One of the hottest topics when it comes to a Resource Based Economy is exactly how close is it to communism, how they differ, and whether or not they’re essentially the same thing. This has been the subject of much debate and has produced some rather heated discussions in more than a few online forums, some of which you’ve probably been witness to if you’ve been around the community for any decent length of time. Since communism can be a very passionate subject for many individuals (and with good reason, considering its attempted implementation has literally killed millions of people in the past) we figured we would try to clear up a few things. And with the amount of misinformation out there regarding this subject, it’s about time someone gave a definitive, informative, and honest answer to this question.
So, the million dollar question – Is “Resource Based Economy” just a fancy, new-age way to say “Communism”?
Short answer: Yes and No
Slightly longer answer: It depends on who you listen to, what specific definition/form of communism you are talking about, and even your interpretation of some things.
And for those of you who simply have to know all the details…
What Exactly Is Communism?
While the idea of Communism itself has been around for quite some time, tracing its history back literally thousands of years, it became popular in modern day through the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who both lived around the middle of the 19th century and wrote the well-known, widely circulated “Communist Manifesto.” It was in this document, as well as a few other lesser-known works they produced around the same time, that the general ideas we understand as modern communism took shape.
It’s important to note, however, that this was only the beginning of what was about to take place. While they outlined the ideas of what communism was, how we might get there and the events that could possibly transpire, there was a great deal of room for individual interpretation and implementation, which has consequently made the subject much more complex. Their ideas were so widely adopted, adapted, debated, and built upon, that between what exists only in theory, what has existed in the past, and what actually exists today, there are about as many different forms of communism as there are different makes of cars on the highway.
This is why it’s difficult to pinpoint a single meaning of communism and exactly what it implies. It really depends on where you look and who you ask. Even the definition of the general term “communism” varies, simply depending on which source you go to, and it’s not easy to get a straight answer on exactly where they all come from. You almost have to be a scholar to understand all the details of this subject.
Go to one site and it sounds like an altruistic utopia. Read a bit further and it sounds like something out of an Orwellian nightmare.
For instance, take just what’s found on Dictionary.com
“1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.
2. (often initial capital letter) a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.”
And it continues…
“British Dictionary definitions for communism
1. advocacy of a classless society in which private ownership has been abolished and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community
2. any social, economic, or political movement or doctrine aimed at achieving such a society
3. (usually capital) a political movement based upon the writings of Marx that considers history in terms of class conflict and revolutionary struggle, resulting eventually in the victory of the proletariat and the establishment of a socialist order based on public ownership of the means of production See also Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, socialism“
I could list many more short definitions from other sources that all sound different, but I think you get the point.
And this perfectly highlights one of the main differences between communism and a resource based economy. You understand why you get so many definitions when you understand…
“Communism, The Theory” is not the same as a “Communist Society”
And both of these are vastly different from the currently practiced “communist-state” – a variation of Marxism/Leninism.
This is the “ah-ha moment” you’ve been waiting for.
The main difference between a resource based economy and communism is that the idea of communism itself is a theory of progression of a society, and many varying details have to do with exactly where a particular society is along that progression, and also how exactly it ends up at eventual, complete communism, or what is known as a “communist society.”
In reality, when most people refer to communism, (especially when they say it still uses money, government, or social class) they are actually referring to a communist-state. This is what China, Cuba, and Vietnam are currently ruled under today. The problem with the communist-state is it lends opportunity for its leaders to take advantage of and abuse the system, and consequently, the modern communist-state is often characterized by massive corruption, poverty and wealth inequality, with the few in charge reaping most of the benefits.
In reality, this is simply more of a government-run form of capitalism, which is nothing like the actual “communist society” that the theory of Communism and the communist-state are supposedly aiming to achieve (and still haven’t, and probably never will – simply because of the inherent flaws in the communist theory’s design to begin with).
The Actual, Theoretical “Communist Society” is Very Close to a Resource Based Economy
– just with less actual planning, and the fact that the original idea was thought up over 150 years ago, so there are some different emphasis…
The endpoint of the theory of communism, aka the “communist society” – a classless, stateless, moneyless society is pretty close to what could be envisioned as the idea of a resource based economy today.
And yes, this is one of the generally accepted definitions of the communist society. While this definition is never stated verbatim by either Engels or Marx as far as I have seen – please correct me if you’ve seen it – it is generally outlined within their documents, as described quite nicely in this Reddit post:
“From Chapter II of The Communist Manifesto,
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
Engels writes on the stateless aspect in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific,
As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary.
The first act by virtue of which the State really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society — the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society — this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a State. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production.
In Section 18 of Principles of Communism, Engels addresses the moneyless aspect,
Finally, when all capital, all production, all exchange have been brought together in the hands of the nation, private property will disappear of its own accord, money will become superfluous, and production will so expand and man so change that society will be able to slough off whatever of its old economic habits may remain.”
That sounds pretty close to a resource based economy to me.
And from Wikipedia:
In Marxist thought, communist society or communist system is the type of society and economic system postulated to emerge from technological advances in the productive forces, representing the ultimate goal of the political ideology of Communism. A communist society is characterized by common ownership of the means of production with free access to the articles of consumption and is classless and stateless, implying the end of the exploitation of labor.
Communism is a specific stage of socioeconomic development predicated upon a superabundance of material wealth, which is postulated to arise from advances in production technology and corresponding changes in the social relations of production. This would allow for distribution based on need and social relations based on freely-associated individuals.
The term “communist society” should be distinguished from the Western concept of the “communist state“, the latter referring to a state ruled by a party which professes a variation of Marxism–Leninism.
“Superabundance of material wealth”
“Advances in production technology”
“Corresponding changes in the social relations of production”
“Free access to articles of consumption”
Though… There Are A Few Differences
The differences may be viewed as trivial by some, and huge by others. Some say that both social constructs are great and either one is fine, while others say the differences don’t matter and either one of them will bring about untold suffering and misery. Others argue that some of the RBE ideas were intended/implied in communist society, but were simply not voiced, while others say that those differences are what make the two systems completely different. Either way, it’s interesting and informative to look at a few of these ideas.
The main (and indisputable) differences between the two economic systems, for the most part, are how this futuristic, post-scarcity society would be achieved. Many of the transitory systems that were implemented to try and reach the end-point of communist society resulted in disaster. Corruption, greed, forceful execution, the fact that the societies still had to interact with the capitalistic world at large, and the lack of a solid vision or plan as to what the communist society end-result would entail doomed the system before it even had a chance.
Eloquent as always, Peter Joseph sums up the flaws of the communist-state and its workings quite nicely:
In the earlier stages of the progression toward communism, many things are advocated to be literally implemented by force, and all-out “class warfare” is said to be utilized to literally eliminate (even by armed violence, if necessary) the status of the elite (the bourgeois) and achieve the endpoint of the eventual communist society. Obviously, this would be completely against the principles of a resource based economy.
Straight from the Communist Manifesto, here are some of the possible steps toward achieving a communist society:
- Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
- Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
- Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
- Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
- Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
- Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
- Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
- Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
- Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
Confiscation of property? Heavy income tax? Abolition of inheritance? Industrial armies?
Are you kidding me? No wonder this was a complete catastrophe…
Did they think people would simply willingly hand over all they own and tell the government to put them to work in the fields until that mythical day when a communist society magically comes to life?
Another main principle of communism that seems a little different than a resource based economy is “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.”
According this rule, if taken literally, if society deems your utmost contribution to be sitting behind a desk, programming computer algorithms for resource distribution, you could very well be forced to work at this position, hypothetically speaking. And this, technically, could be an aspect of one of the stages that the theory of communism would use to reach the hypothetical communist society.
“To each according to their needs” probably wouldn’t include 24/7 access to jet-skis or unlimited round-trips to Tokyo, but in a resource economy at its pinnacle, not only is this possible but it is expected to be a general principle. In an RBE this phrase would probably resemble something more like “From each, a contribution of their desire; to each, according to their needs and desires, within the reasonable capabilities of our resources and production methods.”
However, for clarification, in a fully-developed communist society, you are free to pursue your passions and realize “self-actualization,” or in other words, you are free to pursue your own ambitions and desires, as described in Marx’s Theory of Alienation.
Another minor difference between communist society and a resource based economy that some have said exists, although this one may be debatable, is that in a resource based economy there seems to be more of an emphasis on utilizing the planet’s resources in the wisest ways possible to create access to all goods and services, not just based on needs, but on individual desires as well. It’s noteworthy that in Marx’s time, resource scarcity was not anywhere near as pressing an issue as it is today, and this is truly one of the hallmarks of a resource based economy, especially given our current dual plights with peak oil and global warming.
A couple other things to consider when comparing the two are the facts that the technology wasn’t yet available for much of the automation that Marx and Engels had envisioned in the communist society. Computers that could control and distribute resources via algorithms were science-fiction, electricity was in it’s infancy, communication was slow and laborious, and cars hadn’t even been invented yet, so there was no real plan as how this society would actually operate, or even be designed. In contrast, today we have all of this technology and more, giving us the capability to draft out and even implement such a society, designing in advance everything we could possibly think of, down to the types of materials that the walls of our 3D printed homes will be made of. We are much, much, more capable these days… to say the least.
Another aspect of the mindset that came with the communist platform to thoughtfully consider is the fact that it was written before the occurrence of two world wars, and before millions of people died under the rule of communist leaders, so there was far less of a concern with forcefully pushing communism on the world and what effects it could possibly have. Back then, people were used to forcing their will upon others, especially in a societal sense, which is quite different from today, and the goal was viewed as more important than the means by which it was achieved. Now, the complete opposite is true. Due to the neglectful actions of past leaders, many individuals are terrified of communism and see its only possible outcome as a complete totalitarian state that emerges after the unnecessary deaths of millions more – and with its history, they have every right to think that.
So, the RBE community and Communists/Marxists may have roughly the same end point in mind, but given the negative history associated with communism now, and how much fear and hatred exists surrounding the subject, we need a vastly different approach of how to actually get there, and a complete overhaul of the theory of what will actually work as a transition period. So…
How Will A Resource Based Economy Make The Transition?
For the most part, the main proponents of a resource based economy advocate a top-down approach. They say world leaders would come together some day in the future and agree (possibly after the general public is well-enough informed and demands it) that this is the best way for humanity to live and begin to implement a system such as this for all individuals to follow. Unfortunately, it has also been said that this will most likely only come after a total economic collapse, after which the transition to a resource based economy isn’t guaranteed (or even likely) and could be instead supplanted by a one-world government or New World Order. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Aside from not much getting done, the problem with this sort of implementation is that when you have leaders dictating what sort of economic system the world is to follow, not only will you have many people who will fight tooth and nail against it and do everything in their power to fight the system (especially those against communism, most likely resorting to violence and even possibly war), but you also have world leadership telling the general population what to do, which is by its very nature completely contradictory to the general idea of a resource based economy.
Therefore, the only way to transition into an actual resource based economy is completely and utterly voluntarily, from the ground up, and nothing else will work. Otherwise, it wouldn’t truly be a resource based economy to begin with, and there would be so much backlash during the actual transition period that it would be doomed from the start, just like communism. Leaders may come together and suggest it, but they cannot force it. To do so would violate one of the main principles of a resource based economy to begin with – voluntary participation.
Furthermore, our leaders probably wouldn’t even suggest it until they see that society is capable of working together and cooperating in ways much more harmoniously than the present, which is why we must do everything we can to build and implement as many aspects of a resource based economy into our lives as we can. To demonstrate that it is possible. To show there’s a better way of life. To wake people up and help them realize that they do have other options, that they have the power and wherewithal to turn them into reality, instead of the mindless zombie ritual of our 9-5 existence that is simply called life for so many of us.
While I know this post will anger some individuals, I also hope that it can help bridge the two communities, with a call for us to work together. Ultimately, even though there may be some minor differences in the end-goal of the two, I believe that many “true” Communists and Marxists have the same visions for a future society as the Resource Based Economy movement. And I also hope that this article can provide a forum for people to discuss and engage in ways to build this bold, new world.
In reality, it’s only by understanding each other’s point’s of view, overcoming our differences, building on our strengths and similarities, compromising where we must, cultivating and practicing these principles through living and working together, and building something greater than ourselves, that we will eventually be able to build a society that resembles an actual resource based economy.
This is why we are being called to build sustainable communities, powered with their own green technology, that produce their own food and water with technologies like FarmBot, aquaponics and permaculture. We must go local in production with many things, utilizing 3D printing, Contour Crafting, waste recycling, and further developing open source designs such as the Global Village Construction Set. Examples of places like Regen Villages and Tamera can be used as a blueprint and their successes built upon. It’s time to share our ideas and openly work together to achieve the highest good of all, practicing principles such as those that One Community Global has laid out. Much progress will be made when we start collaborating more via platforms like TheTransition.org, and supporting each other in our business endeavors to develop new technologies and work together in cooperatives like Mondragon and Evergreen.
The information and technology we need to do this is there – it’s combining it into solid ideas and living it in our own lives on a daily basis that will make the difference. There’s no time like the present to do this. The tools and resources we have been given in our present world are unprecedented in the history of our planet, and we no longer have any excuses to not create the world we desire.
As an end note – if there’s anything that you find to be incorrect about this article, please let me know by commenting below or sending an email to email@example.com. Please provide references to investigate, and I will do my best to revise it as necessary. However, I won’t change it just because somebody simply disagrees and say’s I’m wrong without any documentation to back it up. It is my goal and intention for this document to be as accurate, honest, and up-to-date as possible, and it’s definitely not here to simply please everyone.
So let us heed the warnings of our fathers and learn from their mistakes, but also let us not discount our true potential and stay stuck in the past, especially at the cost of our own peril, when we need to work together – now, more than ever.
There are a few times in life when you meet someone that has such a great care for humanity and a deep respect for others and for life in general that it comes through in practically everything they do and shines a light on everyone around them. These people tend to come by on a somewhat rare occasion for me, at least, and when I do encounter them, they tend to have an impact on my life through their words and actions, even if I haven’t met them in person. Alex Atuheire is one of those people, and I am blessed to have the privilege of saying that he is my friend.
But of course, as wonderful a human being as Alex is, it’s not about him. For years, Alex has devoted a great deal of his time and efforts to helping impoverished children, orphans and young adults in the Kabale and surrounding districts of Uganda, operating from Bufuka village on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. He first conceived of the idea in 2005 and in 2007 his original concept, BOVCP (Bufuka Orphans and Children Project) was founded. In 2011 the name was changed and Amatsiko (meaning “Hope” in Rukiga) was officially registered as a community-based organization, with the goal of helping children obtain much-needed resources and support to improve their quality of life.
A great deal of the children he helps have been orphaned by one or both parents, many who have died from HIV infection, which unfortunately is quite common in the area. While Amatsiko does not have the capability to provide housing for the many children in these situations as of yet, Alex and his team work with local communities to help find them homes, as well as provide them with nutritious food, clean water, clothes, bedding, support, community, love, spirituality, an education, and more…
Alex is originally from the Kabale area himself and is no stranger to the struggles that many individuals face when growing up in this region. After his parents divorced at the age of two, he, his four sisters and their mother all lived in their grandmother’s mud-house, with Alex having to beg neighbors for food on many occasions, and often going hungry. Several years later their father died in an accident and an already-bad situation became even worse.
As Alex experienced, himself, in Uganda it’s not uncommon for children to complete primary school but not have enough money to go on to secondary school and subsequently obtain a higher education. Alex wanted to become a doctor, and was fortunate enough to have found a sponsor in Canada who helped him complete secondary education, but after time his sponsor wasn’t able to continue to support him financially and Alex wasn’t able to go onto the tertiary level in his studies.
However, Alex still wanted to give back and contribute to the community where he grew up so he may help other children and young adults who are in similar situations compared to what he experienced himself. He witnessed firsthand the conditions that many individuals in the area are struggling to overcome, and how even simple things, like nutritious food, a proper education, and a loving home and family, could help these individuals rise above these conditions and subsequently help others to do the same.
At first it was just a concept that he had brainstormed, then it became an actual organization, and now ten years after the initial idea, Alex, his wife, Rebecca, Alphonse, and all the other individuals working with Amatsiko have now helped over 2,000 children obtain food, shelter, clean water, and much more.
In addition to finding homes and guardians for orphaned and disabled children, they also help them meet their needs for basic nutrition and healthcare, they help install gardens for local families and educate them about farming methods and agriculture, they educate the local community about sanitation, hygiene, and prevention of diseases, with an emphasis on HIV, they provide mosquito nets to help prevent malaria, they set up clean-water systems for families, they provide guidance and counseling to orphans, vulnerable children, and their families, they encourage the moral and spiritual development of these children, they sponsor them through formal and higher education, and the list goes on…
In addition to this, it’s Alex’s and Amatsiko’s goals to build an orphanage to house many of the children they are helping, which would allow them to more closely monitor and interact with the children on a daily basis, as well as give them a space to hold health and hygiene workshops. Also, Alex would eventually like to make Amatsiko a self-sustaining organization, through income-generating projects such as chicken coops for egg production, which would not only provide the children with nutritious food, but could also provide a surplus that the community could sell for profit. Once these things are set up for the community, they will be able to expand and help even more people, without relying on donations.
This is the eventual goal, and what I hope they achieve, as well. I may run a website called “Moneyless Society” but I also realize that we have to have money at this point for many things, especially if we’re looking to eventually create a resource-based-economy or world without money, where we utilize technology in a loving interest for the benefit of all with no exceptions. I’m all for using money to reach self-sustaining situations, and I think what Alex is doing is a perfect example of how we can use simple technology and ideas to work together and improve the lives of everyone involved (including, and especially, those that donate to these types of projects – as I’m sure many of you will agree, there is nothing in this world more fulfilling and nourishing to your soul than knowing you have truly helped someone.)
This is where the world is heading, in my humble opinion. More and more people are waking up and seeing the potential for what we can do to help each other. More and more people are fed up with the conditions that they see themselves and other people living in, and more and more people are starting to reach out to one-another, and help each other live better lives in any way they can, and Alex is right at the forefront of this movement.
When I think of Alex and what he does I feel the warmth of love inside my heart. I look at what he has accomplished and I am overwhelmed with a sense of compassion for others, for the joy and love he is able to help others experience. Looking at what is possible, what one person can conceive of and bring into realization, that can help so many people and make an impact in such a dramatic way in the lives around him, is inspiring to me and helps me realize the potential for each and every single one of us to reach out and help one another.
I saw a movie not too long ago called “St. Vincent.” It was a cute little movie (spoiler alert), where this grumpy old character, played by Bill Murray, ended up helping a neighbor’s child through some tough situations. And even though he wasn’t exactly the most likable guy at times, this child he helped ended up proclaiming him a saint for all the good things he had done in his life, for a project he was completing at his local school. If you haven’t seen it, it highly recommend it. It was a touching, heart-felt movie.
And to bring it back to the beginning, to me, Alex is a saint, and I definitely wouldn’t say that about just anyone. And I really don’t care what anyone else thinks about it, either. Alex is one of those people in this world who has a heart so huge it has the capacity to change the world around him for the better and uplift people’s spirits to a level they didn’t know was possible. That, to me, is a saint.
And if the grouch that Bill Murray portrays in that movie can qualify for a saint, I think Alex could be Pope.
Every time I speak with Alex I feel nothing but the most sincere quality of love, the utmost gratitude, and a truly great desire emanating from him to do as much good in this world as he possibly can. It radiates from his persona like sunlight penetrating into the depths of my soul, it warms my heart, and it makes me want to be a better person. If we had more people in this world like Alex, it would be an incredibly beautiful place to live.
Thank you for all you do, Alex, Rebecca, Alphonse, Seth, Alison, Saturday George, Ronald, and anyone else behind the scenes, working with Alex Atuheire and Amatsiko, to make the lives of others a bit better every day. You are all an inspiration to me, and I support you 100%.
If you’d like to contribute to Alex and those at Amatsiko’s efforts to help these children and young adults, please visit their website and take a look at the different ways you can help make their lives a little (or maybe even a lot) better.
Thanks for reading,
Peace, Love, Light and Prosperity to All
In recent years a plethora of online education platforms have come onto the scene, seeking to revolutionize one of the oldest institutions in existence and provide free (or at least affordable) education to anyone, anywhere in the world, as long as they have simple internet access. Some of these schools are well-known, some are lingering in obscurity. Some are specialized while others are a one-stop shop. Others are hidden gems …diamonds in the rough. Sprouting seedlings that need nutrients and sunlight so they can grow to become mature organisms.
In our pursuit and research into the possibilities of transition into a resource based economy and moneyless society, it would make sense to utilize the educational resources we have available to us at little or no cost, and to educate others about them as well, so that we all may have access to higher education and take advantage of the opportunity to enhance our skills for the benefit of all. Here, we will take a look at a few of these budding institutions that are poised to change the landscape of our education system forever.
Khan Academy is probably one of the most well-known online education platforms in the world. They provide courses ranging from math, science, economics, arts, computer programming, SAT test prep, college admission guidance, and more, all in a clean, well-designed platform. They have also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content, such as pictures and information about museum artifacts and crash courses in a variety of subjects.
+Acumen (Plus Acumen, a division of Acumen – a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty) offers free online courses and a social platform geared toward educating “social change leaders,” with courses such as “Storytelling for Change,” “Board Strategy for Social Enterprise,” and “Design Kit: The Course For Human-Centered Design.” While they offer relatively few courses compared to most other organizations listed here, we thought they were noteworthy of mention since they provide education material for individuals interested in impacting the world with positive change in the areas of water, health, housing, energy, agriculture, and education, with a focus on changing the way the world tackles poverty.
MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses)
What Exactly Defines a MOOC?
There is no exact, specific definition of what characteristics comprise a massive open online course. According to Khan Academy founder Salman Khan, his company is not a MOOC, which is generally a “transplantation” of a course that you would find at a university, usually designed by universities themselves or other institutions, with start and end dates, and presented on a platform by a third party which provides the course selection and interface to the student. Salman says his company is more about being interactive with games and activities, and instead encourages students to go at their own pace (although some MOOCS are go-at-your-own-pace, as well). Although, generally speaking, while there may be some exceptions, neither of these platforms offer college credit or degree programs unless you pay to obtain credit from the college or university that designed the course.
For our purposes here, we will place the following companies in the MOOC category, although some may say that the schools above could fall into this category, as well. While some of these institutions may offer some of the same courses from the same universities, there is a decent variety between individual companies and it’s worth checking several of them out. This is not a complete list. For additional educational resources please see the inner sidebar to the right.
Founded in 2008, Academic Earth offers links to over 750 online courses and 8,500 lectures in a variety of categories.
With over 10 million students and 886 courses and 116 partners, Coursera is one of the leading open course providers. With a mission to “provide universal access to the world’s best education,” the offer users a mind-numbing array of courses and lecutres in 20 different languages.
Specializing in the more technical side of online MOOC education, Udacity offers go-at-your-own pace courses in data science, web development, software engineering, and more. They also offer “nanodegree” programs and assistance with job placement.
EdX, founded by Harvard and MIT, offers nearly 400 free online courses in a vast array of standard subject material such as mathematics, science, and literature, as well as high school prep and professional development courses. Also available are “X” series courses in which you receive a certificate after completion of material in a specific subject area.
Canvas Network, one of the more hip options in the MOOC world, offers courses in a vast array of subject material, with a focus on life skills in general. They have courses about college readiness, interior design, CPR & AED, and even an online course about how to build online courses.
Founded in 2007 by global leader and innovator Mike Feerick, and claiming to be “the original MOOC,” Alison offers 600 courses covering a wide variety of subject material and boasts an online community of more than 4 million students.
Iversity is a European version of the MOOC platform that focuses on working with instructors, higher education institutions and knowledge-based companies to provide high-quality courses that are engaging, interactive and fun. They are also working the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) and some of their partners already award ECTS credits to online learners on this platform.
Online Universities With (Almost-)Free, Nationally-Accredited Degree Programs
University Now is an online university that is accredited by the Distance Education & Training Council (accrediting agency which is nationally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation). Although they are technically not a free school, they have devised a plan to lower the cost of tuition to meet the students’ assistance amounts that reimburses their workers. There are currently demographic restrictions and your employer must be willing to reimburse you for at least some of your education, but in effect, University Now has created a near tuition-free situation for some of its students in the San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento areas.
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University of the People
A massive accomplishment in the arena of free, open education, University of the People is an online university, also accredited by the Distance Education & Training Council institutional accrediting agency. This means you can earn an actual degree, online, for practically nothing, and its standards for quality are comparable to that of a degree from a 4-year university with a physical campus in the United States. This is an excellent thing for foreigners, especially in developing countries, where having a degree from an institution in the United States can be of great benefit.
While not 100% free, the cost is almost nothing compared to a normal university. The University of the People-
…does not charge students to take classes, does not charge for any reading and other study materials, and does not charge for annual enrollment. In order to remain sustainable, UoPeople charges small processing fees for application ($10-$50) and examination processing ($100/per end-of-course exam).
For those individuals who are unable to pay their Exam Processing Fees, UoPeople works extremely hard to ensure that no student of UoPeople is left out of higher education for financial reasons.
Currently, while still in it’s infancy, the University only offers 4 degree programs: Associate and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Associate and Bachelor degrees in Computer Science. However, depending on their success in the future, we will probably see the course selection expand in coming years.
Shai Reshef: An ultra-low-cost college degree
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Did we miss any? Check out the sidebar to the right for a few others not listed in this post, and let us know if there are any you think we should add.
Often times people note that multinational corporations have little regard for individuals, workers, the environment, and the common good of everyone and everything on the planet in general except for themselves and their shareholders. However, there are some companies coming about that are putting greater value in providing workers with more incentive to give more to the company and their local community. That incentive? – Ownership.
Usually the structure of most co-ops gives the option for some or all of its employees to participate in an employee-ownership program. This gives workers more incentive to produce better products and to also find ways to build them more efficiently. And since the owners are usually people in the local community, it gives the company more reason to preserve the immediate natural environment. In addition to this, it also promotes more equitable profit sharing throughout the company, higher wages, circulates and ultimately keeps more money within a community, and gives more incentive for the company to invest in and educate its members.
It’s also notable, that, in our exploration of ways to create a resource based economy and moneyless society, business structures such as the cooperative could provide a valuable framework to progress toward the goals and aspirations of the community in general and advance technology that could ultimately be a catalyst to eliminate the need for money in many circumstances.
Mondragon is one of the leading and largest cooperative organizations in the world. Headquartered in Spain, with 257 companies and cooperatives worldwide, 74,060 people, and $16 billion in revenue posted for 2013, they are a behemoth of cooperative organizations. From engineering and automation, vacuums, advanced car parts, meat, dairy, and much, much more, Mondragon has been building products and putting money back into local communities since 1955. They even have a university that educates its members so they can develop greater career skills and help themselves and the cooperative at the same time.
While they have suffered some criticism for not being as environmentally conscious as they could be, and not all who work for Mondragon are actually owners of the company, their typical CEO-to-lowest paid worker wage ratio is only somewhere between a mere 3-to-1 and 6-to-1, depending on the company, as opposed to the 250-to-1 or 300-to-1 income ratio that is found in many large, multinational corporations. This in itself is a huge step in the direction of worker equality and promotes a mindset that encourages greater participation, enthusiasm and cooperation between employees and worker/owners.
Based in Cleveland, Ohio and launched in 2008, the Evergreen Co-op is focused on creating living wage jobs in low-income neighborhoods in an area known as Greater University Circle. Not only has the cooperative managed to help residents of the community find meaningful employment, they are also focusing their efforts on businesses that create a more sustainable world.
The cooperative’s businesses are comprised of a commercial laundry facility which processes 10 million pounds of laundry per year with green technology to reduce waste and energy consumption; a commercial/institutional/governmental solar development, installation, production, and maintenance company; and a 3.25 acre hydroponic garden – one of the largest in the United States. Their mission lies in creating green collar jobs, recruiting and training individuals in impoverished neighborhoods, and helping them build equity in the company while keeping financial resources within the community. They also have the goal of being an example for other areas of the nation to adopt similar plans for economic and community reinvestment.
Organic Valley Family of Farms
Organic Valley is a perfect example of a trusted and well-known brand that is promoting a healthier lifestyle and more sustainable practices due to cooperative ownership (with relatively few people knowing about the co-op itself). Since their founding in 1988, they have blossomed to 1,779 families and have become a well-recognized provider of quality, organic food products throughout the United States.
Not only has the cooperative achieved an impressive stance in the marketplace, with consumers demanding their products even in WalMart but they have also gained political power and influence concerning improved standards in organic farming and the like. By protecting the health of the family farm and supporting rural communities they have built a considerable market share in the industry. In addition to this, in 2012 the cooperative as a whole produced 68% of it’s own electricity needs, reduced its water usage by 5 million gallons, and sourced 32% of their diesel fuel from bio-based material or straight veggie oil. They also aim to make that last number 60% by the end 2015.
San Diego Cooperative Charter School
A little less well-known but equally important aspect of the cooperative movement is education that incorporates parental participation. In San Diego’s Cooperative Charter School, parents are required to partake in school activities (not necessarily during school hours) that show that parents are interested and actively taking part in their child’s education. This not only provides parents with an opportunity to become more involved in the child’s schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but the child is also more encouraged to perform better because he or she sees that they are important enough for their parents to take an active interest in their education.
The school accepts students from anywhere in San Diego County and is located close to downtown, which is great for parents who commute to the city but still want to be close to their children during the day. Class sizes are small, diversity is embraced and each child’s unique learning style is respected. The school’s goal for each student is always the same: “to provide significant experiences that will begin a lifelong process of discovery leading to a richly rewarding and happy life.”
Housing cooperatives on Central Park West in Manhattan, New York City, from left to right: The Majestic, The Dakota, The Langham, and The San Remo. – Wikipedia
Most people don’t even realize just how many housing co-ops there are in existence today, and even more so the potential they have to dramatically change people’s quality of life. Housing cooperatives not only keep costs down by pooling resources for greater leverage and cutting out profits for landlords, but they also provide an excellent platform for people to get involved in the community in which they live and become part of the decision making process. It can also literally be the difference between being isolated among your neighbors or having a rich, quality social life.
Since many of us must, without much choice, still depend on and interact with the monetary system on a regular basis, it would seem to be in our best interest to utilize the systems and technology we have available to us to advance the goals supporting a transition to a resource based economy and an eventual moneyless world.
We could start to see many cooperative organizations combining cohabitative living situations and progressive work environments in the future. The combination of a cooperative organization in a cohabitative living environment like the Agora Garden Tower in Taipei (currently under construction), could have the potential to develop progressive technology in the fields of automation, permaculture, waste reduction, recycling, and more, all while providing living quarters, food, energy and even education to its members as part of the membership in the co-op.
As the general mindset of society continues to head in the direction of fairness and equality, more organizations like the ones above will continue to sprout up and change the landscape of our corporate world, and the framework of our society on both a small and large scale. Companies like these are pushing us in the direction of a more fair and just world, and without even knowing it much of the time, ultimately a moneyless society and resource based economy.
If you have a local co-op that you can get involved in, now is a great time! Or if you don’t have one close to you, maybe consider starting one with some other individuals in your community. Here is a great resource guide to help you.
Are there any other co-ops that you would like to add to this list?
The prospect of a resource based economy has a lot of people excited these days, but what exactly can we do to create a world without money? Here are 25 ways that you can use your time, energy, and resources to help transition to such a society. While some of them do overlap a bit I think each one is noteworthy enough to deserve it’s own mention. So without further ado… One of the first and most important things you can concentrate on is to try to:
1. Create Abundance In Your Home, Community & Life
One of the first and probably most important steps to bring about a resource based economy is creating abundance in our own lives, in as many different aspects as we can. Some things are more difficult to create an abundance of than others but start where you can, and keep in mind that you can always build upon what you have. Creating abundance includes things like starting your own organic vegetable garden. Aquaponics systems, if they’re done properly, are another great way to provide yourself with a plentiful source of high-quality protein. If you’re not recycling, start. Composting your kitchen scraps will give you nutritious food for your garden without going to the store.
Drilling a well is a great way to have a reliable water source (if you’re in an area where the groundwater still isn’t polluted), and other new inventions like the Warka Water Tower can provide up to 25 gallons of clean water each day, extracted right from the air, especially if you live in a humid climate.
Solar panels, water & wind turbines, and maybe even one day a device like the QEG Free Energy Generator can provide an abundance of electricity to your home and community. You can modify your vehicle to use bio-diesel and pick up used oil from local restaurants or you can even purchase a algae bio-diesel kit and make your own fuel at home. This trend is catching on more and more these days, with organizations like backyardbiodiesel.com aiming to make local vegetable oil recycling and biofuels available to communities across the nation.
You can also branch out in your own community and work with people who are interested in supplying more of their own necessities and becoming more self-sufficient. It’s easier for a community to pool money together to purchase things like land for a community garden if you have several people or even a large group involved. You can also develop systems for sharing items when they’re not being used. Freecycle is a great tool to find free items in your area. Carpoolworld.com can help you cut costs on transportation and reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re away from home frequently, or just have an extra room or two, Airbnb.com is a great way to rent your unused space to travelers and pocket some extra cash, or find great deals on places to rent from other individuals when you travel.
If you’re strapped for cash, possibly look into starting a business of your own. If you have skills that can be marketed, try and use your unique talents to generate some extra income to try and create more of an abundance of money in your life. If those skills can promote a resource based economy at the same time, then that’s just icing on the cake. There are tons of creative ways to earn a bit of extra cash, especially on the internet, and unfortunately, at this point, it’s still a catch-22 regarding a moneyless society – that is, it’s going to take money to create it, at least for now, for the most part, so we might as well start managing our money wisely and saving it for the things we want to create.
Creating abundance (and saving your money for more useful purposes) in as many different aspects of your life as you can enables you to provide more for yourself and use less and less of the resources that you once depended on from the current system. Once you have created a significant abundance in your life in certain areas this gives you the ability to:
2. Consume Less And Produce More
Another important step to transition to a resource based economy is to stop propping up the current endless, linear consumption patterns, and especially the giant, government-manipulating multi-national corporations as much as possible. Nothing will do away with the existing establishment faster than your opting out of it. However, there are many ways you can start opting out of the current system even before you have created significant abundance in your life. This includes using local credit unions instead of the banks. Shop at smaller, locally owned stores and farmers markets instead of the giant grocery store chains. Make things yourself – make your own food and try to duplicate recipes you like instead of buying from corporate-owned establishments. Buy and use open-source products if/when available. If you or a group of people can afford one, buy a 3d printer and print your own things at home. Fix something instead of buying a new one (fix it yourself if you can – especially your car – pay it off and keep it in good repair). Buy things from garage sales or used on craigslist. Be frugal. Take care of what you do own and make it last. Like the Amish say – “Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without.”
When you’ve gotten used to providing more for yourself and set up enough systems that give you what you need, you’re ready to:
3. Get Off The Grid
The extreme opposite of endless dependent consumerism, removing yourself and your home from the “grid” is the ultimate in self-sustainability, and a great start to a transition to a moneyless world and resource based economy. Obviously there is a lot of time, money, and planning involved with this, but the security and confidence you get in knowing you can support yourself completely in your current way of life is worth the expense involved. If this is something that’s unattainable by yourself, once again, see if it’s possible to network with friends and neighbors to create off-grid systems for multiple homes or families. Unfortunately, the government is becoming more and more of a problem with this in the United States. Recently, a community in Florida made it illegal to remove your home from the electricity grid. Hopefully, other communities will not follow this ridiculous example. We can actually fight this by producing more homes that are off grid, and create a demand for the legislation to re-legalize it, or keep it legal where it still is. But in any case, just be careful when you’re doing things like this in the United States, or anywhere for that matter. Often there are laws and other red tape that need to be addressed.
There are even organizations like www.off-grid.net that aim to start large communities completely off-grid. This is the ultimate in opting out of the current establishment and one of the quickest ways to bring the system to it’s knees. By getting off the grid, for the most part you are saying goodbye to government control and dependence. You are telling the establishment that you don’t depend on the current system. This is what they hate to see and hear, because it means they can no longer control you by controlling what you need to survive.
Not only that, when you’re off the grid and not spending so much time making money to pay for electricity and water and things like that you’ll have more time to:
4. Educate Yourself & Others About A Resource Based Economy
As obvious and as prevalent as this information is, spreading the knowledge is still one of the most important aspects of bringing about a resource based economy. Nine out of ten people I talk to have still never heard of a resource based economy or any of the movements that are trying to create it. Creating critical mass is still a fundamentally important factor and education is the first step in spreading and growing the movement. In order to have the desire to create a resource based economy, you must first have the knowledge of what it is and why we desire it. And nothing is better than putting the information right under people’s noses so they can see for themselves. Invite friends over and have a movie party and watch Zeitgeist: Addendum, or Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. (If you haven’t seen these yourself, they’re a very good place to start.) Join up with the Zeitgeist movement and go to local events where members are introducing information about a resource based economy. Read the Zeitgeist Movement Orientation Guide (free online). Practice talking to other people, overcoming objections, and hitting all the main points. The Zeitgeist movement is very helpful with this.
Other movies like Collapse (with Michael Ruppert, who recently passed away) are very effective on zeroing in on exactly why we need to change and just how dire the situation is. Chris Martenson’s The Crash Course is great for cerebral, engineer types that want all the details presented in an orderly, objective fashion.
Look into other, similar organizations, and learn about what they are doing, like New Earth Nation, One Community Global, The Valhalla Movement, or the UBUNTU Liberation Movement. A list of similar organizations can be found on the right of this page, with more being added frequently.
Make flyers or business cards and leave them random places, like restaurants, gas station pumps, public restrooms, waiting lobbies, bulletin boards, cars, between items in the grocery store isles, your gym’s lockers, and on and on… Make a website about it of your own. Create a Facebook group, google+ page, pinterest, etc. You can even teach by example and live in a community that is based upon the principle of creating a resource based economy, as well. The more you know, the more you do, the more you are able to relate it to other people, the closer we will be to creating a critical mass of individuals who start thinking this way, and eventually shifting the world to a better way of life.
Just remember, though – say it Loud, say it Proud, say it Clear, and say it OFTEN! People usually need to see or hear things 5 or more times before something actually sinks in. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself!
And while we’re on the topic of education and potential, you might as well take the next step and:
5. Learn As Many Specialized Skills As You Can
One of the greatest assets to the creation of a resource based economy will be the contributions of specialized technicians. In the words of Jacque Fresco, “Technicians are what make your life better.” And it’s completely true. If there’s one thing we need more of to bring about the creation of a resource based economy, it’s skilled technicians. There are automated farming systems to be designed, houses to be printed, open-source software to be developed, websites to be built, and much, much more. We can talk and wish and wonder all about how great a world without money that provides for everyone would be all day long but without the technicians to build the tools and systems we need, we’re dead in the water. You know what they say about wishing in one hand and doing something else in the other, right? I’m not going to explain if you haven’t heard…
And also, in a sense, it seems that we’re in somewhat of a catch-22 with this one as well, at this point, however, because most of the technicians who are skilled enough to create these types of things have good-paying jobs and are relatively happy with their current lifestyle. They don’t want to drop their career and start building some automated farming system that isn’t going to pay them anything right away, if ever. That’s why those who are interested in creating a resource based economy must take it upon themselves to learn the skills necessary to build the systems needed to bring about the transition. Obviously we have the potential to recruit individuals with skills like these, but ultimately, if we want to create it, we must own the idea, and step up to the plate to create it ourselves. If we do not currently have the skills to develop systems like these, then we must train ourselves to be able to build systems like these.
Fortunately there are a lot of resources for free education with many things like this. Websites like www.codecademy.com can teach you computer coding for free, on your own time, probably in less time than you thought. Many colleges and universities are coming on board and creating open, free courses, like MIT’s Open Course and Yale Open Courses. If you want to go back to an actual school here’s 10 Truly Free Colleges That Don’t Charge Tuition. And when all else fails, there’s always YouTube and Google… With a little bit of research and dedication, you might be surprised at what you can learn for free online.
And of course, as you gain a greater education, it will also be in your best interest to learn to:
6. Question Everything (Including Yourself)
Don’t just assume that everyone knows what they are talking about all the time. Don’t accept the status quo, especially in regards to how we are told to live our lives, and what will work in this or that society and what will not. Don’t sit back and accept it when people tell you that it has to be a certain way, or that your ideas or what you are doing is wrong, or that it just won’t work. Come to your own conclusions after listening to other’s input and advice, after doing a reasonable amount of research and investigation yourself. We are in uncharted territory here, and a resource based economy is nothing more than a fanciful idea at this point. As far as we know, nothing like the situation we are experiencing has ever occurred before in the history of our planet, and what happens next and where we will all go from here is just as good as your guess as it is anybody’s. And it’s also your decision. That’s why it’s so important to question all you can and look at all the options – because you, and each one of us, are literally the makers of our future, and it is in our greatest interest to seek out and comprehend the most relevant, up-to-date information that we can.
Question yourself as well – your own thoughts, motives, beliefs, values, and ideals. Try to figure out what is really motivating you… or lack thereof. Are you here, keeping your head down, trying to just get along in the world and not rock the boat? Or are you here to shake things up and create the world you truly desire? Are you doing it out of ego and wanting to be noticed, or can you let it go and not worry about taking credit for changes in the system? Do you truly listen to and accept other people’s thoughts, wishes, desires? Or is it your way or the highway? Are you truly doing what you can to bring about the changes you seek, or do you make excuses as to why they can’t happen? Are you here to get the most out of life, or to give the most to it?
Introspective questions like these dig down to the heart of many, if not most – maybe even all – of the issues and problems in our current society, and if you’re not willing or able to question yourself and your own mindset, then you may not be asking the most important questions of all.
If you practice questioning, investigating and gaining a greater understanding of things in general, you may also notice that you will learn more to:
7. Be Open Minded (Not that you aren’t already)
On the opposite end of questioning everything is to be open minded, as well. A good, healthy balance between the two is necessary to truly learn and grow in life. Inevitably, along with your questioning and investigating will come a time when you will be asked to shift your viewpoints and paradigms to ones that encompass newly acquired information. Letting go of ego and attachments and maintaining an open mind allows you to integrate new information without feeling threatened, and also gives you the ability to work with others that you might not have been able to otherwise.
Being open minded nudges you in new directions, stirs up possibilities, and opens new doors. It truly is one of the most useful tools to a more healthy, fulfilling life, and one of the greatest assets to someone who is interested in creating a resource based economy. It won’t just be useful in this case, but a prerequisite and completely necessary, as a resource based economy is something that has not yet been created, and there are many different opinions as to how, exactly, we should go about the task. Although the application of the scientific method to our economy to figure out the most efficient and sustainable means of living are completely feasible in theory, getting to that point is another story altogether.
There is much work, compromise, debate, research, investigation, and, hopefully, even much agreeing to be done. In the long run, however, the more you can work together with other people, especially with those from different cultures who will possibly hold different beliefs and values, the more information and conclusions you assimilate into your life, the more you will be, without even knowing it, learning to…
8. Develop An Integral Point Of View
An integral point of view is the natural result of extensive questioning and investigation with an open mind, regarding many different aspects of life. The integral part simply means that you are integrating many different viewpoints and ideas into your own unique conclusions and outlook on the world. To sum it up simply would be to say “take the best and leave the rest.” It’s actually quite a leap in consciousness because it’s the only viewpoint that has ever existed that gives credibility to each of the viewpoints that came before it, and recognizes that they all have validity in some way, shape, and form, in our world. To learn more about exactly what an integral point of view encompasses read more about it being the 6th Great Shift in human consciousness.
Without an integral point of view, it’s nearly impossible to take on and sort through the vast amount of information we are presented with on a daily basis and digest it in a way that allows you to implement the best of everything. Without an objective all-encompassing point of view, some things are ultimately left behind, forgotten, rejected, and not utilized or developed into more sophisticated understandings and systems. An integral point of view also allows for other understandings that may not even necessarily coincide with what you believe, to exist together with your different points of view in harmony. It recognizes that, in many cases, as far as our limited, human minds can grasp, there is no absolute, universal truth, but only different circumstances and understandings. It allows for shades of gray, the “in-betweens”, and recognizes that the commonalities that exist within us all, most of which are imperceptible, are the only real, ultimate truths.
An integral point of view is the mindset of a resource based economy, simply because we must integrate the whole world into this system if it is going to work, while still leaving room for each individual’s unique viewpoints, thoughts, beliefs, desires, culture, and more. There is no other point of view that allows for integration on this massive scale.
As you dive further into your understandings and consequently develop an integral point of view, you may find that one of the many benefits of adopting this type of mentality is that is makes it quite a bit easier to…
9. Be Healthy
They say “without your health you have nothing.” While I don’t necessarily agree with that statement, (all too often, people learn the most in their lives about what’s really important when they learn they will soon die) a healthy society is definitely an important part of the creation of a resource based economy. Part of the problem in the world today is simply how many unhealthy people there are, and the problem just seems to get worse by the day. Unhealthy people can create time-consuming tasks for other individuals, and utilize resources that could be going elsewhere, consequently creating a burden on others, society, our resources, and the environment. Also, sometimes people’s health prevents them from performing many types of tasks. When you’re healthy you have the capability to contribute more to the world around you, and create the world we want to see.
We understand that there is always going to be pain and suffering, disease and death, but we also are optimistic about the possibility of greater health and well-being for the people of this planet, and eliminating the majority of illness as we know it through greater understanding of health, nutrition, science and technology. We encourage you to explore the many different aspects of your health and lifestyle, do your own research, and come to your own conclusions when deciding on what the best lifestyle is for you to follow.
On a side-thought, that is actually worthy of it’s own number (but we’re sticking to a nice, round 25), we also encourage you to get more in touch with nature, take your shoes off and feel the earth beneath your feet, get your hands dirty in your garden, lay out in the sun, take time to smell the flowers, listen to the birds, the wind blowing through the trees, take a deep breath, live a bit more simply, enjoy your natural surroundings just the way they are, etc… All these thing contribute to a less stressful life and good health.
The more you research and learn, the more you change your body and life for the better, you will also increase your ability to:
10. Adapt & Be Flexible
If there’s one thing that is constant in life, it’s change. Whatever you think is going to happen in the future, even if it does happen, is probably not going to happen just the way you envisioned it. The more you can let go of all the little details and simply work with whatever you have to utilize in front of you, the more we will all achieve our ultimate goal of a resource based economy. This includes things like letting go of a career that you feel isn’t what you really want to do, even though you may have the proper skill-set and the money is good.
Example: Gandhi was an attorney before he became one of the most well known peaceful activists and spiritual leaders of all time. What if he had decided to stay an attorney his whole life? How different would the world be if he hadn’t dropped his profession to pursue what he knew was in his heart?
This can also include things like being open to living in an eco-community, or at least trying it out for a while, …or even just visiting one to begin with. It includes learning different skill-sets and expanding your toolkit of how you can help the world. And it can also come in handy when hardship hits, as well. If there is one skill in life that will pull you out of the trenches, it’s knowing how to make the best of a bad situation and keep going, even when it’s an uphill battle and the whole world seems to be against you.
The more you can adapt and be flexible, the more it will enable you to:
11. Build The Change You Want To See
A step beyond simply adapting and creating a new you is creating a new world around yourself. If we want to see a resource based economy, we are going to have to make it ourselves. It’s not going to magically pop up overnight. We can’t stress the importance of actually taking action and building the things that you want to see in your world. If you want a sustainable food system, build a garden or an aquaponics system. If you want a reliable source of water, build a Warka Water Tower.
In a global economic collapse scenario (which is very possible) it could go either way, with the new system being a toss-up between a resource based economy and a totalitarian New World Order. But, the more we build, the more we can influence people if this situation were actually to occur.
Hopefully we can actually build some communities that resemble a resource based economy before an economic collapse happens. I’m not sure of the exact probability of it at this point, but I’d say it’s most likely only a matter of time. If we want to be living in a situation where all “heck” isn’t breaking loose, I think we better start building some communities soon.
Not to mention, people living together, building devices and new technology, is probably one of the best ways to build the automated, open-source systems that we all want to see.
And since you’ll be building wonderful things out there, that are going to help the world become a better place, you’re not even going to care when you:
12. Turn Off The Television (And phone, and computer…)
It’s hard to create a resource based economy while watching the Simpsons. Now, we’re not saying you shouldn’t use your phone and computer for doing productive things like networking, education, and promoting the idea in general, and a good show or movie will always have its place in society, no matter what, but definitely get out of the habit of being told what to do by the mind-manipulation instrument we call television. We’ve been raised to buy, buy, buy… and keep up with the Jones’ – without even thinking about it. Don’t fall for the nonsense you’re told you need on television all the time. The extent of the brainwashing perpetrated by the idiot-box upon our world is far-reaching, all encompassing and well beyond our comprehension. You don’t need to watch all those programs and commercials. Just turn the thing off. And especially, don’t even give the establishment the satisfaction of you being numbed and brainwashed by the talking heads on FOX, CNN, MSNBC, etc…. In other words, turn off the TV, get off your couch, and start doing something productive with your time. (I’m assuming most of you reading this don’t have this problem… but probably know somebody who does.)
Even sports television I can do without for the most part. I do enjoy watching a good game every now and then but chronic sports watching is an absolute waste, in my humble opinion. I also don’t like the fact that we pay people millions of dollars per year to run around and throw or hit balls in various ways, through various holes or across lines, in an overly-glorified fashion, when there are millions of people sleeping on the streets or starving all over the world. If I want to engage in a sports activity I usually actually partake in that activity myself. This also seems to be more enjoyable (and not to mention healthier) than watching someone else play and have all the fun, anyway…
With the exception of a couple shows on the Science, History, and Discovery channels, there are very few actual educational programs on television these days, and in my opinion you’re better off without a TV, period. If I want to watch a movie I get on Netflix (most of what I watch on Netflix is documentaries, and they do have a pretty good selection of them), find a RedBox, or sometimes I even go to the movie theater – usually once every few months, and even then I watch movies very objectively and try to point out to myself any “brainwashing” techniques that the filmmakers bay be implementing. If I want (bad) news (which is rare, for me) I get on the internet (funny, though, how most of the important [bad] news I end up hearing from my friends anyway). Most of the time I’m perfectly happy just reading a good book…
And who knows what you’ll miss if you’re looking down at your phone…
Not to mention, if you’re not sitting in front of the television or looking down at your phone it makes it much easier to get out and:
13. Network & Meet People Locally!
While you’re not watching TV or texting on your phone, get out and meet some people! Go to meetup.com and find groups in your area that involve things you like to do. Go to a park, beach, library, take classes, go to dinner parties, barbecues, potlucks, and more. There are all kinds of people forming groups with common interests. And while networking and making friends online is great, having a friend close by that you can actually meet with and shares some of your common goals and values is priceless. Not to mention, when they ask you if you have any hobbies, you can tell them about creating a resource based economy!
And after you’ve met a few people that are also interested in creating a resource based economy, you might be able to:
14. Associate & Form Communities With Like-Minded People
I honestly think this is going to be one of the biggest contributors to creating a resource based economy. The more like-minded people can come together in forming at least partially self-sustaining communities, the more of a movement and supply of resources we will have to actually create the automated systems that are needed to transition into a moneyless world.
People living and working together to create things like automated farming systems (see farmbot, Cyber Farm Systems), 3D house printing (Contour Crafting) and other shared, open-source developments, like the Global Village Construction Set, will contribute greatly in the creation of the world we want to live in.
Projects like One Community Global, a combination of a community and an education/visitor center, could take the idea of a resource based economy to center stage once they are up and running.
And one of the good aspects about living in a community with like-minded people is it will make it a lot easier to:
15. Avoid Associating With Negative Or Self-Destructive People & Naysayers
One of the most unproductive things you can do is associate with negative people who constantly tell you that a resource based economy isn’t going to work. Negative ideas are contagious, just like positive ones. The more you hear negative ideas the more you start internalizing them and thinking that way yourself. Much of the time this occurs even if you don’t want it to, simply because it was brought to your attention and you’re focusing on it now, even though it’s something you don’t want. It keeps rattling around in your head and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and then come to find out – what do you know… it didn’t work! Well, big surprise… there were all these reasons you kept telling yourself why it wouldn’t. And before you know it you’re practically a duplicate of the person who gave you the original negative idea, espousing it and saying the same thing almost verbatim… waiting for the next unsuspecting victim to appear.
Don’t be like this. Don’t be a negative nanny, a naysayer. A Debbie Downer. And sure as heck steer clear of those people who feel they need to destroy themselves or their lives. You can help, but help from a distance. Get them the help they need, but don’t subject yourself to the mental abuse that people like this dish out. You can help someone and not associate with them. You can forgive someone and still call the police. You can love someone and walk away. And sometimes that’s best.
You get the idea… But also, and much better – one of the positive effects of not associating with self destructive or negative people is that you start associating with productive, positive people, and this often gives you the opportunity to:
16. Influence & Educate People In Powerful Positions
One of the best ways to spread awareness and create critical mass is to educate people that actually make decisions for communities and governments about initiatives to create a resource based economy, and the benefits that it would have upon our society and planet as a whole. More than ever, we need to influence those around us that are well-known and have the capability to produce positive change in our local communities. This can include things like contacting your local associations to see if you can get help building a community garden. Coming up with a disaster plan for your community and getting the local leaders involved. Drafting plans to help your community be more sustainable and green.
You can also do things like write your congressmen, senators, local city hall members, other representatives, judges, etc… and simply educate them about a resource based economy and some of the initiatives that are taking place in order to get there. You can go to town meetings and talk about these initiatives to people. You can network with people and form alliances to accomplish things within your community. You can hold showings of movies to educate the public, and much, much more. Creativity here is key. The more ways you can come up with that influence those around you, especially those with a greater circle of influence than yourself, the more quickly the word will spread and positive change will follow.
And when you make a few friends in high places you may also find that you have a bit more of a capacity now to:
17. Help People Who Need Help. Really… Help Them
Helping others is something we really should be doing in any case, but if we are trying to create a resource based economy, then helping others needs to be one of our first and foremost focuses in our lives. Not only are we doing something great for those people, we are doing something great for ourselves and the movement toward a world without money any time you go out of your way to help somebody. When you help someone in a way that impacts their life, you are giving them your light for them to shine on the world themselves, while keeping (and strengthening) your own light in the process, as well. It’s like carrying a torch around and then lighting someone else’s torch with yours. You still have your torch, but now they have their’s, too, and now you both have twice as much light to shine on the world as you did before.
This especially includes helping homeless and starving people. If you can help someone come out of the depths of despair, and give them a new light on life, not only will you improve their life (and gain deep satisfaction yourself), you will have a walking billboard for a resource based economy for the rest of his/her life!
And after you help a few people, you never know, some of you just might come together and:
18. Start RBE-Minded Businesses, Co-Ops & Communities
I know this one is sort of a catch-22, as mentioned before, but in order to build the things we want, it’s going to take money. We can develop systems and technologies that eliminate the need for money at a faster pace if we can actually make money while doing it, and pay people for their time and effort, as opposed to individuals volunteering in their spare time (while many are still working 40+ hours per week for big companies that only prop up the current system.)
Not to mention, some people have financial obligations that they can’t just walk away from. (I, myself, must pay child support. I would happily live in an eco-community and kiss money goodbye, but at this point I need an income or I go to jail. Not to mention – I don’t want to be a deadbeat dad…) The more we can make businesses that develop automated systems and products, and keep this technology moving forward full-steam ahead, the faster we will create a resource based economy for all of us to enjoy.
If you don’t have the time or know-how to start a business or cooperative, you can always:
19. Get Involved With Existing Projects
There are plenty of projects out there that are looking for help in so many ways. I saw an email not too long ago from New Earth Nation, stating they were looking for web-developers. Nicole is always looking for new members for The Transition Team and pre-existing intentional communities and co-op businesses that want to join their network to work towards making the monetary system obsolete. You can get involved and contribute to their organization here www.thetransition.org. One Community Global has numerous positions that need to be filled, and is also looking for members to live in their first experimental community when it comes time to build. The Zeitgeist Movement is constantly holding events and promoting awareness about a resource based economy, and The Venus Project is always happy to have new helpers come on board.
There are plenty more organizations out there as well that are looking for help, however people can contribute. Check out some of the links on the right sidebar and you just might find some way you can make a contribution as well.
And speaking of existing projects:
20. Reach Out To People Developing Sustainable & Open Source Technologies & Get Them Involved With The RBE Movement (If they’re not already)
I’m not sure of how many projects there are like this out there, but we need as many of them as we can get. If you have the time and resources, contact individuals and companies you know are developing any kind of sustainable technology, and/or open-source just about anything, and educate them about a resource based economy. Chances are if they’re developing that sort of thing they’ve heard of it already, but if they haven’t, well… you probably just made yourself a friend and gained a new RBE supporter. What have you got to lose?
And you never know, maybe you could even get involved with that existing project somehow. Making contacts can open some pretty interesting doors, and the sky is the limit if you:
21. Think Big! (& Start Small)
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Start small, but think big. Everything has a beginning, and much of the time those beginnings are very humble. Can you guess how many huge companies started out of garages? I have no clue, but we’re talking Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Mattel, Nike, Google, Amazon, Dell, HP, Harley Davidson, and many, many others… And many more started in coffee shops, motels, dorm rooms, and over dinner conversations at restaurants.
Dream big. Don’t be afraid to change the world. But you have to start somewhere. Just start, period. Don’t worry about every little detail along the way. In the words of Martin Luther King – “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Too often people get bent out of shape on exactly how they’re going to accomplish their big ideas. Well, do you know how to eat an elephant? (not that you would want to) – One bite at a time. It’s a huge project, but just do what you can. You don’t have to figure it all out at once, or ever, even, for that matter, much of the time. Sometimes you just give it a push at the beginning and it takes on a life of it’s own, like a snowball rolling down a hill. Other times you have to scratch and claw for every little inch you gain. But don’t worry about all the details. Just do what you can. Do what you love. The rest will follow.
And speaking of following…
22. Let Go Of Religion
I almost laugh these days when I hear arguments about whether or not Jesus existed, what God is, heaven, hell, reincarnation, and other religious details, etc… It’s almost not even important to me any more. I’ve heard all kinds of arguments from both sides, and while I tend to lean a little more in one direction, all I can say for sure is “I don’t know.” And I’m just fine with that. I don’t even really care anymore. I don’t feel the need to know everything – especially things that are inherently not available to our limited human capacity.
Now, maybe some people who say they have seen Jesus or some other spiritual guru firsthand could actually be experiencing that entity, and he/she could be real, etc., etc., etc… But who’s to say that it’s not just a manifestation of their thought energy and they have experienced this thing as being real simply because they themselves wanted it to be real so much?(or maybe even someone else) Doesn’t just about every religion have a swath of people who proclaim without a doubt to have seen such and such spiritual entity? And who am I to tell them that they haven’t?
Truth is, I believe they all could have seen what they have seen, and they could all be right. Or they could all be wrong, too. Point is, I don’t know, and I’m not going to get bent out of shape over it, either. Whatever is, is. All I know is I feel best when I operate out of love and compassion for my fellow beings, regardless of what they believe, so that is how I choose to try and live my life. I meditate, I treat others with love and respect. I have a passion for life and giving as much as I can to the world. Trying to make a difference in other’s lives, etc… I’m pretty happy with that. I don’t feel the need to go to mass and eat bread & drink wine that’s supposed to be somebody’s body and blood. I don’t mind if you do, and I won’t criticize you for doing it, either. Just don’t make a big deal about me not doing it, or where I may or may not be going after this life, etc, etc, etc… I have my own ideas, as well.
Now, I definitely don’t expect everybody to just drop their religion and go about their lives as if they had never even heard of it, but any sort of conflict that comes into our lives in the name of religion is in my opinion completely unnecessary and utterly ridiculous. I’m not even going to get started on the Muslim war, etc, but even people in one religion condemning another, arguing over who’s right or wrong… It’s all arguments that nobody actually knows the real truth to any of it. It’s all hearsay or possibly even psychotic delusions. Nothing anybody can reasonably verify in any way to anybody else. Splitting hairs regarding spirituality and religion only causes conflict, and nothing good comes of it. Ever. So let it go, for us all, please.
And speaking of conflicts…
23. Let Go Of Country
The idea of countries and nations is simply an idea of particular values and systems that a group of people have implemented to preserve their way of life, security, resources, etc. In the past, this was necessary to prevent being overrun and exploited by other nations, but in our current situation we must wake up and see that unless we can work together and all be stewards of our fellow human beings (and all life forms) then we are on the fast-track to our own demise.
It would be in our greatest interest to dissolve the imaginary lines that separate us from each other and all work together. The pooling of resources, labor, minds and ideas into a global network is the only way we can reach optimum levels of sustainability and continuity.
It’s time to realize that all the people in the world want the same thing. We all want love, security, food, water, shelter, friends, family, basic comforts, and a few perks here and there. Sure, some people have gotten greedy and want way more than that, but the realization is that we all just want the same things for the most part, and that there is actually enough to go around.
And all the grief, pain, suffering, anguish that these imaginary lines cause is nothing more than absurd. You’re starving because you live in this or that country, but 50 feet away over a wall we put up there are people fine-dining and throwing their leftovers in the trash. Something is totally backwards when you see things like that. Fairness needs to be the new rule of the world. Not greed, dictated by borders. Conditions may be better here and there, and sure, if we lifted up all the borders and let people roam freely, I’m sure there would be dramatic movements in population, but all in all, we can improve the places that aren’t so nice right now, and make the world more of an equal place for everyone, regardless of where you happen to be born.
Everybody deserves just as much as anybody else on this earth, including you. And you also deserve the right to:
24. Play Your Music & BE HAPPY!
By playing your music we don’t necessarily mean blaring Enya while dancing in your skivvies… It means letting your music out for the world to hear, whatever your music may be. Whatever that thing is that you really want to do with your life, whatever is calling your name, do it. And it can be more than one thing. For me, it’s writing articles like this, but it includes literally playing piano and singing as well. I also want to get involved in aquaponics as a viable sustainable food alternative, and I’m looking to make that happen shortly. Maybe I’ll keep you updated via this site… My music is also in health and nutrition. I enjoy learning about it and using my knowledge to help myself and others achieve greater levels of health and happiness. Hopefully, eventually my music will be in forming co-ops that enable people with financial obligations (like myself) to make money while working toward creating sustainable communities and systems, and thus, a resource based economy. This is my music, and I want to play it for the world to hear.
What’s your music? Do you like to literally sing, like me? Are you an artist? A designer? An architect? An engineer? A programmer? A doctor? A writer? What do you envision? What is your heart’s desire to bring into this world? It can even be something like being a good mother, or a steward of the earth and your fellow human beings.
When you play your music, it’s much easier to be happy. You’re not stuck in the grind so much anymore. Your music helps the world be a more beautiful place, but it also helps you escape the monotony of the current system. It gives you an outlet for your creative energy and brings joy to your life and others.
Being happy is very important in this life, and a foundation to creating a resource based economy. It’s very difficult to bring about the changes you want if you’re constantly beating the drum of everything that’s wrong. Instead, you must focus on what’s right. You must focus on the good things, on the positive, and what you can do, and opposed to what has been done to you. Focus on the action, not the procrastination. On education as opposed to ignorance. Health rather than disease. Change rather than stagnation. Love instead of hate. Instead of complaining about how empty your plate is, go back up to the buffet of life and get a fresh helping of something interesting, and make it something you love.
And speaking of love… Last, but certainly not least…
25. Realize That Love Is Our Ultimate Purpose In This Life
If you realize that love is the ultimate purpose in your life, it guides you throughout the rest of your decisions on a daily basis. You automatically know what to do to help facilitate the best solutions possible in order to help our fellow beings. It’s the direct result of the realization that all of us are the same, the physical manifestation of the infinite consciousness that generates us all. In every other person, life, or thing around us is the divine, what we all come from. It is inescapable. To treat others with love and respect is to do the same to ourselves.
We realize that no matter who we are or where we come from, we are all composed of the same energy, origination, and source. Eventually we will all return to that source, however that may happen. The universe will fade away in trillions of beams of light and we will be here no more. That’s what they say the universe will end up as, if it doesn’t collapse back on itself – light. Eventually everything will be burnt off and become nothing more than light waves traveling through space. Even you and me. What happens to us then? I’m not sure, but they say light is consciousness in some form or fashion, so maybe we are already composed out of light and we don’t even know it. They say we are all made of stars, right?
But what I do know for sure is that nothing feels as good in this universe as love. And the main theme in every major religion that I’ve ever heard of is love. God is supposed to be love, whatever that means. And if we are part of God, we are love as well. And if our purpose is to love, then we are simply love, which is here to love more love. All there is is love, and love is all you need. Everything that isn’t love simply doesn’t exist and is only a passing dream. Love is the only real and ultimate truth, and as hard as that is to grasp, all we really need to grasp is that we don’t need to grasp it. We just need to love each other, in every way we can, in every opportunity that presents itself, and all the rest will fall into place.
I sincerely believe that that is the one and only lesson in life: To learn to love, period. The more we mature and grow, the more we love, and the more we are able to love. Human evolution seems to be going down a path of greater and greater love, as well. One step at a time we are becoming more concerned about each other, our planet, ourselves. Maybe it’s because we are starting to wake up and realize that it actually is all ourselves. Every time we hurt someone else, we are literally hurting ourselves, the manifestation of our own love, in another form. The more we realize that we are actually hurting ourselves, the more we wake up to the reality of love.
A resource based economy must be based on love, because it’s a system that includes everyone, is fair to everyone. Everyone has their say. Everyone counts. Everyone is heard. Everyone is cared for. Compassion, empathy, understanding, inclusion, community, one family on Earth. This is love. This is our New Earth. Our Project, our Zeitgeist… This is One Global Community, that we can create, you and I, out of Love. The Love we already are… The Love we know exists. The Love we can give to each other.
So let’s get out there and try to Love a little more… and see where the road takes us. What do you say?