Saturday, July 12, 2014

Free as a bird

How one man is trying to live without money

January 30. 2014 10:17AM
By Ken Silva

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Imagine a world without money.

That’s the kind of world Oberlin resident Ed “Che” Miller wants to live in and has lived in.

After studying economics, Miller left Boston University at the age of 22. When a job interview in California fell through, he went to Berkeley to spend a few months.

It was there that he found the “Occupy Movement,” comprised of unemployed college graduates and other people disenchanted with the U.S. economic system.

“I get to a tent city in Berkeley, and I was offered hot water, food, and a place to stay,” he said. “It wasn’t a cash economy. I relied off of people’s generosity.”

“Living rent free is a major part of the Occupy Movement,” he said.

Berkeley’s government shut down the tent city two months after Miller got there. He said officials cited health and sanitation reasons for shutting it down, which forced Miller to find another home.

He soon did so in the San Francisco and Oakland bay areas before hitting the road again.

Then he stayed with friends for about a month in the Montana wilderness.

“You can stay in a national forest for two weeks before you’re kicked out, and that’s two weeks after they realize you’re there,” Miller said with a grin. “We stayed there until we had to come out for coffee and tobacco.”

Miller said he doesn’t know how long he’ll stay in Oberlin before hitting the road again, but that he’d like to see the whole world live like he does: without concern for running the modern-day rat race to acquire the latest material goods.

“It’s about simply getting the things you need, and not exploiting others to do so,” he said. “If it’s possible to live like that on an individual or communal level, it should work on a societal level.”

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