Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Money - Scott Russell Sanders on the paradoxical nature of money

For today, I wanted to share with you a paragraph of an essay I just read by Scott Russell Sanders, called Breaking The Spell Of Money, in Orion Magazine. I encourage you to read the whole essay, eloquently and thoughtfully written, by clicking here.

"The accumulation of money gives the richest individuals and corporations godlike power over the rest of us. Yet money itself has no intrinsic value; it is a medium of exchange, a token that we have tacitly agreed to recognize and swap for thins that do possess intrinsic value, such as potatoes or poetry, salmon or surgery. Money is a symbolic tool, wholly dependent for its usefulness on an underlying social compact [emphasis added]. It is paradoxical, therefore, that those who have benefited the most financially from the existence of this compact have been the most aggressive in seeking to undermine it, by attacking unions, cooperatives, public education, independent media, social welfare programs, non-profits that serve the poor, land-use planning, and every aspect of government that doesn't directly serve the rich. For the social compact to hold, ordinary people must feel that they are participating in a common enterprise that benefits everyone fairly, and not a pyramid scheme designed to benefit a few at the very top. While the superrich often pretend to oppose government as an imposition on their freedom, they are usually great fans of government contracts, crop subsidies, oil depletion allowances, and other forms of corporate welfare, and ever greater fans of military spending."

1 comment:

  1. I don't believe in a paradox. It's only a super-rich rhethoric artifact.
    There's no tacit agreement on money, only coercion, actually it's a disguised slavery.

    It's most obvious in poor parts of the world where folk refusing to sell their ressources are under attack.
    one recent example: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/deforestation-and-violence-in-the-congo/blog/35758/