Mark Boyle: The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living. Oxford, New York: OneWorld, 2010.
Mark Boyle's one year experiment in living without money (detailed in this book but since continued indefinitely) is both a personal statement and a simplicity movement building on the strength of skill sharing in a like-minded community.
Boyle's vision goes beyond bartering and local currency. He calls his informal system "freeconomics" and transforms his business and management background into a talent for organizing, mobilizing, and bringing large groups of people together to put on themed festivals and presentations that elicit generosity and "pay forward" -- meaning that everyone ultimately benefits.
Boyle's infectious enthusiasm, is, however, not earned second-hand. He lives off-grid in a trailer in a rural area outside Bristol, England. Boyle mixes city and rural, community conviviality and solitude. In town he eats with friends, works for food and a crash place, or forages food from dumpsters. In his rural spot, Boyle grows his own vegetables and enjoys foraging. He bicycles everywhere, adventure hitchhikes, and works on a local farm. The book sustains a fast and cheerful pace; a list of freeconomics and sharing websites (including Boyle's own website Freeconomics.com) are included.
Boyle is not a hermit and cannot be dismissed as an indifferent loner unaware of the mechanics of worldly affairs. He knows the social potential of his goals and pursues them at every opportunity. Boyle does not advocate or merely consider his moneylessness a personal quest. Simplicity is his passion and he interviews, talks, and writes eagerly about how it can be done and how integral economics, community and environment are to his principles -- among them sustainability as a vegan, organic localvore. The principles are feasible, even with concessions to technology (he powers his computer from portable solar panels). Discarding a rarefied ideology or cloak of obscurity, Boyle's version of simplicity is compelling and up-to-date.¶