What Would the World be Like Without Money?


Did you see the story the other day about a tribe in Brazil being forced to flee their jungle homes because of loggers and other not so nice people? It was a fascinating and rather sad story and I have to confess that it made me think about the fact that these people would have had no contact with money until just now.

What will they think when they first get handed some coins and bank notes? It is sure to be a concept that they find hard to understand at first. So what if we turn the idea on its head and consider what the world would be like if all forms of money disappeared altogether?

What Products Could You Barter?

We have all heard of bartering but how could it work in the modern world? I guess that to make it sustainable we would all need to produce something that we could barter, once we had used all the stuff that we already owned. This would mean growing food, making products, fishing or doing something else that has an end product that other people want. This actually sounds like a fantastic place to live in and a lot more natural too. It sounds incredibly satisfying to produce something that you can use to exchange for something else you need. Obviously it would take time for the world to switch over to this system, as not all of us are in a position to have objects to barter right now. If some sort of financial disaster meant the end of money what would you barter to survive?

One Service for Another

Another idea is that you could carry out services people need in exchange for them doing the same for you. This could mean that you clean their windows while they cut your grass. Of course, if money didn’t exist I reckon we would all become more self-sufficient, as we would all be more on level terms. There would be little point in getting someone to clean your windows if you had to cut their grass in exchange. This means that the exchange of services would only really work with specialised skills and services that not everyone could carry out.

Other Forms of Currency

Perhaps we would realise that we simply couldn’t live without some form of currency in our lives after all. In this case, we could do what people did in the past and use shells, salt or even giant stones instead of coins and notes. I guess that this would take control of our currency away from the Governments but I can’t help thinking that it would be a bit of a pointless switch. Wouldn’t most of this alternative currency just end up in the hands of a relatively small group of people, just as has happened with our money?

What Would This Teach Us?

Is money really the root of all evil? If you think that it is then you would have to imagine that the world would be a better, kinder place without it. As mentioned earlier, I certainly think that it would be a more equal world to live in. Instead of some people earning millions of pounds a year and others earning close to nothing, we would all earn what we were physically capable of producing. I would imagine that there wouldn’t be all that much difference between us all in this case. Could this teach that we are all the same and that the differences we currently see because of money and possessions are just superficial?

Can you imagine the world without money? Would it be a better place to live in than the world currently is?

5 Responses to What Would the World be Like Without Money?

  1. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the people who use it. You would have to change people to make the world a better place without money. Even for barter or shells, people would still try to amass fortunes. I fear I am a pessimist.

  2. Aldo R@MDN says:

    I think people’s greed is really the problem. Whether we trade money or cows, there’s always going to be somebody that wants it all and is willing to screw somebody else to get it. People are just jerks.

    • Robert Bell says:

      You don’t think that the world might be better if we all made what we then bartered, Aldo? To be honest, I’m not sure one way or the other

  3. Ha ha, love the positive comments above.

    While I do agree that a lot of people are jerks and some of them are wealthy, I’d like to point out that the world is undoubtedly getting a nicer place to live in on the average (for humans at least, our animal friends are still getting a raw deal, something which we need to sort out asap).

    I feel that we are turning the tide from a few hundred (thousand?) years of money being the root of evil and money is starting to make amends. I think the world will be a much more equal place in 50 years time than it is now as wealth is redistributed via various means (charity, carbon tax, free markets, etc…)

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