Monday, March 02, 2009

Ten benefits of not having money 1.

Ten benefits of not having money 1.

Socialist society will have no need for money. This will profoundly affect all aspects of life.

Removing money from the current economic equation would strike most people as impossible, unthinkable, absolutely imponderable. Everything we do, every transaction we make, from a simple cup of tea to sending a space probe to Mars, from birth to death and at every step in between, money has become a necessary part of getting what we require. It has become an accepted, entrenched method of acquiring anything and everything but it wasn't always so and in a genuine socialist system money will be shown to have been an unnecessary, wasteful and divisive way of ordering world communities.

When initially presented with the notion of a world without money the first imperative is the willingness to contemplate a huge paradigm shift, to put aside all familiar long-held views and preconceived notions and to enter into an adventure of discovery that there is a place for all at the table, that it doesn't entail regression to the Dark Ages and that the welfare and progress of people doesn't have to come at cost to the environment.

1. Work

It is well recognised by experts in the health arena that work is one of the most stressful areas of life for reasons such as long hours, extended travelling time to and from place of employment, risk of job loss, lack of security of tenure including competition both within and without, inflexible working practices, difficulty getting release for major personal events such as bereavement, long-term illness of a spouse or partner, or even short-term care of a sick child. Loss of employment can put stress on the whole family, sinking it into debt, causing day-to-day difficulties with the budget and in many cases leading to loss of the home.

When money is not required in exchange for work and when, instead, all contribute their skills, expertise and/or manpower in return for open access to the requirements of life then we can begin to see a different motivation enter the whole concept of the “work” scenario. A moneyless world will free up millions of workers now tied to some very stressful occupations dealing only in (other people's) money – banking, mortgage brokering, insurance; those occupied in the collection of rates, taxes and utility payments; those in security work such as guards and armoured truck staff engaged only in protecting and moving money and other “valuables” – millions of workers who, when considered logically, currently fulfil no useful function and contribute nothing to society that improves that society.

Right now, worldwide, are millions of would-be workers who are sidelined in one way or another, without employment or scratching on the edges of a black economy and in some of the more “developed” countries we find some termed “scroungers” in current-day parlance.

Within the capitalist system there has to be a pool of workers unable to find work in order to keep the bargaining power in favour of the employers who strive to keep wage levels down, whereas if there is a shortage of suitable labour the bargaining power switches to the employees who try to force wage levels up. The fact that a few “developed” countries have systems which pay a percentage of workers to remain unemployed (receive benefits) is a price the capitalists are prepared to pay to maintain the tensions in society. Encouraging the employed to think that they are the ones subsidising the benefits system maintains one fissure within the working class. Also, allowing a large number of unemployed to be without benefits would cause too many problems for the capitalists with possibilities of mass looting, rioting and damage to their property

When all work is seen as legitimate and deserving of recognition, from the humblest occupations – collecting and sorting waste, stacking shelves in our stores, keeping the utilities working even in the worst weather, repairing our shoes – to those which are perceived as more elite – heart surgeons, ground-breaking scientists or cutting-edge technicians; when all are respected for their contribution simply by having the same right of access to the commonly produced goods, humankind will have truly developed to a higher level. This change in emphasis regarding human worth would, as a matter of course, give all the opportunity for further personal development in areas of individual choice which leads to the second topic for consideration.

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