“…Man is condemned to be free. Because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does..”
~ Jean-Paul Sartre / Philosopher & Social Critic ~
All men are born free. All men are deserved to be free and to have freedom. Essentially, in the concept of “free world”, that is practiced widely in many system and countries, are based on the liberty of all individuals. No open and democratic society, whose freedom is not safeguard by the operating system. But then, there is another case. If we contemplate more deeply : how free we actually are? Are we really a free man in this world? How many we can achieve with our ‘freedom’? Sartre, who has been recognized with his supreme intelligence, created a argument for our freedom : if we do proud of our essence and nature as a free being, which by all means that we should be liberated from any fear and burden, but why – no matter how open and free the system is – we never live in state of peace and serene? Hasn’t our constitution warranted the condition? Aren’t we all supposed to feel more safe and restful? Is it because of the problem lies in us and our fate or is it because of the oppressive power system functions, even within the democratic society and free world?
Written by DHANA
March 2013 – Money.Money.It’s all about money. That’s the least we can say about modern day’s life in this century. For vast majority, even among the poorest people who lives in pretty “backward” country, money nearly determines the totality of life in this planet. Living with less amount of money , and especially with no money at all, is hardly a thing we can do in this world today. A picture of living without money is simply ridiculous and ‘unacceptable’, particularly among nations whose service of wealth are relied on the circulation and the flow of money.
Money is everything. Money is the answer. Without money, we all will be doomed. It becomes not just a thing or a stuff that we all use to buy or spend but this is what we all use to value something. or everything. It not just can buy goods, but also trust, relationship and even pride. Indeed it does. So, is this the meaning of life?
A CASE AGAINST THE IMPORTANCE OF MONEY
Today, we all witness – although, sometimes it’s hard to admit – that we all take worthiness of money to a higher level.Yep. Nothing can be rated higher and bigger in the face of money-making machine and money-spending mindset of society.It’s not just merely an object that we all use to barter in the shopping market, but what more important is the value of money has determined our life as well. Without it, it equals death.
Water that we drink. Food that we eat. Sex that we have. We still must to pay for that. Although, it’s not necessarily the case but in many places, people even put prices on our most essential needs. Money has turned into a neccesity for every people to gain and pile up. Sometimes, it’s all just for the sake of self-satisfaction and soothing feeling to have “secured” our life, prominently in the future.
Even in the worst case, money oftentimes wreck the most pivotal cornerstone for mankind: our human relationship and our human nature. Our good relationship with another fellow human are hacked by money. Our nature as a good man are skewed by the grade of money. A long-time relationship with friends can come to an end, merely because the sum of money that they owe to us. Or a family man, who lives in poverty, must commit a crime and gain money in order to feed his children.
Most people constantly race to hound and stack up money as a way to go in this life. In a way,, not just that we take the worthiness of money to a higher level but money also takes human’s greediness to a highest degree.
So, in this realistic depiction, people can completely lose sight of their purpose, their life and even their most priceless thing by giving it all up to hoard more money. Money. Money. The thing that noone can live without. Or actually, does it?
MONEY-STRIKE : THE MOST “RADICAL” LIFESTYLE AS A MEANS TO PROTEST AGAINST THE EXCESS OF GREEDINESS
In the world, mainly in europe, now there is a new happening called ‘anti-money lifestyle’ or a movement of rejecting money and in broader sense rejecting the whole monetary system. Although it was perceived to be “too radical” and even “too crazy” for anyone to be able living such life for today’s standard, it slowly but sure has gained more popularity and might even get wider. We might wonder : how could we live a completely “money-free” life?
Believe it or not, there are 2 people that can be a prime example of having embraced such ‘radical’ lifestyle. They both have been living without money for years and also experienced the same meaning of living such life, “it’s liberating and a real freedom”. And yet, as what they told in documentary called “Living Without Money”, they share a same motive of choosing this ‘radical’ way of life : “fed up with the greedy and excess-consumption society”.
HEIDEMARIE SCHWERMER : ” LIVING WITHOUT MONEY GAVE ME QUALITY OF LIFE “
One of whom is a grandmother from germany, who has been living without money for nearly 16 years! O My..But that’s true. 69-year-old Heidemarie Schwermer, an immigrant from russia who had settled in germany when she was still a little kid. When she grew up, she built a “swap shop”, which turned out, it became an “eye opening” moment about what kind of life in modern days is. While she undertook her business, she was witnessing a “money-hungry” people, whose life revolves around and always motivated by money and a vulturous spirit on fortune. Then she slowly became sick of greedy and consumptive society that keep prioritising money over ‘substance’. So, she begun to cut up materialistic lifestyle and change the course of ‘money-oriented ‘ into completely ‘money-free’ life by giving away all of her possessions, then later started to plunge into it in 1994.
In the documentary, she told that living without money is “very liberating. It gives me quality of life, inner wealth and freedom”. She also has written several books about her ‘unusual’ experience, which became a tiny-hit and later she demanded the publisher to donate her royalty to charity.
Now she became one of the most internationally recognized icon for “anti-money” movement and widely regarded as an “inspiration” for having engaged in a daring and bold choice in life.
MARK BOYLE : “I LEARNED FROM GANDHI”
There’s another case. Mark Boyle, an irish writer and activist who is widely known as a founder of ‘freeconomist’ idea, is one of the prime vanguard and probably pioneer for ‘anti-money’ movement. He described monetary system as a domineering apparatus that triggers an illusion of separation which tears apart society through money and of course, the value of money. He has started to ‘experiment’ living without money since 2008 and ever since, have dished out the tips and popularized the lifestyle through website and book, which came out in 2010 entitled “The Moneyless Man”. Since he begun to kick off the ‘anti-money’ website and lifestyle, it has drawn enormous media attention and attract widespread public curiosity.
Mark is a college graduate who took economy as his major, decided to give everything up when a chat he had with his friend, made him realized about ‘cruel and harsh reality’ that every single individual face up to : money and greed. Yet later on, after he finished watching a 1982’s film called “GANDHI” about the life of spiritual and political leader of anti-imperialist, Mohandas Gandhi, it became a turning point that led up to his life-changing experience. He came to conclusion about how much greediness on money have deprived everything. And in order to pursue his goal and dream of making a better world and attempt to root out the source of ‘conflict’, he dived into this so-called ‘anti-money lifestyle’
In his own word, “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”.
And that’s how all people must start to really think.
ARE WE ALL VICTIMHOOD FOR MONEY-DRIVEN MACHINE?
So, are we really these kind of society? society who can not get away from money and live ‘happily’ in the bridle of money-making and spending lifestyle. I would say ” I wish we never had”.
But anyhow, our hope – despite how little actually is, at least as of today – never fades away. Through this ‘alternative’ lifestyle, our hope will always strive against all the odds, even it could become a strong opposition for the imperialistic economy of established monetary system.
As what has been clearly described, the lifestyle is not just simply as a way of liberating and freeing ourselves from a prevalent consumptive, demanding and greedy money-oriented life, but it also is a movement which would make greedy and materialistic value of our luxury lifestyle become ‘illegal’ per se. Therefore if everyone has a willingness to participate in this minor and somewhat ‘rebellious’ action against money and capital, it might enable and strengthen the feeble force to shake up the “Big Brother”. In a way, this harmless and liberating lifestyle acts can be counted as a revolution. A zealous and massive revolution, if at least 1/4 population on earth would follow their footstep.
On the ligther side, we also relatively will live a healthy and good life, physically and spiritually, because as what mark boyle said earlier, that by choosing this lifestyle we all are gonna be completely aware of everything. In lifestyle like this, everything that we consume and use, are a direct result of our own ingredient, which is made by our own hand so that we don’t purchase ‘factory-made’ products or supply our home with famous brand that is reproduced by abusing natural resources. So, the point is by acknowledging the root of problem, we can be a part of solution and cut down a catastrophic repercussion that we all have caused today and importantly in the future.
So, by all means ,we all will salvage our ecology by protecting tons of thousand and hundred of animal, humans and environment. It’s all can be done through this single-act alone.
Yep. In other words, money doesn’t just induce a vigorous zeal of greediness but also renders an established condition, in which all the products that we all buy in the market and consume it, completely embodies the utter destruction and devastation which were severely done behind us and have gravely affected our surroundings for a long time.
So, would you start to prevent this trend or would you rather stay in your comfort zone and shamelessly become a function of greedy, amoral and imperialistic monetary system that might affect and abuse our life, especially in the future?
It’s all about choice.
Written by DHANA