I think it is pretty obvious that humans wouldn’t be here today if throughout history there wasn’t a strong sense of working together for the group rather than the self. With modern advancements however, it seems we have moved from the days of collaboration to days of trying to swing the biggest dick. We like to compare the amount and quality of the assets we have accumulated, and we are selfish with those things. The interaction between humans has decreased and diminished in quality.
Right now money dictates a lot of the things that we decide to do. Acquiring money is the most reasonable way to put food on the table and put a roof over our heads. The most common way to get that money is to go work for someone else and trade our time for the money. We collectively put in our efforts to make bigger things happen, but most of us wouldn’t do them unless we were getting paid for it. So, the question is, if money disappeared, would a world where we have to collaborate to survive lead to human advancement, or would it be human demise?
Obviously this is a big idea to try to process, and no one would be certain as to what would happen if we suddenly had to make a worldwide shift in behavior. But let’s just look at Wikipedia as an example of a voluntary collaboration effort. The success and mass effort that people have put into Wikipedia, without compensation, gives hope that if things came down to it, we would still thrive as a whole. In case you didn’t know, thousands or hours and people voluntarily spent their time to make Wikipedia into what it is today, and it wasn’t their “job.”
Let’s say in this collaboration economy an average week would look like this:
Monday: Work on something passionate about
Tuesday: Community work
Wednesday: Work on something passionate about
Thursday: Community Work
Friday: Work on something passionate about
Weekend: Social time
Based on the huge population the varying sections of what people are passionate about would probably almost be sufficient enough to cover a lot of the things that would keep society going. But, for the places where additional resources may be needed, we could offer rotations each week where people participate in varying tasks to contribute to things that are needed, but are tasks that few people are passionate about. Maybe on a Tuesday you have to pick up trash from your neighborhood. The next Thursday you are doing janitorial tasks at a school. Whatever it may be, the fact that the sole reason you would be doing it is to improve the lives of fellow humans, the intrinsic reward would be much greater than if you were doing it for money. Plus, with the different tasks for each week, people wouldn’t fall into the soul sucking cycle of daily repetition of mundane thing for years on end. This isn’t even considering the fact that most days you would be able to work on your passions. Progress would still be made, and we would have less focus on the menial shit that makes our lives more difficult.
Now, of course the ideas I just stated may not even come to fruition if currency died entirely, but I think things like Wikipedia show that we are wired to collaborate for the betterment of everyone. The combined knowledge of everyone in the world combined in one place is an insanely powerful thing. And to think most of it was created without payments to any of the contributors.
To ever get to a place like that something quite catastrophic would have to happen and the values of the masses would have to experience a large shift. Instead of ignoring our neighbors or trying to outdo them, we would need to know them and have to work together.
Even if all of our current systems fail, I think it is our DNA to find a way to survive by becoming one large thing, instead of separate opposing factions.