The attitude “I don’t give, if I don’t get”

Posted on April 12, 2013

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One thing people always ask when I tell then I think we should have a society where every one should get everything they need for free is this:
How do you expect anybody to do any work that needs to be done, without getting payed?
Everybody wants something in return. No one would do anything without the incentive of getting payed for it.
That’s the general opinions I hear about it and it’s understandable that a lot of people think that way because that is how it appears to work today and how it worked for hundreds of years. First of all, just because that is the system we’ve been using and supporting, doesn’t by default make it the “right and best one”. I think that is actually such a self-righteous attitude, that we’ve already created the perfect system, nothing could be done better.
There’s been a lot of studies done on the topic of what motivates us to do things and the general idea was that the bigger incentives you get the better you’d perform. That is proven to be very wrong and actually quite the opposite if the task to be performed needs any level of cognitive skills.

I think it is true that everybody wants some kind of effect from what they do, but it doesn’t have to be materialistic or more specifically a cash price. Instead I think emotional gratification is a very sought after effect. We want to feel that what we did had a positive effect on our life or someone else’s. We want to feel that we were of help to someone or that what we created or did is of great use to others and/or ourself. We want to be appreciated for what we do. We want to see that we are getting better at what we do, that we are mastering something. I believe these are the real reasons for why we do things, the real motivators. The reason we do things for money in todays society is because WE HAVE TO. I think the fact that we are forced to try and achieve money, creates the illusion that money is a good incentive for us to do something. It’s like saying that having a gun to your head with the  order to jump, is a great incentive for someone to jump, let’s keep doing it or else no one would jump.

People do things all the time without a cash price at the end of the line. And people have created amazing things that they are giving away for free. Linux, Wikipedia, Instructables, Sparked, Coursera, Processing, Arduino, Khan Academy, Incredible edible, Make.

Then there’s the system of Creative Common that enables people to let other people use what you’ve created for free.

It’s a cynical view on human nature that we only do things for egoistic reasons
and only if we’re being payed for it.

The foundation of the society model that I would suggest is this:

  1. There is no money, no one has to pay for anything. Everything should be accessible for free to everyone.
  2. It is every human beings right to live a good, healthy and purposeful life and chose his or her own path and way of life.
  3. It is our number one concern to keep our ecosystems healthy and make sure that we humans and all other life on the planet can thrive.
  4. Everybody has the right to participate in development processes and decision makings that affect them.
  5. Development and production of good and services should be made to enhance our quality of life for all species on our planet. (physically, mentally, spiritually)
  6. We shall create an inventory of all our planets resources and their purpose and function in the ecosystem so that we can make conscious and responsible choices for how to best utilize them without disrupting the balance of our ecosystem.
  7. Education should be accessible to all by choice and is a life long process of learning about everything that is important for us to be able to understand, life, our selfs, the world we live in, the unknown areas yet to be discovered and be a part of developing it further for the purpose of creating a better life for ourself and all life on this planet.
  8. Development should be made to liberate people from tasks that are unhealthy, uninspiring or degrading to them and develop possibilities for humans potential and passion to thrive.
  9. Systems that could be automatized should be automatized, specifically if they are of danger to people who would other wise manage them.
  10. People should have the option to chose what they want to invest their time, skills and passion in, which will then make them perform their absolute best.
  11. Our society should rest on morals and ethics built on empathy, compassion, respect, wisdom and the drive to evolve and they should be constantly discussed and revised by all in society so that every human being on the planet feel comfortable to sign off on them and life their life according to them.
  12. There can be no borders, no countries, no ownership of land. It is all there for all of us to move freely in, but respect also need to practiced when it comes to peoples living spaces for the sake of privacy if they want it.

This system could result in a life where you would never again have to worry about survival, you can focus on what you feel is meaningful to you, you can participate in further developing society and your voice and actions actually matter and will make a difference. No decision can be made behind locked doors or closed gates. Everyone has the right to participate in matters that affect them so that no one can practice power over others.No one has to have a job in this type of society. But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t do anything to support it. People invest time into things that inspire them, things that they feel is their true element.


I actually think it is quite reasonable to think that people would jump on contributing to this society on many levels. The truth is that in this society you would most likely only have to do work/tasks/activities for about 5-20 hours a week for half a year, depending on what you’re contributing with. And for that effort you are able to get anything you need or want, you can travel the world, have time for your family, get the best possible health care, chose your own way of life, master a skill or passion of choice, do what is meaningful to you, really contribute to a better society, feel respected and valuable as a human being, get access to education all through life, be able to trust that what you’re eating, wearing, living in, using to get around is produced in a healthy and sustainable way and wont cause you any harm and if you wouldn’t be sure and would want to find out you would have the right to full access to all information about the production systems for it. Call me crazy but i think that is quite good things to get for what you give.

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