allows unbiased exchange – meaning, I don’t have to trade goods i *own* for food – I can trade my time, doing something else (say, software engineering for consumers a few continents away) for someONE else (my employer), for a third party’s time creating something I want (food, or nice clothing).

    In other words, Exchange allows specialization. Money allows unbiased exchanged, which promotes diffused specialization. Specialization allows individuals to focus on things they enjoy doing. Diffused specialization (internet/globalized transfer) promotes a broad range of self-expression.

    Sure, the system isn’t perfect. However, “Not believing” in money is like “not believing” in government; you may not like the way the system works right now, but living without it would be infinitely worse. And frankly, as far as we know, humans have been trading since the dawn of humanity; it seems to be part of our social DNA – like a concept of ‘fairness’ and loyalty/kinship/tribe affiliations, like religion – perhaps we’ll outgrow it.

    Or perhaps, for better or worse, these things make us human, make us what we are.

  3. 3

    martinmassera said,

    I don’t remember saying anything about believing in money ;). Money is as real as red traffic lights. Its not the light that keeps you from crossing, it is the shared understanding of what that light means. Same with money, its not a thing per se but it does have a lot of meaning.

    The actual system is based more or less on money. My idea is not to take money away, it’s that eventually we won’t need money as much as we do now. Just like we don’t need horses to travel around. Maybe some day we will be able to do and enjoy a lot of things without as much money exchange. And without the concept of doing things for “me” or for “others”, “working” or “enjoying my free time”. We’ll just be “doing things”.

    I tend not to trust anything social as being natural. Even love is a concept invented and reinvented over time. Somehow in the industrial revolution we found that specialization was the way to go, but that was true for that time&space frame, not an universal truth. Also, things or time don’t have an intrinsic cost.

    Trading a part of our social dna? I am not very good at trading, and generally there are cultures much better at that than others (say jews have a reputation of being really good traders, as americans are good businessmen, as argentines are good… argentines 😉 ).

  4. 5

    jorge said,

    Marto, money is just a way to transfer value without the burden of moving
    valuables around. Paper money may disappear one day, as horses have
    disappeared, but only to be replaced by engines. You can’t stop the transfer
    of value from occurring, any more than you can get back to the times where
    it took weeks to get to the next city.

    Maybe you feel that not everything should be assigned a value. But the
    reality is that everything has a value. Even time. Think of it this way. The value
    of the time you spend reading a book is the value of the stuff you have
    chosen not to do. You could be writing software in that time and earning
    X amount of money. You chose not to, because the time you spend reading
    that book is more valuable to you. So you see, it has a value.

    Also, I don’t know that americans are better businessmen than ohter people,
    or that Jews are better traders. USA economy is going down the drain right
    now, precisely because they engaged in unsound business. And there are
    poor Jews. And honest argentinians, believe it or not! You are right that
    cultures tend to have reputations, but that doesn’t mean they are real.

  5. 6

    dbuthay said,

    Hola Marto! Como andas?

    Si, ya se que comentar aca no es la manera de contactarte, pero como tenia que probar algo comentando, me parecio muy oportuno molestarte a vos!

    Como andas? Hace mucho que no te veo .. Tenemos que juntarnos algun dia, ahora que soy tu vecino 🙂


  6. 7

    tobiasmayer said,

    We all know the “just enough” philosophy in Agile. Likewise, it is healthy to like money “just enough” — just enough for it to take us to where we really want to go.

    Money is the means of transport, it is not the destination.

    Thanks for writing this.

    — Tobias

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