The Moneyless Manifesto: Live Well, Live Rich, Live Free by Mark Boyle
The Moneyless Man Interview – Living without Money and being off the grid
– We have come to believe that we need money, that we depend on it to survive. We believe that money provides for us when it is actually Nature. Even Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, said that “all money is a matter of belief”.
– He makes so many potent points and ways of alternate thinking. I mean there is just so much in such a small book! Ideas, resources, quotes. So far 2 pages are dedicated to other moneyless people and their blogs or books or clubs or whatever form of legacy they have left for others.
– How money started as something good and ended up ruining the world in more ways than just morality and environment.
– Excellent breakdown of how we are a part of a whole. The water in the stream is in a glass now and then goes in our bodies and makes part of us.
– Tribal people didn’t store or horde. Families spent real time with each other and had a sense of community.
– Money has made things cold and transactional. A doctor births the baby and accounts are squared and the relationship is over. And these days it’s just numbers on the screen.
– If you grow your own food you wouldn’t waste it. You need your own water you wouldn’t pollute it.
– Economy of Scales EOS – the more you produce the cheaper it costs to produce. It’s so efficient that the planet is being looted. You’re exchanging money with people you will never meet instead of supporting and connecting with the locals.
– Division of Labor DOL – Spending 40+ hours at a desk doing unfulfilling crap. Instead of having different needs and skills.
– Nappies: Most parents are aware that you can make reusable, washable cloth nappies. If these were used by everyone it would save 8 million nappies from being dumped in landfill every day (3 billion annually) in the UK alone, saving parents an average of £500 a year into the bargain. Yet there is an option that saves you both the bother and expense of making and using washable nappies. It is called Elimination Communication (EC), also known as Nappy Free Baby. This is a toilet training technique where a parent uses methods such as signals, cues and intuition to cope with a child’s toileting needs. This method’s ideal is to use no nappies whatsoever, but you may combine it with washable nappies when the situation requires it. Not only would the widespread use of EC take a big chunk out of our landfill sites, save all the energy and materials involved in producing nappies in the first place, and reduce the workload o f parents.
– A culture of scarcity that makes you worry about the other person breaking what you’ve loaned them, or not giving it back, leaving you feeling like the cheated one.
– Interview with Dr. Chris Johnstone about addiction. Connection of consumerism with tolerance.
– Once the land was free for all to roam. More recently, our land was held in common, for the commoners. Now it is owned by the few – 1% own 70% of the land.
– Suggests looking into Freemen when it comes to paying tax.
– Insurance in the old days used to be an understanding with locals who would help. Say like if something happened to your house, the neighbours would have the tools or know how to help.
– He created Freeconomy. You share your time, skills, knowledge for free. Update: The site has teamed up with Streetbank.
– Questions why a bird is free to live on land while we have to pay. Ideas and resources to live as free as possible.
– Indian flag wheel and Gandhi’s meaning of swadeshi. Mahatma Gandhi believed that true national independence would only be achieved through Swadeshi, which roughly translates as self-sufficiency. He believed that India would only truly earn political independence when it achieved economic independence. In order to do this, he encouraged the millions of Indians to start spinning their own cloth again and to stop buying it from industrial fabric centres such as those in Lancashire in England. This culminated in bonfires of Lancashire cloth lighting up the land as a powerful symbolic act. Therefore, the spinning wheel became the symbol of true political independence.
– If I were to create a flag for the planet, it would have a compost toilet on it. The flush toilet represents everything that is psychopathic about our current culture and mindset – we shit and piss into a life-giving liquid, spoiling it in the process, instead of using both of these potential resources (in different ways) to fertilise the soil which, in turn, makes the food that we eat more nutritious. Instead, we import polluting fertilisers from distant laboratories once we’ve finished polluting our waterways. Somehow we’ve managed to take a really beneficial resource for the soil and turn it into a major ecological problem. I urge you to ditch your flush toilet and install a compost loo as a symbolic and, dare I say it, spiritual act. It’s a no -brainer for anyone who wants to simultaneously stop polluting their source of life, drastically reduce their water consumption, and obtain a high quality organic.
– Given the tragic fact that every year in the UK, 3 million pheasants, 800,000 rabbits, 50,000 deer, squirrel and badgers, as well as 25,000 foxes are killed on our roads, (and extrapolating from these appalling statistics, whilst taking into account the differing size of the various animals and, for arguments sake, assuming that 50% of such animals are serviceable as food – i.e. avoiding the tabloid cliché that anyone who eats road kill ‘scrapes it off the tarmac’) then (when accounting for the differing number of servings from each animal) we’re looking at least 8,900,000 potential meals for the practical, discriminating and opportunist forager. Bon appétit!
– If you ever need glass jars or bottles of various shapes and sizes, just do the rounds of the recycling bins of some street in my area on the morning the recycling gets put out each week – you could start a jam factory from the amount of jars you can find during one morning’s stroll.
– Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to import lots of food stuffs into your own food system in order to preserve that which you grow or forage – people have been storing their food in the UK long before industrialised processes and fossil fuels came along. What is important is to slowly learn the skills you’ll need to preserve food – the best way to do this is by asking some of the elders of your community who hold so much unappreciated knowledge that needs to be tapped before it is lost.
– Skin is a little micro ecosystem in itself, and using soap is, in my book, on a par with cultivating the soil – I can see why people do it, but it’s the shenanigans of a people who don’t fully appreciate the intricacies of ecosystems, and the long-term damage we can do from what initially seems like harmless, innocent behaviour.
– Since I’ve been The Soapless Man for many years now, my overriding advice on most things in relation to hygiene is to use water and little else. There rarely is any need for anything more than that, with a few exceptions. When you use soap, you strip away much of the goodness and moisture as well as what we think of as ‘dirt’. The result being that we then become dependent on the same companies that sold us this moisture-robbing agent in the first place to put the moisture back in. They get to sell us two products when none were needed in the first place. People who don’t wash their hair for a few months are regularly quoted as saying their hair starts to clean itself. The same is true for skin. The main reason I can live without soap is that I generally eat a very healthy diet: wholegrains, fruits, nuts, vegetables and clean fresh water, the odd herb tea and little else. All organic and fresh. If you put good stuff in, what comes out will smell fine. If you put junk in, what comes out will smell like junk. It’s that simple.
– Bums and toilet paper: The first question you should ask yourself is – do you need it? I’ve no doubt that almost everyone will say yes! But many cultures use water to clean their bums, and considering we use water for all other parts of our body, there would seem to be a lot of logic in that. If you do prefer to have a wipe, then there are a number of options. First, you can approach your local newsagents and ask them if they’re happy for you to take a couple of copies of the previous day’s papers that they have to normally throw out. Similarly to your dishes, pine cones (choose the softer, decomposing ones from the forest floor) and big clumps of grass work well. Anything broad-leaved is good, though take care not to use any leaves that are toxic or poisonous to humans; a dock leaf will suffice, its anti-inflammatory qualities are particularly soothing if you’ve been on the curry the night before. If you are striving for Enlightenment and want to transcend the mundane material world, then use a bunch of stinging nettles and that will test your mettle. Surprisingly, smooth rocks with no sharp edges also work well, and the more porous the better. If you’re lucky enough to have moss at hand in an emergency situation, go for that. If it’s winter and all of the above are covered in a icy white blanket, then I’d advice using that blanket. Snow certainly isn’t the most appealing option at 6am on a winter’s morning, but that’s sometimes what living ecologically means, so man-up and deal with it! Remember: it’s only poo, and it came from you in the first place!
– Stay4Free is a project which allows you to have a house all to yourself. How it works is simple – you sign up, list both your home and your desired destinations,
and contact anyone on their database that could potentially fit the bill, requesting a house swap. If they fancy coming and spending some time in the part of the world your house is in, then you can agree dates and details between yourselves.
– Hushmail encrypts your email before it is sent so that nobody other than those who are the intended recipients can read it, after they themselves have decrypted it by one means or another. In Hushmail’s words, “a typical email message is no more secure than a holiday postcard sent through the public postal system”, whereas with their system it is more like “a letter in a sealed envelope”.
– Children learn best from practical involvement. Paras note: some squares don’t comprehend how true this is.
– Personal anecdote on his vasectomy and going the natural way to heal himself from complications.
– Medicinal plants work on the body in four main ways, via stimulation, relaxation, nutrition and elimination.
– Using roadkill buckskin is actually ‘more vegan’ than buying natural fibre clothing that has come from the global industrial-scale economy. Vegans who think that buying cotton and other pesticide-ridden fibres produced on land that has, first, been relegated from Wild to agriculturally managed land before, subsequently, being shipped around the world using fossil fuels (which have been extracted in ways that inevitably destroys huge swaths of habitat and all that once lived in it – the Gulf of Mexico being but one example), are deluding themselves to some extent about how ‘vegan’ their lifestyles really are. Pesticides are not vegan, the clue is in the name. Neither are fossil fuels.
– POP Model example – Level 1 (100% local gift economy): Walking barefoot, connecting with the earth beneath my feet. Level 2: Walking in shoes I made myself (or were unconditionally gifted to me) from local materials. Level 3: Walking in shoes I bartered for, which were made from local materials. Level 4: Walking in trainers made in a Chinese factory. Level 5: Cycling on an industrial scale bicycle. Level 6: (100% global monetary economy): Driving a hybrid car.
– As Epicurus once pointed out, there are two ways of getting rich: increasing your financial wealth, or decreasing your desires.
Note: Bhavna made a good point about the author’s profits from book sales and how that is the opposite of being Moneyless. He might be gifting it or contributing it in some way. Update: Just found a site where the book is made free online and looks like you can order a copy too. http://www.moneylessmanifesto.org/why-free/
Table of Contents – with subtitles to reduce notes
– Foreword by Charles Eisenstein
A reluctant author
All art is propaganda
1. The Money Delusion
Moneyless philosophy and the delusion of self
Time isn’t money
Real community requires interdependency
Our disconnection from what we consume
The Economies of Scale (EOS) married to money
The Division of Labour (DOL) married to money
Money causes waste
Gross inequality through the storing of value
Prostitution is to sex what buying and selling is to giving and receiving
Time to choose a new story?
2. The Moneyless Menu
WHAT IS A MONEYLESS ECONOMY?
The moneyless economy defined
The gift economy
THE GIFT ECONOMY IN ACTION
The 100% local economy
The resource-based economy (RBE)
3. The POP model
HOW IT WORKS
Moneyless women and men
4. Challenges and transitional Strategies
Current human culture
Addiction to industrialisation
Planning permission for low / zero impact living
Council tax – the tax on being alive
Being a parent
5. Labour and Materials
Other skillsharing schemes
The art of flint knapping
Freecycle and Freegle
Sharing – not giving away – your stuff
Books and paper
Paper and pens
Tools, gadgets and equipment
Five things to do with a pallet
Land of the free
Windowsills and small spaces
WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)
Turning urban wastelands into growing spaces
Create an inspiring vision and pursue it passionately
EMBERCOMBE – THE STORY OF ITS CREATION
Join an established community
PERMACULTURE AND RELOCALISATION
Campaigning for realistic land reform
House – and boat-sitting
Cheap (or potentially free) to build, free to run houses
Passive solar designs
Earth bag construction
Straw bale homes and guest houses
COMPOST: ONE MAN’S SHIT IS ANOTHER MAN’S FERTILISER
8. Food and Water
Wild food foraging
WILD PROTEIN: LEAF CURD AND ROADKILL
How to make leaf curd
How to store and use the curd
Wild food and roadkill
Seed saving and swapping
Closed loop systems
HOMEMADE NATURAL, ORGANIC PESTICIDES, FERTILISERS AND PLANT AND SOIL ENHANCERS
AGROFORESTRY: ESSENTIAL FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
THE NO DIG (NO-TILL) METHOD
Storing your produce
Community orchards and the Abundance project
Water wells and bore holes
Springs, streams and rivers
Moisturisers and toners
Bums and toilet paper
Teeth and mouth
CLEANING USING 100% LOCAL INGREDIENTS
10. Transport and Holiday accommodation
AN ODE TO WALKING BAREFOOT
RULES OF THE ROAD
Bicycles bits and pieces
Accommodation when you get there
Long-term free accommodation
11. Living Off-grid
Jumpers (and long johns)
Gas bottle wood-burner
Sources of wood
THE FIREWOOD POEM
Open source ecology
OPEN SOURCE TECHNOLOGIES AND FREE COMMUNICATION
Computers, mobile phones and other communication devices
OpenOffice and LibreOffice
DuckDuckgo and Startpage
EDUCATION FOR A NON-MONETARY ECONOMY
THE OPTION OF HOME EDUCATING
How does it work?
How do your children mix and make friends?
What about cost?
What happens as they get older?
A different understanding
FREESKILLING IN PRACTICE: SOURDOUGH BREAD
Other projects and ideas
The Barefoot College
Other alternative schools
EDUCATION IN A GIFT WORLD
13. Health and Sex
A personal anecdote
HEALTH OF THE EGOCENTRIC AND HOLISTIC SELVES
At what point do we stop?
Localised healthcare options
Elder – Sambucus nigra
Nettle – Urtica spp.
Dandelion – Taraxacum officinalis
Pot Marigold – Calendula officinalis
Garlic – Allium spp.
Peppermint – Mentha spp.
Thyme – Thymus spp.
Chamomile – Matricaria recutica
A selection of local remedies
Migraines and headaches
Other local forms of healthcare
Plasters for cuts
SPEAKING OF SEX
A SIMPLE CHOICE
14. Clothing and Bedding
Short-term clothing solutions
Clothes swapping and sharing evenings
Make do and mend
Long-term clothing solution
Hemp and Nettles
Braintanned roadkill buckskin
Peg loomed woollen underblankets
Learn to play (and make) an instrument
SOUNDS FROM THE UNCIVILISED
Painting, parties and booze
LOCAL BOOZE FOR FREE
Other fun stufff
Music, comedy and performance
FREE YOURSELF FROM YOUR MONETARY MASTERS
16. The Beginning is Nigh