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Who needs money, anyway! Mark Boyle

Posted on the January 25th, 2010

Using words that strike terror in the heart of all bankers, British economics graduate Mark Boyle says, “I live without cash — and I manage just fine.”

Today’s Guardian features a video interview with Boyle on his decision more than a year ago to launch his own personal experiment of literally living without money for a while. Or to use his more scholarly description in an essay he wrote for the UK newspaper last October, “to investigate the root causes of these symptoms” of why the world has the great problems it has today.

In the essay, Boyle retraces the thought process that led him to his challenging experiment. Excerpt:

One of the critical causes of those symptoms is the fact we no longer have to see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect. The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the stuff we buy. The tool that has enabled this separation is money.

If we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today. If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior decor. If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t contaminate it.

To invite other people to share in his ideas, Boyle has founded The Freeconomy Community.

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