"The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution
which has to start with each one of us?"
-- Dorothy Day
THE FREE ECONOMY
The Free Economy
Also called a "cooperative economy," a free economy is a core component of the Cooperative Society. Simply put, this is the notion that the world would be far better off if people gave things away instead of charging money for them! In such a society, people would contribute what they could based on their talents, and take from the available supply of goods and services, based on their needs. Then, we wouldn't have to live continually preoccupied with thoughts of money; nor would people's needs go dramatically unfilled, as often happens, now. We could work, produce, create, and live for the right reasons, instead of doing so based on fear--fear of poverty, for example.
Placing an artificial barrier called "profit" between an obviously-available good or service, and the human need for that good or service, is an act which constitutes an artifice, at best, and a crime, at worst, with deleterious and sometimes tragic consequences. Here is a real life example of a personal situation that occurred to this writer in the area of health care, contrasted with its very different unfolding under a moneyless cooperative society.
So, just as we encourage you to take freely from the resources of this site, we similarly encourage you to give away the product of your own labor, whatever that may be. In this way, we can wean people off the idea that an obsession with money, and the mental slavery this causes, is the only way to "be" in this world!
A Few Specifics
Two classes of goods and services will be free from the very start of the new Cooperative Society: 1.) food, clothing, housing, health care, transportation, education, and internet access; in other words, goods and services required to fill basic human needs, and 2.) goods and services likely requiring few social resources to produce, such as hand-sewn blankets, wooden toys, or plants and flowers.
Depending on the level of efficiency of production, and availability of resources at the start of the new society, goods and services associated more with the wants of people, contrasted with the needs of people, may require use of an exchange medium such as "labor-time vouchers." Not money, and not permitting the exploitation and control money allows, these vouchers would permit acquisition of items based on the number of hours required for their production: for example, if the fine professional guitar you want required 500 hours of labor to create, you will have to work 500 hours to obtain it. You will trade 500 hours of your labor for 500 hours of the labor of the luthier (i.e. the guitarmaker). Labor for labor; work for work. Fair. No exploitation or master-slave dynamic involved.
If desired, your labor hours worked could be stored electronically in the form of a plastic card that would be used at the point-of-acquisition, similar to the debit card of today. Acknowledgement to People For a New Society, as I don't know if they originated this idea of a plastic card, but I learned of it from them.
As the efficiency and resources of the new society grows, this labor voucher sub-system may become extraneous and can likely be terminated, if desired. At that point, all goods and services will be free.
It's Already Happening
The reality is that many people around this planet are already giving away the fruit of their labor. Insofar as this is happening, and both givers and receivers find satisfaction in this practice and consider it a social good, the most important precursor to the formal establishment of socialism, the intellectual acceptance and indeed adoption of its basic conceptual idea, and the emotional shift thereto required in the hearts of people, is underway. In other words, the psychological infrastructure required for the establishment of democratic socialism, also called a Cooperative Society, is already being developed and emplaced.
Right now, there are many people and institutions around the world giving things away. Increasingly, even traditional corporate entities are seeing the virtue of transferring value, whether in the form of providing a product or service without charge, or canceling existing charges or fees, such as when the debts of poor nations are cancelled.
And, of course, the scientific process has historically been an open one, with scientists freely sharing ideas, information, and research, to the common benefit and the greater advancement of science. In this case, however, with the exception of computer science, recent years have seen an erosion of open science in favor of proprietary research, as companies become ever more feverish in their greedy desire to own every scientific idea, notion, and theory, and the real or potential products derivable therefrom.
Still, listed below is an evolving database of companies and individuals who are giving away the fruit of their labor. I can't say how many, if any, of them are motivated by the vision of a cooperative society; indeed, I suspect that a good portion of them see the free distribution of their products or services as a business tactic. Still, when viewed in the aggregate, we can see that a body of free goods and services already exists. People are giving things away, and others are using those things, and perhaps even giving some of their own things away, in turn. Insofar as this is true, it indicates that people are not opposed to such a manner of exchange, and indeed, find it easy and natural. In fact, that's a key point: in our technologically advanced and modern age, where resources are so abundant, and the resources which seem scarce would, in fact, become available and sometimes even abundant if profit and money didn't stand in the way, a free circulation of the means of life is the most natural way to exist.
Also presented below is a roster of organizations which advocate free goods and services.
O.H.F. strongly encourages you to accept and use these free products and services. Then, communicate with those who are giving them away, to thank them, encourage them further, and apprise them of other sources of free products and services, so they can get what they need. Then, insofar as your personal finances allow, begin to give away your own products and services!
FREE GOODS & SERVICES
Graphing Viewing & Editing
Text & HTML Editing
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
Digital Audio Workstation/Hard Drive Recording
Secure File Deletion/Wiping
LEGAL & HEALTH ASSISTANCE
Reviews of Products & Services
FREE GOODS & SERVICES ADVOCACY & PHILOSOPHY
~ Advocating Economic & Personal Change ~
One Human Family