Readers know I love a good social experiment: a year without this, a year doing only that, living elsewhere, behaving differently. I am always curious as to how those experiences play out within the confines of the modern world. I spotted The Moneyless Man by Mark Boyle on a library thing list of recommendations for me and requested it from my library.
While it was an interesting story and informed me greatly of how one might live with no money, I found the author and self described Moneyless Man to be self righteous and annoying. His basic premise--the goal to live in a Moneyless Society is unsustainable in about every way. Easy for him to throw great parties and live off the land and use grocery store refuse to feed himself--but it is not a sustainable practice.
Yes, I would agree that our current laws that push stores and wholesalers to throw away perfectly good food are an anathema to people that try to put food in everyone's mouth, and we do live in a wasteful society that is quickly giving up every resource on our pretty (and only) planet.
But one man's social experiment in moneyless living is not the pathway to Utopia and answers to all the planet's ills. Rather it is one man's social experiment in how to be better than the rest of us. I think people who advocate this lifestyle and this kind of thinking are forgetting that in a free society we all have different needs, wants and priorities. I thought it was especially insulting that he had a side bar addressing how I should manage my periods using no resources. (PS at least have a female friend write it for you.)
I hope Mark can put his energy and ideas to coming up with some more practical ways of living sustainably than teaching us how to forage for wild mushrooms and dumpster dive. Computers, heat, electricity and warm water are not bad things. We need to learn how to manage them responsibly. Please get off your high horse.
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