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What money means

Take a look at this great little video experiment, which shows what money means to many people in capitalism: 'You've got to earn your way up, man!'

Green Materialism follows New Materialism?

Are anti-capitalists — such as Occupy activists — realising Marx's vision of 'social humanity' as in his Theses on Feuerbach, 1845?

It seems like the principles and strategies of anti-capitalists have the capacity to form a life without money — substituting direct democracy for the outdated operating principle of money in capitalism.

Those are the arguments in a recent paper.

Find a short version of the 'Green materialism' talk in the Green Agenda panel at the recent Historical Materialism Australasia 2015 conference (University of Sydney):

The full talk is on Research Gate:

Twin Oaks and operating without money

See this great short utube video on the enduring Twin Oaks community in Virginia.

It was made when a co-editor of Life Without Money was staying there in 2012 so there is a segment on going beyond money.

More than that it is great seeing all the productive activities at Twin Oaks and Twin Oakers talking about their everyday activities for collective sufficiency and governance — a light to a new world:

A Green Materialism/Agenda

Contributors to Life Without Money Terry Leahy, Anitra Nelson & Ariel Salleh will speak on allied topics at the Historical Materialism Australasia 2015: Reading Capital, Class & Gender Today Conference at the University of Sydney, NSW, Australia 17–18 July.

The Green Agenda Panel takes place at 9.30 am 17 July.

Convener of the Greens NSW and award winning journalist Hall Greenland will chair and offer rejoinders.

In a critique of Daniel Miller’s work on consumption, Terry Leahy emphasises Miller’s neglect of alienated labour, and the potential of a gift economy.

Anitra Nelson’s paper outlines an ecosocialist concept of ‘green materialism’ showing that anti-capitalist movements today correspond to Marx’s ‘new materialism’ as famously elaborated in his eleven Theses on Feuerbach (1845). Furthermore, the defining characteristics of anti-capitalist currents offer the bases for replacing money as the organising principle of our society.

Ariel Salleh argues for the holistic inclusion of ‘meta-industrial workers’ in her class theory for an Earth democracy.

The most you will have to pay for conference registration is $50 (unwaged $20).

Capitalism Nature Socialism

The international socialist journal Capitalism Nature Socialism has featured arguments for a money-free future. In the previous ten issues, the following have appeared:

Andreas Exner (2014) 'Degrowth and Demonetization: On the Limits of a Non-Capitalist Market Economy', Capitalism Nature Socialism, 25:3, 9–27.

David Barkin (2014) 'Life Without Money' [book review] Capitalism Nature Socialism, 25:2, 126–128

Ariel Salleh (2014),Ariel Salleh (2014) 'A Vernacular Response to Barkin's Review of Life Without Money', Capitalism Nature Socialism, 25:2, 128–131.

For more by Andreas Exner, see: Demonetize it!

Contesting capitalism and Leo Panitch

In the 7th Annual Wheelwright Lecture, delivered in Sydney in September 2014, Leo Panitch let forth against the likes of David Harvey and Wolfgang Streek — including many in the audience. I respond here, which is the prose version that inspired the poem at the same site (see last post):

Be a flower!

Political poem on the Progress in Political Economy site

The first poem to appear on the University of Sydney's great Progress in Political Economy site advocates a life beyond money and the state:

Gift economies/networks on the ground

Over the last two weeks I've talked with some key people in a couple of groups pursuing gift networks and collective sufficiency without money on the ground:
1. Patrick Jones and Meg Ulman, who live in the rural town of Daylesford (Central Victoria), have been active in a series of sustainability activities locally.

They've just returned from a fifteen month tour of Australia checking out on what other communities are up to, too.

Read more of their adventures at home and interstate here:

2. Another group — whose members are active in our Melbourne ecosocialism discussion group — is urban. They include Theo Kitchener, who wrote about the Doing It Ourselves network's early ideas in an article that appears as a pdf that can be downloaded here:

They are experimenting with developing a series of cooperatives that try to do as much as they can with as little money as possible.

3. Gift economy advocate Terry Leahy will be in Melbourne to speak at a New International Book Shop arranged event at the Victorian Trades Hall Council on the night of Friday 13 March. He will show the documentary film that his sister Gillian Leahy and he made on an African village that became collectively sufficient by applying permaculture methods, amongst other techniques.

You can find out some more on The Chikukwa Project and on Terry's work more broadly here.

Melbourne & Castlemaine (Australia) Trade School

We want a Trade School for Melbourne & Castlemaine. We’re looking for Melbournians and Castlemaniacs to help set up and maintain this Trade School — to barter skills and knowledge — and seeking the contact details for those wanting to use it once we are set up.

Trade Schools exist worldwide and started in NYC in 2010. People teach anything others will barter items or jobs to learn, such as: pilates, drawing, photography, cookery, games (Scrabble/chess/Sudoku), weaving, political/literary theory, fixing bikes, restoring furniture, book binding, gardening, detoxing, music making, singing, writing, knitting, making musical instruments, cleaning, languages, yarn bombing, speaking, facilitating, bee-keeping, IT skills, dancing, carpentary, cappaccino-making, basket-making, painting, pottery, poetry…

Trade School is an alternative, self-organised school running on barter and works like this:
1)Teachers propose classes and ask for items/jobs from students, e.g. you teach butter making and ask students to bring heavy cream, jars, bread, music tips, clothes, vegetables, or help find you an apartment.
2) As students sign up they agree to bring an item or do a job for a teacher.
Trade School is for those of us who value hands-on knowledge, mutual respect and the social nature of exchange. Everyone can offer something.
Source: Adapted from Trade School NYC site

To find out more on this non-monetary style exchange model, advice for starters and all the various Trade Schools around the world, see:


The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) features a document to all the members of the World Trade Organisation in the Pacific — outlining how free trade challenges customary land practices at

The associated media points out:

Customary land is so central to life in the Pacific Islands that its importance cannot be overstated. Yet through the eyes of free trade agreements it is seen as a barrier to investment, something that needs to be challenged...

Previous attempts to privatise land in the Pacific have been meet with a strong refusal by Islanders. What we're seeing now is free trade advocates using these agreements to secure control over the usage of the land, which can in effect mean that custom decisions about land use are undermined...

We're seeing this in Vanuatu where its Trade in Services commitments at the World Trade Organization (WTO) mean the government's ability to specifically support and nurture land use for Indigenous enterprise, such as local bure owners or other tourist accommodation, can only happen if it gives the same support to foreign investors ...

The push for the Pacific Islands to become integrated into the global economy is a push to ask the Pacific to turn its back on the systems and cultural practices that have supported them for generations.