Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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Is Money The Root Of All Evil?


         This is something that you hear a lot, supposedly passed around since Biblical Times. Indeed it has been, but it doesn't accuse money itself, if not: "For the love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). Still, it has to be noted that a lot of horrible things have been done for the sake of earning a few (or more than a few) bucks, but still, is it money itself or is it something else?

I believe this formula is wrong.
            Some of you are probably going to want to lynch me for this (liberals, brace yourselves), but I began to question the notion of the root of all evil after reading Atlas Shrugged. There's a particular scene in which one of the novel's larger-than-life heroes, Francisco D'Anconia, listens to a woman who mentions that money's the root of all evil. His reply itself spans almost a full chapter but here's a good example of what he had to say: 

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?"
Sure, blah blah, Ayn Rand was a selfish woman.

But did she have a point?
            There are still a lot of paragraphs I would like to place here but then again it's a lot and I want you to read what I have to say about it. It's really simple. Some tell me that the economy is killing the world, and that money's evil, and that we would be better of bartering! (Which is a primitive form of trade which is part of what encompasses the economy).
I don't know, I still think I should have been given at least half another cow.
           If we remember the Moai tribe, also known as those dudes who made the Easter Island heads, then yes, we have a good example of how a civilization went extinct by means of its economy, but then again, these guys took it to a pretty extreme level, in the sense that you could watch every single tree from the top of the island's mountain and they ordered each and every last one of them cut down. That's economical demise, yes, also known as Tragedy of the Commons, but this is economy taken to extremes! And yes! Humanity's doing it as we speak.
Ghosts of lost a civilization, what environmental destruction must these have seen?
          Does that mean, though, that money's evil? Think again. The love of money is the root of all evil. Ambition can reach a level where it's not healthy, and we have been seeing it, natural resources right now are depleting faster than we can even count them and the Earth is changing in such a way that it's never done before. If the men who owned oil companies, are into the deforestation biz, or mass producers, weren't as tempted by money, then maybe things would be different (Although there's a lot of factors to take into consideration there, like the fact that closing down a company as massive as an oil business or whatever would mean tons of unemployed people, so many don't close their companies for these "moral" reasons too. And of course, it's hard to create thousands of jobs out of scratch).
Remember, it's not money itself, it's the men that want the money.
           As a quick side note before we go on, let's also think about the fact that not all evil has to do with money. Some can be caused by a bad upbringing (and of course there can be snobby rich kids and snooby poor kids alike), ambition that has nothing to do with riches, etc., so that's something that has to be gotten out of the way. There can be no root of all evil because it has many different causes.
This man, if he can be called so, expects no payment for beating his partner, does he?
I can give a theory. Although the love of money can cause a lot of malice, a lot of evil can be caused by a lack of money.
             Think about it. Let's imagine a country in poverty. If there's no money to pay for school then there's no education for the general population which leads to few people managing everything, these few will probably be corrupt and their love of money will make the lack of money the status quo, and to get ahead some people will cheat to get ahead by robbing or murdering and it's all a downward spiral into madness and chaos.
Then shit gets all Brave New World and you're catalouged by your social class.
              Also, class differences can cause a lot of conflicts. Wherever you go some will be richer than others, and those less rich, damn, can they get jealous, to the point that they will have poisonous little attitudes that will poison those around them, and if we can agree, that's annoying at best. That doesn't mean class difference is a necessary evil, still, it's not a problem that will be fixed anytime soon.
I mean, it's been around for quite some time.
              Now, back to money itself. What would happen in a world without money? Imagine you farmed, say, tomatoes, and the rest of your things you got them by bartering. That guy at the market could give you a house if you gave him a steady supply of tomatoes, and he offers food rations, etc., but then imagine somebody breaks a bone. You go to a doctor. He doesn't want tomatoes. What do you do then?
Imagine that bread as a tomato.
(Don't take this picture lightly, though, force-feeding is a horrible thing)
             Money's a beautiful concept because it reflects the amount of worth a man's put into his job produces. Sure, there are high-effort jobs that give low amounts of money such as being a janitor, but did that man have to use a lot of effort to become a janitor? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's not like there's a degree or anything. Besides, there's nothing that a janitor produces but clean facilities, which isn't worth much. And then you have something very specific like a cardiologist who spent more than a decade studying for his highly specific job that is in increasing demand and gives something very valuable, more time to live. But if there were no money, the cardiologist wouldn't be winning a lot through bartering now, would he? How often would he get a chance to negotiate? How would he get equipment, etc.?
Oh.
                Money, as D'Anconia said in Atlas Shrugged, is only possible if there are men who produce. With no production there's nothing of value and if there's nothing of value there's nothing to trade, but if there were something of value, of course, it would be a lot more difficult to exchange without money. In conclusion:
-The love of money causes evil.
-The lack of money causes evil.
-Class difference can cause evil.
-Money isn't related to all evil.
-Money is a tool that facilitates exchange so bartering isn't necessary.
-Money is a reflection of what a man's effort produces, bad or good, as long as it has worth.
Like a wise man said, money doesn't buy happiness.
But I'd rather cry in a Porsche.