Sunday, 3 February 2013

The RBE. What is it?

Hi, It has been a long time since I have updated this blog. University happened and then, consequently, so did finding my place in the real world. But now that I have started to find some time again I would like to begin dedicating more to this cause. I call it Innovative. A place were we can discover and learn through innovative means, a way to make our lives and the lives of all around us a bit better. So once again. I would like to ask, if anyone is Interested In contributing articles to this website. Please come and let me know. I am looking to expand from articles. To news and information updates. Art and culture events. Local groups. And even designers to push this blog into a degree of respectability. Anything basically that promotes an ethical way of life. If you think you the passion to share your own unique ideas on this site. 
Well ya know were I am .

The Resource economy. A version of the future, or a fantasy?


For some time now the twin concepts of the money based system, and the resource based system. Have been bandied around quietly between groups of friends, with a quite nod of understanding between those who take an interest in such things. After all, on the face of it, talking about economy, money and resources doesn't sound like the kind of subject that will instantly intrigue people on a regular basis. Definitely not a great conversation to have when your trying to meet new people at a party. Instead, the reserve perhaps of the quiet debate, or the topic of a group of idealists.

However when you dig a bit deeper into what it actually is talking about. You discover that it is essentially about life. About the lives of you, me and everyone else. Though quite often discussed on a very broad scale of experience.

In this article I hope then to demystify this subject a little and to offer suggestions on both, why it is relevant to you and me. And how we can actually apply what we know, to the real world.


Firstly to answer the question of whether a 'Resource based economy' (RBE) is a real alternative to the way we live right now, we need to understand what a RBE actually is.

The definition of Economy is as follows.

noun (plural economies)

  • 1the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money:he favours tax cuts to stimulate the economy
  • a particular system or stage of an economy:a free-market economy

At its core, a way of governing the resources and wealth of a certain region/country or indeed the world. At the moment the way we manage our economy is through the money based economy. (MBE).

Living in a MBE, means that every thing we do and use has a value assigned to it that we can accumulate and spend at our leisure. When we work we provide a service. And that service is given a worth, which in effect is your wage. With those wages we buy products and means for survival. Food, water etc. As well as products, that other peoples services have rendered possible for us to use. It is in effect a constant flow of numbers that when balanced correctly is supposed to create growth.

A RBE is a relatively new concept for how to manage what we use and create. It was theorised by Jaque Fresco. Also the founder of the Venus project initiative. (A subject that will be explored at a later date).

The general idea with a RBE, is that we would have no money, debt, or credit. Resource would be free and abundant for all to use. Everything in effect is the common heritage of all inhabitants. Not just the reserve of those that can afford it. It suggests that with the reforms it proposes, we as a singular race, would come by the means to be able to provide an over abundance of everything we need and want.

So apart from the almost fantastical claims made by the RBE. Why do we not often hear about the RBE in mainstream media.. The biggest problem facing the RBE at the moment, is the general understanding that we are living in a world of slowly evaporating materials. Global warming is sneaking up on us, our economy is crashing and we are being told over and again about the scarcity of materials such as oil. Metals used in computer technology. Natural materials such as trees. This is in direct contradiction to the doctrine of the RBE theory. That there is enough of everything for everyone to live a life as good as, if not better, than the most affluent of people in the 1st world.

In Jaque Fresco's own words

At present, we have enough material resources to provide a very high standard of living for all of Earth's inhabitants. Only when population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land do many problems such as greed, crime and violence emerge. By overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today's society would no longer be necessary.”

Of course most people would essentially side with the ideas proposed by the MBE system currently in place. It has been practised and studied for most of Human history and has worked, more or less, for the entirety of that time.

So what does the RBE actually propose?

“- thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative.”

Well at its core it addresses a socio economic problem that it cites as being the main cause for the downward spiral of the condition of our planet and our ways of life. The concept of individual rather than group. This problem is a direct result of the idea of assigning worth and value to every scarce material or service we have. A good example is the idea that we pay for water. To pay for this water we work. But to be able to work we need to be qualified, driven, and sometimes ruthless. In essence the MBE promotes individuality rather than cooperation. It implies an importance to one thing over another. Therefore a money based economy is not equal. In a world were we are all fighting for our right to live. We are less concerned with the group and more concerned with the individual.

A RBE creates an incentive system that revolves around human and environmental concern. By putting the emphasis on the actual. (i.e. Materials such as wood) rather than the theoretical (i.e. Numbers that represent stock on a computer screen). And basically getting rid of money all together by making resources equal, and available to all. It takes the priority away from having to work for your living. And instead pulls the focus on to improving the way of life for everybody. After all, why work for yourself, when by working for the collective you inadvertently improve your life anyway.

In reality it all sounds too good to be true. A world were we have more spare time for our own pursuits. Be that art, gardening or whatever it is you love. A world were what we have is not determined by our individual worth. But by the collective contribution of all. A world that promotes a way of life that is comfortable, engaging and sustainable. And a world without money.

These ideas are all very idealistic and some might say, far fetched. My aim here is not to authenticate the viability of what it theorises. But to explore whether it is possible to apply some of these ideas to our everyday life.
So . . .

Is it possible to switch from what we have now? And is it necessary?

Is it necessary to start moving away from what we have now? I think the answer, when you look at the evidence, is a resounding yes. The current system in which we live in encourages selfishness, greed, inequality, corruption and lack of consideration for both the world we live in, and the people in it. Money is the root for our way of life. Whether good or bad.
It is the root cause of war and it is the one thing that holds back human advancement. Due to the current power centres maintaining a level of control over society. It enslaves people to lives of servitude in order to live. Working in a sometimes menial job every day till your 65 to survive. And lastly, on a very literal note. The whole system of maths that we have given our lives too. Money! Doesn't actually exist.
(Another topic that will be returned too at a later date but for reference sake).

These ideas about what our current system instigates within society are becoming more obvious as the foundation stones with which this system was built on begin to crumble. I think the most powerful example of this negative reflection on the MBE, is in relation to existence of global warming. We now know it exists. There is conclusive proof from scientists all over the world that our activity on the planet is warming it, and in the process ruining its condition. Ths planet earth is of course were we live and any negative effects on its condition will of course knock on to us. Food may become scarcer. The environments that people used to be able to live in will become inhospitable. There's a big chance, say for example if the sea levels rise, that people will lose everything they have.

We are all aware of this. Its hard not to be aware of it considering how much media coverage it gets. And it is a truly global problem.

On the flip side of the coin we have hope. There is technology, both available and theorised that can be put into action in creating more ethical ways of maintaining modern life. And the general commitment of the public consensus  seem to suggest that change can and should happen. We do not need petrol any more for example. 

Hydrogen cars and electric cars are tried and tested technologies that work. We do not need to use unsustainable material such as coal or gas to create energy. Again we have the technology and the understanding to create energy from a myriad of sources. So if we can do it, why don't we?


There is no profit in a never ending sustainable energy supply. The promotion of the individual in this system has led to a level of greed in the 1% of the population. (Who own 90% of the worlds wealth). To such a point, that it negates environmental and collective concern.
In this case, literally, in the face of a completely unprecedented impact on the human inhabitants of the entire planet. Not to mention all the other species of plants and animals that will suffer as a consequence of our negligence.

The question then, of whether it is necessary to start changing the way our system works is still of course, up to you. It is everyone right to an opinion after all. But the evidence, for me, points to the idea that what we have now doesn't work. Especially when placed in the context of whether it maximises the benefits to our livelihoods and general well being. I do not know whether the RBE is the answer yet either. It is, as of yet, still un-proven. And so grandiose in its ideology that any meaningful application will take a very long time to come into reality. But it does offer us another option that until recently just didn't exist. We have lived in effect, by the rules of a one horse race. No longer! We have a choice.

So what can we do to instigate change?

The first step for anyone when faced with the idea of completely overhauling our way of life. Is to learn, and to begin to question what you think you already know. Research both how our system works at the moment and what are people proposing as alternatives? Understand the whys and hows. The who's and the what's. This essay covers only the surface and gives a very broad overview of only two systems. The current MBE, and the theoretical RBE. The internet is of course the easiest way to start this, and there are numerous places available to begin the journey of understanding all of this in greater detail.

As a start I shall include a few useful links here that will hopefully answer many of the questions left unanswered by this particular essay.

This particular website is all about the ideas and theories behind the Venus project. A movement that was set up and invented by one of the key proponents of the RBE. In this FAQ there are potential avenues and answers to some of the likely questions that may occur to you. Including the obvious. “What if not everyone pulled their weight in maintaining this new world of equality?”

This is a documentary created by the zeitgeist movement. It is a sequel to an earlier revolutionary documentary that sought to expose the truths hidden behind the way our world works at this very moment. This particular film goes into detail about how money is created and why it exists.

This is a website dedicated to keeping people informed of everything that is going on surrounding the topic of ecology. Events, art, topics of discussion, news and information. Presented with a unbiased and very global point of view. And all in all, a much less intense and preachy website than the two above.

The second step is to communicate. This isn't an exercise in preaching to the masses. And I am not here to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. All that is needed is awareness. And to share awareness is no different than sharing a light in the dark. Help illuminate peoples understanding.

Start applying your beliefs to every day life. Start forcing the hands of the powers that be, by your actions. A simple example might be to consider whether you might be okay with new, more ethical, technologies that aren't necessarily being marketed. Such as electric cars. If the consumer buys what they want to see then inevitably the companies have to follow. Maybe switching your energy plan to a company that uses more sustainable energy in their mix.

Some good examples of things you could do can be found here.

Probably the most important step of all. Remain free thinking and creative about how you live. There is no definitive answer to our problems in this world. There is only the hope that essentially we all want to see something better.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."

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