Journal: Is Money Evil? Who Decided Gold Was Valuable?

Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Earth Intelligence, Gift Intelligence

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

COULD YOU SURVIVE WITHOUT MONEY?
MEET THE GUY WHO DOES

In Utah, a modern-day caveman has lived for the better part of a decade on zero dollars a day. People used to think he was crazy

By Christopher Ketcham; Photograph by Mark Heithoff

DANIEL SUELO LIVES IN A CAVE. UNLIKE THE average American—wallowing in credit-card debt, clinging to a mortgage, terrified of the next downsizing at the office—he isn’t worried about the economic crisis. That’s because he figured out that the best way to stay solvent is to never be solvent in the first place. Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit.

. . . . . . .

“Giving up possessions, living beyond credit and debt,” Suelo explains on his blog, “freely giving and freely taking, forgiving all debts, owing nobody a thing, living and walking without guilt . . . grudge [or] judgment.” If grace was the goal, Suelo told himself, then it had to be grace in the classical sense, from the Latin gratia, meaning favor—and also, free.

. . . . . . .

Suelo considers the riches of our own forage. “What if we saw gold for what it is?” he says meditatively. “Gold is pretty but virtually useless. Somebody decided it has worth, and everybody accepted this decision. The natives in the Americas thought Europeans were insane because of their lust for such a useless yellow substance.”

. . . . . . .

HE WASN’T ALWAYS THIS WAY. SUELO graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in anthropology, he thought about becoming a doctor, he held jobs, he had cash and a bank account. In 1987, after several years as an assistant lab technician in Colorado hospitals, he joined the Peace Corps and was posted to an Ecuadoran village high in the Andes. He was charged with monitoring the health of tribespeople in the area, teaching first aid and nutrition, and handing out medicine where needed; his proudest achievement was delivering three babies. The tribe had been getting richer for a decade, and during the two years he was there he watched as the villagers began to adopt the economics of modernity. They sold the food from their fields—quinoa, potatoes, corn, lentils—for cash, which they used to purchase things they didn’t need, as Suelo describes it. They bought soda and white flour and refined sugar and noodles and big bags of MSG to flavor the starchy meals. They bought TVs. The more they spent, says Suelo, the more their health declined. He could measure the deterioration on his charts. “It looked,” he says, “like money was impoverishing them.”  The experience was transformative….

+++++++Phi Beta Iota Editorial Comment+++++++

There is a rich literature that decries “Rule by Secrecy” and “Rule by Scarcity.”  There is an emerging literature on the importance of Open Money and the implications of recalculating wealth in time-energy (Buckminster Fuller’s notion), in terms of “true cost” to future generations, and in terms of humanity–feelings, emotions, the articulation and expression of beauty, instead of materialistic excess.

The Digital Natives now reaching adulthood coiuld well be the Cultural Creatives on steroids, armed with hand-held devices more powerful that repressive weapons, armed with notions that would resonate with the Love generation of the 1960’s, but also with those of the Mayans who worked only 60 days out of the year to maintain family, community, and civilization.

There is more than enough wealth to allow every person on the planet a good life with food, shelter, and the instruments for thinking.  Our challenge is to use public intelligence in the public interest, to overcome the information asymmetries and the data pathologies that are endemic in the Weberian system of bureaucracy as a means of hoarding knowledge and controlling behavior.

The best behavior comes from shared values within shared wealth.  It’s time we inherited the Earth and fulfilled humanity’s promise, to be the connector of dots to dots, dots to people, and people to people, here on Earth and beyond–with 100 million galaxies, we are quite certain there at least ten, if not more, planets with intelligent life on them.  We will not go so far as to suggest that they are watching us and that we scare them for our war-mongering, thoughtless misbehavior that impoverishes the many for the benefit of a few, but we should live each day as if we were indeed being judged by a larger force.

Is our government acting in the public interest?  Are banks allowed to charge 29.9% interest, banks that exist because they are chartered by our government, in the public interest?

Our national intelligence is lacking.  Public intelligence must make up the deficit.

2008 Earth Intelligence Network Brief to Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE)

Briefings & Lectures, Collective Intelligence, Earth Intelligence
EIN at HOPE
EIN at HOPE

At the recommendation of Winn Schwartau, Robert Steele was invited to open Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) in New York City in 1994, and has been a speaker each conference since then.  Although 2008 was billed as the last event, it may continue.  Steele also does a “SPY IMPROVE: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Did Not Know Who to Ask.”  Above is the “formal” briefing delivered on 18 July 2008.

2004 Daly (US) Globalization and National Defense–Implications of the Effective Erasure of National Boundaries in an Era of Ecological Economics

03 Environmental Degradation, Analysis, Commercial Intelligence, Earth Intelligence, Historic Contributions
Herman Daly
Herman Daly

GOLDEN CANDLE AWARD:  Dr. Herman E. Daly

OSS ’04: To Dr. Herman E. Daly for his early role as a founder of the field of Ecological Economics, including his leadership role in the creation of the journal for this area of ethical study, and his body of work including Steady-State Economics (1977) and the most recent Ecological Economics and the Ecology of Economics (1999).

We discovered Dr. Daly’s work when we made the leap from environmental scare mongering to his term, ecological economics.  This great man, who spent most of his years in the University of Maryland system, has received every prize short of the Nobel Prize, and we were among those who urged the Nobel Comittee to recognize Daly and and others rather than the celeberity de jour.  Below is his presentation to OSS ’06.  Please search for his books on this website, in the overcall scheme of strategic analytics, Herman Daly is “root.”

Herman Daly
Herman Daly

2004 (US) Spinney Water and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

06 Genocide, 12 Water, Civil Society, Earth Intelligence, Government, Historic Contributions, Military, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney, who contributes highlighted items to the Journal of Public Intelligence, wrote the original modern book on defense waste and the plans/reality mismatch, shown below with a link to its Amazon Page.

Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Although not a professional intelligence analyst, Spinney is a deeply-experienced real-world analyst and understands the lunacy of building a strategy, a force structure, a foreign policy, or a campaign plan on ideological fantasies and misrepresentations.  Israel and Palestine is a WATER issue, nothing more, nothing less.  Below is his briefing to OSS ’04 to that effect–prepare to be shocked at how Israel is stealing water from the Arab aquifers, and how Israeli agruculture is using 50% of the regions water to produce less than 5% of the Israeli GDP, all the while denying Palestinians their own water.  The Arab govenrments, and the US Government, “go along” because they do not yet place proper emphasis on human rights and especially on the rights of indigenous peoples.

Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

2003 Czech The Steady State Revolution for National Security and International Stability

Communities of Practice, Earth Intelligence, Historic Contributions
Brian Czech
Brian Czech

Brian Czech at the time was one of those employees of the U.S. Government who served the public interest with enormous integrity, imagination, and intelligence.  Totday he is President of CENTER for theADVANCEMENT of theSTEADY STATE ECONOMY which we have added to our Righteous Sites.

Home Page
Home Page
Brian Czech
Brian Czech

Brian Czech has a Ph.D. in renewable natural resources from the University of Arizona and is a certified wildlife biologist.  He applies his training and experience to economic issues, especially macroeconomic policy.  He has 20 years of experience in federal, state, and tribal governments with duties ranging from firefighting to managing elk herds to developing national conservation policies.  Brian is also a visiting assistant professor at Virginia Tech University, where he teaches ecological economics and endangered species policy.

Below is his contribution to OSS ’03.

Steady State Revolution
Steady State Revolution