Resource-Based Economy

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search

= allocating resources as a utility, without money



1. Excerpt copied (and edited) from the Venus Project site:

"A Resource-Based Economy is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of any system of debt or servitude like money, credits or barter. All resources become the common heritage of all people[1], not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources[2] through monetary methods[3] is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.

Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources.[4] Money[5] is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such." [6]


"when futurists refer to ‘resource based economics’ today, in a post-industrial context, they’re usually talking about systems where global resources are managed rather like municipal utilities and as a result currencies become redundant. No one ‘owns’ water. Communities create facilities for its collection and distribution as a public utility. Imagine that all resources and many commodities were treated this same way and you have part of the picture of what a resource based economy means. Such systems are anticipated to evolve from global digital networked market systems that become ‘commoditized’ by the trends in decentralization of production. In other words, because production is local, markets stop trading in finished products and labor and start dealing in a broad spectrum of commodities in increasingly fractionalized unit volumes evolving toward just the Periodic Table plus energy. Soon they become so efficient -as commodities markets tend to if left to their own devices- that they come to ‘know’ in an algorithmic sense the full extent of world resources and demand and their respective cycles and ‘bandwidth’, eliminate currency as a metric of market values by allowing resource values to be indexed relative to each other, and eliminate profit and speculation by compelling capitulation (the tendency of participants in a market to conform collectively to its trends) and driving the market toward equilibrium. At this point the system stops being a market for resources and commodities and becomes an Internet (an open-Internet) for them instead, compelling the relinquishing of individual control of resources and the management of their exploitation to the system itself as a world utility driven by demand. The result is a money-less society where all resources are free, within reason, and distributed automatically in response to demand. This is what futurist Jacque Fresco has dubbed Cybernation; world resources managed as a global societal commons by a demand-driven computer-based world utility."[7]

3. Rene Muller:

"The Resource-based Economy (RBE) concepts propose a way to abandon money and the speculation with it; and get back to resources directly without the involvement of money as a regulatory tool. It assumes that with today's technology it would be possible to measure and store the quantity of a certain good, and connect with the demand or requirement side and share the resources, and skip the speculative and profit aspect in the exchange.

The term itself "Resource-based Economy" was adapted from The Antigonish Movement of Canada's Resource Based Communities concept and later reintroduced by Jacques Fresco, who also initiated The Venus Project (TVP), the term was then adapted by other groups, such as The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM), People 4 Social Sustainability (PSS), The Resource Based Economy Foundation, and The Technocracy Movement.

A brief explanation of RBE:

"A Resource-Based Economy is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resources; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival."[8]

Another key element:

Abundance, Efficiency and Sustainability are, very simply, the enemies of profit. This scarcity logic also applies to the quality of goods. The idea of creating something that could last, say, a lifetime with little repair, is anathema to the market system, for it reduces consumption rates, which slows growth and creates systemic repercussions (loss of jobs, etc.). The scarcity attribute of the market system is nothing but detrimental for these reasons, not to mention that it doesn't even serve the role of efficient resource preservation, which is often claimed.[9]

RBE is promoted by various groups and might differ in the details but agree on the following:

  • common holding of land by the people
  • common holding of the means of production
  • common holding of the resources
  • common distribution of consumables / goods / commodities and so on
  • automation of the manufacturing process i.e. resources into semi-consumables and semi-consumables into consumables
  • beyond the use of money, credit, barter, exchange, and all forms of interest bearing debt
  • post-scarcity system of shared social abundance

Resource-based Economy (RBE) emphasizes the availability of the resource itself and proposes to abandon money as a value system, and value the resource directly (how this is done in detail is not explained). It assumes all resource-based needs can be satisfied with the technological achievement we made as humans. It certainly addresses the issue of survival conditions which we as humans developed in early times, and which are now no longer useful; hence, developing an awareness and consciousness of sufficiency or even abundance and away from scarcity."[10]

Typology of RBE Movements

Humanistic RBE

Rene Muller:

"As pointed out above, the TVP and TZM view on RBE is a rather mechanistic and technocratic solution, and lacks some of the humanistic, spiritual and holistic perspectives, fortunately there are also other groups who work on developing RBE further with a large scope, like The Resourcebased

As there is a lot of talk about technology, design, architecture and the like this website ( tries to discuss the term ‘resource based economy’ from a human perspective based on existing and possible future values on this planet. When this website was formed, one found almost nothing about a resource based economy online in spite of the websites of The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement.

This site was made to remedy that. Still, the term ‘resource based economy’ can be replaced/overlapped by many other terms.

Resource based economy (RBE), Natural Resources Economy, Resource Economy, Moneyless Economy (MLE), Love Eased Economy (LBE), Gift Economy (GE), Priceless Economic System (PES), Trust Economy (TE), Sharing Society, Resource Based Society, Moneyless Society, Love Based Society, etc. etc. It is all the same thing. It doesn’t really matter what we call it, as long as it has the basic notion of an economic system where no money is used, ownership and trade is abandoned and replaced with usership and giving and all resources (both human and planetary) are shared and managed properly. On this site we will mainly use the term Resource Based Economy. We could add ‘Gift’ in the title (Resource Based Gift Economy), to emphasize that on a local micro level, we need to simply give and share our personal resources, while we at the same time, on a global macro level, manage global resources. (from The Resource-based About)

A simple definition for RBE from the same web-site:

“A resource-based economy is a society without money, barter or trade, with the awareness that Humanity is One family and where technology, science and spirituality is used to it’s fullest to develop and manage the planet’s resources to provide abundance for everyone in the most sustainable way.”

It further addresses the mindset and the consciousness to live in such a RBE system:

RBE is not an ‘establishment of a system’, but rather the emergence of a system, coming from it’s citizens and not from any ‘rulers’, as there are no rulers in RBE. That it is an emergent system is crucial to understand. It is not a top down system, but a bottom up system based on a shift in mindset of the population.[11]

And specifically speaks of a continual emergence of a system of self imposed management of human and natural resources both locally and globally where the following happens:

  • money is replaced by gratitude
  • trading is replaced by sharing and
  • ownership is replaced by usership

... in a way where everyone’s needs are met.

Currently responsibility and ownership are closely tied together; in other words, you care about things you own; things you don't own you don't usually care, even avoid to get involved because it's considered "none of my business". In a RBE system, where there is no or little individual ownership but owned by the collective, the responsibility and the will to take care of and maintain things would be entirely new: you care for the things you use, but don't personally own. As described in the Gift Economy, a sense of family and intimacy among those who share things to use and not own privately has to emerge."[12]

Directivist RBE

Rene Muller:

"People 4 Social Sustainability (PSS) also has picked up (August 2011) the term from its predecessor "The Promethean Workers Association (PWA)" a movement that drew ideas largely from Robert Anton Wilson's "Prometheus Rising" and on Gnosticism, Discordianism, Metaphysics, and RBE that publically accepted neophytes/ initiates as a movement/ tradition from 2004-2010. PSS adapted PWA's version of RBE and separated it from the more mystical tradition based New Aeon view's of The PWA. The Directivist RBE was then defined beyond its initial purely mystical basis as a more idealistic and philosophical view point with an open and secular spiritual view point:

An economic system based on direct-common ownership of land, resources, production, distribution, and allocation, characterized through non-usury (monetary) intelligent management of resources for common consumer social abundance rather than profit-based scarcity (Capitalism) or need-based scarcity (Socialism). A gift economy in which the need for money, barters, or exchange is surpassed by the development of advanced earth-based technologies.

A post-scarcity society in which shared social abundance replaces the implied and artificial social notions of resource scarcity.

(In Directivist Theory) An essential third way post-monetary developmental stage achieved through the abolishment of state-property-centered and private-property-centered economic systems.

A) An application of alchemy towards the solving of social problems with earth based technology.

B) A guaranteed focus on the spiritual transcendence of society towards ascension and greater heights of spiritual understanding.

C) Guaranteed direct access by all to the means of all necessary production

D) Directly Democratic and technical assisted facilitation of resource management, utilization, and distribution.

E) Election of Alchemists to develop ways to relieve society from the burdens of menial labor and allow all members of society to engage in creative, fulfilling social endeavors

F) Use of Energy Credits to track renewability of resources and give a share of social abundance to everyone" (



1. Interview of Stephanie Smith, founder of the We Commune software project, by Allison Arieff of Shareable magazine:[13]


“AA: Explain the idea of the Third Economy.

SS: The Third Economy is a group-based resource-sharing economy. I coined the term in order to give shape to the informal exchanges that are beginning to happen as a result of the failures of the first (cash) and second (credit) economies. Economies are constructs (Visa created/implemented the credit economy with the help of Madison Avenue ‘Mad Men’ about 50 years ago).

I think it’s time to work together to build a new one; one with a different set of underlying values that are more in tune with our times, and one that is built from the bottom up by people who have intimate knowledge of, and experience with, the needs and desires of their local communities.

Allison Arieff: I think it’s so important to develop online strategies that extend to offline. Tell us about the tools you’re creating, and how they might start to take shape on the street.

Stephanie Smith: The first tools we’ll launch over the next six months or so include a Facebook app that helps users post and manage a “share,” barter or group barter (i.e., a dog walking club or childcare co-op), and a digital bulletin board tool that people working in cafes and co-working environments can use to post real-time resource-sharing opportunities.

A third tool we’re working on is a surplus re-allocation tool designed for urban districts that allows anyone to create a free shelf, box, table, or room, and add it to a map so that others can find and use it; they can take something, leave something, or both.

AA: There’s a lot of this share/trade/barter stuff happening now, especially in more progressive cities like Portland and San Francisco. Is there hope for this sort of momentum elsewhere?

SS: I’m always excited when progressive people in urban centers pioneer new approaches. We’re watching, participating and learning from many of these pioneers, especially on the west coast. What’s interesting about the Third Economy, however, is that it’s happening informally across America, in cities, suburbs and rural areas, as people confront our new economic reality. For instance, the numerous childcare co-ops and wholesale buying clubs that are started by average folks every day to get some of their economic needs met in a group format.

The best way to build on this momentum, both among pioneers in progressive urban centers, and by average people across America, is to make these informal resource-sharing behaviors one notch more formal. Give them a name – Third Economy, and let people know that when they share resources as a group in order to save money and build deeper community, they’re actually participating in a structured, economic system that has value and meaning.”[14]


Singularity Utopia (SU) of interviewed by René K. Müller (RKM) of on October 10-18, 2012.

* How do you define RBE and how do you think it differs from Post-Scarcity?

RKM: Take a look at Resource-based Economy where I summarized some of the key issues, and also formulated the criticism.

SU: This is where I disagree strongly with RBE advocates, when they say we already have enough resources. They say scarcity is merely a distribution/greed issue. While I fully recognise the 1% make things a lot worse for the majority, compared to how things could be, I am sure, looking at all factors, that we cannot have Post-Scarcity merely by having better distribution; thus things will not be free with better distribution based on our current technology.

On the issue of how, it is a simple issue comparable to how you breathe. How do you breathe? You simply suck air into your lungs; you never worry about a scarcity of air because it is all around us, it is not scarce.

How would people gain access to free computers in a Post-Scarcity situation? It would be similar to breathing air. You would simply compute via the super-abundance of computers all around you. Intel have stated (via their resident futurist Brian David Johnson) that meaningful computation (the chip size) will approach zero size in 2020, which means you could potentially have cheap microscopic computers in clothes, cups, paint, anything.

Recently I read about the ability to print solar cells. Imagine how 3D printing will have developed 20 or 30 years from now, we will be able to print anything, for example imagine being able to print powerful computers, or imagine printers that can deconstruct printed objects. So if computer chips are zero size by 2020, what about 2030, or 2040? What will evolved AI be capable of 30 years from now?

Look at various aspects of technology then project them 30 years into the future and that is the how.

Today I looked at pay-as-you-go cell phones in the supermarket and the cheapest one was only 14 US$, which is cheaper than 10 years ago and the technology in it is incredibly sophisticated compared to 10 years ago. You can also buy a corded landline handset for only $3.45. In another ten years companies will possibly give cell phones away or perhaps they will cost $2; or perhaps we must wait 20 or 30 years before there is such a drop in price, but the sure thing is that by 2045 everything will be free.

* RKM: What is the difference between having sufficient for all and Post-scarcity? What is free? When is something free for you?

SU: The difference between "sufficient for all" and Post-Scarcity is that the "sufficient for all" idea would or could entail rationing, there would likely be strict management of scarce resources to entail the sufficiency. Sufficient for all would or could entail mere provision of basic needs such as food and shelter, whereas Post-Scarcity entails no management or rationing, there is no need to regulate scarce resources, there are no limits in a Post-Scarcity situation.

“Sufficient for all” is imprecise because it could apply to a very wide variety of situations depending on how you define sufficient. For example the amount of platinum per individual could easily have a differing level of sufficiency for each person. A sufficient amount of cake per person is a differing measurement for each person similar to a sufficient amount of computing power. I am sure many millionaires think they have insufficient funds, which is why they are so desperate to earn more money; whereas many poor people might opt for eternal retirement if they had only 1 million in currency.

I doubt you could ever have a situation where everything is free if the resources are scarce. If there is very effective management of scarcity to entail a "sufficient for all" scenario, you will nevertheless have prices despite the sufficiency. Something is free in the monetary sense when it has no price, and there will always be price in a scarcity situation because human greed, the fear of scarcity, cannot be completely eliminated during a scarcity situation."[15]


The RBE definition by the Venus Project and Zeitgeist Movement

Comment By Robin of ShareWiki:

"In a Resource-Based Economy, people do not make decisions; they arrive at them through the use of advanced technological tools that incorporate The Scientific Method. There is no ‘Republican’ or ‘Liberal’ way to design an airplane… so why do we use these outdated worldviews in society today? When we recognize that society is a technological invention, with its component variables really no different than the component variables of an airplane, we then see that our orientation towards so called “government” should be purely scientific. ‘Politics’ is now outdated, for its processes are largely subjective and without scientific reference. Politics is an outgrowth of the monetary system and scarcity. We now must work towards a new, emerging paradigm – moving from a period where the central problem was the sharing of scarcity, to the problem now being one of creating and distributing abundance."[16]

Robin replies on what this really means:

  1. All Hail to "The Scientific Method." Science is objective! There are no values! Everything our machines say is Truth. Who are you to disagree? You can't disagree with the Truth!
  2. Society is NOT a technical construction as what they argue, but instead a social construction. Basic science.
  3. Politics is about who gets what when and how. It is about the distribution of power. States are the monopolization of power. These are two different things. Venus wants the state by abolishing politics.

Marc Replies to Robin:

  1. Our brains use Scientific Method to naturally evaluate everything that we experience. We experience symbiotic relations, and thus it is our truth. What makes us relate to one another is fact that we all agree on. If I told you "I saw a ghost," you must see if first before you can confirm it fact. If a group of people claimed the same thing, another skeptical group must confirm amongst each other in order to reach two agreeing parties. It is not until the "ghost" is accepted by all, does it exist as a truth. From our ancestors to our society today, we evaluated almost everything we can be exposed to, except the functionality of our current monetary system which is currently under skeptical surveillance. We use our most-current and updated knowledge, just like science, so that we do not repeat the same mistakes or dis-beliefs. This function only applies to the individual; it is not a social function yet because it must be applied by all as truth or fact.
  2. Society IS in fact a technical invention. Every means to every succeeding society grew with technology, (which can be considered to be man-power for ancient-times), and all new technology introduced overtime, made it's previous version obsolete. This point is simple. We walk on paved roads and sidewalks, we swing on swing sets or whirl through roller coasters, we cram into elevators, or we chill out a Star Bucks. All the while we are discussing the world around us, coffee in hand (how did that get there? You coffee drinkers you..), discussing our past, daily, or future objectives. All things provided to us (i.e. technology itself) creates the conversations and culture of our society. Making tie-dye shirts is not a form of social construction, it is a technical invention allowing us to design shirts that appeal to a rebellious generation rebelling about our technical set-up. They just happen to wear the shirts because technology provided it.
  3. Politics have no relevance anymore. Pointing at people for power is not only corrupt as favorable and unfair, but also it completely lacks a basis for all its decisions. Politics operate like this: noticing a problem, and then addressing it with some cover-up agenda, electing favorable people who are obviously distracted in their intent by monetary reward. They do not evaluate the foundational causes of the worlds problems, and they have no interest even in finding out ways that we could design our problems out. Their job is to maintain the current world order, protecting themselves and their jobs for the remainder of their lives.

Here's an ironic question: Don't you think it's time we stop listening to old white guys opinions, and start evaluating our lives and the natural function of the earth more intelligently? If design can give us global positioning, modern computing, wireless internet, abundant energy sources, and automated clean living spaces.. think what else it could provide us if the process to building new technologies was FREE!

More Information

See how it is related to Social Credit Systems

Video: Franz Hörmann on a World Without Money

via Jean Depiesse:

Supportive organizations :

Key resources

See Also