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There are people who manage to live moneyless, taking advantage of what nature can provide.

A recent article of The Guardian presents some of them

Mark Boyle, is the founder of the Freeconomy Community and has lived moneyless for the last 18 months. His book, The Moneyless Man, is out now, published by Oneworld – sales from the book will go to a charitable trust for the Freeconomy Community. As he says: “the apple tree doesn’t ask if you’ve got enough cash when you go to pick its fruit; it just gives to whoever wants an apple. We are the only species, out of millions on the planet, that is deluded enough to think that it needs money to eat. And what’s worse, I often observe people walking straight past free food on their way to buy it from all over the world via the supermarket”.

In recent years, when the economic crisis spreads to the world, more and more organizations that suggest a similar lifestyle appear. The give advice such as:

 “Owning and driving a car is expensive. Buying a new car is cheap compared to the regular costs you have on fuel, insurance, maintenance and tax. And then there might be other costs depending on your situation, such as parking and a car loan you took out to acquire your vehicle. Overall expect to spend at least several thousands a year, more if you have a gas guzzler or live in a place with high gas prices such as Norway or the Netherlands. Fortunately there are alternatives. Getting rid of your car is one of the best ways for saving money. There are other ways to get around and even if you need to get around by car you don’t have to own one necessarily. Renting a car can be a good alternative if you only really need a car less than once month, car sharing and taxis are also good alternative. Even hitchhiking might work well for you”.

Daniel Suelo is a man who developed his own motto: “Money only exists if two or more people believe it exists.” Suelo lives entirely without money and has done so for the past 12 years. In 2000, he put his entire life savings in a phone booth, walked away, and has lived moneyless ever since. Most frequently, he lives in the caves and wilderness of Utah where he eats wild vegetation, scavenges roadkill, pulls food from dumpsters, and is sometimes fed by friends and strangers. Daniel proudly boasts that he does not take food stamps or government handouts. As he said during an interview:

“A crazy man does not think himself crazy, so my opinion on the matter is meaningless 🙂 People will have to judge my sanity for themselves. But it would be nice if we lived in a world that considered it crazy to cause harm to ourselves, others, and our environment or to praise those who do cause such harm. Then we’d have to say we live in a truly crazy civilization. A sane society would consider it crazy to kill living things and destroy food and water supplies in order to amass something that nobody can eat or drink, like gold, silver, and money. It’s crazy to sacrifice reality to the idol of illusion”.

But even before Suelo, there was Germany native Heidemarie Schwermer. In her early 50s, Schwermer decided to see what it’d be like to leave her cushy job as a psychotherapist and live money-free, a journey that’s been documented in the film “Living Without Money.” At first she did odd jobs around her hosts’ homes, like gardening or window washing, to earn her keep but she says that these days they don’t expect anything in return. In a documentary made about her life entitled ‘Living Without Money’, she’s seen foraging for leftover produce at fresh air markets and trading a shopkeeper a few hours of cleaning services in return for food. She often receives clothing from friends, donating what she doesn’t have room for in the small suitcase she carts from home to home.

In cities is more difficult than in nature

Mark Boyle, once again, explains that:

“If we want to secure the long-term health of ourselves and future generations of life, we need to start defending these ecological systems with the same fierceness and determination as we would an attack on our own body. My moneyless economy was one in which helpfulness, generosity and solidarity were rewarded. Contrast that to the worlds of high finance and big business, in which a healthy dose of psychopathy will often help in making it to the top, and selfishness and ruthlessness are the qualities du jour. When we have plenty of money, we can spend our days exploiting the world around us for our own profit, and the checkout guy will still sell us our weekly groceries, the airline still fly us to the Costa del Sol. Without money, act badly enough for long enough and life would become almost impossible”.

 

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