The term ‘resource based economy’ was coined by Jacque Fresco as the name for what kind of economic system he envisions in the future. As there is a lot of talk about technology, design, architecture and the like this website tries to discuss the term ‘resource based economy’ from a human perspective based on existing and possible future values on this planet. When this website was formed, one found almost nothing about a resource based economy online in spite of the websites of The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement. This site was made to remedy that. Still, the term ‘resource based economy’ can be replaced/overlapped by many other terms.
Resource Based Economy (RBE), Community, Natural Resources Economy, Resource Economy, Moneyless Economy (MLE), Gift Economy (GE), , Trust Economy (TE), Voluntary Collaborative Economy (VCE), Sharing Society, Resource Based Society, Moneyless Society, etc. It is all the same thing. It doesn’t really matter what we call it, as long as it has the basic notion of an economic system where no money is used, ownership and trade is abandoned and replaced with usership and giving and all resources (both human and planetary) are shared and managed properly.
In our movement, for brevity, and in recognition of the crucial contribution Jacque Fresco did to developing and synthetising the idea of a resource-based economy, we have decided to use Frescoism, for short, being inspired by an old blog of the same name.
While we know Jacque didn't believe in -isms, Resource-Based Economy is a bit general and confusing for search engines, and the usage of the scientific method specifically for the economic and social matters needs a shorthand.
We need people in all categories to develop RBE. A main aim is to get this information out to people so the whole world can start to imagine and picture what a life in abundance without money can be like. This site can be used as a portal for initial introduction to the subject. We allow/encourage respectful duplication of this information.
What is a resource-based economy?
Here’s a quick definition:
“A resource-based economy is a society without money, barter or trade, with the awareness that Humanity is One family and where technology, science and spirituality is used to it’s fullest to develop and manage the planet’s resources to provide abundance for everyone in the most sustainable way.”
And here’s an extended definition:
“The continual emergence of a system of self imposed management of human and natural resources both locally and globally where money, trading and ownership is replaced by gratitude, sharing and usership in a way where everyone’s needs are met.”
A radical concept
A resource-based economy uses the original meaning of the word ‘economy’, which used to be ‘management of material resources’. In addition to ‘material resources’, we can put ‘natural resources’ and ‘human resources’.
It is a society without money with the earth’s resources shared where it is needed without any form of exchange, barter or payment. It is not a new communistic approach. Neither is it socialism or capitalism.
In a resource-based economy the world’s population doesn’t ‘own’ anything, but has access to everything. Anything ever needed, like food, clothing, housing, travel, etc. etc. is provided in abundance through the use of our updated knowledge, values and technology. There’s no ‘state’ that is the owner of the resources, and nothing is privately owned. In RBE the world’s resources are considered the heritage of all the inhabitants of this planet, not just a select few. RBE is not a society where we will live in scarcity with few resources. It is not a society where a few control and distribute the resources. No, it is a totally new society where we let today’s and tomorrow’s technology be developed to it’s fullest to work for us, and where we utilize knowledge about nature and technology to provide a life in abundance for everyone. It is a society where we truly have the option to take care of each other instead of struggling to survive.
It is a totally new way of life, unimaginable within today’s value system, but still something most people truly long for in their hearts. It is a world where we can call ourselves Free and live with dignity and respect for each other, nature, the planet and the universe. It is a concept where value no longer is measured by money, but rather by the joy we feel, the contributions we make, and the development we take part in. It is a society where we utilize our minds and hearts in providing a healthy life for everyone, developing our knowledge about nature and technology, and using this in the most sustainable way.
Imagine a world without money, barter or exchange, where everything is provided for everyone, and everyone can pursue their own interests and dreams and live in the way they want. Be it moving closer to nature and grow your own garden of delicious vegetables, travel the globe and experience the wonders of the planet, make and perform your own music or collaborate with others to develop a new invention for the betterment of society. In a society where we don’t have to think about money and profit, we can truly develop ourselves and the human race into something completely wonderful.
The monetary system
The monetary system doesn’t work anymore and is obsolete. This is obvious when you look at today’s world with increasing unemployment, financial crisis, endless consumption producing endless waste and pollution, not to speak of crime and wars. You could say money has outplayed it’s role on this planet. It produces greed and corruption through the profit motive we are all a slave to. The economy is falling apart, and everyone seems to be struggling to get richer and richer or just to make ends meet. The financial crisis has so far made over 200 million more people end up in poverty. Now, about 2 billion people in the world are considered poor. Poor countries that have received massive loans from the World Bank have become much poorer after receiving the loans, because of the interest. And they can only hope to pay it back. The collective external debt of all the governments in the world is now about 52 trillion dollars and this number doesn’t include the massive amount of household debt in each country. How can we owe each other so much money??? Because we think we need it.
We don’t need moneyIt turns out that it’s not money we need. We cannot eat money, or build houses with them. What we need is resources. Food, clothing, housing, etc. Money is just a hindrance in making the resources available for everyone. Imagine if there was no money. Right now. No money. Everything would still be there, wouldn’t it? The trees, the mountains, the houses, cars, boats, air, grass, snow, rain, sun, animals, birds and bees and the people. Nothing has changed, really. Why? Because money doesn’t really exist. There’s no money in nature. It’s only an agreement between the world’s people, made up thousands of years ago as a means to control the world population. Instead of slavery, where one had to feed, house, nurse and guard the slaves, one invented money. With money everyone would have to fend for themselves, while the rulers created the currency, collected taxes and controlled the masses, like they do today.
It was a means of which people could trade stuff that they all needed. Labor, food, housing, etc. If it wasn’t scarce, there was no need to charge for it. Like water and air. The rulers claimed ownership to land, and thus became the “owners” of this land. They could then charge others for using it and for stuff that was produced there, like it is today. And the property could be sold and inherited in the bloodline. “Banks” became invented, and eventually; loans. And now society has become addicted to it, like a drug. But, like a drug, money is something that we don’t really need, we only think we do.
The creation of money
Where did the money come from in the first place? In the beginning it was based on rare metals, like gold and silver, and because of it’s scarcity it could be used as means of trading, instead of cows, hens, corn and other rather-impractical-to-carry-around stuff. Notice the word “scarce”. Common rock wouldn’t have worked, because everyone would have had it. But today…. where does the money come from? The answer is…..: Nowhere. The money is not even printed anymore. Only 3% of the worlds money is in paper or metal currency, the rest 97% is electronic. New money today is made by the stroke of buttons on computer keyboards, like the one I’m typing on now. And this is also how the banks make loans, and wants it payed back, with interest, which is not created in the system, making bankruptcy inevitable for many companies, and now even countries.
In other words, debt is money. It’s like taking a piece of paper, writing 1 million dollars on it, giving it to a poor bastard and say “now you owe me 1 million dollars, and you have to pay it back with a yearly interest of 5%, thank you”. This is how, in simplicity, it is done. The money today doesn’t really exist. It’s just an agreement that the whole world has bought into. And now we’re stuck in it in lack of a better system. Except, now we have a better option, a resource- based economy.
Booms and busts
The economy goes up and down in booms and busts. People are getting rich out of nothing, or being struck bankrupt out of the same nothing. In a depression, shops can be full of what people need, but no one has the money to buy it. We are reduced to “consumers”, even though we are Human Beings. Governments try to control the economy by adjusting the general interest rate and by other means. We have to consume. Not too much, cause then we get inflation and a new economic bubble. But not to little either, then we get a recession because not enough people are buying the products that companies produce. So, it’s a fine balance. But really, a ridiculous balance. It leads to a lot of trouble for our selves. Overproduction in boom times, underproduction in recession times, pollution, war, corruption, crime, poverty, and withholding of technology because we have to squeeze what we can out of the oil, and other obsolete technology that gives us….money. Still, technology is advancing further and further and replacing jobs faster than we can say “technological unemployment”, which in itself is increasing year by year, replacing more and more workers by machines.
Machines are both helping us and taking our jobs. Jobs that are needed to get the money to buy things that the technology produces, so that the companies can get more money, to produce more things that you can buy, if you have the money… You see? It’s a scheme that’s set to bust. But money is not what we really need. What we need is what we today believe only money can buy. We need the resources. We need quality of life. Not the money. The truth is that there’s not enough money in the world to “buy” us out of this crisis, or if there was, the money would not be worth much. Since the world economy is based on scarcity, if there is too much money, they won’t be worth enough to pay for what we need, the resources. If there is an abundance of money for everyone there would be no value in the money. Still, that’s what the world leaders are trying to do today and has been doing for the last 40 years. Growing the economy and “printing” more money to pour into the system, so that banks can lend out more money, and companies can pay their debt, with more debt, with more money. Money, the thing that created the problem in the first place. The system is doomed for collapse. This is self evident.
Money and false scarcity makes us steal, lie, cheat, become greedy, corrupt and stingy. Actually, all of the worlds governments and people are corrupt, because corruption is a byproduct of money. Since with money, we are all doomed to think profit. Everyone from a single person to a big company. Everyone need to have some form of “income”. And the income has to come from someone else. Thus, we get greedy, and corrupt and separated from each other and nature, which is our true provider, not money. It’s not people that are greedy and corrupt, it is not ‘human nature’, it’s the system that makes people this way. If there were no money, and we could get all we needed and wanted without from nature, technology and each other, there would be no greed, and no corruption. ‘Human nature’ is by large a product of the environment. With abundance competition becomes obsolete. With abundance there wouldn’t be any need to steal. With abundance we could focus on living our lives and develop society. It is about time we end the meaningless competition and start collaborating.
The real human nature is a collaborating one. Think about it. We naturally collaborate to build houses and bridges, develop software and businesses. Collaboration gives satisfaction while competition gives stress. Of course, we could still compete for fun, in games and sport. But when it comes to the development of society we see that competition only hinders progress. A lot of energy and resources is wasted in the pursuit of competing for market share. We don’t need 100 different flat screens, we only need one, the best. In a resource-based economy the technological development will have come so far that we can produce anything specially requested by the individual, and in the highest quality, through the use of nanotechnology and computer based manufacturing. This is not science fiction, this technology is being developed now.
What about incentive? I hear you say. Why would people want to do anything, if it wasn’t anything “in it for them”, like money? Well, I sit here now and write this, not because I earn any money on it, but because it gives me something else. The satisfaction of the feeling of helping people, helping society into a new world, that benefits all. And this is a feeling no money can buy. This, I think, is the reason for most of the worlds new inventions, like the radio, the light bulb, electricity, penicillin, etc. etc. Not money, but the need and urge to create and share with other people, and be a part of what is going on. It’s no fun keeping all your creations for your self only. The fun lies in sharing with friends, family and the world.
Why do you do anything? I bet you want to do something in your life that you find interesting and fulfilling in some way, not just because you earn money on it. Most people have hobbies and interests that that they like to spend time on, and where no money is made. For many people, this is their reason for living. For many others, they keep their job because it is fulfilling. If it ONLY made you some bucks, or maybe, rich, you would feel really poor in the end. You would realize that money can’t buy you happiness. Maybe for a while, but not permanent. So, it’s not really money that makes you do things, now is it. It’s something else. Fulfillment. We all want to be fulfilled in our lives, and even today, money is only a small part of that.
What if you didn’t need any money to get all you want today? What if you could get all you think you want today without any money? Travel anywhere you like, drive cool cars (non-polluting ones!), live in a nice place, ‘have’ this and that new electronic device, go to concerts, eat good food, relax, study what ever you want for as long as you want, work with what you want, contribute to society, learn a new skill, teach a new skill…. What would you do? No pursuit for money anymore… But you don’t need to ‘own’ the car you drive, or the house you live in, or camera you use, as long as you have access to it as long as you need it.
A boat trip
Say you want to go on a boat trip. What if you could just book a seat on a boat, and go? Or, better yet, book a whole boat, a yacht, if you will, and sail away. It would be pretty boring alone, so you bring some friends along. Good. What about food? All the food you want is provided. So is clothing. And everything else. None of it is really yours, yet all of it is. It’s everyones. It won’t be like; “hey, I need a pair of underwear, give me yours!”. Of course not. There would be plenty of underwear, enough for everyone, in enough different colors and shapes. And boats. The beauty of it is that we don’t need to own that boat. When we’re done with it, we return it, so someone else can use it. In a harbor on the opposite side of the globe, or where we picked it up. It doesn’t matter. From there we have booked a car, or whatever ‘vehicle’ we have in RBE, that will take us further on our trip.
Abundance of quality
Both the boat and the car is produced with the most ease of maintenance and use in mind. And they can maintain themselves in most ways, including taking themselves to a maintenance facility where other machines helps them with what they need. This way we don’t need parking lots stuffed full of cars that are not in use, or harbors stuffed full of boats that are just lying there. There would be a good selection of cars and boats for everyone to choose from in many kinds of designs, fitting your taste and personality. And ALL of them would be yours to use! Not just one or two. They are ALL yours, or…ours.
There would be produced more than enough of all that people would demand, in fully automated factories and on personal 3D printers. And it would be produced to last. Not like today, where cars are actually produced to brake down, so that they can sell more cars, and keep a whole maintenance industry alive. No, in a resource-based economy there would be no point in making anything in poor quality. In a resource-based economy it would be most beneficial for everyone that every product is of the highest possible quality, and that all the planet’s resources are managed, developed and protected to the highest degree. And when we go by access rather than ownership, we wouldn’t need more than a fraction of the amount of cars and boats and things we have today. Since non of the things are in use all the time, and we share the things we have, we, the environment and the planet will do with a lot less things, and a lot less waste, if any.
In the world today there are plenty of resources for everyone, if they are properly managed, that is. The monetary system makes us compete for the resources on the planet. A resource like oil is continually being pumped up because of the money it makes, instead of researching and developing new environmentally friendly energy, thus continuing to pollute the world. There is a lot of alternative development going on, though, but still, the oil is being pumped up to the last drop. And the “green” energy is also monetized. Streams, made from the rain, made from the evaporated water the sun is responsible for, are running down the mountain, and then the electricity it produces is charged for by the kilowatt-hour. So is the wind, and the tidal power, nuclear power and every other energy source on the planet today. Making the richer richer and the poorer poorer.
It can’t go on like this forever. We have two choices. One is where globalization by corporations takes over, we are all chipped and controlled, and become the sheep that feed the never ending hunger of the few. Actually, this is not far from what it is like today. The interest you pay on your loans pays the interest the rich get on their money in the bank. I.e. they don’t have to work, but you do.
The other choice is where money is abandoned and the world’s resources are distributed to where it is needed. This distribution is possible with todays technology. We can have a sensor and distribution system covering the whole planet, making it possible to monitor resources, supply and demand all over the world. We already have this system to a large degree, through satellites and other technology. We can also combine this with input from users.
An apple tree
In nature there is a natural abundance. Everything in nature is there for us to use and develop to the best for ourselves and humanity. It is only when the profit motive comes in everything is distorted. Then crops are thrown away because of profit, and land is overused. When we close the door on money and profit, we can easily produce more than enough food for everyone on the planet. When we take one seed from an apple and put it in the ground, we get a whole tree full of apples after a while. And with that we get more than enough seeds to plant more apple trees. And everything is provided for us by nature, all for free. No charge. And not much labour. We plant the seed at the right place and then it grows all by it selves. It only needs water, light, nurturing and time. And voila, we have apples. And this goes for every other plant on the planet as well. It’s all there for us to utilize.
The day to day decision making can largely be computerized and be based on need and our input, with highly developed, self maintaining and self producing machines and robots combined with the loving care of humans. If there is a need and want for housing in a particular area, the houses will be built by machines in accordance to the specifications of the future inhabitants. If there is need for more of a particular food, that will be produced and provided. Already today cars can run by themselves only guided by GPS and sensors. Several hospitals use robots for inventory and logistics. Planes have had autopilots for years and can both take off, navigate and land by themselves. Factories produce all kinds of products faster and more efficient than any human being could ever do. Billions of big and small decisions are already taken for us every day by computers.
Still, politicians makes us believe that “they know best” what is best for us. Even though they haven’t got a clue about the science behind it, and what is measurable the best solution for society and the environment at any given time. Politics is not in our interest, it is only a smoke screen, made to distract us from what is really important. We can have a world of abundance for absolutely everyone as long as we skip the bickering of politics and really open our eyes for what we really need and how far technology and science has really come. The technological and scientific development has really passed society’s values by far, and it’s time we catch up.
In a resource-based economy there would be no need to hold back on any new invention. No patents would be needed. Every new development that would be in the interest of humanity would be developed and shared as fast as possible. We wouldn’t want or need to pollute the world more than absolutely necessary, if necessary at all. We would develop everything in a way that would maximize the quality of life for everyone. Humans, animals, insects, plants and the environment itself. Technology has come so far today that we can make it do almost anything. Technology is not to be feared. Technology is like a knife. It can be used to stab someone to death, or to cut bread. Technology itself is neutral. It’s we who gives it it’s purpose and meaning. And there’s no turning back.
Technology has come to stay. Imagine a life without cell phones, video, mp3 players, cameras, internet, satellites, electricity, modern hospitals, washing machines, cars, trains, planes, computers, lamps, running shoes, running water, loud speakers, windows, steel, dvd players, tooth brushes, dental floss, glasses, contact lenses and what have you. A car plant today is almost 100% automated. So are most other factories. Humans are only kept there to give the illusion that jobs are created and maintained. They are not really needed there. The machines can do all the work with today’s technology. Humans are really only needed for some supervising. Technology could probably replace 99% of all human labor in a few years if we want that to happen.
This seems like a sad thing for many, but only if you need a job. In a resource-based economy automation is the liberating factor for people. It is so today as well, until the whole economy collapses, that is. Which it will, eventually. And now, imagine what tomorrow’s technology can do. It’s we who creates it, and it’s we who will decide what it will do. Today, with the monetary system, technology is used for a lot of destructive development, like weapons. The weapons are largely produced to defend or conquer borders and property, two things that will not exist in a resource-based economy. Weapons are the byproduct of money, the monetary system. War is one of the most profitable activities on this planet. The monetary system produces war, and makes technology to be used destructively. In a resource-based economy with no money, barter, exchange, borders or passports, there would be no reason to produce weapons to defend borders and kill people for property and profit.
We are foreseeing a new worldwide social system where the world’s resources are considered the heritage of all the inhabitants of this planet. A new moneyless society with a resource-based macro economy and a gift micro economy. Imagine a world without money, barter or exchange of any kind, where everything is provided for and shared by everyone. Not uniformity, but individual freedom and expression will be it’s credo. True unity through diversity, and abundance for all would be it’s goal. And for ever openness to change and development it’s reality. It’s not utopia, it’s just a new possible direction for society. No debt, loans,taxes, money, bills, accounting, laws, war, borders, passports, scarcity, stocks, financial crisis, poverty, corruption or hunger. But rather freedom, ingenuity, creativity, positive development, peace, love & understanding (yeah, yeah, cliche, but it’s true!), personal individual expression, abundance, prosperity, sharing and giving and true Unity for all the worlds people. Call it a dream, call it utopia, call it wonderland, or call it Evolution. This might just be the next step in the development of society.
Yes, the resource-based economy poses a million new questions, it’s not an easy fix. But it’s better than what we have. For the first time in history we have the possibility to communicate and collaborate across the planet and develop something that can really change the world. We could actually have a resource based gift economy today, if everyone simply stopped using money.
We need all kinds of people from all over the world to help imagine and develop this new direction for Humanity together. Everyone from artists to scientists, executives to politicians, organizations to corporations and from citizens to governments. We need EVERYONE onboard on this flight. There is no “us” and “them” anymore. We are all in this boat together.
True freedom can only come when we see all people on this planet as the righteous, equal members of humanity, with equal access to all the planet’s resources. For this world to exist we have to update our values and views on life and how it can be.