The Nature of Money
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27-08-2011, 02:23 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
Money is magical.
There are lots of ways to explain it, how useful and practical it is, how it can be based on gold or GNP or $goats or lb/salt. Any of those would do fine, as would simple IOU's scribbled on a torn grocery bag, if people really were practical about its use.

But we're not practical. Money is like potato chips or bingo or grace - you can't just take as much as you need and then stop. At least, few persons and no nation-states can. You just keep longing for more of it; become addicted and obsessed, without any understanding of what it is, how it works, or what colour it's turning the inside of your head. Money is fairy dust: we keep hoping, if enough of it lands on us, we'll be able to fly, live forever, be beautiful, lovable and wise.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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03-09-2011, 07:55 AM
RE: The Nature of Money
I think if the populations of countrys with central banks realised that that they dont create there own money..........that they in fact go to these banks and "lend money with interest (national debt)" then people would begin to question who it is who is making the money if it isnt the goverment.

I think if the masses realised what was being traded on the stock markets.........and that people make money, simply by transfering money then people wouldnt be too happy with the system they are part of and would (hopefully) want change.

I think if people realised that when you go to a bank and ask for a loan.......when approved they may not give you money from there balances.......but instead simply credit your account (fractional reserve banking) and hold you accountable until all that money (through your labour) is paid off........thereby creating new money for the benefit of others.

This is how I see money..........however I am "internet taught" which means I am aware that I may be missing certain knowledge or critical aspects and details which make up the whole system.

I dont like the system we live in......I complain about it however I hold no soloutions........I do think us humans have the ability to make a much fairer system but it is held off by the fact that a small majority of people (in power/rich) will have to give a lot up so everybody can be equal....and I cant see that happening anytime soon unfortunatly.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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03-09-2011, 10:31 AM
RE: The Nature of Money
As an experiment, I listened to the news today. I haven’t done this for some time, and was surprised how it sounded. Like a country under siege. I counted: sixteen out of seventeen news items had to do with lack of money (The seventeenth was about rescuing a dog that fell in the lake -- the only story that made any sense).

In our culture, the habit of thinking in terms of money is so deeply ingrained that nobody seems to find another topic. It is bloody boring, to say the least, that our entire civilization is stuck in the financial groove.

We are atomized into alienated little islands; suspicious at one another, snarling and baring our fangs at anyone who comes near; clutching our wallets possessively, while eying the bulging purses of our rich with envy and resentment. We are fighting over money like a wolf-pack tearing the prey apart, snarling and snapping at each other while gulping down what we can.

Now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, all we seem to care about is money and power. How can this culture be so primitive?
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18-10-2011, 04:12 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
Rant continued....

There were times when people were ready to die for their country, for freedom and equality, or god, or something beyond the contents of their pockets. Everything revolves around “economics”, as if we identified our human selves with our production system; or even worse, as if the system were controlling us and not the other way around.

What happened to patriotism, compassion, generosity? What happened to brave new ideas, vision, enthusiasm? Why are we such boring bastards, without deep convictions, without noble goals?

I think mankind needs a refresher-course in philosophy, to put things in perspective. The ancient Greek philosophers were so much smarter than we are. They knew about balance and harmony and didn’t turn themselves into tiny cogs to fit in a big machine. They wanted it all: math, science, technology, arts, sports, politics and religion. Greedy buggers, they were not content to be only merchants and bean-counters.

We have all heard the expression “renaissance man” as stories filter down to our stultified existence about larger-than-life adventurers who had more than one interest and wanted to hog as much life as their energy and imagination would support.

There were times when people wanted to soar above the clouds and discourse with god and experience all the wonders of existence. Now, machines do our soaring for us, while we are stuck with our noses in financial records, groaning and moaning how we can not fix or improve anything.

So what am I talking about? I am talking about money and how boring the subject is.

Money is a human invention to facilitate trade. It is a medium of exchange, nothing more. It is not a law of nature, not a basic fact of existence, not a god, not even an important discovery.

What is important is this marvelously rich planet we live on, with its plentiful resources (until we waste it on heedless gluttony) with its benign climate (until we destroy it with global warming, pollution and acid rain) our accumulated knowledge in science and technology (that could provide plenty for everybody) and the incredible beauty that artists have created for our joy (until it drowns in worship of ugliness and the basest drives to raw sex and violence).

We say, nothing can be done for lack of money. Why? We need time; we need resources; we need manpower. We stand paralyzed, and let our cities disintegrate and our roads crumble and our children go hungry - even though we have plenty of bricks to build houses; plenty of idle people to build roads; so much food that it often rots in our warehouses.


Because we have no money?

Who the hell cares about money? If this human invention does not do its job, helping us to exchange things, than why bother with it?

Has it become a god that rules our every breath from cradle to grave? Would a sane civilization allow an invention of its own to paralyze it into helpless stagnation, abandon things that urgently need doing, even though it had everything required to do them?

If a group of us were shipwrecked on a desert island, would we starve to death because we had no money to facilitate trade? Of course not. We would get busy building huts and planting crops to make our lives as comfortable as we could.

Why can we not do it now? What is the difference? The unmanageable size of the group that can hide the lazy and the parasitic? The smoke-screen created by those who want us to be confused so we do not see that, while we produce, they wallow in luxury without contributing?

Instead of building community, based on interdependence (which is what ‘community’ means), producing and sharing, we are asked to put our faith in hare-brained dogmas like “trickle-down economics”, “small government”, “fiscal responsibility”, “tax-cuts for the rich” (to stimulate the economy) that have been proven false time after time (of course almost nobody reads History any more).

Wake up, people!

If you refuse to look outside your box, you may be stuck in it forever! Big Grin
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20-10-2011, 05:55 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
Gathering what hazy memories I can from my looking into capitalism I think from the 70s there was a wage repression.

However if you repress the wages then you are basicly repressing the means to buy goods and to keep the system going.

Solution???? Credit.......Sad

Jump to the 90s and you will see an increase in profits in finance yet you will see a steady decline in manufacturing.......all to keep the people at the top who control the money supply happy.

Like you quite rightly said Zatamon people need to think outside of the box because the system that we are currently history has proven.......DOES NOT WORK (except for a few people and there not sharing)

People amassing FORTUNES that they can no way spend in there lifetime.....have they toiled and sweated for this money????


If we are going to keep this shoddy system of money that doesnt solve its problems but pushes them from pillar to post then maybe we should impose a limit on how much a person/corporation can actually have.

This will only seem unfair to a very small percentage of the worlds population but I think If I had £500 million as a limit then I dont actually think I could spend all of it......and if I did then I dont think I would have enough time in my life to use or consume the items or services that I have bought.

What should happen then to all of the money that I earn after that then???

Well of course it should be put into a well managed, transparent fund for that country and split into three parts at the end of the financial year. The smallest part (maybe 10%) should be split and given to all of the people who havent worked that year. The second part (maybe 40%) should be split and given to all of the people who have worked all of that year and the third part (the remaining 50%) should be injected into the country to make the standard of living better for everybody.

Its a pretty radical idea I know and I havent actually thought it through or how to implement such a system but I just thought I would throw it in for consideration.

My dream (which I think will never happen) would be if there was a way we could have a "Karma currency"......a "karma currency" would be that you get your money from being GENUINLY good and kind hearted......and your actions to humanity and your fellow brothers and sisters and community in general pay you.

Good hearted people will prosper.........bad intentioned people would have nothing.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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21-10-2011, 09:35 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
I must say that I agree with you Zatamon. In the current system, people like myself (a student) are being screwed over. In order for me to go to school, I cannot work full-time throughout the year. Yet, I not only need to provide myself with the necessities of living (food, rent, clothing, and transportation... though thankfully I don't have to pay to see the doctor!), but I have to pay ridiculous tuition fees on top of that. Everybody knows that the majority of students have to live in squalor for a 4-year (or more) degree that in this day and age will only get them an adequate job with their wages going towards paying off their student loans. It's ridiculous!

Meanwhile, the president of the university is living in luxury; the arts programs are getting cuts because of lack of funding; and the fucking provincial Conservative government is giving funding to engineering (which, believe me, does not need any more new buildings) because that's what the economy needs. Ugh! .... Sorry, went on a bit of a rant there...

Anyways, I highly recommend that you read Robert Tressell's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists if you haven't already. Let's just say that you're not the first one to be thinking these thoughts Tongue

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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22-10-2011, 08:17 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
(21-10-2011 09:35 PM)SecularStudent Wrote:  I must say that I agree with you Zatamon.
Let's just say that you're not the first one to be thinking these thoughts Tongue

bemore, Secular, thanks for the feedback. If you read my posts carefully, you will notice that I question the very need for the existence of money.

Yes, we are in this box, and you need money to live in this box, right here, right now.

However, should we decide to intelligently design a co-operative species like humanity -- would money be an advantage, or a horrible liability?

My contention is the latter.

I know it is not a very practical observation right now, but I always said: "You need to know what the best thing would be, even if you can't have it now, in order to know what the 'next best thing possible' could be -- to know the direction you should be going."

I was trying to convince you in this thread that we would all be better off if we decided to share based on need, rather than based on the money we managed to hoard together. Even the rich of today would be better off in the absolute sense (while not being so superior in the relative sense).

If you were a god and you could do anything you wanted to -- would you design a species that shared based on scraps of paper, metal coins or bits in a memory chip -- instead of real contribution to the welfare of all and the real needs we all share?

You know my answer to that question.

What is yours?
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22-10-2011, 09:39 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
Yep, you get to ranting alright. Big Grin

I don't blame ya. I hate the stuff. I convert it to food, tobacco, or entertainment like another game for my Xbox as soon as it shows up. It doesn't have any other purpose. People "believing" in money ain't got their morals straight nor identity sorted, in my book.

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27-10-2011, 09:12 AM
RE: The Nature of Money
Without money (or some other medium of exchange), it seems to me that you are advocating one of two things:

(1) People must all be persuaded to "be nice" and share things with each other as appropriate; or
(2) people must have physical force, or the threat of physical force, imposed upon them so that they are "nice" to each other and share things.

Neither of these two options is realistically compatible with human nature.

Money evolved because people wanted to use a medium of exchange instead of using goats, food, etc. to trade every time they wanted or needed another product or service. They created money so that the value of goods and services could be more easily compared with a common medium of exchange, as opposed to directly exchanging three goats for service from a blacksmith (or whatever).

Your problem, as I see it, is not money. Your problem is the fact that certain people or organizations (i.e. the Federal Reserve in the United States, the International Monetary Fund, etc.) control the supply of money, and hence are able to exert significant control over the economy. Those organizations are influenced by those in power (whether it be large corporations, labor unions, politicians, etc.) and that is the source of the problem, not the money itself.

Blaming money for the problems that are caused by the people who exert physical force in order to control the supply of money doesn't make sense. Money is just the medium of exchange. Control of the money by physical force (via the power of government) is the problem.

It's kind of like blaming a Toyota because some idiot driver ran over someone else and killed them. It's not the car's fault, it's the driver's fault.

If money was not controlled by the government, people would be free to use whatever they wanted for money (whether it be dollars, yen, cigarettes, gold, a private currency, whatever), or not use money at all and simply barter. It would be their choice. If they wanted to voluntarily practice a form of communism/socialism within their community (with all folks voluntarily participating), they could do that too.

Don't blame the money. Blame those who claim that it is their (government's) right to exert physical control over it and send to prison anyone who dares do things a different way.
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27-10-2011, 09:24 AM
RE: The Nature of Money
(27-10-2011 09:12 AM)mdak06 Wrote:  Don't blame the money.

No, I blame people who don't read ALL my arguments in ALL my posts and don't take some time to think about them -- as a consequence, they have no idea what I was talking about! Big GrinBig GrinBig Grin
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