Has the Time Come for Sacred Economics?
Matt already posted on Charles Eisenstein's work on Sacred Economics. Much like my own musings that rather than decrying personal possessions, we must learn to love our stuff—Eisenstein argues that rather than abandoning money all together, we must work to make it align with our values.
A big part of that is a rediscovery of the gift economy. A world where we do favors and provide services for people not out of like-for-like exchange, barter, or trade—but simply because we recognize our interdependence and act out of love and trust in communities we belong to.
It all sounds a bit hippy dippy, until you realize we are each doing this every day—even with strangers. You don't hold the door open for someone because you expect a tip, or you want them to open the next one for you. You do so because you were taught it's the right thing to do, and because living in a society where people do selfless things is more pleasant for everyone.
Money still plays a part in our lives, of course, but it serves as complimentary tool, not a replacement for, other forms of giving and receiving.
Check out this interview with Eisenstein conducted by Rob Hopkins of the Transition Network. It's all pretty awesome. And read Eisenstein's book, for free, over at Sacred Economics. (Donations welcome.)