Since the 2008 financial crisis, there has been growing interest in the concept of a resource-based economy (RBE) as a viable alternative to traditional capitalist systems. This economic model is based on the idea that resources are managed sustainably and equitably, with a focus on meeting the needs of earthlings and society as a whole. While it shares some similarities with a cashless society, there are significant differences between the two, and it is important to explore these differences to better understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of each.
Let’s begin by discussing the cashless society. A system in which all financial transactions are conducted electronically, without the use of physical cash or coin. The increasing popularity of electronic transactions in recent years has led to a growing interest. Proponents argue that it could make financial transactions more efficient and transparent, reducing errors and fraud. However, there are significant concerns about the potential drawbacks of a cashless society.
One of the main concerns is the potential loss of privacy. A cashless society, with all financial transactions traceable and monitored, could lead to increased surveillance and tracking of individuals’ activities. This could raise concerns about the potential for abuse of power and infringement of civil liberties. Additionally, the stress of wage slavery would still exist for many, as individuals would still be motivated by the accumulation of wealth, perpetuating inequality and further deepening social divides. Think Hunger Games.
Another concern is the potential for increased vulnerability to cybercrime and other forms of fraud. With all transactions being electronic, there is the potential for individuals to be more exposed to hackers and other forms of cyberattacks, which could result in the theft of personal and financial information.
Then, you have a resource-based economy (RBE). Which offers a more equitable and sustainable approach to economic organization. In an RBE, resources are managed to meet the needs of all earthlings, all species, and the environment, rather than just a select few individuals. It seeks to optimize the use of resources, minimize waste, and eradicate the need for continual economic growth.
One of the main advantages of an RBE is that it offers a more equitable distribution of resources, which can lead to greater social cohesion and cooperation. For example, imagine a community where everyone has access to clean water, healthy food, and safe housing, regardless of their income or social status. This can be achieved through sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, and waste-reduction initiatives.
To achieve an RBE on a larger scale, several policies and initiatives could be implemented. One solution is to shift subsidies from the fossil fuel industry to the renewable energy sector, encouraging the development and use of sustainable technologies. Additionally, investing in education and awareness campaigns to increase understanding of sustainable practices and RBE principles would be critical. Collaborative research and development initiatives can also lead to the creation of new technologies that promote sustainability and equity.
In addition to these challenges, there are also concerns about the perceived lack of incentives for innovation and individual effort in an RBE. Critics argue that without the promise of financial rewards, individuals would be less motivated to work hard and innovate. However, supporters of an RBE argue that people are intrinsically motivated to contribute to society and work towards common goals, especially when they have a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. Additionally, an RBE encourages innovation in sustainable technologies and systems, which can lead to the development of new technologies that are more efficient, sustainable, and equitable, not just the most profitable.
Education and public outreach are also crucial in promoting awareness and understanding of the benefits of an RBE. By educating people about the principles of sustainability, resource management, and other RBE-related topics, we can build a society that is focused on meeting the needs of all individuals and promoting the well-being of society as a whole.
Notice that the concept of a cashless society and a resource-based economy (RBE) are two fundamentally different ideas with distinct advantages and drawbacks. While a cashless society may offer greater efficiency and transparency in financial transactions, it may also perpetuate inequality and deepen social divides. On the other hand, an RBE offers greater equity, sustainability, and social cohesion, but requires significant investments in education, research, and development to achieve. The potential benefits of an RBE, however, are enormous: a world free from poverty, inequality, and environmental destruction, where all earthlings can thrive and contribute to the well-being of society.
There are already many communities and organizations implementing elements of an RBE. For example, the city of Auroville in India is an intentional community that operates on the principles of sustainability and equity. They use renewable energy sources, have a comprehensive waste management system, and prioritize the well-being of all members of the community. The city of Curitiba, Brazil has implemented a successful public transportation system that prioritizes the needs of the community and the environment. The city has also developed an innovative recycling program that has reduced waste and created jobs for residents.
Mondragon Corporation is one of the largest cooperatives in the world and has been successful in providing jobs and supporting the local economy. The cooperation aspect here is accentuated, phasing out work for profit, and making that idea obsolete. Finally, The Venus Project, founded by Jacque Fresco [1916–2017], is dedicated to promoting the principles of an RBE and developing sustainable technologies and systems to support it. Visit www.thevenusproject.com/faqs for more information.
I’d like to finish with this. The choice is ours, right now, between paradise or oblivion. The transition is a grand undertaking but, by working together towards awareness and education, investing in sustainable technologies and systems, and building on the efforts of communities and organizations around the world, we can move towards a more sustainable and equitable future; with liberty and justice for all earthlings and future generations.