A World Without Money?!

Words by
Hugo O’Connor
Images by
Georgina Reid
| September 24, 2014

Imagine a world without money. Hard, isn’t it? Let’s try. Ready? Just relax, this is only a thought experiment, everyone loves money. Take a few deep breaths or run a bath if you need to.

First, a short history of progress:

Mankind is a flame. Hunters and gatherers became herders and gardeners. The feat of civilisation was wresting control from nature. We domesticated plants and animals. Then came grain silos on farms. Irrigation. Surplus. Time to ponder. And that first egg from the magically fertile rock on the mountaintop – thought.

Somewhere along the way came the great tool of money. With it came mercenaries and prostitutes. Just as the fence domesticated animals and the spade domesticated plants, money (for better or worse) domesticated our basic human instincts. Money domesticated us.

Imagine a world without money. If it helps, imagine a doomsday preppers scenario of a total economic collapse. A dangerously sudden power shift. Who now controls the most important resource? What is the most important resource?

Food, glorious food!

Farmers are the new rulers of the world. The plant hunters. Plant domesticators. Garden tenders. The chef is the chief. It’s surely little co-incidence that the word lord is from the old english word hlafweard, the loaf ward, provider of bread. Rent to the landlord is payment rendered to the provider of bread of the land. Wheat farmers are the new rulers. Bakers are the new law enforcers. Cafes are the new courts. What are the rules? Chef’s rules.

The pitchfork of the peoples’ uprising is applied to the Earth. Suddenly Tony’s F-35s become useless rust-buckets. No one will fight without a proper pay-check. Swords become ploughshares. The samurai become the great sushi-masters. In this strange new paradigm, suddenly we are lining up for miles at the finest dining establishments. Everything is free, but only with an invitation. You are the waiters and waitresses. You wait for the chefs, the bakers, the growers, the land itself. You are only human.

But! I hear you scream at this preposterous idea. But, how?!

HOW will we recognise effort and achievement?

FLOWERS! NEXT!

HOW will we store value over time?

PICKLES! NEXT!

HOW will we transmit value across distances?

POEMS! NEXT!

WHAT will we do with all our time?

WIKIPEDIA! NEXT!

WHAT do we do with all our money?

MELT IT INTO JEWELLERY! NEXT! NEXT! NEXT!

Imagine a world without money, run free and hunt your plants.


LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? SIGN UP FOR MORE