Review by Simon Mitchell
One of my favourite optimistic, life-enhancing quotes is from Arundhati Roy, an Indian authoress and political activist, perhaps best known for winning the 1998 Man Booker Prize for her novel ‘The God of Small Things’ in 1997:
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”
One place I have recently found to hear the future breathing is in Mark Boyle’s fascinating book, ‘The Moneyless Manifesto: Live Well, Live Rich, Live Free’.
I’ve been doing green stuff since the 1980’s and have seen the ‘movement’ (which is so uncoordinated it can hardly be called a movement) go through many changes. It’s been easy to get resentful when, after the scourge of finger wagging greenies putting everyone off by telling us we are ‘all bad’ and ‘humanity is a cancer’, you see a mass corporate jumping on the green bandwagon to steal the agenda and convert it into yet another form of consumerism.
Mark Boyle’s book is utterly refreshing and washes the cloying breakdown of greenyism from my eyes to see things afresh. For quite a while now I have realised that money itself is a big problem that stops so many of us having a wholesome relationship with ourselves and our planet. In this book Mark helps me to verbalise my feelings about money and its effect on ‘self’.
With the edge of the Fiscal Cliff now looming into view for even ‘normal’ people, money is no longer a valid method of valuing self or measuring wealth. So, the question for me, and a core theme of this book is: ‘How, then, does one escape from dependence on money into more useful, productive and meaningful relationships with oneself, earth, the environment and people?’
Enter – with I might say absolutely no preaching or finger wagging and a good degree of humour – The Moneyless Man. A brave experiment and one I never dared, despite starting a local exchange scheme (LETS), an organic gardening co-operative and a Community College where I live.
What is so refreshing here is the approach which isn’t one that limits personal choice but offers us a continuum of action designed to shift us gently into a more considered relationship with our energies in relation to work, reward and a finite planet, wherever we stand idealogically.
At one end for example is the extreme; “walking barefoot is the ultimate in moneyless transport” to the next step of “Driving a hybrid car” if you are a car driver – the choice is yours and Mark discusses the merits of each in a selection of what he calls POP Models (Progression of Principles).
In addition to cohesive theories based on sound observation and experiment there are a wealth of practical ideas and resources in this book. Early adopters, Transitioners and social entrepreneurs especially will find it valuable, but if you want a hand in making an economically viable future in your own community – start here.
The end of time for money is apparent, as it no longer serves us as a medium of exchange – but instead has become an end in itself which makes slaves of us all. Government and the mass media continue to sell us the lie that “more economic growth, and not the efficient use of all of the resources we already have, is the answer to economic austerity”. As this awful system crumbles even more, the further entrenched in money systems you are, the harder it will hit you. Get out now. With ‘The Moneyless Man’ you are not just forewarned but also forearmed and I would classify it ‘an essential read’ for anyone wanting to live in the future.
Get a copy here: http://www.moneylessmanifesto.org/get-a-copy/
Review from Simon Mitchell