Mark Boyle’s radical experiment in living without money in an alternative “Freeconomy” may not be everyone’s cup of tea. I certainly don’t foresee myself living off the grid in a converted caravan, foraging for food, cycling 100 miles a week and brushing my teeth with crushed cuttlefish bone. However, even if I never “opt out” of the current economic system to the extent Mark and others have, my soul resounds with the justifications for these radical shifts in living which Mark has made.
Money, he suggests, has fundamentally disconnected the consumer from the consumed. We are no longer aware of the direct repercussions that our purchases have on people, animals and the environment. Money has facilitated that great divorce between our consumption and the embodied energy and physicality of the world.
Secondly, Mark suggests that money has replaced community as our primary source of security. He describes this relational and spiritual disconnect in a jarring analogy: “Prostitution is to sex as buying and selling is to giving and receiving”. Mark, the “Moneyless Man”, is on a quest to bring into balance his head, his heart and his hands; to start asking “How much can I give?” not, “How much can I get?”; to reconnect his consumption to the physical environment and interpersonal relationships.
That I can get on board with. How about you?