There has been much talk lately about a resource based economy. At first mention, anyone who has been raised in a culture of capitalism probably sees the concept as somewhat ludicrous. After all, for the entirety of our lives, we have used money to determine the value of resources, to restrict the use of resources, and to produce more resources. From what we have been taught, it is money that makes the world go around. How could things possibly operate without the economic system that has gotten us to where we are?
Our current economic system of capitalism, the undercurrent of the American Dream, certainly has done much in helping us to develop new technologies, industries, arts, and methods for helping our fellow man. Yet we must also consider that the phonograph, eight track, cassette and compact disc all did much to develop the opportunities for listening to music anywhere and at any time. Nevertheless, technology has now advanced to a point where we can listen to the music of our choice anywhere and at any time without having to produce a physical product. Isn’t it possible that we have advanced enough as a civilization that we also no longer have the need for the physical product of money?
This isn’t to say that we would necessarily need to do away with money altogether. Just like the vinyl music, it would still have a purpose, albeit largely nostalgic.
Although our economic operating system has given us the opportunity to do a great many things, we are realizing more and more that it is not a sustainable system. The recent economic recession, the growing poverty around the world, the instability of our banks, and the systematic absorption of 60% of the world’s wealth by only 1% of the population should serve as nothing less than glaring signs that capitalism is not a sustainable system. We are long past due for an upgrade.