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Opinion

Living In A Cashless Society

It’s nice to look towards the future and imagine the possibilities every once in awhile. Mankind, since time immemorable, has asked questions we could never hope to have answered, such as “Is God real?” or “Who really shot JFK?” and of course “When will the world end?”.

Such questions require a certain amount of faith, trust, and imagination to properly answer. However, it doesn’t take an expert to see how society has de-evolved during the past century. We’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but it seems like the downs are beginning to trend. Most of the world’s problems center around greed, power, and corruption.

As they say, money is the root of all evil. If that’s the case, then why don’t we just do away with the system and incorporate a new one? How about we initiate a program where cash no longer exists, and we all work for the betterment of humanity? It wouldn’t be communism, socialism, or fascism. There really isn’t a name for this altruistic future we may find ourselves living in, at least not yet anyways.

Just imagine a utilitarian society in which we place the welfare of our fellow human beings over selfish desires; where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. (Star Trek) In the case of Gene Roddenberry’s fictional utopia, the introduction of an alien race changed the human’s knowledge of the universe, and transformed their society into a cashless commonwealth.

Perhaps we need something similar to happen in our own world. I’m not saying that we should hold out for alien saviors to rescue us from ourselves. I’m suggesting that the colonization of mars, the mining of space asteroids, and the creation of massive starships might be the turning point for mankind. Every time a tremendous feat of human ingenuity is accomplished, the world pauses from their evil and celebrates. What if those moments happened every day? And what if we all had the opportunity to experience them?

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claims that in a couple of decades, we can put 80,000 people on the Mars surface–per year. Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel is creating a floating city off the San Francisco coast, where he plans on opening up living quarters for thousands of people. The future is finally upon us, and the only question that we should be asking is, how do we properly take advantage of it?

It starts with hypothetical discussions, much like this one. It’s the “what-ifs” that take precedence over the “how and when”. Of course, it will need to be implemented on a global scale, which will take careful planning and consideration. And it will require a unanimous mindset change, where the world voluntarily agrees to accept this new system. That will be the most difficult part, and will be impossible unless the factors above take place.

The world is in the midst of economical collapse, even though some countries aren’t feeling the symptoms just yet. It doesn’t take a Masters Degree to see that errant borrowing, tax hikes, welfare programs, and government handouts aren’t healthy for the longevity of a nation’s existence. No country has ever taxed itself into prosperity.

If the world could agree that money is a poor system of compensation for labor, then this process of transitioning into a cashless system would be easy. If people could walk into a store, pick up what they need, and walk out, life would be so much happier. Store owners wouldn’t have to worry about making ends meet, because there would no longer be a budget to work towards.

You might say, “Well, if money doesn’t drive success, then what’s the point of working?” It’s quite simple, actually: happiness. Why do we do anything for a period of time? Because we enjoy our area of expertise and it makes us happy. Perhaps you work in a factory because it pays the bills, but you’d much rather compose music. In this future society, you can be whoever you want. And in the future, much of the labor will be accomplished by autonomous machines, which will make the cashless society system that much more feasible.

I do not believe I will live long enough to see such a hypothetical system become a global integration, nor am I optimistic that it ever will become a reality. However, I do hope that others see my point of view. In a world where everyone works for the betterment of their fellow man, how is it possible not to enjoy life as it was meant? Selfishness leads down a dark and dangerous road, but if jealousy no longer existed through money, wouldn’t we all benefit?

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About Zachary Levi Wall

Editor of Wandering The Universe blog. Author on the side, and contributing Tech & Innovation writer for Blacklemag.

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