For any individual, family, or group which wishes to employ it, they renounce all ownership of all those resources that every member of society is expected to have access to in order to fulfill the law (dwelling, clothing, food, implements, education etc) and instead holds and manages them as a trustee or custodian in trust for the whole community; thereby rendering the need for money completely unnecessary.
Please note that the meanings which I give below are more representative of ‘principles’ which it is my desire to get across, and less about the exact definitions of the particular words. Words like ‘property’ and ‘rights’ for example are interpreted and understood so diversely today and are so broad that the exact meanings of these words are no longer really useful in general life but rather its the intent and meaning behind why someone chooses to use this particular word which is of more importance. As a result, each definition and explanation below should be read with the understanding that they are being used in the context of the purpose of this site and its cause.
Renounce – means to ‘give’ up something. Generally from a legal perspective it implies the giving up of something that has been granted or given to you and this implies it first must have come from someone else; for example, if you are given a gift in the form of money you can renounce the gift. Our ability to earn money and have that ability protected by laws is not something we are born with in the form of some ‘inherent’ right, but is a privilege we are granted by the community at large by the representative of the community, i.e. the government, and as such by renouncing it we are giving it back.
Ownership – in general means the right, privilege, power, or liberty, to exploit something for profit. I do not use the term ‘ownership’ to mean ‘possession’ in the bare sense, i.e., in the sense where you may be in possession of a book which you borrowed from someone else; I use it to mean, you have an exclusive ability, granted to you by law, to exploit something for monetary profit. Compare ownership with bare possession and the two are completely different.
Bare possession means you hold and utilize something for the purpose for which it was designed and made, such as a book for reading, house for shelter and privacy, clothing for warmth, food for nourishment etc – whereas ownership means the exact opposite, you own things, houses, clothes, food etc because your intent is to profit from them at some point. Of course this does not mean you can’t do both, and many things we buy we buy for both purposes (house, car, boat, furniture etc), but the distinction between these two (ownership and bare possession) is paramount in understanding other terms and of understanding this model.
One of the reasons for this is because usually when you own something you are less accountable (if at all) to anyone as to how you utilize or exploit the particular resource, whereas someone who is in bare possession only is usually accountable to someone because most resources today which are legally capable of ownership are owned by someone. This aspect also gets more complex when we look at legal trustees who are charged with the duty of exploiting resources for the benefit of others. In this sense, the trustee is in possession but also acts as the owner, but is also accountable to the beneficiaries for the profits. The beneficiaries are the true owners without needing to be in possession.
Again, the importance is the distinction between an owner and a possessor and that one can be one without necessarily being the other, and that ownership at its core means ‘the legal ability to exploit something for profit’ and possession means ‘the legal ability to utilize something for which it was designed for’.
Resources – means all those things which are essential to life, both tangible and intangible, but which over the course of time have also become exploitable, and includes such things as land, housing, tools, clothing, energy, food, education, health, etc (human needs), and of course also includes one’s time, energy, ideas, and relations.
At this point, I hope it is somewhat clear by the explanations of these first three words that part of the motivation behind this model is that our objective is to give back to the community all right to exploit those things which are essential for life, without giving up the ability to utilize said things whilst we are alive; which leads me to the next term.
Fulfill the law – means to do and act as society expects you to do and act. I use this phrase as a shortened version of ‘fulfilling all my legal and moral obligations to society’. Now, when I say this I do not mean such expectations as ‘go out and get a job’ because this is not really what society expects of you, and in fact, unless it is a condition imposed on you by law (as some condition attached to receiving welfare), there is no law which states every human must have a job; society in general does not really care if you have a job or not, what they care about is whether you have money or not, because when you have money you don’t need it from anyone else. No one who is selling anything, whether its publicly or privately, ever asks or concerns themselves with where your money came from – all they care about is whether you will hand it over or not.
The legal and moral obligations I am referring to, other than the obvious ones such as not being a criminal, are those which relate to your ability to live without being a burden on others, whether that burden means financial, intellectual, emotional, moral or whatever. A homeless person is a burden on society in a financial way, but also in a legal way, and also in an emotional and moral way.
When most people see a homeless person their first reaction is often an emotional and moral one whether it be criticism or pity or whatever and irrespective of whether they feel pity or judgment, they never think to themselves that they are fine with it. Add to this that being homeless will almost always carry with it the potential to break the law when it comes time to sleep because it means you will have to trespass on either public or private property in order to sleep.
Society expects everyone to be housed and as such expects there be no one living on the street – and this is what I deem both a legal and moral obligation to society – every individual is under both a legal and a moral obligation not to be homeless of a night.
Now, what is of vital important in saying this, is that I DO NOT find that housing is a right (such as a human right), contrary to what the United Nations or anyone else may say, because first, from a legal perspective a right always carries with it a corresponding duty which must be owed by someone else, and second, rights are always something which need to be ‘fought’ for. I do not find that my ability to be housed should be something I have to fight for (especially when society expects me to be housed) nor predicated on someone else carrying a burden (the duty), and as such I can not find that housing is a human right. Rather, housing is my duty, a duty which I must carry as a member of society, a duty which I must one way or another ensure that I am not prevented from fulfilling. To use an analogy, a trustee of a trust has many duties, duties which the law is very strict in ensuring compliance with, but if a trustee should find themselves in conflict with competing interests or that they do not quite understand what their duties are regarding the trust instrument, they are not only permitted, but are required by law, to seek the aid and instrumentality of the courts to seek guidance as to the proper way to fulfill their duties.
Let’s take ‘housing’ one step further. If I have a family, then my moral and legal duty to be housed goes up exponentially, because to put my children at risk of not being adequately housed (among many other needs) puts me at risk of losing my children to the State not to mention the emotional and psychological damage it will bring my children. If I am part of a society, I have a duty to house my children whether I want to or not (although there are some who may think it not a bad idea to raise a family out in the wilderness etc, the purpose of this model is not to go down that route but to exist within society).
Clothing is another example. Most people would know that if you walk outside in public without any clothes on it wont take long before you are arrested. Clothing is a legal duty.
Food is also an example. In most countries and cities dumpster diving, begging, etc are illegal. Obviously theft is too, but many may not know that in many places even today, but especially throughout history, theft would bring the death penalty; today, if you are hungry usually because you are poor, but often also because you are homeless, then the only ways which you have to find food will be illegal or cause you to break some law. In other words, you have a legal and moral obligation to society to provide yourself with food, water, and nourishment without trespassing on another or their property.
Just using these three examples alone, and compounding them based on having a family, and not even taking into consideration other legal duties related to children such as energy, education, health, etc, then it should be obvious that our human needs, and the needs of our family, are not rights or entitlements or privileges which we have to borrow, or apply for, or fight for, or compete for, but are in fact our legal and moral obligations to society; and it is here that I would like to point out the following:
There is an expectation by society that we all ‘pay’ for both our needs and our wants. Whilst I agree with paying for wants, I do not agree with paying for our needs, but in saying this, there are two important points to clarify.
1st – I would clarify ‘paying’ for wants to also include paying for needs but only when treating them as wants. In other words, we all ‘need’ housing, but many of us also ‘want’ the right to exploit a house for profit, i.e. to enjoy any monetary profits from it. Therefore, if you want to own a house, then yes, you do need to pay for it;
2nd – I would also clarify that the meaning of ‘pay’ or ‘paying’ or ‘payment’, in the context of an economy is very narrow and is thus really only restricted to money or that which can be converted into money. If you want to own anything, the only means by which you can ‘pay’ for it is through money. But there are other means of value in society but which from an economic perspective are invisible; renunciation is one, a mutual trust relation is another, volunteer work is another, free advice or education is another. These are payments but in a larger and more equitable form because they do not come with any visible or hidden liabilities attached.
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