Friday, January 30, 2009

Clandestine Truth: The Root of All Evil

I think I may have finally figured out why money corrupts. And understand that I'm not saying wealth corrupts, I'm not arguing that an abundance of money corrupts, I'm arguing that currency itself in our consumer society is a destructive force. Follow me on this.

Money, currency, is exchanged for goods and services. In this respect money can be almost anything. It can be food, it can be a car, it can be immunity to certain laws, it can be the aid of a trained specialist for a certain amount of time. Money is raw potential in a physical quantifiable form. Thus, money allows us to ask the fundamental question "What do I want?"

And that question is deeply deeply wrong.

That question is a product of society. When one lives without society the things that one wants are present to them. I want to get out of the rain. I want food. I want to make sure that thing doesn't eat me. These kinds of wants arise on their own, they're not crafted by the imagination, but rather they are the result of the environment. When you ask "what do I want" you're doing it backwards, because you're starting with the ability to solve a problem, and then deciding what your problem is. Even worse, in the modern world you're usually opening yourself up for someone else to decide what your problem is. It is in this way that money creates problems.

The worst effect of money though is the loop. Money is potential, and having potential, then seeing all of the things you want (or have been told you want) you're faced with the fact that all of those objects are beyond your potential. However, now you want all of them. So now the answer to the question "What do I want?" which is generated by money, is "More Money." It's a loop, self reinforcing, with no escape clause.

If you go searching for desires you will always find them, even before advertising saturation kicked in. Don't think about what you could get. Go through life, and allow the things you actually want to present themselves to you. As long as you make sure those wants aren't being presented to you by salesmen you'll do fine.


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