Would a society without money work?

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Ramone

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#1  Edited By Ramone

I was discussing this with my sister recently and I am doubtful, but do you guys think a society without money could work? The reason I am not so sure is that human nature almost dictates that it's impossible, people are greedy and lazy and want material things but what do I know?

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Hardgamer

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#2  Edited By Hardgamer

Society without money....priceless.

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SlightConfuse

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#3  Edited By SlightConfuse

well society did exist with out money before so i don't see why not

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TheSeductiveMoose

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#4  Edited By TheSeductiveMoose

Yes, I would guess so, seeing as money hasn't been around for as long as civilization.


Don't know how well it would do, though.
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skyline7284

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#5  Edited By skyline7284

Nope, as you said people in society are natually greedy.  Without a form of currency you can't decide if good A is more valuable than good B, or vice versa.  You need a standard of how you value and quantify wealth.
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BraveToaster

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#6  Edited By BraveToaster

I don't think it would work.

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time allen

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#7  Edited By time allen

take away money and it will just be replaced with something else.

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unchained

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#8  Edited By unchained

Value would just be placed on another object to exchange for goods and services. Money is just a representation of the division of the have and have-not.

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HitmanAgent47

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#9  Edited By HitmanAgent47

Ppl will trade stuff with each other for value, but I don't think it would work.

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Geno

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#10  Edited By Geno

Of course not. The very basis of civil interaction is the ability to exchange goods and services through a common means. 


If I want you to do something, there's two ways, 1) I can convince you, 2) I can pay you. If option 2 doesn't exist, then that leaves me with "convincing", in which there are many ways (read: violence). Convincing could also be peaceful, but if you think that everyone in society would be willing to do their part regardless of compensation then you're describing communism, which has never even remotely worked. 
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scarace360

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#11  Edited By scarace360

would be awesome but no.

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beej

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#12  Edited By beej
here and here.
I'm partial to this quotation 

" . George Orwell describes a scene in Aragon during this time period, in his book, Homage to Catalonia:

"I had dropped more or less by chance into the only community of any size in Western Europe where political consciousness and disbelief in capitalism were more normal than their opposites. Up here in Aragon one was among tens of thousands of people, mainly though not entirely of working-class origin, all living at the same level and mingling on terms of equality. In theory it was perfect equality, and even in practice it was not far from it. There is a sense in which it would be true to say that one was experiencing a foretaste of Socialism, by which I mean that the prevailing mental atmosphere was that of Socialism. Many of the normal motives of civilized life--snobbishness, money-grubbing, fear of the boss, etc.--had simply ceased to exist. The ordinary class-division of society had disappeared to an extent that is almost unthinkable in the money-tainted air of England; there was no one there except the peasants and ourselves, and no one owned anyone else as his master.""
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crusader8463

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#13  Edited By crusader8463

Star Trek.

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Dedodido

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#14  Edited By Dedodido

I'm guessing when you say society you mean modern western society. In that case, the answer is pretty nonsensical, since it would be impossible to remove money from society. It's just an item with value, to get rid of money you'd need to get rid of all items, and then everyone would die.

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FancySoapsMan

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#15  Edited By FancySoapsMan

people would just use a barter system like they did before they started using money

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Brendan

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#16  Edited By Brendan

Money is just an efficient measuring stick of the worth of goods relative to each other.  Without it we would just go back to people screwing each other over by trading goods with other goods.

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McGhee

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#17  Edited By McGhee
@Jonny7892 said:
"

I was discussing this with my sister recently and I am doubtful, but do you guys think a society without money could work? The reason I am not so sure is that human nature almost dictates that it's impossible, people are greedy and lazy and want material things but what do I know?

"
A society having money has nothing do do with being "greedy and lazy" and wanting "material things". Money is simply a way to barter labor without actual barter. Small communities living agrarian lifestyles can exist on barter alone, but there is no inherent virtue in living this way. It is clumsy and difficult.
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HandsomeDead

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#18  Edited By HandsomeDead
@slightconfuse said:
" well society did exist with out money before so i don't see why not "
This is the stupidest thing. There's a reason that stopped a long, long, long, long time ago.
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shamroll

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#19  Edited By shamroll

If you didn't have any money or any medium of exchange like salt then any sort of exchange would require a double coincidence to occur.  If I made shoes and I wanted a tire I would need to find someone who makes tires and wants shoes.


So for the most part a society without any sort of exchange system would not work or people would just make one.  I remember back in Diablo 2, SOJ's became the primary currency because gold was mostly worthless.
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skyline7284

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#20  Edited By skyline7284

For the record Money isn't actual currency.   Money is any good that is widely used and accepted in transactions involving the transfer of goods and services from one person to another.   So technically money has been around since the dawn of civilization from large stone wheels, to copper coins, to gold, federal reserve notes (Dollar bills), etc.
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yoshimitz707

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#21  Edited By yoshimitz707

How would I buy video games?

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James_ex_machina

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#22  Edited By James_ex_machina

No.

even we went back to trading items, the items themselves would be a form of money.
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Turambar

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#23  Edited By Turambar

Considering money is but one of many ways to assert value on something, society without money is very possible as long as how we choose to assert value changes.  Now, how likely that is to happen is another question.

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Getz

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#24  Edited By Getz
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JasonR86

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#25  Edited By JasonR86
@Jonny7892:

America is doing ok.
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Vodun

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#26  Edited By Vodun

In a Utopian communist society maybe, where everyone is equal and everyone just did their thing for the community. You always knew you'd have food because the food provider did his thing. You'd always have a car, because the car provider did his thing.


Problem is, we don't like equality, and there will always be those that are "more equal than others". I think in small communities it might work, where everyone knows each other, but in a large society...nah, the guy making the car would always think he'd deserve more than the dude cleaning the factory. Also, what if you can't contribute. What if you're handicapped or unable to be productive for some other reason? Do you get thrown out? Money might actually make society more humane in some ways.
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Gerhabio

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#27  Edited By Gerhabio

Many contemporary societies function quite well with barter markets that don't use standard monetary systems of equivalence (e.g. I'll give you a bushel of wheat for 2 chickens). The key is that these are relatively small societies compared to the price-making market ones that do use money, but they do exist and they do work. I don't think money is intrinsically connected to greed or laziness. It's just a symbol of value and if it didn't exist, as it doesn't in many small-scale societies (e.g. many Amazonian ones), people would find other ways of exchanging goods and services (like bartering or making a hierarchy of possession). Exchange is important to all people because no one person can get everything from everywhere. The history of humanity is the story of people, space and their stuff. It would be naive to think that somehow money by virtue of itself corrupts people. Materialism is bad because it is an extreme but life would be pretty shitty if we did not strive for better material possessions (e.g. tools, shelter, better food, your laptop).

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penguindust

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#28  Edited By penguindust
@crusader8463 said:

" Star Trek. "

I was going to say that, too.  I always wondered how it worked though.  I mean, Sisko's dad ran a restaurant in the French Quarter on Earth.  So, did he just give food away to whoever went there and wanted to dine?  Were all his supplies and upkeep taken care of by the government?  Did he do it just for fun?  What if someone didn't want to do anything?  Were their basic needs still supplied?  In Star Trek, everyone seems to have a job but I know that not everyone is happy with their job, too.  There are more than enough episodes where someone is in revolt.  So, I wonder how hard it is to switch jobs.  And then what happens when you want to trade with other non-human cultures.  The Ferengi were very money-oriented, so in an Earth society that doesn't use money, there must be some way to get something like "latinum" to exchange for goods that doesn't involve complicated bartering.  The thing is, with the invention of the replicator, all the time and effort put in our basic needs for producing food, shelter and clothing could be handled in a few button presses.  I guess if the Star Trek Earth government gave everyone a replicator, then no one would have to worry about just putting food on the table.  In theory, people could then put that energy to better purposes, but I'm not an idealist and I think rather than releasing mankind to create art and explore the universe, most of us would rather slurp down some cake-in-a-cup from Buy In Large.  
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Commisar123

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#29  Edited By Commisar123

no

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S0ndor

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#30  Edited By S0ndor
@skyline7284 said:
" For the record Money isn't actual currency.   Money is any good that is widely used and accepted in transactions involving the transfer of goods and services from one person to another.   So technically money has been around since the dawn of civilization from large stone wheels, to copper coins, to gold, federal reserve notes (Dollar bills), etc. "
You're thinking of legal tender, which may or may not be money. Money includes all forms of currency plus the little digits that show up on your bank account.

And no, we need money to trade. It used to be simple. The amount of goods was extremely limited in the old days (wood, metals, meat, pelts, milk, eggs). But how would you quantify the value of an iPod for example?

1 iPod = 2 Nike Airmax?
5 iPod = Armani suit?

Our world would fall apart without money. Small, contained communities could exist without it, but national and international trade would be impossible.
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Ramone

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#31  Edited By Ramone
@McGhee_the_Insomniac said:
" @Jonny7892 said:
"

I was discussing this with my sister recently and I am doubtful, but do you guys think a society without money could work? The reason I am not so sure is that human nature almost dictates that it's impossible, people are greedy and lazy and want material things but what do I know?

"
A society having money has nothing do do with being "greedy and lazy" and wanting "material things". Money is simply a way to barter labor without actual barter. Small communities living agrarian lifestyles can exist on barter alone, but there is no inherent virtue in living this way. It is clumsy and difficult. "

What I meant by greedy and lazy is that if a scoeity without money did exist there would likely be more situations in which person A asks person B to do something for 'free' i.e no reward for their time and/or skill and generally people won't do something unless there is something in it for them. Person A is lazy and Person B is greedy. By material things I meant that in this society there would be less material goods because there would be lower demand due to the relative 'poverty' of the people
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guiseppe

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#32  Edited By guiseppe

The first humans didn't use a monetary system, and since we're all here, it seemed to work out just fine. I would LOVE a society without money.

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Slaker117

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#33  Edited By Slaker117

Humanity started without proper "money" but the ideas of value, ownership and trade have always been there. It naturally leads to the creation of standard currency systems. We could, in theory, go back to a society without dollars and cents, but in time we would end up with something similar because it just makes sense.

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Venatio

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#34  Edited By Venatio
@PenguinDust said:
" @crusader8463 said:

" Star Trek. "

I was going to say that, too.  I always wondered how it worked though.  I mean, Sisko's dad ran a restaurant in the French Quarter on Earth.  So, did he just give food away to whoever went there and wanted to dine?  Were all his supplies and upkeep taken care of by the government?  Did he do it just for fun?  What if someone didn't want to do anything?  Were their basic needs still supplied?  In Star Trek, everyone seems to have a job but I know that not everyone is happy with their job, too.  There are more than enough episodes where someone is in revolt.  So, I wonder how hard it is to switch jobs.  And then what happens when you want to trade with other non-human cultures.  The Ferengi were very money-oriented, so in an Earth society that doesn't use money, there must be some way to get something like "latinum" to exchange for goods that doesn't involve complicated bartering.  The thing is, with the invention of the replicator, all the time and effort put in our basic needs for producing food, shelter and clothing could be handled in a few button presses.  I guess if the Star Trek Earth government gave everyone a replicator, then no one would have to worry about just putting food on the table.  In theory, people could then put that energy to better purposes, but I'm not an idealist and I think rather than releasing mankind to create art and explore the universe, most of us would rather slurp down some cake-in-a-cup from Buy In Large.   "
Been watching all of Deep Space Nine lately for the first time and you said everything I was going the say, the Ferengi are crazy for latinum and there has to be some kind of currency for Earth. Latinum is desirable because it cannot be replicated but I have no idea of how Earth works, replicators kinda fucks up the entire system
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vilhelmnielsen

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#35  Edited By vilhelmnielsen

Only if it was replaced by sexual favors.


"How many blowjobs for Mass Effect 3?"
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Seedofpower

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#36  Edited By Seedofpower

There would always be some sort of money and ability to identity worth and power. Like the time after the roman empire fell, Europe resorted to barbarism and if you had the most stuff you were the richest.

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tunaburn

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#37  Edited By tunaburn

it would just be replaced with sasparilla bottlle caps

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Jimbo

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#38  Edited By Jimbo

Of course.  The barter system is functional, it's just horrendously inefficient (and, just as importantly, way harder to tax).  The barter system would not be able to support society as it is today.

You could operate a 'society' by force to a certain extent (farm your land or you'll be shot), but at that point it's not really a society.  Society implies people coming together willingly for mutual benefit.

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CABBAGES

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#39  Edited By CABBAGES

Money is just debt.

Every £ or $ or whatever currency is a debt that is owed to another person.

If there was no debt there would be no money and vice versa.

 

I think one day there will be no money but not in my life time.

 

Think of what we could do if it wasnt for money. Instead of wasting resources on crap we would use all the resources for worthwhile stuff.

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Pinworm45

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#40  Edited By Pinworm45

How people could think the world would be any different without money is baffling. It is the most logical, efficient, and effective way to exchange things that are necessary to live, and to encourage working and working hard. The only people who ever feel that we'd be better off without money are poor people and/or people who don't think for more than 10 seconds about anything.

Poor person btw.

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FreakAche

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#41  Edited By FreakAche

I like to be optimistic about humanity so sure, why not. I'd like to live in a crazy Star Trek esque world someday.

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Geno

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#42  Edited By Geno
@VilhelmNielsen said:
" Only if it was replaced by sexual favors.

"How many blowjobs for Mass Effect 3?"
"
I'll trade you three Mass Effect 2's for two Mass Effect 3's.
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Skytylz

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#43  Edited By Skytylz

It would be different and maybe not great, but it'd work.  

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Jayzz

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#44  Edited By Jayzz

Diablo 2.

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Grumbel

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#45  Edited By Grumbel

Money is in essence a proxy for natural resources and as long natural resources are limited, you need something to trade them. Even in some theoretical future society you wouldn't get rid of that problem, even in StarTrek Picard will get angry at you when you use the holodeck all week and waste all the energy you can get. That said, some of the things associated with money might disappear, such as "poverty" or "work", as money might be distributed more evenly and a lot of work being taken over by robots/AI, i.e. capitalism might disappear, not money itself.

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EpicSteve

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#46  Edited By EpicSteve

It wouldn't work at all. Money is the motivation for everything. Yes, if everyone was perfect and had work ethic, maybe. But does everyone get a sweet-ass TV? Capitalism all the way. 

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Afroman269

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#47  Edited By Afroman269

So basically just go back to a barter system? No thanks, I don't want to haggle the amount of chickens to get a video game.

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Everyones_A_Critic

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It would suck. A lot.

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calidan777

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#49  Edited By calidan777

yep, it's called "bartering", and it worked just fine

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Wrighteous86

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#50  Edited By Wrighteous86

Could and can a society work without money? Yes. There are some that still do, in remote areas of the world.


Could and can our society work without money? Nuh-uh.