Of course we really need money. This is how the modern world functions, rightly or wrongly. Perhaps the question should be, how do you transition out of an inequitable system without creating a worse problem? As it now stands, we've created a non-sustainable world economy, but one with momentum. A boulder rolling down hill has momentum but the energy is difficult to harness.
The current real estate situation really frames the debate. People were encouraged to better their living standards by buying new homes. It didn't matter if they could afford what they were being sold. They took on ill-advised debt, which can become a burden to the debtor, especially if they were betting on the come, so to speak, of higher wages just around the bend. The original debt holder turned around and sold the debt to someone else, so the long -term prospects didn't really matter to the seller or original debt holder. The second debt holder often resold the debt yet again.
In this example, it's all based on greed and profiting from another person's burden. In this sense, it's not about the quality of the means of payment (money,) it's about the underlying assumptions.