Imagine if you will a situation where nearly everything is produced locally and trade was used only when necessary. Where money was used rarely, if at all and giving was normal rather than the exception, reserved only for some special occasion. When one’s status did not depend on one’s possessions. Where getting something in return for what one gave – either of themselves or what they produced – was not an issue. Where you engaged in an activity because you wanted to or you know and felt it was the right thing to do, NOT because you expected to make a profit on it. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it. Well this is the kind of social interaction that was the the norm thousands of years ago in a vast number of areas. it’s as being done – to one extent or another – in various alternative communities.
Then why is is this such a hard sell ? Why is it so difficult to convince people that there are much better ways on interacting socially and – for lack of a better term – economically.
Well I think I can come up with a few reasons. For one our market driven capitalistic society and culture to a lot of people is indistinguishable from religion. And is some cases even a cult. Where gainsaying anything about is is considered heresy. And suggesting that it should be replace is like being the antichrist. There are those who cannot even imagine or contemplate doing thing any differently and if asked why not, have no answer.
Why is this so. Well for one thing we are brainwashed – programmed – form a very early age to relate in this manner. That payment of some sort is required for everything we do. How many times have you heard , “You can have a cookie after you (do the dishes, clean your room, mow the lawn etc.)” Some parents even pay their children for getting good grades in school. I knew one fellow I was in group counseling with where he had totally ingrained this into all his relationships – even with his mother – this type of impersonal business like relationship. He could not understand why he could not get anywhere with women. We told him he was not looking for a romantic realtionship, he was looking for a business partner. We are not taught to share and give and create with out some sort of reward. Usually monetary.
We are taught from the get go that power and prestige come from possessions and in some cases how we acquire them is not as important as how may we have and to worship those who have the most and look down on those who have the least. So in a lot of ways it is a cultish religion. Is it any wonder that those who question this and rebel against it are treated like 16th century heretics ? We replaced feudalism with a system that is nearly as bad. The main difference of which is the we get to choose who our feudal lords will be.
Worst of all this market oriented capitalistic culture is detrimental to the earth and nearly every thing that lives on it. It runs counter to out very nature. It’s why we have neurosis, and circulatory diseases and immune disorders among other things. It breeds on and is the cause of nearly every conflict. And contrary to the propaganda that those who preach it say, it fosters mediocrity and stagnation of creativity, ingenuity and integrity.
It won’t be easy to change this by a long shot. Changing a mindset that has been programmed into us from the beginning is very difficult. The first thing is to begin to change our own view. Our own mindset. Stop identifying with the market oriented commercial world. We have to deprogram ourselves like we just escaped an Jonestown type cult.
Stop thinking that everything has to have a price. Learn to value rather than price. Become a social and economic heretic. Learn to give and receive and create without monetary compensation.
Learn to be human again.