Alternatives to money in a local economy
From: Paul Sebby (
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 10:32:32 -0800 (PST)
Here are some interesting links about how we can’t just eliminate the use of 
money in a local economy without thinking about how to replace the rituals and 
underlying stories that money provides us as a way to indicate value, needs, 
and thanks in the giver/receiver relationship:

First, a practical account of a Transition group in Media, Pennsylvania that 
set up a Free Store — bring in your extra stuff and take what you want, all for 
free.  A great description of the benefits and challenges of doing this:

Second, a deeper exploration by Charles Eisenstein of what a gift economy means 
and some less-workable motivations we might have when setting one up:

The entire Eisenstein post is great, but here are a few points that especially 
interested me:
About Free Stores:  “How do you limit yourself in taking?  What is the right 
amount to take if you haven’t given something?  Money normally encodes a set of 
socially-reinforced answers to those questions.”

About values and needs:  “What happens if you give something away and the 
recipient doesn’t value it?  Wouldn’t you rather give it to someone who did?”

About money rituals:  “Making a payment [via money or some other form] is a 
ritual act that signals the subconscious mind “This is for real. This is 
valuable.”  Absent that, the workshop usually isn’t as powerful….”

Good food for thought for anyone working on alternatives to money in a local 
economy.  If we eliminate money, we also have to replace some of the social 
structures, stories, and rituals that money provides. 


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