I was trying to figure this out for several days, without results...
Then I realized - how could I possibly figure out what's wrong
if I don't know how it should be in the first place!
2. The basic purpose
Let's suppose there is this world, similar to ours, but with
a big difference - there is no money. They do all trade by barter,
by simple exchange.
("I fix your computer and you give
me that chicken. No, not that one! That big one, over there.")
After a while, the people of this world think it would be good
to improve the trading options, specifically:
1. To be able to trade even when only "person A" is
profoundly interested in the trade, but what "person A"
offers in exchange doesn't hold much value in the eyes of "person
("I want that computer fixed ASAP!")
("Yes, I will fix you computer, but I accept only chicken.
No sledgehammers. And I don't require plumbing services either,
thanks. Chicken only.")
In this case "person A" first has to find a way to
trade what he offers for the things "person B" wants,
which is often complicated by the necessity to make further
exchanges, and definitely does not make the trade an easy process.
("Trading quality sledgehammers for chicken!")
2. To be able to accurately match the values of the subjects
("The work I did on your computer is worth two and a half
healthy chicken. I need them alive. What are we going to do?")
3. To be able to hold value.
("Hey, that chicken is just about to drop dead, get me
3. An imaginary system
The wise and mighty beings of this realm have gathered together
and developed a solution. The spokesperson pompously declared:
"May all of us Love ourselves and each other, in all our
relations! Give, when it is the right thing to do, Take, when
it is the right thing to do. Do, whatever is the right thing
Let us Create, Live, and Exist in a harmonious, joyful, and
fulfilling way! These problems will not even arise. So may
Then, he cleared his throat, and said, less pompously:
"We also have a backup plan. I will outline it briefly."
"An omnipresent supercomputer will be constructed which
will be able to record all transactions. All records are viewable
by everyone. Every person will be able to give and receive red
dots (the transaction of which will be recorded by the supercomputer).
The red dots will stand for the intent of the giver to accomplish
meaningful work or provide resources, in relation to the quantity
of the red dots given. The appropriate amount of red dots will
be accepted by all as a fair exchange for resources or services
Initially, everyone will have an account of 0 (zero) red dots.
Transferring red dots from an account that has zero or less
red dots will result in that account having that many additional
grey dots (also called negative dots). Negative account grey
dots can be filled in again by an influx of an appropriate amount
of red dots.
Fractions of red dots can be given. To prevent abuse, a limit
of 100 gray dots will be set in place (called red limit), no
account may have less."
From another viewpoint, this means that all can owe to society
until the limit, and others can relieve them of their debt,
on the basis of fair exchange.
An amount of work is given without immediately being offered
something in return.
In the longer run the benefits are much greater, because the
exchange which before required a whole chain of difficult trade
deals to be made now be solved with a single trade.
This system is sufficiently similar to our own.
So, what are the differences, and why doesn't our economy work?
4. The greatest problem
The biggest and most important problem is the lack of
Economy is a complex dynamic affecting all of its users and
beyond, the pooling together of will/intent/resources it represents
is a joint effort to make interrelations easier and more carefree:
Therefore, by its nature, it is not a private matter.
A system such as this can basically be abused in two ways.
The first is to break through the system (for example, simple
stealing). The second is to use and manipulate the system as
the means of abuse itself.
Possibly needless to say, the second way of abuse is FAR more
A well built abusive version of such a system operates using
the motto "Keep ignorant, divide, and conquer!".
Transparency is the ultimate built-in self-repairing part
of the system. Once established, it flows almost effortlessly.
It negates directly the first necessary part of the abusive
system, namely the "Keep ignorant!" part.
Establishing economic Transparency would indeed solve at least
half the world's problems in a matter of several weeks.
5. Lesser problems
By themselves they wouldn't even necessarily constitute a problem,
but in combination with each other and the BIG problem described
above they do cause considerable mayhem. These are the ones
I can think of at the moment.
a) - printing of currency
b) - central printing of currency
c) - 'absolute centered' instead of 'zero centered'
d) - general, public (non)awareness of money
e) - mystique of money, corresponding behavior
social structures and interactions
a) Printing money is a problem because the intent
is solidified and tied into something tangible, therefore it
can be manipulated in additional ways.
b) Doing so centrally "gathers" all
the intent into one place and places it under the control of
that agency. Combined with non-transparency it's a no-no.
With all these factors in place the system transforms from a
guiding, information-providing system that helps exchange of
various forms of energy into a system of manipulation.
c) Under the phrase 'absolute centered' I mean
that all intent was taken (until a limit), and miraculously,
solidified into a new form of goods (money), which doesn't have
any intrinsic value. In this system there is no feel of balance,
all intent of useful work is gathered and deformed. The total
amount of money in the system is a positive value.
The 'zero centered' way offers a feel of balance, the point
of balance being the zero point. The total amount of money in
the system is zero. Your account can be positive or negative
(until the limit which applies to all). No new goods is introduced,
all there is an efficient system to keep track of existing goods
Basically a zero centered system can be converted to an absolute
centered one by multiplying the limit for a single person by
the number of persons to get the total amount of money in the
absolute centered system.
The basic difference is the feel of balance.
In the absolute centered system the natural goal is to have
as much money as possible. In the zero centered system the natural
goal is to be at the balanced zero point.
d) The general public has no awareness of what
money actually stands for, only that they have to have more
of it. Addiction!
Money loses power if no one believes in it. If at any point
everyone agrees to stop believing in money, the system crashes.
That's what will happen unless the exploitation of the system
stops and the system itself becomes Transparent.
e) Closely tied to the (non)awareness of money
is the mystique of money.
"I don't have a clear view of what it is, therefore it
is strange and mystical, and it is powerful too! That must mean
I have to worship it so I wouldn't invoke its wrath, and have
none." This is the basic thought.
"Success in life is measured in how much money you have.
I have much money, which means I'm smarter than others, and
a very successful person!"
To such people this thought is the core justification and affirmation
of their existence. Take this illusion away and their self-structure
shatters to pieces. It is not uncommon to maintain this illusion
until the moment of death. It is truly a devastating thought
and moment to find out you have wasted your life. No wonder
that to some living in denial is a preferable option, and choose
to postpone the realization/acceptance as much as possible.
What a mess - are we going to clean it up?